Alaska Airlines Visa Card: 8 Reasons To Apply

Alaska Airlines Visa Card: 8 Reasons To Apply

26
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

Link: Apply now for the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card

The $95 annual fee Alaska Airlines Credit Card (review) went through a refresh earlier this year, and is offering a limited time welcome bonus at the moment. This is a card that many people may not have considered in the past, so in this post I wanted to share eight reasons you should consider picking up this card if you’re eligible. In no particular order…

Two-Part Welcome Bonus

At the moment, the Alaska Airlines Visa Card is offering a two-part welcome bonus of 40,000 Mileage Plan miles + an Alaska Airlines companion fare from $23 ($0 fare, plus taxes and fees starting at just $23) after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days. This is a nice bonus.

Personally I value Alaska miles at 1.7 cents each, making this aspect of the bonus worth $680. I value Alaska miles more than any other individual airline mileage currency, due to all the great uses of Alaska Mileage Plan miles. Add in that companion pass, which could save you hundreds and you’ve got a fantastic bonus.

Best of all, this is a card many people haven’t had in the past. This bonus is available to those who don’t currently have this exact card, and those who haven’t had this exact card in the past 24 months. Eligibility for this card is independent of whether you have the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card (review).

Redeem Alaska miles for Japan Airlines first class

This is a card many people are eligible for

In the miles & points world, there are some cards that seemingly everyone has had at this point, and therefore they’re not eligible to apply for them and receive the bonus. Obviously, some people have had the Alaska Airlines Visa Card before, but I assume there are lots more people eligible than with some of the mainstream travel rewards cards out there.

While Alaska is somewhat of a niche airline (depending on where you live), the reality is that the possibilities with Mileage Plan miles are endless, whether you want to redeem for premium cabin travel on Cathay Pacific, Fiji Airways, Japan Airlines, etc.

Redeem Alaska miles for Fiji Airways business class

Ability to earn an Alaska companion fare annually

One incentive to actually put spending on the Alaska Airlines Visa Card is that you can earn an annual Alaska companion fare when you spend at least $6,000 per anniversary year on the card. Admittedly this isn’t as generous as it was before the card refresh, since you used to get this just by holding onto the card, with no spending required.

Still, an Alaska frequent flyer may very well find it worthwhile to spend $6,000 on an Alaska credit card annually in order to earn this. That’s especially true when you consider the next point…

Earn Alaska companion fares with the card

A lucrative rewards structure

Alaska Mileage Plan miles can be hard to come by, as the program doesn’t partner with any major transferable points currencies. That’s why it’s worth noting the rewards structure of the Alaska Airlines Visa Card.

The card now offers 3x Mileage Plan miles on Alaska Airlines purchases, and 2x Mileage Plan miles on gas, local transit (including ride share), cable, and select streaming services. This is a great way to generate Mileage Plan miles with your credit card spending.

Priority boarding on Alaska Airlines flights

Those with the Alaska Airlines Visa Card can receive priority boarding for themselves and up to six companions on the same reservation. In order to use this perk, you need to charge the cost of the ticket to your card.

Priority boarding can be valuable for ensuring that there’s overhead bin space for your carry-on bags, since that can otherwise be a challenge nowadays if you end up in one of the last boarding groups.

Receive priority boarding on Alaska flights with the card

First checked bag free on Alaska Airlines flights

Those with the Alaska Airlines Visa Card can receive priority boarding for themselves and up to six companions on the same reservation. In order to use this perk, you need to charge the cost of the ticket to your card.

20% back on Alaska inflight purchases

The Alaska Airlines Visa Card offers 20% savings on inflight purchases, including for food, premium beverages, and Wi-Fi. If you fly Alaska Airlines with any frequency, those savings can add up quickly.

Save on Alaska inflight purchases with the card

Valuable authorized user perks

The Alaska Airlines Visa Card allows you to add authorized users at no extra cost. Not only can the spending of authorized users help you accumulate more Mileage Plan miles (admittedly you have to foot the bill, though), but there are further perks that authorized users get.

Specifically, they receive the same priority boarding, first checked bag free, and 20% savings on inflight purchases, as the primary cardmember. For example, it’s awesome to be able to add family, and have them get the same valuable perks that you get, even when they’re not flying with you.

Since a checked bag ordinarily costs $30 one-way, this benefit offers savings of up to $60 roundtrip per person, or potentially up to $420 per group roundtrip (if you were traveling with six companions).

Bottom line

The Alaska Airlines Visa Card has recently undergone a significant refresh. While the changes might be good or bad depending on how you look at it and your situation, one thing is for sure — the card has a very nice bonus. If you’re eligible for this card and haven’t yet applied, I’d consider it.

If you have the Alaska Airlines Visa Card, what has your experience been with the card?

