Avoid Airline Fees When You Travel With These Credit Cards

Avoid Airline Fees When You Travel With These Credit Cards
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Airline fees are no fun, and they’re not going away. With all the legacy carriers (United, American, and Delta) offering “Basic Economy” fares at the present, and domestic competitors like Spirit and Allegiant making it a part of their core business plans. While some fees are unavoidable, having the right credit card can save you money when you travel, even if you do so infrequently. Here are our picks for the Best Credit Cards for Avoiding Airline Fees. Note: Citi is a partner of Brad’s Deals.

The Best Credit Cards for Avoiding Airline Fees: Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Sapphire reserve credit card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is an amazing card all-around. We’ve written extensively about the benefits of its earning currency, Ultimate Rewards, in the past. You’ll earn 3X per dollar on all travel and dining with this card, but more relevant to this post is its $300 travel credit. This travel credit can be used for any travel charge you put on the credit card- seat assignment fees, baggage fees, upgrade fees, and change fees count. You can use it all at once, or across as many purchases as you like. With a $550 annual fee, it’s best to make use of as many benefits of the card as possible to bring down the “out of pocket” cost.


Citi Aadvantage Credit Card-700px

Co-Branded Credit Cards

There are several co-branded cards out there for Delta, United, and American. The Chase United Credit card even has a 40,000 point bonus currently. These cards all give the cardholder a free checked bag for themselves and a companion when they pay for their flight with the card. That can save you over $50 round trip in most cases, if you must check a bag. And, it avoids a lot of the annoyance of the new “Basic Economy” fares, where many of the airlines are not allowing carry-ons for free.

Or, Just Fly Southwest

Wing of a Southwest plane flying

Southwest Airlines is known to be very fee-averse. They allow two free checked bags for every customer, on every itinerary. Plus, they allow free cancellations (on points reservations, the points are refunded back to your card; on paid reservations, it’s a travel credit toward future travel). If you like seeing the price you’re going to pay, and not having any “add-ons,” then that’s your airline! Unfortunately, they don’t fly overseas, though they did just start flying to Hawaii in March 2019!


We hope these tools save you money on bag fees. If you can, it’s even better to avoid checked bags at all! The fees waived by the cards above can be used towards other areas of your trip, saving you more money in the process. Let us know if you’ve used any of the above offers for waived baggage fees in the comments below!