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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.
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