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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.

7 ways to get free checked bags

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.

How much does it normally cost?

Here’s what Alaska charges for checked bags that are under 50 pounds and no longer than 62 inches in combined length, width and height:

First bagSecond bagEach additional bag
$30$40$100

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

Bags that exceed the height and weight requirements will cost $100 each to check.

Credit cards that get you free checked bags

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
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Limited Time Offer: 70,000 miles after spending $2,000 in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021
2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on other eligible purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
United℠ Explorer Card
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
2x miles at restaurants, hotels and United and 1.5x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Limited Time Offer: 90,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021
3x miles on Delta and direct hotel purchases, 2x miles at restaurants and US supermarkets and 1x miles on other eligible purchases
$250
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Limited Time Offer: 80,000 miles, 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $200 statement credit after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. Offer ends 11/10/21
3x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on other eligible purchases
$550
Earn 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
United Club℠ Infinite Card
75,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
4x miles on United purchases, 2x miles on travel and dining and 1x miles on all other purchases
$525
Get United Club membership with access for you and two guests at any United Club or Star Alliance lounge -- a value of up to $650 annually.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/21.
3x miles on direct Delta and hotel purchases, 1.5x miles on single purchases over $5,000 up to 50,000 miles per year, and 1x miles on all other purchases
$250
Earn 90,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 miles, and a $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/2021.
2x miles on Delta, US shipping, select US advertising and at restaurants and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 70,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
65,000 miles after spending $4,000 in first 4 months
2x miles on American Airlines, gas stations and select business categories and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
65,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $4,000 in purchases in first 4 months of account opening.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Limited Time Offer: Earn 80,000 miles, 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $200 statement credit after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/2021.

3x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases on up to $150,000 in a calendar year, then 1.5x miles on non-Delta purchases the rest of the year
$550
Earn 80,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
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
60,000 miles plus companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
3x miles on direct Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$50
Earn 60,000 miles plus companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of your account opening.
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
60,000 and a companion certificate after you make a purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee
2x miles on American Airlines purchases and 1x miles on everything else
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus miles and a companion certificate when you make a purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee.
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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.

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