Is The 40k Bonus On The Alaska Airlines Credit Card Worth It?

Filed Under: Alaska, Bank of America
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As far as I’m concerned, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card is one of the most underrated airline credit cards out there. Alaska and Bank of America have also significantly improved the bonuses on these cards over the years, so if you don’t yet have the card, I’d highly recommend applying.

Why you should get the Alaska Airlines credit card

On the most basic level, the Alaska Airlines Visa offers a welcome bonus consisting of the following after spending $2,000 within the first 90 days:

  • 40,000 Alaska Mileage Plan bonus miles
  • $100 statement credit
  • A $121 companion ticket (a $99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22)

40,000 miles might not sound like that much, but I value Alaska Mileage Plan miles more than any other airline mileage currency on a per-mile basis. The miles aren’t especially easy to earn, given that they don’t partner with Amex, Capital One, Chase, or Citi.

The card has a $75 annual fee, and it’s worth holding onto long-term, given that you get a companion certificate on your account anniversary every year. This is something that I find to be more than worthwhile, given that Alaska’s companion certificate is one of the least restrictive ones out there. This is valid for virtually all economy tickets anywhere Alaska flies, and the companion is even eligible for mileage accrual, upgrades, etc.

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While this isn’t a card I recommend putting a lot of spend on, it is a card that’s worth holding onto long term, in my opinion, assuming you ever fly Alaska. Personally I hold onto the card for the companion certificate. After the first year it’s a $99 companion certificate (plus taxes and fees starting at $22), so “all-in” I’m paying under $200 per year for that, and I consistently redeem it for more expensive tickets.

The card also offers a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation, assuming that’s something you’d get value out of.

So if you’ve been considering this card, this is an excellent time to apply.

The Alaska Airlines Business Visa is equally good

Note that if you’re looking for a card for your small business, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card is very similar. Virtually everything about this card is the same — the welcome bonus, the free checked bag, the companion ticket, etc.  And, you can get 20% back on Alaska Airlines inflight purchases, including food, beverages, and wifi, and 50% discounts on Alaska Lounge day passes, bringing down the cost from $50 to a very reasonable $25.

General rules on applying for Bank of America cards

Bank of America doesn’t have a strict limit on how many cards you can have with them, though there are some other restrictions to be aware of.

Most notably, 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 doesn’t include business cards, however.

Bottom line

Currently, the Alaska Airlines Visa and Alaska Visa Business Card have among the best bonuses we’ve ever seen. These cards offer valuable companion certificates, a first checked bag free on Alaska flights, and excellent welcome bonuses.

If you don’t have both of these cards and are eligible, I’d highly recommend applying.

Anyone planning on taking advantage of this great bonus on the Alaska Airlines Visa?

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  1. @lucky Do you still find a lot of value in the Companion Pass now that you live in Miami? I’m going to be moving to the East Coast soon and Alaska doesn’t really have much of a network there.

  2. But what if Alaska also follows the DL/UA/AA trend to remove the award chart, then drastically increase the cost of CX/JL F redemption like what happened to EK F?

  3. According to
    BofA adds 24-month rule
    Applies to personal Alaska . Check the language on the application.
    It doesn’t let you have the card if you have the same card currently or had the same card within the past 24 months. So you basically have to have closed the last card of this type 24+ months ago.

  4. Warning to those interested in applying for the business version of this card. BofA is super strict in who they approve for the business card. I applied for a card for my S Corp and they requested miles of paperwork including 2 years of tax return. After I sent them all the paperwork, they still declined because I’m guessing it’s a fairly new Corp even though I have 800+ credit score and high income. Waste of a hard pull on my CR. Never again will I be applying for a BofA business car.

  5. I got denied 3 times for the personal card, apparently because I don’t have a BoA account so… not sure what to do to get approved!

  6. @Luis – Same happened to me.

    Definitely will avoid any more hard pulls from BofA. Will have to just keep getting Alaska miles through Marriott transfers.

  7. 40k Alaska Points for domestic flights on AS are going to be underwhelming and would not meet my threshold for getting a new card. 40k Alaska Points used for int biz class on partner airlines may get you a worthwhile value but checking availability for some of those awards can be an eye opener (limited). That said this card has consistently provided our family with hundreds of dollars in annual savings net of the annual fee. The companion pass pays off to Hawaii and free bags work with the cheapest tickets. For now, AS probably has the best basic economy because a few reserved seats at the back of the plane per flight are available for early bookers, allowing families to stay together. This card would be best in class if it would add a perk allowing those who book an AS flight with the card to reserve any available non-premium seats on Saver fares.

  8. @EricAstray – not sure about the Alaska award charts being pulled anytime soon. They are still a distance-based program (everyone else domestically is revenue-based) and they seem to deliberately buck the negative trends that the US3 switch to.

    Their customer service (ESPECIALLY in-flight);is what makes them stand apart. They also have great partners despite not being in an alliance.

  9. @YGeorgeW , I guess depends on which city you are in east coast. I live in NYC so for me it is actually more valuable than what it would be if I live in west coast because now the Alaska and Hawaii destinations are much further away and more expensive.

    I just use it for a trip to Anchorage in summer peak time which is normally cost $700+. It is so much better than Delta ‘s companion ticket.

  10. Alaska miles are not nearly so valuable as the bloggers claim. Very limited premium cabin availability on the desirable partners (CX, JL, EK, QF).

    OTOH, availability is great if you want a 3 stop itinerary flying HU and paying $300 in fees :rolleyes:

  11. You edited the post. In the initial post, you had a line in there about how anecdotally, you can get the card multiple times.

    Before you edited it, I applied thinking maybe there are new data points showing that B of A approves the card even though you’ve had it within the past few months, and even though I knew about the BofA 24 month rule. You know about that rule. Why isn’t it in the post?

    I wasted a hard pull. Be straightforward with your readers.

  12. I’ve held the personal card for 2 years now. I applied for a Biz card in March and app went pending. Was approved the next day with no call or paperwork request.

    I did move an IRA to Merrill to take advantage of a transfer bonus. Not sure if that helped me or no. I was assuming the 2/3/4 rule came into play so I waited 24 months since my last biz app, were I did 3 biz cards including Alaska.

  13. The Cards are worth it when spending the miles through Alaska’s website for partner airline flights. I acquired both cards, and with the low minimum spends required to earn the bonuses, I was able to score a first class ticket on Qantas direct from MEL to LAX for 70,000 miles (which runs for about $10k normally).
    If you don’t fly on Alaska often, as I do not since I live on the east coast, there aren’t many ways to earn Alaska Miles, except for 3-to-1 transfers from Marriott, so this small min spend was definitely worth it when redeeming for a $10k first class ticket. The companion passes will come in handy with the cross-country trip to get to/from LAX.
    They were strict about getting the cards, but I applied with the business card, then the personal card about a week later I believe.

  14. @Kacee, I never have trouble finding availability for CX and JL with Alaska miles. Already booked a trip to HK early next year with CX first via LAX there and JL business on the way back (I am based on Seattle)

  15. Does anyone know if BOA is planning to do this 40k bonus as a promotion for a short period of time, or it will be something long term? I wanted to get one, but I would want to wait for a few months……

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