As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, Delta is giving travelers with valuable companion certificates from their top credit cards even more time to use them.
After several members of the Thrifty Traveler team have noticed that their companion tickets issued in 2020 have been extended through December 2021, Delta confirmed that all outstanding companion certificates have been automatically extended through the end of next year. That gives you until next December to use up one of these buy-one, get-one certificates.
All unused companion tickets as of Sept. 1 were automatically extended to last through Dec. 31, 2021. And any new certificates you earn after renewing a Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card from now through Nov. 30, 2020, will also last through the end of 2021.
“Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Reserve American Express Card Members with expiring or recently issued companion certificates have received extended expiration dates to Dec. 31, 2021, to give them more time to enjoy this benefit on an upcoming trip,” the airline said in a statement.
These companion certificates can be insanely valuable, as they're essentially buy-one, get-one tickets for domestic flights. And that can easily offset the annual fee you pay for Delta Platinum and Reserve credit cards.
But with most travel still on hold, using these companion tickets is harder than ever. They're issued each year when you renew your Delta card, and you've got a year to use them – or lose them if you don't.
Delta has gone to great lengths during the pandemic to do right by consumers. Quietly extending these companion certificates another full year is just the latest example. And these extensions are automatic: There should be no need to contact the airline to get your companion certificate extended.
How Delta Companion Certificates Work
These BOGO tickets are arguably the best perks of both Delta's Platinum and Reserve cards.
To check on your companion certificate, just head for Delta.com, log into your account, and head for “My Profile.” You'll find it (along with any vouchers or eCredits from canceled flights) under “Certificates, eCredits and Vouchers.” Any companion certificate will clearly display the new expiration date.
With both the Delta Platinum and Reserve cards, you get that companion ticket starting in your second full year with the card. But each certificate is a bit different:
- Platinum: Good for one round-trip ticket in the continental U.S. in main cabin economy only
- Reserve: Good for one round-trip ticket in the continental U.S. in first class, Comfort Plus, or economy.
Unfortunately, it's not as simple as buying a plane ticket and getting the second one free.
The companion certificate from the Platinum Card only works for fare classes L, U, T, X, and V in the main cabin. That means basic economy fares are off-limits, as are some of the cheapest priced economy fares. With companion certificates from the Reserve card, you can also book first class fare classes I and V or Comfort Plus fare class W.
Thrifty Tip: Confused about fare classes? Read our guide on how they work.
Depending on where you live and when you’re flying, these restrictions can make it more difficult to get a lot out of the companion pass. Still, with some planning, it shouldn't be hard to squeeze a few hundred dollars in value out of these companion fares.
You need to pay for your first ticket (and the taxes and fees of the second) with your Delta card in order to use the companion ticket.
And critically, this is a lose it or use it benefit. You must travel (not just book your ticket) by the time your certificate is set to expire – it won't roll over.
What If I Used it on a Flight I Need to Cancel?
Already book a flight for you and a companion and don't want to lose that certificate by canceling? You should be covered there, too.
So long as your flight falls under Delta's current cancellation policy for coronavirus, you should have no trouble getting it back if you cancel your flights. That said, it's unclear whether your restored companion certificate will last through Dec. 31, 2021 or have a different expiration date.
While this should also be automatic, canceling these bookings can be a bit more involved than your typical solo flight. So you may need to get in touch with Delta to make sure you get your companion certificate back.
Thrifty Tip: Don't waste time sitting on hold. Rather than call Delta, send them a message through the Delta app!
Delta has quietly extended valuable companion certificates all the way through Dec. 31, 2021. That should give you much more time to use this valuable benefit.