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It’s looking like I might be heading to a mini family reunion in the mountains of North Carolina this summer for a long weekend. I met up with these same cousins in the Outer Banks last year, and the places under serious consideration this year are all within driving distance of Charlotte – a US Airways hub. Flights seem to be in the $350 – 400ish range, so not quite where I would want to use miles, but also not really in the range I want to pay for a 1,000 mile domestic ticket at $350 – $400 x 3 either. Who wouldn’t want to shell out miles/cash to get these six crazy little ones together?!
Since Charlotte is a US hub, and I could get a non-stop flight from Houston on a US Airways plane, this would be a very good opportunity to use the $99 companion coupon that comes with my US Airways MasterCard. That way I would just pay for my ticket at the full price of $350 – $400 and then my husband and daughter could both be on the same roundtrip flight for just $99 each. That brings the cost of the flights for the three of us back into the more reasonable range.
We aren’t quite to the point of pulling the trigger on the flights, but I headed to my “credit card cabinet” to make sure I still had the coupon they send each year upon account renewal. It wasn’t there. I looked in all the other likely locations around the house, and it wasn’t there either. Ugh. Who knows what happened, but apparently something went wrong between arriving in the mailbox and being safely placed in the credit card materials cabinet.
Before continuing on what could be a futile search for this envelope, I sent Barclays a message via their secure message feature on the website. I explained that I had misplaced the certificate (but not used it), and nicely asked if it was possible to get a replacement. Thankfully, they said yes. If you are curious, here was their full response:
Thank you for contacting us regarding your US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard. We can certainly address your inquiry regarding the benefit on your account.
We are sorry to hear that you were not able to receive your companion certificate. Our records show that it was requested on November 13, 2012; however, for your convenience, we have ordered a replacement of your us airways Kit. This includes the Annual $99 companion certificate, club day pass and more. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. It will be sent in a dark blue oversized envelope to the address we have on file. Please be on the look out for it because our systems prevent us from mailing any additional replacements. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Please keep in mind that you must use your us airways airways mastercard to purchase a roundtrip ticket of $250 or more to qualify for the $99 companion certificate. Note that us airways also requires that you must have the actual companion certificate in hand to book travel. To book your companion certificate, you will need the companion certificate number and the tour code. Both are printed directly on the certificates themselves. Please know that companion certificates must be redeemed through the us airways reservations center. They cannot be redeemed online. Please be advised that companion certificates must be booked for the related travel after the travel activation date on the certificate and before the purchase expiration date on the certificate. Ticket purchase and travel are subject to specific expiration guidelines.
I am super grateful they are able to send me a replacement, and I’ll be extra careful with this one. In case you aren’t overly familiar with this perk of having the US Airways card, the companion certificate is awarded annually and comes with the following rules:
- The certificate is valid for one or two companion tickets (see below for details), valid for round-trip coach class travel within and between the contiguous U.S. and Canada when the primary cardholder purchases a qualifying ticket (minimum fare purchase of $250 required).
- For the qualifying ticket and the companion tickets(s), all passengers are responsible for the payment of the additional taxes, fees and charges which are not included in the qualifying ticket minimum fare ($250) or the companion certificates
- Other companion certificates restrictions apply including advance purchase requirements and black-out dates and will be provided on the actual certificate. The black-out dates for 2013 are: Jan 5, 6, Feb 15, 24, Mar 8, 10, 15, 17, 28, 29, Apr 1, 6, 7, May 24, Jun 28, 29, Jul 6, 7, 28, Aug 4, Dec 1, 2, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30.
- Valid on flights operated by US Airways and US Airways Express. Not valid on codeshare flights operated by partner airlines (such as United).
- You do earn miles on the tickets – though I have read they have to be credited to US Airways (which would be a slight bummer, but not enough to make me not use the certificates.)
For more info on the current US Airways MasterCard offers head to my Top Credit Card Deals page. If you think your family has a reasonable chance of using the companion certificates, then that is just an added reason to keep this card beyond the first year…just like I am doing. Thankfully there seems to be a fix if you lose your certificates. If this happens to you, just ask nicely for a new one and hope this policy remains in effect!