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.

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Limited Time Offer Till 7/5/2017
Gold Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Limited Time Offer Till 7/5/2017
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Gold Delta SkyMiles<sup>®</sup> Credit Card from American Express
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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 4 months.
  • Plus, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 4 months. Offer expires on 7/5/2017.
  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible 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

16.49%-25.49% Variable

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

Why we like it
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 4 months.
Excellent/Good

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United MileagePlus<sup>®</sup> Explorer Card

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

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United MileagePlus<sup>®</sup> Explorer Card
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  • Special offer: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $100 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Your miles don't expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn
  • Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United-operated flight at the MileagePlus Standard Award level
  • $95 annual fee
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

N/A

16.74% - 23.74% Variable

$95

Why we like it
  • Rewards program.
  • $0 foreign transaction fee.
  • Special offer: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Excellent Credit

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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®

APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website
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 purchases.¹
  • 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

16.49% - 24.49%* (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

12.74%, 20.74% or 25.74% 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

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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
  • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Bags fly free® and no change fees
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary every year
  • 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® purchases and participating Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental partners purchases
  • 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

N/A

16.74% - 23.74% 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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Citi Prestige<sup>®</sup> Card

Citi Prestige® Card

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Citi Prestige<sup>®</sup> Card
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  • 4.40/5
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  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • 40,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $500 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates or $400 in gift cards
  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year, and receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels
  • Earn 3X Points on Air Travel & Hotels
  • Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website

N/A

15.99%* (Variable)

$450

Why we like it
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*.
We least like
  • Annual fee.
  • No low intro APR offered.
Excellent

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

The Platinum Card® from American Express

APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
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.
  • New! Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • 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. Terms Apply.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • 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

APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
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 US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

N/A

$0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.

Why we like it
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • 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