How Does the Baggage Credit Work on AMEX Delta Cards?

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Update:  The offers for the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card From American Express, Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card American Express, and Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card From American Express have expired.  But check Hot Deals for the latest offers!

American Express Delta credit cards have a built-in free baggage perk.  And readers have asked how it works.

How Does The Baggage Credit Work On AMEX Delta Cards

American Express Delta Credit Cards Let You Check 1 Bag Free. Find Out How This Benefit Works!

I’ll explain how to get the free checked bag when you fly.  And give you some tips on how to make the most of it!

Get 1 Free Checked Bag with AMEX Delta Cards

Link:   Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

This perk is useful if you do NOT have elite status with Delta.  (That’s because if you have Silver status or higher, you already get 1 free checked bag.)

And when you travel with friends and family on Delta, you can subtract a lot of baggage fees!

How Does The Baggage Credit Work On AMEX Delta Cards

Big Family? Get a Free Checked Bag for up to 9 People on Your Itinerary!

With the AMEX Delta cards, you’ll get a free checked bag for yourself and up to 8 other people traveling on the same itinerary.

Delta says:

Basic Card Members with a Gold Delta, Platinum Delta, or Delta Reserve SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express and up to 8 people traveling on the same itinerary, may check their first bag for free on all Delta and Delta Connection flights.

If you have a family of 4, that’s a savings of $100 each way  ($25 per checked bag X 4 bags)!

How Does It Work?

1.   Do You Have to Pay With the AMEX Delta Card?

NO.  It’s enough to simply have the card in good standing to receive the benefit.

Some cards, like the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer, require you to pay for your ticket with the card to get a free checked bag.  But NOT the AMEX Delta cards!

Just be sure to put your Delta SkyMiles number on your reservation.

2.   Does It Work for Delta Partner Airlines?

NO.  The checked bag perk is only good on Delta and Delta Connection flights.  NOT partner airlines like KLM, Air France, or Korean Air.  

How Does The Baggage Credit Work On AMEX Delta Cards

You’ll Only Get the Free Bag on Delta and Delta Connection Flights, NOT Partner Airlines

If you fly on a Delta partner airline, you’ll have to follow their baggage rules.

3.   Do I Pay to Check the Bag?

You’ll get your free checked bag automatically when you check-in, as long as your Delta frequent flyer number is on your reservation.

How Does The Baggage Credit Work On AMEX Delta Cards

No Need to Wait for a Statement Credit.  You’ll Get a Free Bag Automatically!

So you don’t have to pay and then wait for a credit.

4.   Do I Have to Fly Too?

Yes.  You must be on the itinerary.  You can’t buy a ticket for someone else to let them get a free checked bag.

Your Delta frequent flyer number is linked to your reservation.  So if you’re not flying on the same itinerary, you can’t share the perk.

5.   Can an Authorized User Get a Free Checked Bag?

NO.

Delta says:

Benefit is limited to Basic Card Members (not Additional Card Members) with the Gold, Platinum or Reserve Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards.

How Does The Baggage Credit Work On AMEX Delta Cards

Authorized Users Can Share the Free Bag Benefit, but They Have to Fly on the Same Itinerary as You

Authorized users will only receive a free checked bag if they travel on your itinerary.

6.   What If My Bag Is Too Big?  Or If I Have 2 Bags?

The checked baggage perk is only good for the standard baggage allowance.  That means if your bag is over the weight limit, you’ll have to pay excess baggage fees.

How Does The Baggage Credit Work On AMEX Delta Cards

One at a Time! If You Have More, You’ll Have to Pay

If you have 2 bags, the 1st one won’t cost anything.  But you’ll have to pay for the 2nd (and 3rd) piece of luggage.

The only way around this would be to let someone traveling with you check your bag if they do NOT plan on checking one themselves.

7.   What If My Ticket Already Includes a Free Checked Bag?  Can I Get the 2nd Bag Checked Free?

NO.  It’s true that some tickets include a free checked bag already.

I called AMEX to see if I could use get a 2nd bag checked for free on those tickets.

The AMEX representative said that the free checked benefit is ONLY for the 1st checked bag.  After that, you’ll have to bag excess baggage charges.