Conversations (26)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Bob Guest

    You get 72K miles if you apply onboard an Alaska flight for this card with the exact same benefits.

    1. Karo Member

      You don't even need to apply onboard. You can get a 72k bonus by going to http://alaska72k.com.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @Karo

      It's asking for Employee ID.

    3. Karo Member

      You're right. It's odd since it's the same website printed on AS information sheets onboard.

  2. sk18 Guest

    Are these technically Elite Qualifying Miles for Alaska 75k? Because if these are, wouldn't it put cardholders only 5k miles away from 75k if they spend the $3,000. That would also put them 5k miles away from Oneworld's highest status, Emerald. That would make the card incredibly valuable.

    1. Karo Member

      No, these are award miles, not EQMs.

  3. Mark Guest

    I have been looking at this card for awhile, but I can’t see if this card is open to Canadians. They used to have a Canadian version, but dropped it a few years ago. Can you advise?

  4. Bruce Guest

    The $6000 spend requirement for the companion pass makes this card a big NO for me, especially with such low earn rates outside of Alaska Air purchases. This seems to only make sense for people who spend over $6000/year on Alaska Air, which is not me.

  5. Julian Guest

    Is this truly an all-time high public offer? I've heard that there was a 100k offer at some point last year.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Julian -- Doing some Googling, it seems there may have been a targeted offer at some point last year with a much bigger spending requirement, but this is the biggest publicly available and marketed bonus I ever recall seeing on the card.

  6. Herbie Guest

    For Ben-- I have been trying to determine whether free checked bags and (relative) priority boarding are achieved on a points paid flight, simply because taxes and fees may be paid with the Alaska card. Alaska agent has told me "yes", but as a suspicious attorney, I could see Alaska actually taking a "no" position.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Herbie -- While I don't have any firsthand experience with this benefit yet, looking at the terms and details at the below link, I see nothing that would exclude award flights, as long as taxes and fees are paid with the card.
      https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/use-miles/deals/visa-bag-free/faq-visa-bag-free?lid=vanity-freebagfaq

    2. Herbie Guest

      Thanks for your thoughts and I don't expect a reply to this. However, I am mystified by the following language from that site re free baggage: "Airfare must be purchased with your card to qualify for this benefit." I'm am the first to admit that I am not savvy with respect to the subtleties of airline policies, but I do struggle understanding the notion that paying taxes and fees with a card equates to the...

      Thanks for your thoughts and I don't expect a reply to this. However, I am mystified by the following language from that site re free baggage: "Airfare must be purchased with your card to qualify for this benefit." I'm am the first to admit that I am not savvy with respect to the subtleties of airline policies, but I do struggle understanding the notion that paying taxes and fees with a card equates to the actual purchase of a ticket (even a partial purchase). I certainly do not view sales tax paid at a store as being part of the purchase price of a product. And further, while I do not understand what the multitude of "fees" means in today's world, intuitively my gut feels the same about them. But we'll see how Alaska administers this. I presume it will do so fairly, but Alaska seems to be trending in the wrong direction lately--especially since joining the oneworld alliance and possibly coming under the more formal influence of AA.

  7. Dilip Guest

    Assume a family member is traveling and the primary card holder is not traveling. Just paying with the BofA primary card is not enough? The family member needs to be a secondary card holder?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Dilip -- While I don't have any firsthand experience with this yet, the terms suggest that you do need to be an authorized user at a minimum:
      "An eligible primary cardholder, authorized user or co-applicant of the Card must be traveling to qualify for the first checked bag free benefit."

  8. Karen Guest

    “Alaska companion fare as part of welcome bonus
    The welcome bonus on the Alaska Airlines Visa Card doesn’t just include 70,000 Mileage Plan miles, but also includes an Alaska companion fare upon completing minimum pending. With the Alaska companion fare, you can have a companion travel with you on an itinerary starting at just $122 ($99 plus taxes and fees, which start from $23).”

    Is companion pass available upon meeting $3K spend and then...

    “Alaska companion fare as part of welcome bonus
    The welcome bonus on the Alaska Airlines Visa Card doesn’t just include 70,000 Mileage Plan miles, but also includes an Alaska companion fare upon completing minimum pending. With the Alaska companion fare, you can have a companion travel with you on an itinerary starting at just $122 ($99 plus taxes and fees, which start from $23).”

    Is companion pass available upon meeting $3K spend and then again on account anniversary with $6K annual spend?

    Thanks

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Karen -- That's correct, you can earn one as part of the welcome bonus, and another one on an annual basis with spending.

    2. Karen Guest

      Thanks! Just flew to Anc yesterday and got an inflight offer for 72k. Details otherwise identical.

  9. Tony Guest

    There are at least three reasons not to apply right now:

    1) Devaluation. We don't yet know how and by how much the cost of award tickets will increase. The simplified award chart has a floor but no ceiling for the cost of any award.

