When to Get a US Airways Elite Trial for the Baggage Allotment

US Airways baggage fees can be waived for silver or those with US Airways Premier World MastercardsI had written before that it is worth it to get an elite trial with US Airways if you wanted to upgrade your trips with miles.  This is no longer true.  (Elites no longer get the upgrade with miles copay waived).

Someone recently asked me if would be worth it to get a US Airways Silver trial for the free baggage.  It usually isn’t, but keep reading for one way it may be.

US Airways baggage fees will run you $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second bag domestically.  For one person flying round trip, this means it will cost you $50.

Silver Preferred Status used to give you two checked US Airways baggage free, but they’ve dropped it down to one.  Anyone traveling on your reservation will get one checked bag free too.  (This does not apply to group reservations).

The Silver Preferred Trial is $200 for 90 days.  If you plan on actually going for status on US Airways within the next year, you should never use one of this trial tricks (unless you are hoping to hit status while on trial!)

So this sounds like if you have four people flying with you (or are taking two round-trips with one other person within the 90-days), it evens out to a wash.

So you should get the trial status, right?

In the past, I would say yes.  And I think that’s why people are asking about it.  They’ve known people who have done that in the past.

But now The US Airways Premier World MasterCard® offers one free checked bag every time you travel for you and up to four companions for a $89 annual fee.

This card’s benefits will continue past the 90-day trial of the US Airways Silver and also offer you:

  • One companion certificate good for up to 2 guests to travel with you on a US Airways-operated flight at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
  • Priority boarding Zone 2 on US Airways-operated flights
  • 40,000 miles (the first year only and you must make a purchase and pay the $89 annual fee before receiving the award)

I’m a huge fan of the companion certificate.

The baggage benefit is new and now trumps the free-trial trick in my mind.

But there may be one case in which you would want to do the preferred trial instead.

Let’s say you have a bunch of work travel coming up.  You don’t normally travel for work, but you are traveling enough that baggage fees would be at least $200 or more.

Especially if your baggage fees would add up to more than the $200 fee, you may be able to negotiate with your boss to have your company pay for the $200 trial fee, pointing out it will save them money on baggage PLUS give you (and whoever you are traveling with) priority in case something goes wrong with a flight.

The benefit to this is you may also get upgraded for your work travel flights, which is always nice.  But this usually only works if you have a really good relationship with your boss and can lay out the costs and benefits.

If you wanted to get  for work purposes, I think it would be more difficult, but I do know one person who was able to make the argument to his boss that a (non-US Airways) credit card would save the company over time.  I don’t think he was able to make the same argument for the renewal.

tl/dr: US Airways baggage fees can be waived for those on Silver (or higher) trial or those with The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®.

Disclaimer: If you use our link to apply for this credit card, we do receive affiliate credit.  I honestly wrote this post before I realized we even had credit card affiliate links for this and was going to link to the regular offer, so here it is in case you would rather not give us affiliate credit for your application.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. I did the trial trick in Jan. because in 2 weeks I had 17 flights with 8 times I had to check in. Thus it washed with the $200 fee. Plus it paid for itself a couple weeks after that with added trips. By the end of the trial I had hit gold.

  2. I am a long time US Airways Barclays card holder and received a mailing Saturday from Barclays about all the new benefits of my $89-fee credit card through the AA merger. I noticed my favorite benefit was listed, “You should have received your FINAL companion certificate to be used by March 2015…..” so they are pulling this benefit. Instead if you spend $30,000 in one year you get $100.00 off a ticket, what a bummer.

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