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How to redeem the American Airlines companion certificate

July 09, 2021
5 min read
American Airlines AA 737-800 Main Cabin
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With vaccination efforts picking up nationwide, travel demand has skyrocketed.

When you are ready to travel, however, you might be curious about how to use some of your credit card’s perks. If you hold certain American Airlines co-branded credit cards, you have what’s known as a companion certificate that you can use after you meet a spending threshold. The certificate allows cardholders to bring a friend (or two) at a discount or for just the cost of taxes and fees.

Both Citi and Barclays have offered extensions on expiring companion certificates. Barclay AAdvantage cardholders will be able to use them through the end of June 30, 2022.

Here’s what you need to know about redeeming your companion certificate.

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Which credit cards offer the AA companion certificate

You can get the American Airlines companion certificate with one of four co-branded credit cards, each requiring different spending thresholds. Depending on the card you opt for, you'll need to spend $20,000-$30,000 in a year in order to earn an American Airlines companion certificate

Barclays Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard: After you spend $20,000 in a year, you will receive a companion certificate, which allows you to book airfare for a travel companion for just $99 plus taxes and fees.

AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard: You’ll earn the companion certificate for the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard after you spend $20,000 per year. Unfortunately, this card isn’t open to new cardholders. You can request an upgrade after opening an Aviator Red card account.

AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard: Spend $30,000 in a year. Once you earn it, it’s good for one guest ticket that you can book for only $99 plus taxes and fees

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CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Earn a certificate for domestic main cabin travel after you spend at least $30,000 on the card during your membership year, and each time the card is renewed (the account must remain open at least 45 days after the anniversary date). Note that redeeming the certificate carries a $99 fee, plus between $21.60 to $43.20 in taxes and fees.

The information for the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Silver, AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

How to use the American Airlines companion certificate 

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

American says it can take between 8-10 weeks for delivery of the Companion Certificate. After it arrives, you must redeem it through American Airlines Meeting Services. You can do so by calling 800-433-1790 and providing your flight information.

It's always helpful to have this information in advance to ensure a smooth booking process.

FAQ

When does my AA companion certificate expire?

The AA companion certificate is typically valid for a year. Still, if you’re a qualifying Barclays AAdvantage cardholder with a companion certificate expiring this year, receive an extension through June 30, 2022.

Can I use the AA companion certificate on business and first-class tickets?

The American Airlines companion certificate is only valid only for round-trip domestic economy class tickets.

Can I use the AA companion certificate on partner airlines?

The American Airlines companion certificate is valid for travel on flights within the 48 contiguous U.S. on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or on flights marketed by American and operated by Compass Airlines, Envoy Air, Republic, SkyWest, Mesa, PSA Airlines or Piedmont Airlines.

The companion certificate is not eligible for travel on codeshare flights booked with an American Airlines flight number but operated by another airline. For residents of Alaska and Hawaii, Companion Certificate eligible travel is defined as round-trip travel originating in either of those two states and continuing to the 48 contiguous United States.

Bottom line

The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the travel industry, but we’re beginning to see some signs of life. Card issuers realize they’ll need to make adjustments (like providing extensions for significant perks).

Whether you plan to take to the skies this year or not, you have ample time to put your American Airlines companion certificate to good use.

Featured image by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees