Advertiser Disclosure

Why get clever avoiding airline baggage fees when you can get paid to do it

by on Thu February 9, 2012 • No Comment

The New York Times has an article about the lengths people will go to avoid paying baggage fees on airlines. Now, baggage fees are not a new thing — they’ve been around for decades. What’s new is charging for the first and second checked bags, which several years ago were free on most airlines.

The Times suggests things like…

  • Driving further to an airport that serves Southwest Airlines, since Southwest doesn’t charge for checked bags. Well, sort of — after the first 2 you are hit with fees up to $110 per bag, and Southwest doesn’t always have the lowest cost flight
  • Vacuum packing your clothes — this sounds absurd for most…especially when you consider the return trip without the equipment to vacuum seal
  • Scottevest brand trench coats that let you haul items in your jacket pockets

It makes passing reference to what is probably the easiest solution — getting an airline mile credit card that offers free checked bags — but doesn’t mention which airlines offer them.

So to help out below is a list of basic, entry level airline mile credit cards that offer a checked bag fee waiver. A single roundtrip flight can save you $50 or more, $100 or more if you’re traveling with 2 people. And they all come with decent bonus mile offers so you’re effectively getting paid for that checked bag fee waiver upfront.

Entry level cards ($95 or less annual fee, most waived first year)

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express – 1st bag free for up to 9 people per reservation

United Mileage Plus Explorer – 1st bag free for up to 2 people per reservation

Premium Cards (include lounge access, $395+ annual fee)

American Airlines Citi Executive AAdvantage – 1st  bag free for up to 8 people per reservation

Delta Reserve American Express – 1st bag free for up to 9 people per reservation

Note that if you’re flying US Airways you’re out of luck. No credit cards offer a checked bag fee waiver for their flights.

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


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived


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 Email Alerts
Hear about new offers and tips