How does the baggage credit work on Amex Delta cards?

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The best Delta credit cards have a built-in free baggage perk. This can save you $60 per person per round trip — up to $540 in total savings per round-trip depending on how many people you’re traveling with!

I’ll explain how this Delta perk works, and give you some tips on how to make the most of it!

(Photo by Wyatt Smith)

Get one free checked bag with Amex Delta cards

If you have Silver Delta elite status or higher, you already get one free checked bag When you travel with friends and family on Delta, you can subtract a lot of baggage fees!

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

Delta says:

Benefit is limited to Basic Card Members (not Additional Card Members) with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Cards. Reservation must include the Basic Card Member’s SkyMiles number. Fee waiver also available for passengers traveling in the same reservation as the Basic Card Member. Maximum nine waivers per reservation.

If you have a family of four, that’s a savings of $120 each way ($30 per checked bag x 4 bags).

How does it work?

Do you have to pay with your Amex Delta card?

Nope! It’s enough to simply have the card in good standing to receive the benefit.

Some cards, like the United℠ Explorer Card, require you to pay for your ticket with the card to get a free checked bag. This is a bit of an inconvenience, in the event that you want to pay with one of the best credit cards for travel insurance.

Just be sure to put your Delta SkyMiles number on your reservation, and you’ll automatically get your bag for free.

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

Do I pay to check the bag?

No. This perk is not a rebate, it’s an instant discount. You’ll see a $0 checked bag fee when you check-in, as long as your Delta frequent flyer number is on your reservation, so you don’t have to pay and then wait for a credit.

Can I get checked bags for others if I’m not traveling?

No, you must be on the itinerary. Your Delta frequent flyer number is linked to your reservation, so if you’re not flying on the same reservation, you can’t share the perk. You can’t buy a ticket for someone else to let them get a free checked bag.

You can’t get free checked bags for your friends and family if you’re not on the plane. (Photo by Markus Mainka/Shutterstock.)

Can an authorized user get a free checked bag?

No. Authorized users will only receive a free checked bag if they travel on your itinerary.

What if my bag is too big?

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.

What if I have two bags?

If you have two bags, the first one won’t cost anything. But you’ll have to pay for the second (and third) piece of luggage. The only way around this would be to let someone traveling with you check your bag if they don’t plan on checking one themselves.

What if my ticket already includes a free checked bag? Can I get the second bag checked free?

No. It’s true that some tickets include a free checked bag already. We called Amex to see if we could get a second bag checked for free on those tickets. The representative said that the free checked benefit is ONLY for the first checked bag. After that, you’ll have to pay excess baggage charges.

Current Delta welcome bonuses

The only Delta credit card that doesn’t offer a free checked bag is the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card. Below are the cards with which you’ll receive a first checked bag free.

CardIntro bonusBest perkAnnual fee
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express CardEarn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms apply. Offer ends 10/28/2020Free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. Terms Apply.$99, waived for the first year. See (rates and fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express CardEarn 60,000 bonus after miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Terms apply. 10/28/2020.Free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. Terms Apply.$99, waived for the first year. See (rates and fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express CardEarn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms apply. 10/28/2020.Priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. Terms apply.$250 See (rates and fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express CardEarn 70,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Terms apply. Offer ends 10/28/2020Priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. Terms Apply.$250 See (rates and fees)

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Terms apply.
Complimentary Centurion Lounge and Delta SkyClub access$550 See (rates and fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Terms apply.
Earn an annual companion certificate each year when you renew your card. Terms apply.$550 See (rates and fees)

Delta credit cards aren’t just valuable because of the free checked bags. You can earn big welcome bonuses and use the Delta miles in some pretty fantastic ways. Read our post on the best ways to use Delta miles.

Bottom line

You’ll get one free checked bag for yourself and up to eight 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 don’t have to pay and then wait for a statement credit. Just remember to add your Delta SkyMiles number to your reservation so the benefit applies to your trip.

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

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business card, click here.

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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