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Compare cards with American Express flight credits

Enjoy a round-trip flight certificate or get credit for checked baggage or other purchases.

Updated

Fact checked

Our pick for up to $100 airline fee credit: American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card logo

60,000-point

Welcome offer after spending $4,000 in first 6 months

  • Points on flights, dining and groceries
  • Annual dining and flight credits
  • Access hotel collections, Personalized Travel Service and more
Apply now
See rates & fees
If you’re a frequent traveler, consider an Amex card that comes with a companion flight or airline fee credit. Such premium travel benefits can offset the high annual fee of the card.

What you’ll find in this guide

Compare American Express cards with companion certificates or airline fee credits

Name Product Foreign transaction fee Welcome offer Rewards Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
None
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Rates & fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express
None
100,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 15x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, your 15x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Rates & fees
Grand Reserve™ World Mastercard®
None
50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
5x points at Grand Reserve Partners, 3x points at any winery, wine club, wine shop, restaurant or bar and 2x everywhere else. Plus an additional 2x points at the wine merchant you spend the most each month.
Earn 5x points at Grand Reserve Partners, 3x points at any winery, wine club, or wine shop, and 2x everywhere else.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
None
40,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
3x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
Delta's luxury offering shines with access to Delta Sky Clubs, Centurion Lounges, an annual companion certificate and more valuable travel perks. Rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

What is the difference?

You might be wondering if you should opt for a companion certificate or airline fee credit. Here are a few notable differences:

Companion certificate

Your traveling companion can only use it with Delta Air Lines and only with the main cardholder onboard the same flight.

Airline fee credit

Choose one qualifying airline and use the credit to cover incidental charges. Eligible charges include airport lounge day passes and annual memberships, booking fees, checked baggage fees, in-flight purchases and entertainment.

Where can I travel with an American Express companion certificate?

With the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you get a round-trip domestic main cabin companion certificate. This can be used to travel anywhere in the continental US.

Those living other states or territories such as Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, can travel to mainland US so long as they have an eligible address on file with SkyMiles.

With the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card your companion certificate for a domestic round-trip is upgraded to first class or Delta Comfort+.

How can I redeem a companion certificate or airline fee credit with American Express?

  • To redeem your companion certificate, log in to your Delta SkyMiles account and click on the Credits and certificates icon. Select your companion certificate and search for eligible flights.
  • To use your airline fee credit for incidental charges, select a qualifying airline. After two to four weeks you’ll be reimbursed for your incidental fees as they appear on your statement credit.
How does the Delta SkyMiles program work?

What else do I need to know about American Express companion certificates and airline fee credit?

Apart from the standard reserved rights to change any of these terms and conditions, American Express and its partner airlines have a few important conditions that you should be aware of before you redeem your companion certificate or airline fee credit:

  • Yearly redemption.
    These travel benefits are available 365 days from the start of your membership year — the date you first got your Amex card. You must use them before the end of that year, and they can’t be carried over to the next.
  • Account status.
    You must have an active American Express account and have paid your annual fee before redeeming the flight or travel benefit. You also need to pay at least the minimum amount listed on each statement by the due date.
  • Subject to availability.
    There’s no guarantee that the flight you want to make will be available.
  • Bookings of a lower value.
    If your flight is worth less than the annual fee of your credit card, you’ll forfeit the difference. For example, if you redeem your companion certificate for a flight worth $300 and the annual fee of your card is $450, you forfeit the difference of $150.
  • Cancellations.
    If you cancel your booking, you won’t get money back from the portion of your booking that’s made with the flight benefit.
  • Ticket or booking changes.
    Any changes made after your initial booking will attract the airline or company’s usual fees, fare differences and applicable taxes and fees. Read through the terms and conditions of your booking to find out the potential costs involved.
  • Ticket restrictions.
    You may not sell, transfer, endorse, refund or exchange your ticket for cash, or combine this offer with any other promotion, discount, negotiated or corporate rate.

Bottom line

American Express credit cards with companion certificates or airline fee credits give you a chance to balance out the annual fee of a premium travel card, while enjoying top-tier benefits and rewards. Just make sure you keep the terms and conditions in mind to get as much value as possible from this perk.

If you’re still choosing a card, you can also compare these Amex options with other credit cards that offer complimentary flights or travel credit to find the right card for your travel style.

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