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’re probably thinking of the Platinum charge card, which used to offer free companion airfare as a perk. Unfortunately they stopped offering that benefit a few years ago.
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 govt taxes and fees out of pocket for the companion.
- The Delta Reserve card gives cardmembers one free domestic companion ticket (the 2nd ticket itself is free, but you still have to pay the applicable taxes+fees for it out of pocket). It does have quite a few other useful benefits, like first checked bag flies free, complimentary access to Delta Skyclub 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 for at least a year actually makes sens 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, but the annual fee is higher than the Gold version. So make sure you compare the pros and cons of each side by side.
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.