As you’re likely aware, most airlines have implemented checked bag fees, and some have even started threatening to charge for carry-on bags. However, Delta announced that as a new basic cardmember of the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express they’ll check your first bag free.
Baggage fee waiver
Check your first bag free on Delta flight’s for flights that originate on a Delta or Delta Connection carrier for bags that meet size and weight restrictions. The current fee for your first checked bag in each direction is $25 in person for travel within United States and Canada for bags that meet size and weight restrictions.
This offer is good for Consumer and Small Business Delta SkyMiles card including the Gold, Platinum, and Reserve card levels. Though these cards all carry an annual fee ranging from $95-$450/year you could save a money if you’re a regular Delta flyer. Note that the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express offers new cardmembers a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Delta’s motivation for this perk could possibly be driven by the profit potential in having more credit card customers. Assuming that they receive roughly 1% from all transactions made with their card, a customer that spends $2k/month will generate $240 in revenue, not including the annual fee.
How much you could save
As an example of the type of savings you might expect, my wife and I took our four kids to California for ten days around the holidays this past year. We ended up checking a total of four bags in each direction. Given the current fee structure, that works out to an extra $200 round-trip in baggage fees.
If I had a SkyMiles credit card, we could’ve covered the annual fee (and then some) on that one trip alone. On top of that, as a new cardmember you can get up to 55k bonus miles with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express card after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 6 months, 5,000 of which are Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). Term and restrictions apply. If you want to see a selection of airline/travel reward credit and charge cards check airline miles reward cards.