The Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card is one of my favorite co-branded airline credit cards. It’s a card I’ve had for years (along with the business version of the card, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card), and in this post I wanted to provide a rundown of why I think this card is so great.
If you don’t yet have the Alaska Card, it has a generous welcome bonus and is worth holding onto long-term, which is a combination that’s tough to beat.
So let’s look at the details of the Alaska Visa:
Alaska Airlines Credit Card bonus
The Alaska Airlines Credit Card is offering the following bonus to new members after they spend $2,000 within 90 days:
- 40,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles
- An Alaska Airlines $121 companion certificate the first year ($99 plus taxes and fees starting at just $22)
Personally, I value Alaska miles at close to two cents each, so that’s a huge bonus as far as I’m concerned. I know 40,000 miles might not sound like that much, but Alaska miles are incredibly valuable, given how many great uses there are for them.
Redeem Alaska miles for travel in Japan Airlines’ 787 business class
Alaska Airlines Credit Card annual fee
The Alaska Airlines Credit Card has a reasonable $75 annual fee. That’s on the low side for a co-brand airline credit card, even though I consider this to be one of the best such cards.
Alaska Airlines Credit Card rewards
The Alaska Airlines Credit Card offers one mile per dollar spent on everyday purchases. It also offers three miles per dollar spent directly with Alaska. The Alaska Card also has no foreign transaction fees, which makes it useful for global purchases.
While I do value Alaska miles immensely on a per mile basis, this isn’t a card I’d be putting all that much spending on, given that there are other cards offering 1.5-2x transferable points per dollar spent.
The exception is if you’re really desperate for Alaska miles, given that Alaska Mileage Plan doesn’t partner with any of the major transferable points currencies.
Alaska Airlines Credit Card companion ticket
The reason that the Alaska Airlines Credit Card is such a keeper is because of the annual companion ticket that it offers, which consistently more than justifies the annual fee, in my opinion.
The Alaska Airlines companion certificate is the single most valuable airline credit card companion ticket, in my opinion. You’ll pay $99 plus taxes and fees (which start at $22), so you’re looking at paying $121+ for your companion.
What makes this companion fare so exceptional is that it’s valid on all Alaska Airlines economy fares, you can use it for one-ways or roundtrips, the companion even earns miles and is eligible for upgrades, etc. You can also use it anywhere Alaska flights, from Hawaii, to Costa Rica, to Mexico.
See this post for everything you need to know about the Alaska Airlines companion fare. Even as someone who doesn’t fly Alaska that often, this is something I’ve consistently gotten good value out of.
The companion ticket is useful for travel on Alaska
How to apply for the Alaska Airlines Credit Card
The Alaska Airlines Credit Card is issued by Bank of America, so there are some general restrictions to be aware of:
- Bank of America will typically only approve you for two cards in a two month period, three cards in a 12 month period, and four cards in a 24 month period (this typically doesn’t include business cards)
- Per the terms, “this card will not be available to you if you currently have or have had the card in the preceding 24 month period”
Complement this with a business credit card card
If you’re looking for a card for your small business, the Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card has the same welcome bonus, and also offers a companion ticket.
It could make a lot of sense to pick up both the personal and business version of the card, and then you could earn 80,000 bonus miles plus two companion tickets every year (including the first year).
You should even be able to apply for both cards the same day.
Alaska Airlines Credit Card alternatives
In general, I don’t recommend using an airline credit card as your primary card for your everyday spending. That’s because you have many credit cards that:
- Offer 1.5-2x flexible points per dollar spent
- Offer valuable bonuses for spending in select categories (including dining, grocery stores, gas, travel, etc.)
If you’re looking for an extremely lucrative card that earns travel rewards, there are a few other options that are worth considering:
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers double points on dining and travel and great travel protection ($95 annual fee)
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card has a welcome bonus of up to 50K points and offers triple points on dining and travel, a $300 annual travel credit, a Priority Pass membership, a Global Entry fee credit, great travel protection, and more ($450 annual fee)
- The Citi Premier℠ Card has a welcome bonus of up to 50K points and offers triple points on travel and gas, double points on dining and entertainment ($95 annual fee, waived the first year)
- The American Express® Gold Card offers 4x points at US restaurants, 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year), and 3x points for airfare purchased directly with airlines, plus offers a $100 annual airline fee credit and up to a $120 annual dining credit ($250 annual fee (Rates & Fees))
The Alaska Airlines Credit Card is one of the most valuable and underrated airline credit cards out there, in my opinion. This is a card that many people don’t have, though between the welcome bonus and annual companion ticket, it’s well worth keeping long term.
If you really want to rack up Alaska miles and are eligible, also pick up the Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card while you’re at it, and you could be looking at 80,000 Alaska miles plus two companion tickets per year.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees).