Reader Question: Can you combine an airline travel credit with a companion certificate?
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.
Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg. If you would like to ask us a question, email us at info@ .
Editor’s note: This article originally published with incomplete information. It has been updated with correct details.
Frequent travelers are used to paying for their plane tickets in a number of different ways, including credit cards, miles and even gift cards. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the unprecedented surge in flight cancellations it’s caused is forcing many travelers to now learn the ins and outs of another payment method: airline-issued travel credits. TPG reader Bettina wants to know if she can use a Delta travel credit in combination with a Delta companion fare from her Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.
I ended up with a $1200 credit on Delta for my canceled trip to Florida – and I have a companion fare credit also from my Delta Platinum SkyMiles Amex. Is it possible to combine the companion airfare with the airline credit for booking future travel?TPG READER BETTINA
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
For those who may not be familiar, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is the mid-tier option of Delta’s personal cobranded credit cards. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles comes with an annual companion certificate valid for a round-trip, main cabin domestic ticket booked into fare classes L, U, T, X or V. You just need to pay the taxes and fees on the companion ticket, which is very low for domestic travel.
Delta’s travel credits are generally very lenient, as you can use them to cover the cost of airfare or government-imposed taxes, including the $5.60 aviation security fee that gets tacked on to the cost of all flights originating in the U.S. (including award tickets). However, Delta’s companion fares, like many airline-specific perks on cobranded credit cards, come with an important restriction that prevents you from combining them with an airline credit.
According to the terms and conditions of the companion fare benefit listed on the Amex website, you must pay for your ticket with your SkyMiles credit card in order to apply the companion fare:
“Primary ticket and Companion ticket must be purchased with your Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card”
This is not unlike other airlines like United that generally require you to purchase your ticket with your cobranded card in order to receive free checked bags on eligible itineraries. While this policy existed long before airline credits were a common part of most people’s travel experience, it’s sure to be frustrating now to people who have to decide which of their expiring benefits (companion fare or travel credit) to redeem first.
The annual companion certificate is one of the more valuable perks on the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, but you can only use it when you pay for the primary ticket and companion ticket with your Delta Platinum card.
Featured image by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
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.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- 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 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 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 $75 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 Pre✓®.
- 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