Rookie Wednesday: How to use your BOGOF cert & the strange rules.

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

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One of the biggest perks of the Delta AMEX Reserve card is the BOGOF or buy one get one free certificate good in 1st class or coach. The Delta Platinum AMEX is for coach only. But how hard is this to spend and are there any unique rules? First how to spend.


First step is simply to log in to your Delta Skymiles account and go to “My Delta”


Step two is look at the “credits and certificates” and you should see at least 1 if yours has been issued (they are issued about 1 month after you pay your 2nd year fee).


Next screen look for the cert. If you only have the one, it is simple just check the box and go to the next screen as shown.


Now you just use the drop down box to pick either 1st or coach as where you want to start from, where you are going and then the dates.


As you can see below from my 1st of 2 certs I got a very good price out of South Bend in 1st class (yeah I know the connection was a CRJ but the rest was 1st class). Plus, as primary I will earn MQMs, Skymiles and even MQDs.


And it gets even better. You don’t even have to fly. You can put in any two names you want, your mom & dad for example or just anyone you want. You just “officially” have to pay with the same Delta AMEX you got the certs with.


Is it really all that simple to do? Well no, there are some very strange rules to these certs. First let’s see them in detail.




Phew – that is a lot of text and verbiage. What does all of that mean? To the average person it means if you find a trip in the right fare class just searching, as clearly spelled out in black and white, you should get the seat with the cert right? Not so fast. You see Delta has something called an “UP” fare that is fare that is “UP’d” from a lower fare class, it is really not the displayed fare class but a lower class. Confused? Good. It is dumb and if you press Delta on this they will work it to get you the seat. This is one of the things about this cert that drives people crazy but just call if you don’t like what you see.

Lastly, if you cannot find the price you like, check airports near to your home. For me, I can check a TON to get a low price like, SBN, AZO, FWA, GRR, LAN, MDW, ORD, MKE, IND, DTW & more all inside a 3 hour drive from home. You may not have as many, but I bet you have some other choices inside a 3 hour drive.

So there you are. That is the rookie basics on how to redeem your Delta AMEX BOGOF cert. – René

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  1. I was able to use my wife’s final Amex Delta Gold $99 BOGOF on a transcon right around Christmas last year and saved about $450. That is the best value I have ever seen for an economy redemption. We were noticing that these certificates seem to be easier to use when you are closer to the flight (less than a month out) than if you try to book well in advance.

    We have since cancelled the card and told AMEX it was because they took away the certificate benefit for the AMEX Gold.

  2. I have a $99 companion ticket but cancelled the card associated with it. Can I still use it or will I get rejected when I pay with a different card?

  3. I called Delta today (a few times )and tried so hard to change a flight that I booked with a BOGO certificate. I wanted to sweet talk an agent to move us to a flight earlier in the day (in April) so we can get to Vegas early. Delta used to be easier to work with. They won’t budge a bit. My connection time in atlanta is 45 minutes. I hope the flight changes and I can call and use that as an excuse. My dad has a paid ticket ticket on the same flights. I told them that 45 minutes is a ticket connection for him in Atlanta and I found an earlier flight that worked better. That didn’t work.

  4. I usually try to fly during the holidays and Delta blacks out the BOGO certificates. Soon I will be collecting some other airlines points and or status…

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