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How to get free checked bags on Southwest Airlines

You can check two bags for free on each flight.

Southwest has the best checked bags policy in the industry, allowing you to bring two along for free. Learn how you can take advantage of this perk.

How to get free checked bags with Southwest

You automatically get two free checked bags with Southwest — even in coach. However, they need to meet requirements for height and weight, or you will end up paying a fee.

To qualify, each bag must be:

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

You’ll pay $75 for each bag if your bag is:

  • 51 to 100 pounds.
  • More than 62 inches but not more than 80 inches in combined length, width and height.

If your item weighs more than 100 pounds, you must ship it as air cargo. To do this, get approved as a Known Shipper or Indirect Air Carrier.

You’ll pay a fee if you want to check additional bags

You’ll pay $75 for each additional bag you want to check with Southwest.

How much do other airlines charge for checked bags?

Most airlines charge between $30 to $75 for checked bags, depending on the airline and the weight of your bag. That said, it’s possible to get free checked bags with other airlines with certain travel credit cards and rewards programs.

Compare cards that allow more than 2 checked bags for free

If you’re checking more than two bags on your Southwest flight, look for a card with travel credits that offset checked-baggage fees. Here are a few great choices:

PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

  • $100 annual air travel credit
  • $95 annual fee
Read review
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • $550 annual fee
See offer
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

  • $325 annual travel credit
  • $400 annual fee
Read review

Compare cards with travel credits for free checked bags

There are even more credit cards out there that come with a free-checked-bag perk. Compare your options to find a product that best fits your financial needs.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus 3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year
2x points on Southwest and 1x points on all other purchases
$149
Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus 3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year
2x points on Southwest and 1x points on all other purchases
$69
Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus 3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year
2x points on Southwest and 1x points on all other purchases
$99
Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3x points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
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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.

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