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Saving Money with the Delta Amex Free First Checked Bag Benefit

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


The First Checked Bag Free is signature benefit included with most Delta American Express cards. But how much is the perk worth? How many people get free bags? Can the benefit really offset a card’s annual fee?

Let’s tackle those questions and others!

What is the First Checked Bag Free Benefit?

The First Checked Bag Free is Delta Amex perk waiving the bag fee for the first piece of checked luggage — provided it weighs under 50 pounds or less and is not oversized.

The benefit is valid only on Delta or a Delta Connection carrier when you check-in with Delta for both a Delta marketed and Delta operated trip.

Codeshare flights are not eligible the benefit.

How Many People Can Get the Free First Checked Bag?

The cardholder and up to eight others traveling on the same reservation/PNR as the cardholder may receive their first bag checked free.

So How Much Money Can That Save?

Delta charges $30 for a passenger’s first checked bag. So if you travel with eight more people, you save $270 in baggage fees each way. Roundtrip, your savings is $540.

As another example, a family of four with one checked bag per person would save $240 per roundtrip.

Save money with Amex Offers and cashback portals!
(Photo: ©iStock.com/ceazars)

If you travel with a family, team, organization, party, etc., the benefit can save a lot of money. Even the Delta Reserve Card or Delta Reserve Business Card earn back their annual fees during just a few trips.

Which Delta Amexes Have the First Checked Bag Free Benefit?

All Delta Amexes except the Delta Blue card give the cardholder the First Checked Bag Free.

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card 

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.Delta Reserve Business Card 

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

Delta Gold American Express CardDelta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card 

The benefit will not change when the Delta Amexes officially begin their big refresh on January 30, 2020. It stays put.

If you travel with family, consider getting the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express or Delta Reserve Card, which not only include the First Checked Bag Free benefit, but also have the companion certificate perk.

How Can I Make Sure My Checked Bag Will Be Free?

Add your Delta Amex credit card number to your virtual wallet on Delta.com or the Fly Delta app. Then make sure all your Delta reservations have your SkyMiles number attached. Everything should work fine.

Can Authorized/Additional Cardholders on My Account Receive the Benefit If I’m Not Traveling?

No. Only the primary cardholder receives the benefit.

What If I Didn’t Use My Delta Amex Card to Pay for My Flight? Will I Still Get the First Checked Bag Free?

Yep, you’re fine — as long as your Delta Amex card number is in your Delta wallet and SkyMiles number is linked to your reservation.

In fact, we recommend using the Platinum Card from American Express (5X on purchases make directly  with airlines) or Chase Sapphire Reserve (3X on travel purchases) to buy airfare, at least for the next few months.

When January 30, 2020 hits, the personal and business Delta Platinum Amexes and personal and business Delta Reserve Amexes will award 3X on Delta purchases.

Questions?

Ask away in the Comments section below!

— Chris

Other Delta Amex Topics We’ve Covered This Month

Now is a fantastic opportunity to apply for Delta Amexes because many have great welcome bonuses — and you can lock in a year at their current annual fees.

We’ve covered several related topics during the past several weeks including:

Big Welcome Bonuses Expire WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30!

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressDelta Reserve Card 

Delta Reserve Business Card from American Express.Delta Reserve Business Card 

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express.Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

Delta Gold American Express CardDelta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

5 Comments

  1. @anon – I take it you never go on golf trips or ski trips? Or do you rent equipment on arrival?

  2. My daughter flies at least twice a year on Delta (home to visit us, if nothing else), and frequently more than that. I recommended that she get the Delta American Express Gold card to save money on baggage fees and get the Main 1 boarding slot. Just two flights a year will pay for the annual fee in saved checked bags. Plus, she signed up during a bonus period and the extra miles got her two free flights. Up until now her strategy has been to take her bag to the gate and wait for the inevitable announcement that they would waive checked baggage fees for volunteers checking their bags. She reports that this nearly always worked. Now she can check her bag and avoid lugging it to the gate.

  3. anonymous

    @Rene
    No, I don’t golf, and yes I do always rent ski equipment. If I ever have to fly with something large, I guess I’ll suck it up and pay (if I’m not flying in a class or to a destination that includes a free checked bag).

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