Limited-Time Sign-Up Bonuses

Link:   Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Link:   My Review of the AMEX Delta Cards  

Through June 30, 2015, there is a limited-time sign-up bonus on the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (personal and business) and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

If you open up a new Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, you’ll earn 50,000 Delta miles after spending $2,000 on purchases on your new Card within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

You’ll also get:

  • 1st checked bag free for yourself and up to 8 traveling companions on the same reservation
  • 2 miles per $1 you spend on Delta
  • 1 mile per $1 you spend on everything else
  • 20% discount on certain Delta in-flight purchases
  • Priority boarding
  • Discount on Delta SkyClub lounge passes
  • Pay With Miles
  • AMEX OPEN discounts (business card only)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply
How Does The Baggage Credit Work On AMEX Delta Cards

If You Can Find Saver Award Space Seats, the Sign-Up Bonus Is Enough for a Round-Trip Flight to Hawaii! 

And if you open a new Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, you’ll earn 60,000 Delta miles after spending $2,000 on purchases on your new Card within 1st 3 months of account opening.  

You’ll also get:

  • 1st checked bag free for yourself and up to 8 traveling companions on the same reservation
  • 2 miles per $1 you spend on Delta
  • 1 mile per $1 you spend on everything else
  • 20% discount on certain Delta in-flight purchases
  • Priority boarding
  • Discount on Delta SkyClub lounge passes
  • Domestic round-trip companion certificate each year on your card anniversary
  • 10,000 Medallion qualifying miles and 10,000 bonus miles when you spend more than $25,000 on the card in a calendar year.  And an additional 10,000 Medallion qualifying miles and 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $50,000 in the same timeframe.
  • Pay With Miles
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms and restrictions apply

Bottom Line

You’ll get 1 free checked bag for yourself and up to 8 other people traveling with you on the same itinerary when you have any of the AMEX Delta credit cards.

You’ll automatically get a free checked bag when you check in at the airport.  You do NOT have to pay and then wait for a statement credit.

But if you have more than 1 piece of luggage or it’s overweight, you’ll have to pay excess baggage fees.

Remember to add your Delta SkyMiles number to your reservation so that the benefit applies to your trip.

You do NOT have to pay with your AMEX Delta card.  But if you do, you’ll get 2 Delta points per $1 spent on Delta tickets.

And these cards have a limited-time increased sign-up bonus until June 30, 2015!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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10 responses to “How Does the Baggage Credit Work on AMEX Delta Cards?

  1. suppose you have canceled the card..would delta know ?

  2. I think alot of people in the mileage game have already gotten one of the Amex Delta cards, I know I did. I cancelled it a few years ago when the annual fee was due. It’s still once in a life-time bonus from Amex, right?

  3. I’m guessing the answer here is yes, but if I already have a flight booked with Delta, and I get the card now, will my booking still get the free bag as long as my SkyMiles number is on the reservation? Not sure if the flag is set during booking or not.

  4. @Nathan, yes, as long as your card is open 10 days prior to your trip, you will still receive the free checked bag as this is flagged at the time you check in for the flight. I know this from experience, last year we booked a trip in August, applied for the card in September, and by the time our trip rolled around in November we received the free checked bag (and Zone 1 boarding).

  5. Suppose I get book an award ticket on Delta? Are you still eligible or is this only for revenue tickets?

  6. I have an upcoming flight that I booked with my Delta Gold card, but I have cancelled my credit card since then. Do I still get the free checked bag for this flight since I paid for it with the card?

  7. Do I get the free checked bag if I book the ticket with points?

  8. @art @BT – Yes, your card must be in good standing to get the perk.

    @John – Yes, the rule is still once per lifetime.

    @Nathan – As long as your card is open and in good standing before your flight, it will apply to any previous reservations you’ve made.

    @Chris A. @David – The perk works for domestic award tickets.

  9. Hi Darius

    Can you confirm that to receive the free checked bag, one *doesn’t absolutely need* to book with the Delta Amex card?
    I have an upcoming trip (all Delta metal) for 5 passengers including myself. However, I would like to book the flight using Amex PRG (which I will apply for shortly) for 3x MR points, instead of Delta Skymiles Gold card for 2x delta miles.

    The language on the Delta & Amex websites says differently:

    http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/baggage/before-your-trip/checked/first-bag-free.html
    “As a benefit of Card Membership, you can check your first bag free on Delta flights booked with your Card. You can save up to $50 on a round-trip Delta flight per person.1”

    https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/benefits/detail/first-checked-bag-free/delta-gold
    “As a benefit of Card Membership, you can check your first bag free on Delta flights booked with your Card. You can save up to $50 on a round-trip Delta flight per person. For a family of four that’s a potential savings of up to $200 per round-trip flight.‡”

  10. Same issue as Andy – seems like the language has changed. To play it safe and avoid disappointment at check-in, I booked with Amex card instead of another card I would have preferred to use.