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How to get free checked bags on Alaska Airlines

Check up to two bags free with Mileage Plan elite status.

If you don’t travel light, you could pay a hefty premium on your original fare as checked baggage fees add up fast. This guide will show you how you can use credit cards, elite status and fare upgrades to avoid those fees.

How do I get a free checked bag on Alaska Airlines?

There are seven ways to get free checked bags, including getting an Alaska cobranded credit card, earning an elite status and joining the Alaska-exclusive Club 49.

1. Get an Alaska Airlines credit card.

There are two card options. Each waives the fee for one checked bag per Alaska Airlines flight. You can avoid checked baggage fees with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card or the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card.

With either card, you and up to six companions on the same reservation can each check one bag for free per flight. You must be enrolled in Alaska’s Mileage Plan program to qualify, but you don’t have to pay for your flight with the card.

2. Get a credit card with travel credits.

You can pay for Alaska baggage fees and get reimbursed via statement credits. This option might be ideal if you fly only once in a while or if you want to check two or more bags per flight. Consider getting a travel credit card to use this perk.

3. Earn elite status.

Alaska’s Mileage Plan has three elite tiers, all of which offer two free checked bags on each Alaska Airlines flight. Find out how Alaska’s membership program works and how to earn an elite status.

4. Be a Club 49 member.

If you’ve joined Club 49 — accessible only to residents of Alaska — you can check your first two bags free when traveling on an itinerary that has at least one Alaska-based Alaska Airlines city.

5. Travel to destinations within Alaska.

If your itinerary includes only Alaskan destinations, you can check your first three bags free.

6. As active military personnel.

If you’re actively serving in the US military, you and your dependents can each check five bags free. Each bag can have overall dimensions of 115 inches and weigh up to 70 pounds.

7. Fly First Class.

Flying this fare class lets you check two bags for free. You’ll also get access to expedited check-in, priority boarding and express security screening at some airports. You can upgrade your paid fare to First Class for 15,000 miles one-way. You can also pay for an upgrade with dollars, for as little as $29 for a one-way trip within 450 miles in distance. This could be very cost-effective, especially if you’re planning on paying for checked baggage anyway.

One-way First Class upgrade prices

One-way trip in milesPrice
0-450$29
451-700$49
701-1,400$99
1,401-2,100$149
2,101 and above$199

According to the Alaska Airlines website as of January 2021. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Alaska Airlines Baggage Fees

Free checked baggage on Alaska Airlines can save you $60 per person on a round-trip flight. If you have the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card or its business version, you and up to six guests get one checked bag free on Alaska flights. Check two bags free when you fly First Class or if you’re a Mileage Plan elite. Each bag can weigh up to 50 pounds and have an overall dimension of 62 inches.

If you have additional baggage, here are the rates for bags that weigh up to 50 pounds and have maximum linear dimensions of 62 inches. You’ll pay extra if your bags are oversized or overweight.

First bagSecond bagEach additional bag
$30$40$100

According to the Alaska Airlines website as of January 2021. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Compare Alaska Airlines credit cards

There are two cobranded Alaska Airlines credit cards that offer free checked baggage.

Meanwhile, several other cards offer general travel credits, which you can use to offset baggage fees. You’ll pay annual fees for most of these cards.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card
40,000 miles and companion pass after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
3x miles on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$75
40,000 bonus miles after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card
40,000 miles plus companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
3x miles on direct Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$50
Earn 40,000 miles plus companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days of your account opening.
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Bottom line

There are a few ways to avoid baggage fees on Alaska Airlines. The quickest option is upgrading your Alaska Airlines flight to First Class.

If you’re not sure an Alaska Airlines credit card is right for you, consider an airline credit card with travel credits.

Frequently asked questions

How much will I pay for an oversized or overweight bag?

For bags that weigh 51 to 100 pounds, you’ll pay $100 each. For bags with linear dimensions of 63 to 115 pounds, you’ll pay $100 each.

What if my bag weighs more than 100 pounds?

The bag won’t be permitted on an Alaska Airlines flight. It also won’t be permitted if it exceeds 115 inches in linear dimensions.

However, you may be able to transport it through Alaska Air Cargo, which you can call at 800-225-2752.

How do travel credits work?

Pay for an eligible purchase with your card. Later, you’ll see a credit on your statement for the purchase, provided you have sufficient travel credits.

Pictures: Getty Images

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