Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Avoiding Checked Bag Fees

Maybe you’ve heard that U.S. airlines have raked in billions of dollars in checked-bag fees.

But there are some new ways to get around those fees.

Are these just gimmicks, or real savings?

Intercontinental Hotels Group has a promotion through April called Check it Free. Guests receive up to $100 with every round-trip flight and two-night weekend stay at an IHG hotel.

Sounds easy, right? The catch is you have to book with a Visa card, and submit a rebate form and receipts.

Loyalty credit cards are also getting into the act. Currently, those who hold an American Express Delta SkyMiles credit card are able to check one bag free on Delta flights, which is valid for up to nine people in the same reservation.

You get a similar deal with Continental-branded Chase credit cards, which covers up to eight passengers.

Of course, that incentive is only applicable to those who tend to stick to specific airlines, but it’s a step in the right direction.

And speaking of loyalty programs, most major carriers will waive that checked-bag fee if you’ve reached elite status. So while it may be next to impossible to redeem awards miles, that’s at least one perk of racking up those miles.

To get Peter’s thoughts on the matter, check out his Travel Detective Blog: Checked-Bag Fees and Unaccompanied Minors.

To get more money-saving tips, check out the Budget Travel section.

And check out the rest of our Daily Travel Tips here.