Good news to report from the American / US Airways merger.
Starting April 30th, holders of the US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard will get a free first checked bag for themselves and up to four traveling companions on all US Airways operated domestic flights. It won’t apply for American Airlines flights yet.
That finally brings US Airways up to par with American, Delta, and United for holders of their annual fee based credit cards.
And while it’s officially available on April 30th, it looks like the benefit is already being activated and you may get it on some flights already as a ‘surprise and delight’ according to the FAQ posted on the Barclaycard website.
Even better, unlike United and its unfriendly policy of only offering the free checked bag when you use your United Explorer Card to purchase your flight, you can get the free bag on US Airways flights no matter what method you use to pay for your flight.
You can use any card you’d like.
The only requirement is that you must use the same Dividend Miles number in the reservation that’s matched with the card and you must add it to your itinerary at least 36 hours before your flight. Then the first checked bag on your flights will be free.
One downside though is it looks like this only applies for domestic flights, so flights to the Caribbean and Mexico that have first checked bag fees might not be eligible for the free bag.
The best current offer for the US Airways MasterCard is for 40,000 miles after your first purchase, with an $89 annual fee. Don’t be misled by other offers you see for 30,000 miles with an $89 annual fee.
If you have a US Airways flight coming up and plan to check a bag, this is a great time to apply for the card. It will take about a week to get the card set up and activated, so if you are about 10 days away from your flight you may be able to enjoy the free bag right then.
Here is a full list of frequently asked questions and answers:
- When will the Free Bag benefit be available? Cardmembers will be notified that the benefit will be available by April 30, 2014. Cardmembers will be notified that the benefit will be available by April 30, 2014. Beginning as early as March 26, 2014 cardmembers will begin to receive the benefit as a ‘surprise and delight’ experience as US Airways readies the network for this exciting new benefit.
- Do I also get the free checked bag benefit on American Airline flights? No. The free checked bag benefit is only available on US Airways operated flights at this time. Stay tuned for more information as the merger progresses.
- Is the free bag also applicable for companion certificate user? Yes. As long as your companions are on your travel itinerary then they will qualify for this benefit.
- Can I add my Dividend Miles number at check in and receive the free bag? In order for this benefit to be available, the Dividend Miles number must be noted in the itinerary 36 hours prior to the day of travel.
- What are the weight/size requirements for the free bag benefit? To qualify for this benefit your bag must not weigh more than 50lbs and must be no larger than 62in high. To view the most up to date baggage information, select Baggage from the Travel Tools section…
- If I close my account, am I still eligible for the free bags? No, once the account is closed, you will no longer receive the benefit. We require that your account is open and in good standing for you to qualify for this benefit.
- Will I receive the free checked bag benefit on other oneworld flights? No. This benefit is only available on US Airways operated flights.
- Will I need to present the card to receive the benefit? No. As long as the Primary Cardholder’s itinerary reflects the Dividend Miles number associated with the US Airways MasterCard, 36 hours prior to the travel date and the account has been opened more than 7 days, you and as many as four of travel companions on that same itinerary will automatically receive the benefit. The itinerary must reflect the Dividend Miles number no later than within 36 hours of travel or you will not receive the benefit.
- Will I have this benefit after US Airways and American Airlines merge? Yes this benefit will be available when your account becomes an American Airlines AAdvantage MasterCard.
- If the flight is booked through a website other than usairways.com, (i.e. American Airlines, Travelocity, etc.), will I still receive this benefit? Yes, it will still be valid as long as their card is open and in good standing and the Dividend Miles account number is on the Primary’s itinerary at least 36-hours prior to the date of the flight.
- Does the ticket have to be purchased using the US Airways card to receive the benefit? No. As long as your account is open and in good standing and you use your Dividend Miles number to book your flight you will receive this benefit.
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