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TravelDelta companion ticket: How to save on flights

Delta companion ticket: How to save on flights


Everyone loves a buy one, get one deal. Believe it or not, you can sometimes get those BOGO deals on airline tickets if you hold the right credit cards.

Several credit cards in my wallet are there because they offer some form of an airline companion certificate for when we need to buy tickets with cash and want to ensure a good deal.

For example, the lineup of Delta American Express cards includes several that come with an annual companion certificate at each renewal. On top of that, these cards offer elevated welcome bonuses, making this the perfect time to learn what they can do to help you travel more for less.

Related: Best Delta credit cards

Which Delta cards have a companion ticket?

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Reserve consumer and small-business cardholders receive an annual Delta companion ticket at each renewal of the card.

Here’s the full lineup of cards and their current welcome bonuses. Terms apply.

CREDIT CARD ANNUAL FEE WELCOME BONUS BONUS VALUE* NOTABLE PERKS
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card $350 (see rates and fees) Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of account opening. $1,080 An annual companion certificate each renewal anniversary for Main Cabin, round-trip travel; a statement credit to cover the membership fee for Global Entry ($100, every four years) or TSA PreCheck (up to $85, every 4.5 years); a new up to $120 Resy credit (earn up to $10 each month in statement credits)** and up to $120 ride-hailing credit (earn up to $10 each month in statement credits)**; an up to $150 Delta Stays credit; Hertz Five Star status***; 2,500 bonus Medallion Qualification Dollars; 1 MQD for every $20 spent
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card $650 (see rates and fees) Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of account opening. $1,200 You’ll receive 15 visits per year to the Delta Sky Club. To earn unlimited visits each year starting Feb. 1, 2025, the total eligible purchases on the card must equal $75,000 or more between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2024, and each calendar year thereafter.

Access to the American Express Centurion Lounge when you book your Delta flight with the card; an annual companion certificate each year upon card renewal for round-trip travel in first class, Comfort+, Premium Select or Main Cabin; complimentary upgrades for non-Medallions; a new up to $240 Resy credit (earn up to $20 each month in statement credits)** and up to $120 ride-hailing credit (earn up to $10 each month in statement credits)**; an up to $200 Delta Stays credit; Hertz President’s Circle status***; 2,500 bonus MQDs; 1 MQD for every $10 spent

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card $350 (see rates and fees) Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $8,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership. $1,200 Earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent on transit, shipping purchases and single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to $100,000 of combined eligible purchases per year); an annual companion certificate for each renewal anniversary for Main Cabin, round-trip travel; a statement credit to cover the membership fee for Global Entry ($100, every four years) or TSA PreCheck (up to $85, every 4.5 years); up to $120 Resy credit** and up to $120 ride-hailing credit (earn up to $10 each month in statement credits)**; an up to $200 Delta Stays credit; 2,500 bonus MQDs; 1 MQD for every $20 spent
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card $650 (see rates and fees)

Earn 110,000 bonus miles after spending $12,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

$1,320 Receive 15 visits per year to the Delta Sky Club. To earn unlimited visits each year starting Feb. 1, 2025, the total eligible purchases on the card must equal $75,000 or more between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2024, and each calendar year thereafter.

Earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent on eligible transit, U.S. shipping and U.S. office supply store purchases and all purchases after you spend $150,000 per year on the card; access to the American Express Centurion Lounge when you book your Delta flight with the card; an annual companion certificate each year upon card renewal for round-trip travel in first class, Comfort+, Premium Select or Main Cabin; complimentary upgrades for non-Medallions; up to $240 Resy credit (earn up to $20 each month in statement credits)** and up to $120 ride-hailing credit (earn up to $10 each month in statement credits)**; an up to $250 Delta Stays credit; Hertz President’s Circle status***; 2,500 bonus MQDs; 1 MQD for every $10 spent

*Based on TPG’s valuations; not provided by the card issuer.

**Enrollment is required

***Enrollment in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Program is required

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Since this companion voucher benefit is extended to both the consumer and small-business versions of the card, you can earn more than one companion voucher if you have multiple eligible Delta cards.

However, it’s worth noting that these companion tickets are not granted in the first year. You must renew your card (and pay the annual fee) to get the perk.

Related: New Delta credit card welcome offers: Earn up to 110,000 bonus SkyMiles

Delta companion ticket rules

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Companion tickets can only be used on certain round-trip tickets within the contiguous U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

You must have an eligible address on file with SkyMiles in those locations to use the vouchers in that way.

If you have the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex, the companion ticket is only eligible for Main Cabin flights, while the Reserve companion ticket can now be used for first class, Premium Select, Comfort+ or Main Cabin.

Related: Is Delta Air Lines premium economy worth it between New York and London?

This annual award is automatically deposited into your SkyMiles account the month you pay the card’s annual fee, and it’s typically valid for a year from the date it was issued. The ticket must be booked and the trip must be taken before the certificate expires. You still need to pay the taxes and fees on the second ticket, but otherwise, it’s a buy-one, get-one flight deal.

Related: Every Delta Air Lines premium seat ranked from best to worst

How to use the Delta companion ticket

The mechanics of how to use a Delta companion ticket are thankfully pretty simple.

First, log in to your online Delta SkyMiles account, and after you select “Profile” (located as a drop-down option when you click on your name on the upper right-hand side), you’ll find your companion certificates listed in the “Certificates, eCredits & Vouchers” section.

DELTA.COM

From there, you can select a certificate to use and then proceed to search for eligible Delta flights by hitting “Continue” at the bottom of the page.

You can only search for flights for the two people on the trip who are using the certificate, so any additional children or travelers may have to be booked separately. You can then have their itineraries linked to yours by calling Delta at 1-800-221-1212.

Saving hundreds of dollars with the Delta companion ticket

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

To show you the real value of the Delta companion ticket, let’s use a real-world example of a national parks-focused trip we took to Utah.

The round-trip, nonstop flights from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) cost about $466 on Delta. That wasn’t a great deal, but it was during a school break, so deals were hard to come by.

The Delta companion certificate was a great way to save money when prices were high, as one round-trip ticket cost $466 but a second ticket could be reserved for only an additional $20 in taxes and fees when using the companion certificate.

Traveling from Houston to Salt Lake City for two passengers for $486 with the companion voucher was a much better deal than one ticket for $466. Multiply that number by two for the other two family members on the reservation because two eligible vouchers were available at the time to get around $900 in savings for the trip, thanks to these Delta companion vouchers from Amex cards.

If you use the Delta companion ticket in a similar manner, it can easily be worth more than the annual fee it costs to keep the Delta Platinum Amex in your wallet.

Know, though, that the primary (paid) ticket on the reservation using the Delta companion ticket will accrue SkyMiles, but the companion ticket won’t. Therefore, the tickets are eligible for upgrades consistent with the SkyMiles program. If you cancel your itinerary after purchasing your ticket, you usually won’t be able to reuse your companion certificate, so be sure of your plans before applying a companion certificate.

Related: The top credit cards for families

Bottom line

Delta’s annual companion ticket, which comes with cards like the Delta Platinum SkyMiles card, is a solid perk that makes flying Delta more comfortable and affordable, especially when traveling as a family. If you’re looking to save money when flying Delta, consider signing up for one of Delta’s Amex cards to take advantage of this and other benefits available to cardholders.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Amex, click here.



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