How to redeem the American Airlines companion certificate

With vaccination efforts picking up nationwide, travel demand has skyrocketed with cooped up travelers booking

When you are ready to travel, however, you might be curious about how to use some of your credit card’s perks. If you hold certain American Airlines co-branded credit cards, you have what’s known as a companion certificate that you can use after you meet a spending threshold. The certificate allows cardholders to bring a friend (or two) at a discount or for just the cost of taxes and fees. 

Both Citi and Barclays have offered extensions on expiring companion certificates. Barclay AAdvantage cardholders will be able to use them through the end of June 2021, while Citi is offering six-month extensions for both companion certificates and flight discounts.

Here’s what you need to know about redeeming your companion certificate.

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Which credit cards offer the AA companion certificate

You can get the American Airlines companion certificate with one of four co-branded credit cards, each requiring different spending thresholds. Depending on the card you opt for, you’ll need to spend $20,000-$30,000 in a year in order to earn an American Airlines companion certificate

Barclays Aviator Red World Elite MastercardAfter you spend $20,000 in a year, you will receive a companion certificate, which allows you to book airfare for a travel companion for just $99 plus taxes and fees.

AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard: You’ll earn the companion certificate for the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard after you spend $20,000 per year.  Unfortunately, this card isn’t open to new cardholders. You can request an upgrade after opening an Aviator Red card account.

AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard: Spend $30,000 in a  year. Once you earn it, it’s good for one guest ticket that you can book for only $99 plus taxes and fees

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: Earn a certificate for domestic main cabin travel after you spend at least $30,000 on the card during your membership year, and each time the card is renewed (the account must remain open at least 45 days after the anniversary date). Note that redeeming the certificate carries a $99 fee, plus between $21.60 to $43.20 in taxes and fees.

The information for the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Silver, AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

How to use the American Airlines companion certificate 

American says it can take between 8 and 10 weeks for delivery of the Companion Certificate. After it arrives, you must redeem it through American Airlines Meeting Services. You can do so by calling 800-433-1790 and providing your flight information.

It’s always helpful to have this information in advance to ensure a smooth booking process.


When does my AA companion certificate expire?

The AA companion certificate is typically valid for a year. Still, if you’re a qualifying Barclays AAdvantage cardholder with a companion certificate expiring between March 31, 2020, and May 31, 2021, you’ll receive an extension through June 30, 2021

If you applied for an AAdvantage Aviator Red Card before May 2019 and earned a flight discount that expires within that period, you will receive a 6-month extension from the current expiration date to put it to use.

Can I use the AA companion certificate on business and first-class tickets?

The American Airlines companion certificate is only valid only for round-trip domestic economy class tickets. 

Can I use the AA companion certificate on partner airlines?

The American Airlines companion certificate is valid for travel on flights within the 48 contiguous U.S. on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or on flights marketed by American and operated by Compass Airlines, Envoy Air, Republic, SkyWest, Mesa, PSA Airlines or Piedmont Airlines.

The companion certificate is not eligible for travel on codeshare flights booked with an American Airlines flight number but operated by another airline. For residents of Alaska and Hawaii, Companion Certificate eligible travel is defined as round-trip travel originating in either of those two states and continuing to the 48 contiguous United States.

Bottom line

The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the travel industry, but we’re beginning to see some signs of life. Card issuers realize they’ll need to make adjustments (like providing extensions for significant perks). 

Whether you plan to take to the skies this year or not, you have ample time to put your American Airlines companion certificate to good use.

Featured photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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