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Delta Companion Certificate: What’s the Best Amex Card to Buy the Paid Ticket? (2021)

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


My wife, in-laws, and I were all just invited to a wedding during fall 2021. We’ll likely bring our young daughter and another relative to keep an eye on her while we enjoy a couple of nights celebrating the lovely couple.

And, wow, the Delta Amex Companion Certificates will come in handy for that trip. We’ll save a bunch of money on flights — but which card will we use to buy the paid portion of each reservation?

After all, you don’t need to use a Delta American Express card when booking a Companion Certificate trip.

Quick Primer: What is the Delta Companion Certificate?

The annual Delta Companion Certificate is a prime benefit of four Delta co-branded American Express cards:

It’s essentially a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for certain fares and trips. (We break down that and much more in this post.) The perk becomes available starting the second year of card membership.

The companion cert’s terms & conditions say, “Primary Ticket and Companion ticket must be purchased with your Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express.”

Nope.

Any American Express card will do. So what are the best Amex cards to use when purchasing a Companion Certificate fare, taxes, and surcharges?

Here are our suggestions:

The Platinum Card® from American Express: 5X Membership Rewards Points

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Learn how to apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is my personal go-to when paying for the “cash” portions of a Companion Certificate fare. It earns 5X Membership Rewards points on flights purchased directly from airlines. (This perk is capped at $500,000 in purchases each calendar year.)

American Express Business Gold Card: 4X Membership Rewards Points

There’s the potential to earn 4X Membership Rewards points by using your American Express Business Gold Card to purchase the paid side of a Companion Certificate.

American Express Business Gold Card
Learn how to apply for the American Express Business Gold Card (see rates and fees)

The Amex Business Gold Card awards 4X in the top two select categories where your business spent the most each month (capped at $150,000 in annual combined purchases). Airfare purchased directly through airlines is one of those select categories.

So if airfares are one of your two “main” spending categories whenever you purchase a Companion Certificate trip, the Amex Business Gold Card might be a great way to go.

American Express® Gold Card: 3X Membership Rewards Points

The American Express® Gold Card is another solid option.

American Express® Gold Card
Learn how to apply for the American Express® Gold Card

The Amex Gold scores you 3X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on airfares purchased directly from airlines.

American Express® Green Card: 3X Membership Rewards Points

The American Express® Green Card awards 3X on travel purchases.

Delta American Express Cards: 5X SkyMiles (2021 ONLY)

Delta and American Express are running an Amex Offer throughout 2021 entitling SkyMiles credit card members the opportunity to earn a total of 5X SkyMiles on purchases made with Delta. (Note you must manually activate the offer.)

This is an increase from the standard 3X the cards award for Delta purchases.

Delta SkyMiles American Express Reserve and Platinum cards

So for this year, it might actually be worth using a Delta Amex card to buy a Delta trip. (Will wonders ever cease!)

The Delta Amexes are toward the bottom of our list because Delta seems so darn intent on making SkyMiles worth only a penny each.

Honorable Mentions

Depending on your spending needs, habits, or goals, three cobranded hotel Amexes might be worth using when purchasing a Delta Companion Certificate:

Final Approach

The Delta Amex Companion Certificate can easily offer savings above and beyond a card’s annual fee. But it’s important to take even more advantage of the perk — and earn the most points possible on the paid ticket.

What’s your favorite Amex to use when buying a Companion Certificate reservation?

 

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured above, please visit the following links:

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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3 Comments

  1. Howard ploni Reply

    You did not account for the differences in protections, such as trip protection, delayed flight etc

  2. Thanks for the tip! It was my understanding you had to use the Delta card associated with the Delta companion certificate.

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