How to redeem the American Airlines companion certificate

Jul 9, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter!

In This Post

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 MastercardAfter 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

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 

American Airlines plane flying over city
(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.


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 photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.