Delta Upgrade Certificates are now valid on companion certificates

Mar 5, 2021

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This week, we shared the good news that Delta was extending Upgrade Certificate validity and adding an online availability tool. Yesterday, we confirmed that Upgrade Certificates could be applied to award tickets as well as Miles + Cash tickets on Delta-operated flights. It seems that Delta has further expanded Upgrade Certificate eligibility to Pay with Miles tickets a companion certificates.

This is great news if you have one of the cobranded Delta cards, which come with annual companion certificates upon renewal:

This offers an incentive for Delta Medallion members with rising SkyMiles balances to put them to use for future travel. Now those members don’t have to choose between getting an upgrade and keeping out-of-pocket travel costs low. Delta’s dynamic pricing has lead to some incredible deals on award tickets. Applying an upgrade to those awards is a great way to squeeze even more value out of them.

The inclusion of companion certificates makes both the Delta Upgrade Certificates and companion certificates more valuable.

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Summary of Delta upgrade award changes

The ability to use Upgrade Certificates for award tickets is just one of many positive changes Delta introduced recently. Here’s a quick overview of changes Delta has recently announced:

  • All active and expired Global Upgrade Certificates and Regional Upgrade Certificates selected between March 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2020 are valid for flights through Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Upgrade availability is now searchable online, though you still need to call to apply them.
  • Upgrades can be applied to award tickets as well as paid fares.
  • Upgrades can be applied to Delta companion certificates.

Related: Complete guide to airline elite status during the coronavirus outbreak

How this compares to other airlines

Delta is definitely leading the pack when it comes to making Upgrade Certificates easier to redeem. At the moment, neither American nor United allows members to apply Upgrade Certificates to award tickets. It certainly makes Delta SkyMiles more useful, especially if you can book a cheap award ticket on a flight with upgrade availability.

Delta has also extended Upgrade Certificate validity well beyond American Airlines’ July 31, 2021 date, though it’s lagging behind United’s July 2022 extension. With travel expected to pick up this summer following widespread vaccination, redeeming upgrades before they expire likely won’t be an issue for most Medallion members.

Hopefully, down the line, Delta will also allow members to apply upgrades online instead of having to call in. That’s one advantage that United has over both Delta and American – PlusPoint upgrades can be redeemed online. This option is so much more convenient, especially when you’re booking travel on-the-go or call wait times are inordinately long.

Related: United extends elite perks, makes it easier to earn status in 2021

Bottom line

Overall, this is great news for Delta Medallion members who have Upgrade and companion certficates saved up. It means that redeeming these upgrades will be much easier in the future since there’s now a choice between applying them to paid or award travel, as well as companion tickets. It could also lead the way for American and United to follow Delta in allowing upgrades to be used on award tickets, since that’s historically what has happened with major program changes Delta rolls out.

Featured image by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy

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