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Can I apply for a card & get a free bag on an existing trip?

by on Thu October 17, 2013 • 3 Comments
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Untitled 10We get this question a lot.

You want to apply for a credit card that offers a free checked bag like the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, or the Citi® AAdvantage® Platinum Select World MasterCard. But you have a trip coming up that you’ve already booked.

Can you get the free bag benefit even though you bought the ticket before you had the card?

The answer is…yes, if it’s not United.

Here are the rules:

American – yes: As long as you have the card account open at least 7 days before your trip, and enter the AAdvantage number associated with it into your reservation at least 7 days prior to your trip you can get the benefit applied to existing reservations.

American says as long as you have the card account 7 days before departure you're eligible

American says as long as you have the card account 7 days before departure you’re eligible

Delta – yes: You can get the free bag benefit immediately after the account is created, just make sure the SkyMiles number associated with your card is in the reservation and the benefit will apply. No further restrictions.

Delta lets you get the benefit as soon as your card is active

Delta lets you get the benefit as soon as your card is active

United – no: You must purchase the ticket with your card to get the benefit, so you can’t apply for the card and use the benefit on a reservation you purchased before hand. United is the only of the 3 airlines to require you to use the card to buy a ticket and get the benefit. Which is a bummer if you’re traveling for work or if your significant other or friend buys a ticket for you.

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 8.56.48 AM

United requires you purchase your ticket with the card to get the benefit.

That’s pretty unfriendly and not at all competitive with Delta and American, so beware.

But for American and Delta this is good to remember – if you have a trip coming up that will have bag fees, this is a great way to save money right away.

Apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® or AAdvantage® Platinum Select now and enjoy a free bag on the trip you already booked.

> Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express application

> Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® application

 

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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."

3 thoughts on Can I apply for a card & get a free bag on an existing trip?

  1. Frank

    I see that American will allow the free checked back provided the 7-day requirements is met. I would like to know if this also applies to an American flight that was books British Airways using Avios. I see on the confirmation that originator of the booking has their BA Avios number tied to the reservation and it cannot be changed. However, as the companion on the reservation I was able to add my AAdvantage number to the booking.

    Reply

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