Are you planning a trip? With most airlines charging baggage fees for checked luggage and even some charging a fee for carry-on bags, travelers are forced to spend more and more on their airplane tickets. Here, I'll show you a simple way to avoid paying for your checked-luggage which could save you around $50 per person for a round trip.

Baggage fees are on the rise and they make you want to think twice before booking your flight. But just how much are Americans spending on baggage fees? In the first quarter of 2013 U.S. airlines earned $800 million in checked luggage fees, according to the US Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Delta (DAL) ranked the highest, earning approximately $192 million in baggage fees during the first quarter of 2013. United (UAL) and US Airways (LCC) followed close behind earning $143 million (United) and $130 million (US Airways) in checked baggage fees.

But just how much are airlines charging per checked bag? The airline that charges the most for the first checked bag is Spirit Airlines with a $45 fee, the second checked bag costs $55, and you will be charged $100 for an additional bag. American Airlines charges $25 for the first checked bag, $35 for the second, and $150 for an additional checked bag.

JetBlue charges $20 per one-way ticket for the first checked bag, when you pay at a kiosk or via web check-in. You will pay a higher fee of $25 when you check your fist bag at the check-in counter. Checking a second bag will cost you $35.

On all airlines, overweight baggage fees are normally even higher, ranging from $50 (Alaskan-Horizon Air) to $100-200 (United Airlines).

Paying for checked luggage started in 2008 when American Airlines started charging a $15 fee for a first checked bag, and many airlines quickly followed suit. In 2010, Spirit Airlines imposed a carry-on bag fee. This year, in 2017, the only big U.S. airline that does not charge a baggage fee for checked luggage is Southwest Airlines (which allows you to check in 2 pieces of luggage for free).

How can you avoid paying for your checked baggage? I'm going to explain how you can bypass baggage fees by paying for your flight with the right kind of credit card.

One of the easiest and best ways to get free checked baggage is by purchasing your airline ticket with a frequent flyer credit card. Some frequent flyer credit cards offer the first checked bag free of charge as a special benefit to card members.

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least liket_cc_credit_requiredRelated links
Limited Time Offer till 11/8/2017
Gold Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Limited Time Offer till 11/8/2017
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Gold Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Credit Card from American Express
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  • 2.00/5
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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 with your new Card within your first 6 months. Offer expires on 11/8/2017.
  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

16.74%-25.74% Variable

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Why we like it
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Excellent/Good


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Citi<sup>®</sup> / AAdvantage<sup>®</sup> Platinum Select<sup>®</sup> World Elite™ Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

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Citi<sup>®</sup> / AAdvantage<sup>®</sup> Platinum Select<sup>®</sup> World Elite™ Mastercard<sup>®</sup>
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  • For a limited time, earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases¹
  • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website

N/A

16.99% - 24.99%* (Variable)

$95, waived for first 12 months*

Why we like it
  • For a limited time, earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*.
  • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*.
Excellent, Good

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JetBlue Plus Card

JetBlue Plus Card

APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website
JetBlue Plus Card
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  • Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember's first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
APPLY NOWAt Barclaycard's secure website

0% on balance transfers for first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to account within 45 days of account opening

12.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% Variable

$99

Why we like it
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember's first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights.
Excellent

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Southwest Rapid Rewards<sup>®</sup> Premier Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
Southwest Rapid Rewards<sup>®</sup> Premier Credit Card
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  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your card account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions, Bags fly free® and no change fees
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events and more
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

N/A

16.99% - 23.99% Variable

$99

Why we like it
  • Rewards program.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
We least like
  • No introductory APR available.
Excellent Credit

So, as you can see, using a frequent flyer credit card to purchase your plane tickets can help you save a lot of money on your checked baggage. The only downside to these cards is that they are airline specific and made for people who tend to fly frequently with the same airline. Click here to see the full list of airline credit card offers on GET.com. If you are not faithful to any specific airline and prefer cards that offer flexibility as well as miles, points and travel rewards, check some of our highly rated travel credit cards.

Other Ways To Get Your Checked Bags Free

There are other credit cards which give you an annual airline credit towards incidental fees, including baggage fees, in-flight food and beverages, on-board wi-fi and similar charges. If you only fly once or twice per year, you can take advantage of this airline credit to cover you checked baggage fees.


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The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

N/A

$550

Why we like it
  • Rewards program.
  • Platinum benefits.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
We least like
  • Annual fee.
Excellent/Good

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Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

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Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Our Rating:
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  • 4.38/5
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  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

N/A

Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.

Why we like it
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Excellent Credit