Travel Guide: The American Express Delta Platinum Companion Certificate

As a benefit for holding the Delta Amex Platinum, you get a companion certificate that allows you to bring a friend along for the ride with just paying the taxes and fees. These Delta companion certificates are not the easiest things in the world to use, but over the years I’ve found a few helpful tips and tricks to make things faster. Getting good flights is possible, it just takes some flexibility.

Both Val and I have the Delta Amex Platinum, we’ve both kept the card for years. In that time, we’ve always made good use of the companion certificates. There are some rules to know about using the companion certificate. I like to use the Delta companion cert when we have a fixed date of travel for an event like a wedding or party. This isn’t always possible but often pays off. Here’s how I book travel with the Delta Plat Amex Companion Cert:

In This Guide

When Do I Receive The Delta Companion Certificate

The Delta Amex Platinum comes with a companion certificate when you pay the annual fee of renewal. So for the first year you do not receive a companion certificate, only when you start the second year. It’s important to remember that only the Delta branded Amex Platinum has a companion certificate. The regular Amex Platinum doesn’t have a Delta companion pass.

Delta Amex Platinum Companion Certificate Fare Rules

Ok, this is the part that most people get hung-up on. The Delta Amex Companion Cert has very specific fare rules that must be followed. This is an economy companion certificate and unless you live in Hawaii or Alaska limited to round trip flights in the 48 contiguous states. If you do live in Alaska or Hawaii, you can use your companion certificate to fly from home to the lower 48. Only certian economy fares qualify for the Delta Amex Plat companion. You must book into L, U, T, X, or V fares. This excludes the cheapest E class basic economy fare class. It also excludes the higher priced economy fares, all Comfort Plus, First Class, and Delta one fares too. It should also be noted that you must use an Amex card to pay for the ticket. In my experience it doesn’t need to be a Delta Amex, any Amex will work fine, but the terms do specifically say a Delta branded American Express card must be used.

Delta Amex Companion Certificate Expiration

A common issue that people run into is the Companion Certificate expiration. The Delta Amex Companion Cert expires one year from it’s issued date. This means that you must complete travel before this date. Not just book before the expiration, the trip must be fully flown, round trip before the companion cert expiration.

Transferring a Delta Amex Companion Certificate

Delta Amex Companion Certificates are fully transferable, however this isn’t as easy as it sounds. When Delta says “Fully Transferable” they simply mean it’s not tied to a specific person. The person who is issued the Delta Companion Certificate does not need to fly. It could be two completely different people. Selling a Delta Amex Companion Cert is against the terms, but you’re free to give them away. The caveat is that the flight must be booked from you’re Delta Skymiles account. You cannot just give the certificate number to another person. You must also book the tickets using an American Express card.

If you’d like to use the Companion Ticket for friends and family this is pretty easy, simply book the flight from your Skymiles account for you’re friends and have them pay you back. You could also log into your Skymiles account and let your recipient drive the computer and enter their credit card information. This of course only works if you’re in the same room. If you want to book for someone at a distance, a screen share like Teams or Zoom could work, but there’s a level of trust required.

Giving away a Delta Companion certificate to a stranger is difficult. Because there’s some level of personal information that must be shared, it’s difficult to do. Not impossible, just going to need to trust a random person. Friends and family make it much easier.

Using ITA Matrix to Find Delta Companion Certificate Fares

Searching for Delta Companion Fares can be tricky and time consuming, using ITA Matrix can help make the process faster and easier.

ITA Matrix for finding Delta Companion Certificate

For our recent trip to San Diego I entered in our desired dates and destination.

Delta Companion Certificate via ITA Matrix

Then using the time bars, I can see the flights that are eligible fares. Remember only L, U, T, X, or V fares are valid for using the companion pass and you must have 2, one for each passenger.