    2) Bonus spending categories. None of them is really that compelling. There are better alternative credit cards for spending in all these bonus categories (other than on Alaska's own flights).

    ...

    There are at least three reasons not to apply right now:

    1) Devaluation. We don't yet know how and by how much the cost of award tickets will increase. The simplified award chart has a floor but no ceiling for the cost of any award.

    2) Bonus spending categories. None of them is really that compelling. There are better alternative credit cards for spending in all these bonus categories (other than on Alaska's own flights).

    3) Minimum spending requirement for companion fare. $6,000 spending may not seem excessive, but given 2) above, the opportunity cost of spending $6,000 is likely to be at least $100. So, the real cost of the companion ticket is more like $222+ (rather than $122).

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Tony -- I don't necessarily disagree with any of your points, though the bonus is by far the biggest we've seen, and for now Alaska miles continue to have quite a bit of value, as we haven't seen changes yet. If you ask me, it makes sense to apply and earn miles with current redemption rates, before we potentially see changes in the future.

    2. Ellie Delucchi Guest

      As far as I understand one Does Not get the bonus miles of 70,000, unless s/he spends $3,000.00 in 90 days? So if I do not spend $3,000. within 90 days of approval, I Won’t get the miles?

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Ellie Delucchi -- Correct, you need to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to earn the bonus miles.

  10. Jason Brandt Lewis Guest

    @Lucky ---> I've been a long-time holder of the Alaska/BofA credit card, and I'm trying to see why I should keep it. Or, rather, why my wife -- who just recently picked one up -- should keep hers. (I'll probably keep mine due the length of having had it and the impact on my credit history were I to close it).

    I don't care about the increase in annual fee from $75 to $95....

    @Lucky ---> I've been a long-time holder of the Alaska/BofA credit card, and I'm trying to see why I should keep it. Or, rather, why my wife -- who just recently picked one up -- should keep hers. (I'll probably keep mine due the length of having had it and the impact on my credit history were I to close it).

    I don't care about the increase in annual fee from $75 to $95. But 1) the loss of automatically getting the companion fare is a huge hit to the value of the card! Plus, 2) the recently added bonus categories ONLY earn 2x, and that's quite weak IMHO. And 3) only getting free bags if you use the card to book the tickets is a waste, in that a) I get free bags with my status, and b) other cards earn more points on tickets than does this Alaska/BofA card.

    Thoughts?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jason Brandt Lewis -- I think you've put quite a bit of thought into that. Indeed, priority boarding and a free checked bag is of limited value if you have elite status.

      If you're trying to decide whether to keep the card, I'd consider a few things in your shoes:
      -- Would you otherwise buy an Alaska Lounge+ membership
      -- Do you spend a fair amount on Wi-Fi or other things...

      @ Jason Brandt Lewis -- I think you've put quite a bit of thought into that. Indeed, priority boarding and a free checked bag is of limited value if you have elite status.

      If you're trying to decide whether to keep the card, I'd consider a few things in your shoes:
      -- Would you otherwise buy an Alaska Lounge+ membership
      -- Do you spend a fair amount on Wi-Fi or other things inflight?
      -- How much value have you gotten from the companion fare in the past? While the change is obviously negative, maybe the math still makes sense

      I agree it's not necessarily a slam dunk in your shoes, it all depends on your circumstances.

    2. RovinMoses Guest

      Completely agree with you. Both my wife and wife applied for the 2nd card last fall while on a flight, thinking the annual companion fare made it a no-brainer since each of us would receive two annualy. Now, we learn about the $6,000 spending requirement ($24,000 for the four cards between us) and it makes no sense. I don't believe there has been any communication from Alaska or B of A about the new requirement,...

      Completely agree with you. Both my wife and wife applied for the 2nd card last fall while on a flight, thinking the annual companion fare made it a no-brainer since each of us would receive two annualy. Now, we learn about the $6,000 spending requirement ($24,000 for the four cards between us) and it makes no sense. I don't believe there has been any communication from Alaska or B of A about the new requirement, but perhaps I missed it. While I know there are cards and programs that require much more spend, I hate change! Been flying Alaska since 1969 :-)

    3. zagman1112 Member

      @RovInMoses by 2nd card, do you mean you were able to apply for another card while you currently held the Alaska Airlines card and receive the sign up bonus as well? I was under the impression that if you already have the card, you were not eligible but it sounds like maybe that's not the case.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Karo Member

You're right. It's odd since it's the same website printed on AS information sheets onboard.

0
Eskimo Guest

@Karo It's asking for Employee ID.

0
Karo Member

You don't even need to apply onboard. You can get a 72k bonus by going to http://alaska72k.com.

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,988,713 Miles Traveled

29,627,500 Words Written

32,815 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT