The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card is an often overlooked business credit card issued by Bank of America. The card is absolutely worth picking up if you’re eligible but don’t yet have it. Not only are Alaska Mileage Plan miles incredibly valuable for partner airline redemptions, but the card offers some useful perks if you fly Alaska Airlines with any frequency.
Alaska Airlines Business Card Basics
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about the Alaska Visa Business Card, including the welcome bonus, application restrictions, annual fee, and rewards structure.
Alaska Visa Business Card Welcome Bonus
There are two parts to the welcome bonus on the Alaska Visa Business Card. The card offers the following rewards after making purchases of $3,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account:
- 60,000 bonus Mileage Plan miles
- Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22)
Personally I value Alaska Mileage Plan miles at 1.8 cents each, so to me those 60,000 miles are worth $1,080. For example, 60,000 Mileage Plan miles is enough for a one-way business class award from the United States to many points in Asia in Cathay Pacific business class or Japan Airlines business class, with a stopover included.
Then you have the companion fare, which could save you hundreds of dollars on airfare. I’ll get into that more below. Suffice to say that this is one of the all around best credit card welcome bonuses we’re seeing.
While Bank of America doesn’t have a strict limit on how many cards you can have with the issuer, there are some other restrictions to be aware of. Here are some of the major Bank of America application restrictions:
- You will typically be approved for at most two Bank of America cards in a rolling two month period, three cards in a rolling 12 month period, and four cards in a rolling 24 month period
- You will generally only be approved for Bank of America cards if you haven’t opened three or more new cards with all issuers in the past 12 months, excluding business cards
- You typically won’t receive a new cardmember bonus on a card if you’ve received a bonus on that exact card in the past 24 months
With those rules out of the way, I find Bank of America business cards to be reasonably easy to be approved for. Also keep in mind that applying for this card wouldn’t count as a further inquiry towards Chase’s 5/24 limit, in the event that this is something you’re trying to stay under (this is because Bank of America business cards won’t show up on your personal credit report).
Alaska Visa Business Card Annual Fee
The Alaska Visa Business Card has an annual fee of $50 for the company and $25 per card. That means if you have just one user on the account the annual fee is $75, which I’d consider to be very reasonable.
Alaska Business Card Rewards Structure
The Alaska Visa Business Card has a pretty straightforward rewards structure:
- Earn 3x Mileage Plan miles per dollar spent directly with Alaska Airlines
- Earn 1x Mileage Plan miles per dollar spent on all other purchases
- The card has no foreign transaction fees, making it useful for purchases globally
These aren’t exactly industry-leading bonus categories. You can potentially earn more than three points per dollar on airfare with other cards, and you can also earn more than one point per dollar on everyday purchases with other cards.
I will say, however, that Alaska miles are otherwise really tough to come by, so I know there are people who put spending on this card because they value Alaska miles so much, and I think that can be a good strategy.
Alaska Airlines Business Card Perks
The Alaska Visa Business Card offers a variety of perks, which can potentially more than justify the annual fee year after year. These perks are the main reason you want to consider picking up this card, in addition to the welcome bonus. In no particular order, let’s go over my favorite benefits.
First Checked Bag Free On Alaska Airlines
If you have the Alaska Airlines Business Card, you receive a free checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation. Alaska usually charges $30 per checked bag, so if you were traveling with six other people and everyone was checking a bag, you’re looking at savings of $420 on a roundtrip itinerary.
Of course, it’s rare most people travel with that many companions, but even if you’re traveling with just one other person you’re looking at savings of $120 on a roundtrip ticket, which is significantly more than the card’s annual fee.
Discounted Alaska Lounge Access
For having the Alaska Airlines Business Card you receive a 50% discount on Alaska Lounge day passes. These ordinarily cost $50, but with this perk that cost is brought down to $25. That’s a price at which I think buying lounge access could make a lot of sense, as you’ll probably pay more than that for a couple of drinks in the terminal.
If you’re an occasional Alaska Airlines flyer, this is a more economical option for lounge access than outright buying an Alaska Lounge membership.
20% Back On Alaska Airlines Inflight Purchases
Just for having the Alaska Airlines Business Card, you receive 20% back on Alaska Airlines inflight purchases, including of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi. If you fly Alaska Airlines with any frequency, the value of this will quickly add up.
Annual Alaska Airlines Companion Fare (& How It Works)
Not only is the Alaska Airlines Business Card currently offering a companion fare as part of the welcome bonus, but you also get an Alaska companion fare every year on your account anniversary. You’ll receive a voucher that can get you a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees, which start at $22).
The Alaska companion fare is the single most valuable companion airfare ticket offered by any US airline credit card, in my opinion. The basic restrictions associated with the companion fare are:
- The companion fare is only valid for tickets booked in economy, though all economy fare classes are included; you can travel throughout Alaska’s route network, including on international flights
- Tickets booked with the Alaska companion fare are upgradeable, both for the primary passenger and companion (this includes using complimentary elite upgrades, Gold Guest upgrades, instant upgrade fares, etc.)
- Both passengers booked with the Alaska companion fare earn miles for their tickets
- The companion fare is valid for a year from when it’s issued, though that’s only the book-by date, while you can travel on a subsequent date
- You’re allowed to use your companion fare code for two other people, but if you do, you need to use a credit card in your name to pay for the ticket
- Both passengers need to be booked in the same itinerary, travel on the same flights, and be ticketed at the same time
- The companion fare is valid for roundtrip, one-way, and multi-city travel
- The Alaska companion fare isn’t valid for award travel, or for travel that includes segments on any airlines other than Alaska or regional subsidiaries
To me this is so valuable, since you could travel all the way from the East Coast to Hawaii, for example, and both passengers are still eligible for mileage accrual and upgrades.
Best Business Card Alternatives
There are lots of great business credit cards out there. If you’re looking for one of the best cards for everyday business spending, I’d recommend considering one of the following:
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review) has no annual fee (Rates & Fees), and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent per calendar year (after that 1x); this is the single most lucrative card for the first $50,000 of non-bonused spend annually, in my opinion
- The American Express® Business Gold Card (review) has a $295 annual fee (Rates & Fees) and offers 4x Membership Rewards points on the two categories of the below where your business spends the most each month (the limit applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases for those two categories every calendar year):
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) has a $95 annual fee and offers the best welcome bonus of any credit card, has an amazing cell phone protection plan, and offers triple points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- If you’re willing to get more than one card, there’s huge value in pairing the Ink Preferred with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card (review) and/or Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card (review), as the cards offer 1.5-5x points per dollar spent, along with huge welcome bonuses
The Alaska Visa Business Card is a fantastic business credit card that offers a big welcome bonus and strong perks. The initial bonus of 60,000 Mileage Plan miles plus a companion fare will come in handy for cardmembers. On top of that, savings on checked bags, lounge access, and inflight purchases, will add up over time.
If you don’t yet have this card and are eligible, I’d seriously consider it.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Business Gold Card (Rates & Fees), and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).