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Avoiding Baggage Fees and Saving Money on Travel

Airline Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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Taking a trip can be an expensive endeavor, and checking bags for yourself and your family members can add hundreds to your travel costs. But if you get the right credit card, you may be able to check your family’s bags for free.

Check out our chart of the major U.S. airlines, their normal bag fees and which credit card can get your fees waived and save you hundreds, or even thousands, per year on travel expenses.

Airline Bag #1* Bag #2* Our favorite card Annual fee
Airlines that offer first bag free
Southwest Airlines $0 $0 Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card $99
Credit cards that waive fee for first bag
Alaska Airlines  $25  $25 Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card  $75
American Airlines  $25  $35 Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® $95, waived for first 12 months*
Delta Air Lines $25 $35 Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express $0 for the first year, then $95
Hawaiian Airlines  $25  $35  The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® $89
United Airlines  $25  $35 United MileagePlus® Explorer Card  $0 for the first year, then $95
Virgin America  $25  $25 Virgin America Visa Signature® Card  $49
Credit cards that don’t waive bag fee
JetBlue Airways  $20  $35 JetBlue Card from American Express annual fee is $40

*All fees are the lowest price — usually for fliers who check baggage online or before a certain date — for domestic U.S. flights. Fees may vary for alternative check-in options or international flights.

Last updated on September 10, 2015

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