We don’t like paying them, and we’ll do whatever we can to avoid them.
…Even if it means bringing two carry-ons and being that one person walking up and down the aisle looking for a place to put them.
With both Air Canada and WestJet now charging $30 (plus taxes) for your first checked bag and $50 for your second, not only are these fees not going away, but they’re getting worse.
In fact, many travelers have gotten so used to paying these sky-high fees, they consider them part of the cost of travelling.
Is there a way to get rid of them without resorting to carrying everything yourself?
You bet there is.
A handful of credit cards will give you free checked bags when you fly on specific airlines, and there’s even
National Bank World Elite Mastercard
Surprised to see this card first? You shouldn’t be.
Free baggage is part of the $250 in annual refunds on travel fees. It covers the following:
- $100 in baggage fees,
- $100 on airport parking, and
- $50 for seat selection (another despised airline fee).
How does it work?
Unlike the other cards on this list, you’ll need to do a little legwork to get these fees credited back to you. But, getting free checked bags, no matter the airline, makes this card our #1 card for flying with free bags.
A few other great features
This card also comes with one of the best insurance packages available.
You’ll have access to:
- an extended warranty that triples the manufacturer’s warranty, up to 2 years (which is double most other credit cards),
- emergency medical for people over 65 for 15 days (one of the longest durations available),
- rare rental car personal effects coverage, and
- many other money saving insurance types.
As one last bonus, if you fly frequently through the Montreal-Trudeau Airport, you’ll gain access to the National Bank VIP Lounge (located near gate 53) for yourself and one guest.
Not only do you get to avoid carrying around all your luggage, but you’ll also get the chance to relax before your flight.
Please note: The National Bank VIP Lounge is not available to flights departing to the United States.
And this is all while earning flexible travel points to be used to redeem for any travel purchases through National Bank à la Carte Rewards.
Also of note: This card has an annual fee of $150, with income requirements of either $80,000 personal or $150,000 household. However, until December 31, if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, you’ll get a rebate on the annual fee.
Get the details here:
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card
The high-end TD Aeroplan offering gives free bags on Air Canada flights, whether purchased or on a rewards flight.
Book a flight on Air Canada with the
You must provide your Aeroplan number at the time of booking, and the offer is only available to the primary cardholder.
On top of free bags, you’ll also get the following benefits:
- Priority check-in and boarding on Air Canada operated flights,
- 6 complimentary lounge visits at priority pass lounges per year,
- 4 one time Maple Leaf Lounge Passes per year (only when travelling on an Aeroplan rewards ticket),
- 50% discount on the base airfare of a business class ticket for a 2nd person travelling on the same reservation, and
- Priority security screening (among other benefits) at Montreal-Trudeau, Ottawa, and Vancouver airports.
Air Canada has the most extensive flight coverage in Canada and the United States, so taking advantage of these benefits should be pretty easy.
Please note: This card has an annual fee of $399 for the primary cardholder ($99 for authorized users) and household income requirements of $200,000, putting it out of reach for a lot of people.
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card
The mid-level TD offering, the
Similar to the Infinite Privilege card, this benefit is only available to the primary cardholder.
You’ll also get a couple of other Air Canada benefits when travelling on an Aeroplan reward ticket:
- priority check-in and boarding on Air Canada operated flights and
- one Maple Leaf Lounge Pass per year.
The only downside to this is you need to book a reward ticket to enjoy these great perks. Your Aeroplan mile bank will be the only limit to how far you can travel.
Please note: Both cards come with annual fees of $120 for the primary cardholder ($50 for authorized users) and a personal income requirement of $60,000 or household of $100,000.
American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card
The last card on our list, the
You’ll get 5 free bags (one way) on Air Canada operated flights. Just be sure to provide your Aeroplan number at the time of booking.
This card also has some incredible benefits:
- $200 annual travel credit that can be used towards any travel purchase when you book with American Express travel,
- Complimentary access to both Maple Leaf and Priority Pass Lounges,
- Air Canada Priority check-in, and
- Special benefits at Toronto-Pearson, including priority security screening.
It also comes with a companion voucher. Simply book a classic flight reward for 25,000 miles and get a 2nd ticket free, just pay the taxes and fees.
Please note: This card has the highest annual fee of $899, but no income requirements.
Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard
Another surprising entry on our list, the
You’ll get 1 free checked bag for yourself and up to 6 others travelling on the same reservation. Just be sure to enter your Mileage Plan number into your reservation before you travel.
The downside? Alaska Airlines only flies from the following cities in Canada:
- Vancouver, and
If you don’t live near these areas or an American airport that offers Alaska Airlines flights (Seattle and Detroit are two border cities they fly from), you won’t be able to take advantage of this offer.
If you can fly with Alaska, the companion voucher is another great perk.
Simply book a flight for yourself and take someone else with you for $99 USD plus taxes and fees. A great way to save even more while travelling.
Please note: This card has an annual fee of $99 and income requirements of either $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.
Get the details here:
Quantities are limited.
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
Probably the best-known card for free bags, the
You’ll get the first checked bag free for yourself and up to 8 others travelling on the same reservation. Just make sure your WestJet ID is on your reservation before you travel.
WestJet offers “coast to coast” coverage in Canada, and as long as WestJet flies there, you’ll be able to to get free bags as well.
Plus, WestJet has its own companion voucher. Book a flight for yourself, and you’ll be able to bring someone else from $99 to $399 (plus taxes and fees).
Please note: This card has an annual fee of $119 and income requirements of either $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.
Say goodbye to checked bag fees
Are you tired of paying to check your bags?
Do you struggle to pack all of your luggage in your carry on?
Thankfully there is another way.
Using these cards properly could help you say goodbye to paying for checked bags.