Q: My wife and I plan on taking a trip in a few months. I think I remember getting a mailing in the past for an American Express airline companion ticket and am interested in getting that for this trip. Which of their credit cards offer this?
A: You may be thinking of the Platinum charge card from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner), which offers a companion ticket benefit through it’s International Airline program. But this applies only to international first- or business-class seats on participating airlines.
However, there is an American Express companion ticket offer still included on some of the Delta credit cards. Keep in mind that on all of these, you will have to pay any applicable government taxes and fees out of pocket for the companion, so there is an out of pocket cost, however nominal. For this reason it can’t be stated as a “free” benefit according to FTC advertising rules.
- The Delta Reserve card gives cardmembers one free domestic companion ticket for economy or first class (the second ticket itself is free, but you still have to pay those applicable taxes and related fees out of pocket). The card does have quite a few other benefits, like first checked bag free, complimentary access to Delta Sky Club lounge, etc. The one drawback is the annual fee is $450. Yes, it seems pretty high and isn’t appropriate for everyone. But once you add up the value of the companion ticket and bonus miles, trying out the card could make sense for some people.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles will be the best bet for the vast majority of people. Why? Because the annual fee is low and each year you receive a $99 companion certificate. It has no blackout dates and no minimum fair requirements!Update: In Feb 2013 they axed the benefit for the Delta Gold card.
- Last but not least the Platinum SkyMiles gives you a free companion certificate on domestic flights. Unlike the Reserve card, it’s only good for economy class. The annual fee is also considerably lower at $195 per year.
Right now these are the only companion ticket offers available on American Express cards. I will update this post if/when new ones become available.
Written or last edited on August 25, 2014