How to get free checked bags on Southwest Airlines | finder.com
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How to get free checked bags on Southwest Airlines

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You can check two bags for free on each flight.

Southwest Airlines offers the most generous checked-baggage policy in the industry. If you typically check more than two bags per flight, you might like a card with travel credits.

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

Southwest Airlines offers a unique perk: You can check your first and second bag for free on each flight.

To qualify, each bag must be:

  • 62 inches or under in combined length, width and height.
  • 50 pounds or less.

How good is the free-checked-baggage benefit?

Getting free checked bags on Southwest is a stellar deal, considering you’ll pay for the privilege with most other airlines.

See the checked bag fees of other airlines.

Southwest free checked bags

How to get a free checked bag with a Southwest Airlines credit card

You don’t need the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card to get free checked bags on the carrier. However, it could help you receive additional Southwest perks such as:

  • Anniversary points.
  • Savings on in-flight purchases.
  • Upgraded boarding: Get a boarding position in A1 to A15.
  • Annual Southwest travel credit.
  • Upon reaching spend requirements, earn tier-qualifying points for A-List and A-List Preferred status.

What if I typically check more than two bags?

Look for a card with travel credits that offset checked-baggage fees. Here are a few great choices:

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

  • $100 annual air travel credit
  • No annual fee

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • $450 annual fee

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

  • $325 annual travel credit
  • $400 annual fee

Compare travel credit cards

Updated June 16th, 2019
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual Fee Filter values
60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months
5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
35,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
$250
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
25,000 points after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days
3x points on travel or 4x points if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member and 1.5x points on all other purchases
$0
25,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days from account opening.
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit. 1x points on all other purchases
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
50,000 points after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days
3x points on travel and mobile wallet purchases and 1x points on all other purchases
$400
Earm 50,000 points after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days from account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated June 16th, 2019
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual Fee Filter values
60,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
Earn 2x points on Southwest Airlines® purchases and 1x points on all other purchases
$69
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
2x points on Southwest Airlines® purchases and 1x points for all other purchases
$99
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
60,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Earn 2x points on Southwest® and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases and 1x points on all other purchases.
$149
Earn 60,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Southwest lets you check your first and second bags for free on each flight, which is fantastic. If you typically check three or more bags, you might like a card with annual travel credits.

Not sure a Southwest credit card is right for you? There are plenty of other airline cards to consider.

Frequently asked questions

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