Delta Companion Certificate via ITA Matrix

The desired flights I found for the Delta Companion Pass using ITA Matrix. The inbound and outbound fare classes don’t need to match, here I’m booking an outbound as an L and the return as U. Once you’ve found the flights you can search Delta’s website for those exact dates.

Booking Delta Companion Certificate Fares

Delta Companion Certificate search on Delta website

Delta has some new tools on their website to help search for companion certificate fares. You select the certificate in your account then the flexible dates tool will show what days are possible and what are not.

Booking Delta Companion Certificate

I fed the days and locations that I found from ITA Matrix into the Delta website and found the flights I wanted.

Booking Delta Companion Certificate

At checkout you do have to pay the taxes and fees for the second ticket. At this point you can enter in the passenger information. The owner of the companion pass does not need to fly so you can use your Delta Amex Companion Certificate for family and friends pretty easily. You do just need to pay for the flights using your Amex card.

Complementary Medallion Upgrades With Companion Certificates

If you’re a Delta Medallion member, using a Amex Companion Cert allows you to upgrade just as you would on any other ticket. You and your companion will be on the upgrade list at the same priority. If you’re Platinum or Diamond Medallion, you can select a Comfort Plus seat just after booking for free. So even though the Amex Companion Cert doesn’t allow for booking Comfort Plus directly, your medallion status will handle that for you. Medallion upgrades to First Class or Delta one are also possible, but like normal, you’ll need to wait for the appropriate upgrade window or to the gate for that to clear.

Change Delta Companion Certificate

The Delta Companion Certificate is changeable, it just follows the same rules as the same cash fare. With Delta that’s good news because all of the fares that are eligible for booking with the Companion Certificate, there are no change fees. It’s important to make the distinction between a cancellation and a change. You cannot cancel a ticket booked with a companion certificate and get the pass back, but you can change it.

Delta Companion Certificate Change Process

You can even change the companion certificated online with the Delta website, just select change flights, then choose the flights you want to change. Keep in mind you’ll still need to follow the fare rules for the certificate and you cannot change the names of the passengers. You will also be responsible for any difference in price.

Using Regional or Global Upgrade Certificates with Companion

Passengers who have access to Regional or Global Upgrade Certificates can use those while flying on an Amex Companion ticket. The Delta website will even show the availability for use of those Upgrade Certificates while booking. An interesting note is that while it shows availability for upgrading, it won’t let you apply the certificates during the check out process like a cash booking. I like to use the Delta chat service for applying certificates.

You’ll need to use one upgrade certificate per person per direction, so a round trip for 2 people would need 4 upgrade certificates. They can also be wait-listed if the upgrade space to book into isn’t immediately available. So just like a normal ticket, you can upgrade with certificates when using an Amex Companion Ticket.

Cash or Mileage Upgrades with Companion Certificate

Once the Delta Companion Ticket is purchased, it functions just like any other ticket. You can use cash or Skymiles(when offered) to upgrade your seats. I rarely do this as relatively short domestic flights don’t often warrant the cost, but it’s certainly available. To do this type of upgrade, look at the seat map on the Delta website or app, their you can often purchase an upgrade, not always, but most of the time.

Delta Companion Certificate Final Thoughts

We use our Delta Companion Certificate every year to go on a trip. We like to use them for fixed date events like weddings or birthday parties that we cannot be flexible with and book cheaper tickets. The Delta Companion Certificate does have some limitations on fare class, so using ITA Matrix is a good way to find space. Once you find space, booking on the Delta Website is easy.

You can use the Delta Amex Companion Certificate for your friends or family too, they are fully transferable, you just have to book it from your Delta account. You also have to use your Amex card for the booking to pay for the tickets. Once purchased, the tickets follow all the same upgrade rules as normal tickets. You can use your complimentary medallion upgrades, Regional Upgrade Certificates, Global Upgrade Certificates, or even just cash upgrades offered in the Delta App or Online.

The Delta Companion Certificate can be tricky to use but we always get value out of them.

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