Here’s How To Get Free Checked Bags On Major U.S. Airlines

here’s a simple way to avoid paying checked baggage fees on most U.S. airlines, and it doesn’t involve coupon codes or watching for promotions.

Signing up for an airline’s credit card is a surefire way to earn special treatment on that airlines, which (in most cases) includes a free checked bag or two.

Many of these cards have no annual fee or low annual fees, and any fee is usually waived for the first year. Plus, using a card just once to duck out of paying a baggage fee will likely cover any annual fee.

Read on to see exactly which airline cards give you free checked bags and other perks.

Here are some of the cards and benefits for a selection of major U.S. airlines:

American Airlines

Card: Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Fee: $95 annual fee, waived first year

Perks: One free checked bag per flight for the cardholder and one free checked bag for any customer traveling with the cardholder on the same reservation, up to four additional guests.

Alaska Airlines

Card: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature

Fee: $75 annual fee

Perks: One checked bag for the cardholder and one checked bag (or “item”) for other customers traveling with the cardholder, up to six additional guests.

Delta Airlines

Card: Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Fee: $95 annual fee, waived first year

Perks: First checked bag for the cardholder is free on all flights. First checked bags are free for up to eight (!) other travelers on the same reservation.

United Airlines

Card: United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Fee: $95 annual fee, waived first year

Perks: Free checked bag for the cardholder and one companion traveling on the same reservation.

JetBlue Airlines

Card: JetBlue Plus Card

Fee: $99 annual fee

Perks: All checked bags are free for cardholder and up to three customers on the same Blue reservation.

Spirit

Spirit has a branded credit card, but it does not offer any free checked baggage perks.

Frontier

Frontier has a branded credit card, but it does not offer any free checked baggage perks.

Southwest

Card: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card

Fee: None

Perks: Two free checked bags on every flight, regardless of whether the passenger has a Southwest credit card. Yup, that’s right – every passenger gets two free bags on Southwest.

Sometimes it pays to be loyal. If you’re looking to learn how to score a business class seat for the price of economy, click here.