I want to make sure that I'm clear about airline programs, how they work for me, and which card the get. I'll use Delta for this example since I'm getting MRs from my Gold card.
I'm only going to fly once or twice a year with friends or family. I want a card that has free baggage for me and them. The way I see things, Medallion status won't really apply to me because of my light travel. With the Delta Gold card, I'd get the free baggage and then just the General Skymiles of 5x plus the 2x from the credit card.
So: free baggage to offset the annual fee and 7x pts towards free travel.
Since status won't apply to me, is there much of a difference between programs? Is there anything else I'm missing? Is this generally how the other airline programs work?
Yes that card plan would work for most airlines. If you are not worried about status then you are also right to not worry about which airline you fly. However, before choosing a card I would do some research into where the airline flies and if they meet your general needs.
Alternatively, if you are only flying once or twice a year you could think about buying first class tickets with the AMEX gold and get free baggage included with the ticket. This would require everyone in your family and friends to fly first class as well so it may not work with a group.
Your plan would be fine for my friends and kids, but it would be a long vacation if I ditched my wife for first class. Is the free baggage a feature of the Gold card, or first class seats?
Yeah I would not ditch your wife in coach and fly first class 😂. It is the first class ticket and not the AMEX gold that will get the free baggage. I would stick to getting a CC for the free baggage after you research and find what airline works for you.