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How to get free checked bags on Southwest Airlines

You can check two bags for free on each flight.

Updated

Fact checked

Our pick for a Southwest card: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card logo

40,000-point

Signup bonus after spending $1,000 in first 3 months

  • Enjoy $75 in Southwest travel credits annually
  • Earn 2x points on Southwest, hotels and rental cars
  • Get 7,500 points each card anniversary
See offer
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
  • $550 annual fee

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

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

  • $325 annual travel credit
  • $400 annual fee

Compare cards with travel credits for free checked bags

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
2x points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals and 1x points on all other purchases
$149
Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$99
Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$69
Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
70,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus 30,000 points after spending $25,000 in the first 6 months
3x points on Southwest Airlines, 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable, and phone services and 1x points on all other purchases
$199
Earn 70,000 points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and 6,000 points after your card anniversary
2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$99
Earn 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and 6,000 points after your card anniversary.
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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.

Frequently asked questions

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