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The 5 Best Credit Cards for Free Checked Bags

Don't spend hundreds of dollars to bring your clothing with you when you leave town.
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The high cost of air travel makes it important to find savings wherever you can. Depending on the airline you choose and the number of people flying, it can cost you hundreds of dollars just to check your luggage. That's why it might make sense to get a credit card that offers free checked bags.

Read on for our full rundown of the five best cards that offer this perk.

The 5 Best Credit Cards for Free Checked Bags

JetBlue Plus Card

Fees: Annual fee of $99; no foreign transaction fee

APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers made in the first 45 days for the first 12 billing cycles; then 12.99% to 25.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 30,000 points after spending $1,000 with your card in the first 90 days of opening the account.

Benefits and Rewards: Earn 6X TrueBlue points for each dollar spent on purchases with JetBlue, 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores, and one point on other purchases. In addition to getting your first checked bag free, you get 5,000 points on your account anniversary and 10% of your points back each time you redeem.

If you purchase a Vacations package of $100 or more with your card, you'll also get a $100 statement credit. Other benefits include 50% savings on in-flight purchases and TrueBlue Mosaic benefits.

Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Fees: Annual fee of $450; no foreign transaction fee

APR: 16.74% to 24.74%

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 75,000 miles after you make $7,500 in purchases with your card within the first three months of opening the account.

Benefits and Rewards: This card awards two miles per dollar you spend on American Airlines and one mile for other purchases. You can redeem miles for airfare with American Airlines and other Oneworld member airlines. In addition to getting your first checked bag free, you get the first checked bag of up to eight companions free.

Other benefits include access to Admirals Club, an annual bonus of 10,000 miles if you spend $40,000 on your card each year, and priority check-in, airport screening, and early boarding on American Airlines flights. Cardmembers can also save 25% on in-flight purchases and get a statement credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

SEE ALSO: 6 Best Travel Credit Cards for Small Businesses

Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Fees: Annual fee of $95; no foreign transaction fee

APR: 16.99% to 23.99% APR

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months of opening the account.

Benefits and Rewards: Earn two miles per dollar you spend on United Airlines tickets and one mile on other purchases. You can redeem your miles for flights with United Airlines and Star Alliance member airlines.

You get your first checked bag free, as well as one companion's first checked bag free. Other benefits include priority boarding, United Club lounge passes, and an anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles for each calendar year that you spend at least $25,000.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card From American Express

Fees: Annual fee of $95 waived the first year; no foreign transaction fee

APR: 16.74% to 25.74% APR

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 30,000 points after spending $1,000 within three months. You also get a $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in the first three months.

Benefits and Rewards: Earn two SkyMiles for each dollar you spend on Delta purchases and one mile for all other purchases. Your first checked bag is free when you fly with Delta, and applies to up to nine passengers on your reservation. Other benefits include Zone 1 priority boarding, a discount on Delta Sky Club passes, and in-flight savings of 20%.

SEE ALSO: The 7 Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Platinum Card From American Express

Fees: Annual fee $550; no foreign transaction fee; free employee cards

APR: No APR (no interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month)

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 75,000 points after spending $5,000 within three months of opening your card.

Benefits and Rewards: Although it doesn't specifically offer free checked bags, this card does include a $200 annual airline fee credit that can be used to pay any baggage fees. It also awards 5X points for flights that you book with American Express Travel or directly with airlines.

You also get Gold Status for Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest programs, and a credit of $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck. Other benefits include airport lounge access and $200 annually for Uber rides.

Readers, what credit cards do you use to get rewards while traveling? Let us know in the comments below!


Contributing Writer

Christina Majaski is a freelance writer and mom of daughter Chloe and dog Monty in Central Minnesota. She has covered social media, personal finance, law, business, and travel for various online and print publications since 2003. You can read her work online at Wise Bread, Digital Trends, PayScale, and many others.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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2 comments
vwoom
I just got my Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card From American Express. The $95 annual fee is waived (only CC I have, with an annual fee). Upon approval the very same day, I purchased an awesome priced non-stop Delta Main Cabin ticket. In two days, I got a $50 credit applied to my account. 1st free checked luggage, Zone 1 Priority boarding..PLUS, I accumulate miles via my linked Delta SkyShopping and Delta Sky Dining accounts..ontop of the Bonus 50,000 Miles accumulated from purchasing $1,000 for my trip..from my Delta.com Hertz rental (enrolled for Bonus 1,000 Miles), the Main Cabin ticket, my Delta.com hotel reservation..all in my 1st monthly statement. The Miles..keeps piling up.
snaimpally
My Citi AA Mastercard has a $95 annual fee. I received a 60,000 mile bonus for joining (and meeting the spending requirements). It provides priority boarding and first bag checked free. There is no way I would $500-600 a year for a credit card just to get the $25 checked bag fee waived. But $95 for a free checked bag and priority boarding is worth it.