U.S. Airways Companion Certificates: Good Luck Taking Advantage of This Perk!

U.S. Airways and Barclay’s bank have a new offer out for the The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®.  It’s a pretty good offering, with 40,000 dividend miles awarded after the first use of the the card.  There is an $89 annual fee, which is not waived the first year, but there is no minimum spend requirement to earn the 40,000 mile bonus.

The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®: 40,000 points, No minimum spend

The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® comes with alot of ancillary perks, including a free checked bag for you and up to four traveling companions on domestic flights.  That alone is worth the price of the annual fee in my book, particularly for families traveling with children.  The regular fee to check a bag is $25 each way.

One of the other highly touted benefits is the option to purchase two companion certificates for $99 each, plus taxes and fees.

US Airways Premier World Master Card

I opened a U.S. Airways credit card last summer, and I was looking forward to using the companion certificates to take my family on a trip.  The deal was, if you purchase a ticket for $250 or more, you can buy two companion tickets for $99 each.  So I figured, for $450, my family of three could visitour far-flung family or take a vacation.  I wish I could tell you that’s what happened.

The companion certificate had so many strings attached that we were unable to take advantage of it before it expired.

If you are highly organized and plan your travel well in advance, you may be able to get some value out of the $99 companion fares, but be aware of the restrictions.

Whereby We Read the Fine Print on the US Airways Companion Certificates So You Don’t Have To

These are the biggies:

Domestic Travel Only.  The certificates are only good for travel in the 48 United States or Canada.  You cannot use them for travel to Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico, or to any other country.

Roundtrip Fares Only.  Certificates cannot be applied to one-way travel, and they are not valid on stopovers, open jaws, open returns, or circle trips.

Tickets must be purchased 14 days in advance.  A minimum two night stay is required.  A maximum 30 day stay is permitted.

$250+ Fares Only.   The companion certificates can only be used when the paid fare is $250 or more.  The $250 is the base fare only.  If your fare is $250 including taxes and fees, it doesn’t qualify.  You pay taxes and fees on the base fare, and the $99 companion certificates are also subject to taxes and fees.  Your full fare will be $280 to $300 depending on whether it is for U.S. or Canadian travel. 

Time Limited.  After you have opened The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®, and made an initial purchase, you have nine months in which to purchase your tickets, and travel must be completed within the next three months.

In 2014, there are 28 blackout dates when you cannot use the certificates.  These include many holiday weekends and other popular travel times.  There are further restrictions in certain markets limiting travel to and from Mardi Gras, the Kentucky Derby, the Superbowl, and the NCAA Final Four.

US Airways $99 Companion Certificate
US Airways $99 Companion Certificate

The remaining blackout dates in 2014 are:

  • May 22,23
  • June 19, 20, 22, 26, 27
  • July 6, 7, 27
  • August 3
  • October 10, 19
  • November 30
  • December 1, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28

Here are the other less onerous rules:

Booking and Ticketing.   Online booking is not permitted.  You must telephone the US Airways call center at 1-800-428-4322 with your voucher number, and then mail in the original certificate within 24-hours, or your reservation will be cancelled.

Tickets must be purchased 14 days prior to departure, or earlier, if a more restrictive fare is in effect.

All passengers must be ticketed in the same fare class and travel on the same itinerary.

Tickets must be purchased with The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®.  If you close your account or change to a no annual fee version of the card, you cannot use your certificates. Travel is eligible for Dividend Miles accrual, but not for other frequent flyer programs.

Only the original certificate will be accepted.  Lost, stolen, or destroyed certificates will not be replaced.  Certificates cannot be traded or sold.  Certificates are nontransferable.

Coach Class, US Airways flights only.  Certificates are valid only on fights operated by U.S. Airways or U.S. Airways Express. They are not valid on codeshare flights.  Seats are capacity controlled and and may be unavailable for certain flights or dates.

Nonrefundable, nonchangable.  Once ticketed, the tickets become nonfreundable and the certificate is deemed fully used.  Name changes on reservations are not permitted.  Certificates cannot be used with any other promotion, travel voucher, special fares, or previously purchased ticket.

If you can use the companion certificates, you could save hundred of dollars!

I wanted to lay out some of these limitations, so you can make an informed decision, in case your decision on whether to apply for The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® rests on the companion certificates.

There are plenty of good reasons to consider this credit card offer, most especially the super easy 40,000 bonus miles, and the free checked bags.

Have you been able to use your certificate?  I’d love to hear some success stories about this offering!

Click here to compare current rewards credit card offers.

2 thoughts on “U.S. Airways Companion Certificates: Good Luck Taking Advantage of This Perk!

  1. My wife and I each have the card – luckily our dates are staggered so we can spread out the companion passes. We are a family of 4, so like you we were hoping to get away for $450. My certs were up first and we knew we wanted to go to SFO from PHX this summer. The hard part on this trip was the $250 minimum. What we ended up doing was having the booking agent find a different fare class to get us to the $250 mark for my ticket and the 2 companion ones, and then booking the 4th at the lowest available fare – keep this in mind if you have a ticket that’s close but not quite expensive enough.

    The second set of companion passes were much easier to use to go to BOS later in the summer. For this one, fares are more expensive and I feel we did earn a benefit by using the certs. If you factor in the $89 annual fee, plus the cost of tickets we made out ok on the deal.

    It definitely does require some organization and work to use these certs though. They’re probably one of the biggest reasons people get the card (other than the mile promos) so people should definitely keep in mind what is required to get those “$99” tickets.

    • I’m glad you were able to get some value out of the certificates for your family travel!

Join the conversation!