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When it comes to airline credit card perks, the free checked bag perk is a common benefit to find and can be one of the most valuable, especially if used on a consistent basis. But these free baggage benefits come with some restrictions and if you are not careful, you might miss out on the free baggage waiver. In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Delta credit cards free checked baggage benefit.
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What is the Delta credit card free checked baggage benefit?
If you hold an eligible American Express Delta credit card, you can get the first checked bag fee waived on eligible Delta flights for you and up to eight other passengers.
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Eligible Delta credit cards
The following credit cards are eligible for the free baggage waiver on Delta flights:
- Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card (full review)
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card (full review)
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card (full review)
In addition, the following business credit cards are eligible for the free baggage waiver on Delta flights:
- Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card
Related: How much are Delta SkyMiles worth?
You do not have to book your reservation with your American Express Delta credit card in order to get the benefit.
Instead, the only requirement is that the reservation must include the basic card member’s SkyMiles number.
As long as that SkyMiles number is on the reservation, the fee waiver will also be available for other travelers on the same reservation. There is a maximum of nine waivers allowed per reservation.
Note: There are some reports of people getting the free checked baggage waiver for multiple passengers even when they are on different reservations but that may come down to an agent’s discretion and so I would not count on it working.
If you have a checked bag that is overweight or oversized you will have to pay for those fees. Keep in mind that you will be charged for each infraction separately.
So if you had a checked bag that was both overweight and oversized you would have to pay for an overweight fee and an oversized fee. You cannot use the free checked bag benefit to get these fees waived. The waiver only works for normal bags.
Sometimes the oversized and overweight fees can be very expensive, especially when coupled together. So be sure you are aware of the weight and size limitations which are often based on your elite status or the type of cabin you are flying in.
The free checked bag waiver is only good for the first checked bag. So if a passenger is checking an additional bag, they will have to pay for that fee themselves. The normal fee for a second bag will apply in that case.
So let’s say you were flying from Atlanta to Los Angeles and you were checking two bags. Normally, you would have to pay $70 for those two bags. But if you had an eligible Delta card the fee for the first bag would be waived.
However, for the second bag you would have to pay $40 which is the standard price for the second checked bag. There is a calculator you can use if you are ever in doubt.
The first checked bag fee waiver can only be used on flight segments that originate on a Delta or Delta Connection carrier when you check-in with Delta for both a Delta marketed and Delta operated flight.
It’s really important to note that code share flights are not eligible.
So these rules mean if you were booking a flight that was operated by Delta but marketed by a partner like Air France, you would likely not receive the free checked bag benefit. This situation could arise when booking a Delta flight on a partner website like Air France.
Also, if you were booking a flight on the Delta website that was operated by a partner like Virgin Atlantic, you would also not receive the free checked bag.
So my advice would be to book directly through the Delta website and to ensure that the flights are operated by Delta.
You can tell what airline is operating the flight when you are searching for flights on the Delta website. Simply look for the language directly below the route graphic as shown in the image below.
Elite status stacking
Unofficially, Silver Medallion members may be able to stack this free checked baggage benefit with the Silver benefit. This means that if you have Silver Medallion status, you could get a total of two free checked bags. (It does not appear to also stack with Gold Medallion status or higher.)
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Delta credit card free checked bag FAQs
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card
You can get a free checked bag for up to nine total passengers on a reservation.
The checked baggage fee for Delta Airlines is typically $30 but it could depend on your route. You can find out more about the baggage fees here.
No, you do not get a free checked bag with the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card.
No, as long as your SkyMiles number is linked to your reservation you should be eligible for the free checked baggage waiver.
No, American Express states that the benefit is limited to basic card members and not additional card members.
Yes, the Delta credit card does not restrict the free baggage benefit to domestic flights.
No, code share flights do not qualify for the free checked bag.
As long as your Delta SkyMiles number is linked to your reservation on an eligible flight, the waiver will be automatically applied at check in.
The free checked baggage waiver can be a very lucrative benefit if you regularly fly with Delta, especially if you fly with multiple members on the reservation.
Just remember to always link your SkyMiles account to the reservation so that you trigger the free baggage waivers. And be aware of the restrictions with partner airlines and oversized bags.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.