Free Bag Check-in with these Credit Cards

Not so long ago, airlines competed viciously for the business of the traveling public. They used every tool in their arsenal to convince you to fly with them. The airlines still want your business, but now their pockets are not as deep, and they have actually begun to charge for basic amenities such as pillows, blankets, checked luggage, and lunch. Regrettably, the difficult financial times have forced the airlines to charge for items that used to be part and parcel of traveling. Take heart though, there are still ways to get rid of some of the new fees they are levying.

One of the newest ways to skirt the freshly created charges for checked luggage is to acquire one of the airline’s branded credit cards. The way this works is that one applies for a credit card with an airline that has a branded credit card, pay the annual fee, and show the card upon check-in at the airport. While some of the annual fees associated with these cards may seem high, $75 to $100 annually, these fees pale in comparison to the costs associated with checked luggage for those individuals that are frequent flyers. It is not uncommon to pay $50 to $100 per checked bag depending on weight of the bag. Given those types of fees, an individual that pays an annual fee of $100 and travels twice per year has already made back their initial investment in the card.

There are also other ways to work with the airlines to eliminate the fees associated with checked bags; however, most of them have to do with earning a frequent flyer status with them. If one is traveling on business and their company is paying for it, frequent flyer programs are a great way to gain some perks with the airlines and avoid paying fees. This approach takes time though, and it is not as readily available as simply buying the right branded credit card and instantly receiving the discount.

There are ways to avoid paying some of the additional fees that airlines are charging to their patrons. The secret to getting around those charges is to be creative and explore all of your options before committing to a single one.

United Mileage Plus Visa

Delta Skymiles

Continental OnePass