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Credit cards to get free checked bags


Credit cards to get free checked bags

Paying for bags when travelling is not fun! Especially if you are travelling with family, for which you would probably need to spend over a few hundred dollars to cover the fees on Canadian Airlines.


If same as me, you are the type that doesn’t like paying these fees, this article is for you! The good news is that there are credit cards that allow you to get free check-in bags without paying for them! But the number of cards with this benefit is very limited, and they don’t cover all airlines. We will go into the details of each card so that you can decide which card is better for you.


Different Airlines that have Credit cards to get free checked bags


By looking at FinlyWealth’s credit card tool and filtering to cards that only accept checked-in bags, we could see two main groups of credit cards with this benefit. Aeroplan and WestJet. The Aeroplan cards give free checked-in bags ONLY when travelling with AirCanada, and the WestJet card also only provides that benefit for flights with WestJet. 

We will cover Aeroplan cards in detail first, given that Aircanada is a more popular airline, and then go into the details of the WestJet card.


Aeroplan Cards

Aeroplan is the loyalty program for AirCanada. With Aeroplan cards, you can gather Aeroplan points to buy tickets or reserve vacation packages.

Out of the Aeroplan cards, this is the list of all the cards that have the benefits of the free checked bag:



The free checked bags benefit is identical between these cards. Whether you are a primary cardholder, an additional cardholder, or have a primary business card, you will be deemed eligible for this offer. Not only that, but you can also redeem this offer for up to 8 travelling companions who are travelling with you, and they are on the same reservation.

This benefit is valid when checking in with Air Canada for a flight operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or under the Air Canada Express brand. The offer is also valid for all flight categories. Whether you have a basic (or standard), Flex (or comfort), or latitude ticket, you will be offered a free checked bag if you are travelling on an Air Canada flight booked with an Aeroplan credit card.


To check in a bag with AirCanada, you need to pay around $30; for international flights, it’s roughly $75 (Check here for the latest details). You can see how easily, with a single round trip for a couple, the cost you saved covers the card fee. If you travel multiple times a year or have a bigger family, this benefit would cover the card fee by a fewfold. 

To decide which one of those cards to go for, you need to look at the other details of those cards.


These cards could be grouped into two main categories:

The first group is the non-private and reserve cards, which are more affordable. Here is our view on the cards in this group:


The rewards for TD Aeroplan® Visa Infinite*, CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, and American Express® Aeroplan®* should not be drastically different (But better to double-check with the calculator). In terms of additional benefits, each has a benefit that is unique to their own, so it’s good to review their benefits. Still, if we were to rate one to be the best among three, we would rate the TD Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card to be the best among this group because it has a few more unique benefits compared to the other two (e.g. Nexus app fee waiver), the first-year annual fee is waived and compared to the American Express card it’s accepted at more merchants.


The difference between the privilege and reserve cards and those we discussed is that they come with some luxury benefits like access to the Airport lounge, priority check-in, etc. It’s up to you whether you think the $599 price tag is worth those benefits, but it is very similar to the more affordable cards; if we were to choose one of these cards, we would have selected the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege card for the same reasons previously discussed.

 

Westjet Cards

For Westjet, things are much simpler because only one card offers the benefit of the first free checked-in bags: The Westjet RBC World Elite MasterCard ($119/year). 


The benefit provided is very similar to Aeroplan, meaning you need to be the primary cardholder of a Westjet credit card; you can take up to 8 guests along with you who can use this offer provided that they are travelling with you on the same flight reserved with Westjet. Also, The benefit is valid only for the flights reserved with Westjet.


The fee for a checked-in bag on Westjet flights is between $30-$36 for US, Canada, Latin Caribbean & Mexico flights and between $70-$83. So, with a single round-trip flight for a couple, the card fee will be more than covered. (More details on the fees here).


Conclusion

If you frequently travel with AirCanada and Westjet, getting Credit cards to get free checked bags benefits is a great idea because even though you are paying a fee, you can save much more than the fee you have paid with this benefit. These cards don’t have the highest rewards, so you could get these cards solely for the benefit and use other cards to accumulate rewards.


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