Milecards

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit cards that get around (some) ‘Basic Economy’ restrictions

by on Fri March 24, 2017 • No Comment
Google+TwitterFacebookEmailLinkedIn

airlinebump

Basic Economy fares make flying confusing.

They’re often the lowest available fares, and when you buy them, you lose a bunch of things about flying you once took for granted, like…

  • Seat assignment choices
  • Using the overhead bin for a carry-on bag (you’ll get socked with two fees if you try)
  • Being able to change your flight, even for a fee
  • Being able to buy up to an extra legroom seat
  • Boarding at a reasonable time
  • Earning miles toward elite status

American, Delta, and United have all rolled them out this year, and to make things even more confusing, they don’t treat Basic Economy fares the same.

Delta has the least restrictive Basic Economy fares. You can still use the overhead bin for your bags no matter what fare you purchase and you can earn elite qualifying miles.

American and United are the most restrictive. If you try to bring a bag for the overhead bin, you’ll get socked with a $25 gate charge, and a $25 checked bag fee. And you won’t earn elite qualifying miles.

One way to ease the pain…

Carry the right credit card.

With the right one you can…

Board early. American, Delta, and United all let credit card holders on Basic Economy fares board early, so you’re not stuck being the very last to get on the plane.

Use the overhead bin with no fees. American and United will let you bring a carry-on bag, even on a Basic Economy fare, if you hold one of their credit cards. Delta lets everyone bring a carry-on bag, no credit card require.

Here’s how the airlines compare…

American

You can get these credit card benefits on Basic Economy fares…

  • Use the overhead bin
  • Priority boarding
  • No fee for your first checked bag

By holding one of these cards…

Delta

You can get these credit card benefits on Basic Economy fares…

  • Priority boarding
  • No fee for your first checked bag

By holding one of these cards…

(Note: all fares, including Basic Economy can use the overhead bin without holding a credit card)

United

You can get these credit card benefits on Basic Economy fares…

  • Use the overhead bin
  • Priority boarding
  • No fee for your first checked bag

By holding one of these cards…

Basic Economy fares are often $20 – $40 less than ‘normal’ fares that don’t come with the restrictions, so having a credit card that gets around some of them can be a money saver going forward, especially as more and more routes feature these types of fares.

If you want to compare fares, Kayak.com recently launched a good display to help you compare Basic Economy vs regular fares across airlines.

 

 

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.

"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X
MileCards.com Email Alerts
Hear about new offers and tips