Use Your Barclays US Airways Companion Certificate Before It Disappears

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I’ve written that the Barclays US Airways card will no longer be offered after the American Airlines and US Airways merger is complete.  And folks who currently have the Barclays US Airways card will be switched over to a new Barclays American Airlines card.

One of the perks of the Barclays US Airways card that will be discontinued when the card changes to the Barclays American Airlines card is the Companion CertificateIt can be used to bring up to 2 companions with you on a US Airways operated flight for $99 plus taxes and fees when you purchase a round-trip ticket for at least $250.  You can use it to fly coach within the US (not including Hawaii and Alaska) and Canada.

But if you get the card, how long is the certificate valid?

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The Companion Certificate With the Barclays US Airways Card Will Disappear When the Card Changes

What’s the Companion Certificate?

Link:   Barclays US Airways MasterCard

When you 1st get the Barclays US Airways MasterCard, you’ll receive a Companion Certificate after your 1st purchase (and payment of the annual fee).  The certificate entitles you to bring 2 guests with you for $99 each (plus taxes and fees) when you buy a round-trip ticket for at least $250.

The companion tickets are valid for round-trip, coach class tickets only on US Airways operated flights (not partners) within the continental US and Canada.  This can be a very good value, because often round-trip tickets, especially between the US and Canada, can cost in excess of $600!

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The Base Fare on an Austin to Toronto Round-Trip Ticket in November Is Over $600!

If you’re traveling with 2 friends anyway, the Companion Certificate can save you a lot of money, especially on expensive routes.

How Long Will the Companion Certificate Be Valid?

The terms and conditions on the Barclays US Airways card say:

The Companion Certificate is valid for travel within 12 months and tickets must be purchased within 9 months from the issue date.  Other companion certificates restrictions apply including advance purchase requirements and black-out dates and will be provided on the actual certificate.

Barclays has NOT specified the exact date when their US Airways card will be switched over to the American Airlines card (and no longer offer a Companion Certificate).  However, a letter sent to current Barclays US Airways cardholders states:

If you have not already received your companion certificate, on your account anniversary in 2014 you will receive your final companion certificate for up to 2 guests to travel with you on a US Airways flight for $99 each (plus taxes and fees).  You must purchase your tickets within 9 months of issuance and travel within 12 months.

Emily recently applied for the Barclays US Airways card, and just got her Companion Certificate in the mail.

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You Can Take 2 Companions With You for $99 Each on US Airways Flights!

 

It says that tickets must be purchased by February 28, 2015, and travel completed by May 31, 2015.

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Emily’s Companion Certificate Must Be Used Within 9 Months of Issue, and Travel Completed Within 12 Months

Companion tickets do earn US Airways miles (because they’re treated like paid tickets).

So if you apply for the card, and get the Companion Certificate, you should have 9 months from the date of issue to book the tickets, and 12 months to actually travel with your companions.

Note:   There are lots of travel black-out dates on the certificate, which also vary depending on city.  Most of the black-out dates are for peak travel times like Thanksgiving and other holidays.  And you must book your tickets by calling US Airways reservations at 800-428-4322.

Bottom Line

The Companion Certificate that comes with the Barclays US Airways card will no longer be issued once the card is converted to an American Airlines card (likely at the beginning of 2015).

Any Companion Certificates issued before then should be useable, as long as you book tickets within 9 months of the date of issue, and travel within 12 months of the date of issue.

You’ll have to call US Airways reservations to use the Companion Certificate.  But if you’re planning on buying a paid ticket anyway (and traveling with companions) you could save a fair bit of money!

Emily and I plan to use her Companion Certificate for family travel in the US before it expires.  Where will you go with yours?

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11 responses to “Use Your Barclays US Airways Companion Certificate Before It Disappears

  1. I just got mine in the mail yesterday. Do you have any idea if the chairman companion upgrades apply to those flying on companion certificates?

  2. Is it still true that you can’t use the companion certificate on AA flights?

  3. Do they send you a companion certificate only upon opening a new account or on your anniversary as well?

  4. Nice mop.

  5. Darius – Do you have any tips on the best routes to use the companion pass? I have a pass but whenever I’ve tried to look up routes, I am able to find less expensive routes if I fly a different airline which essentially has rendered the companion pass useless for me. If you’ve got ideas, I’d love some inspiration! If it makes a difference, I’m looking for flights out of LAX (maybe too many airlines service it and that’s why I can find better deals flying different airlines?).

  6. Diana, this is EXACTLY the problem with the US Airways companion pass. On the AUS-YYZ route Darius posted, he’d spend $763 for the main ticket and $246 ($99 companion + $147 taxes/fees) for the second ticket, or over $1,000. Or $800 for two tickets on AA on a FAR better schedule (only one stop each way, and certainly not a four-hour layover).

    After churning this card a few times between my wife and me, we have companion passes rotting in our filing cabinet because US makes it so unpalatable to use them.

    (All of that said, the current US fare for that route on those dates is $579 ($453/$126), or $804. Still, having to actually USE the pass, esp. just to pay the same amount, is a lot trickier than just booking AA (or similar) online, so my point remains. YMMV.)

  7. I also can not find a good use for those passes. My husband and I both have the card and both have those passes just sitting there while we travel by other means. For now, I find there passes to be useless and without any value. I would gladly take any advise or ideas to prove otherwise.

  8. We also looked into these certificates a few times but weren’t able to use them. Thanks.

  9. After churning two Barclay US Airways cards, I have two companion passes I have never been able to use. Can’t use them outside the continental US (so that was a no go for our last trip to Puerto Rico). For domestic, I can usually find better prices with a different airline. For some the companion pass might be a good deal, but for me, I have not found any value.

  10. @Jeff – Correct.

    @Chuck – On opening the account and at the anniversary (if it is before Dec 2014).

  11. My gf and I both signed up for this card, mostly bc of the recent 40k miles offer, but found the companion pass to be a decent bonus. We don’t live in a USAirways hub city so certainly understand the difficulty in finding a good use. With that said, we’ve just booked a cross country flight to Portland and managed to save about $200 btw us using the pass. With regards to the other one, we’ll likely use it to fly to a more popular city (such as Boston, Chicago, or Vegas) as there are usually more flights and options, as well as being cheaper in general since we’re on the east coast.

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