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United Airlines Passengers Can Now Prepay Their Bag Fees

Aug. 28, 2019
2 min read
United Airlines Passengers Can Now Prepay Their Bag Fees
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If you're flying United, you won't have to wait in line just for the privilege of paying to check a bag anymore. The airline will now let travelers pay those fees online any time after their travel is ticketed.

USA Today first reported on the new policy, which the airline confirmed at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Las Vegas.

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In an email sent to employees, which TPG reviewed, the airline noted that it is the first legacy carrier to offer a baggage pre-pay option.

Historically, low-cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier have allowed passengers to pay their ancillary fees ahead of time (and then charged a premium to passengers who chose to pay at the airport), but traditional full-fare airlines like United have generally only permitted passengers to pay fees in person or during the online check-in process.

Unlike the low-cost carriers, United will charge the same rates ($30 for the first checked bag and $40 for the second) to passengers whether they pay online or in person. United's software will automatically refund passengers who pre-pay for a bag but do not end up checking one.

The airline said the new system should help reduce crowding in airport check-in areas.

For those looking for avoid bag fees altogether, travelers holding either the United Explorer Card or United Explorer Business Card get a free checked bag for the card holder and for up to one traveling companion.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases