Alaska Airlines Credit Card: A Guide to Benefits, Rewards, and More

If you’re a frequent flyer with Alaska Airlines, you might be wondering if getting their credit card is worth it. The Alaska Airlines credit card, issued by Bank of America, offers a range of benefits and rewards that can make your travel experience more enjoyable and rewarding. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Alaska Airlines credit card, including:

  • How to apply and qualify for the card
  • How to earn and redeem miles for flights, hotels, and more
  • How to get Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare and other travel perks
  • How to manage your account and avoid fees and interest
  • How to compare the card with other travel credit cards

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a clear idea of whether the Alaska Airlines credit card is right for you and how to make the most of it.

Features and Benefits of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card offers several features and benefits that can make your travel with Alaska Airlines more rewarding and convenient. Here are some of the main ones:

Limited Time Online Offer: 60,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™

For a limited time, you can earn 60,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ after you spend $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. This is a generous offer that can help you save money on your next trip with Alaska Airlines.

Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ is a special benefit that allows you to book a companion ticket for just $99 plus taxes and fees (from $23) when you purchase a qualifying coach fare on Alaska Airlines. You can use this benefit once a year, every year, as long as your account is open and in good standing. You can also use your miles to book the companion fare, which can make it even more valuable.

The 60,000 bonus miles can be worth up to $900, depending on how you redeem them. You can use them to book flights on Alaska Airlines or any of its 20+ partner airlines, such as American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and more. You can also use them to book hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, and more through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ website.

To qualify for this offer, you must apply online through the Bank of America website or the Alaska Airlines website. This offer may not be available elsewhere or if you leave this page.

Annual Companion Fare

In addition to the limited time offer, you will also get an annual companion fare every year after you spend $6,000 or more in purchases within the prior anniversary year. This means that you can enjoy this benefit twice in the first year of having the card, and once every year thereafter.

The annual companion fare works the same way as the limited time offer, except that you don’t have to meet a minimum spending requirement to earn it. You just have to pay the annual fee of $95 and keep your account active and in good standing.

The annual companion fare can save you hundreds of dollars on your travel with Alaska Airlines, especially if you use it for long-haul or international flights. You can also share this benefit with anyone you choose, as long as they travel with you on the same itinerary.

Free Checked Bag and Priority Boarding

Another benefit of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card is that you and up to six guests traveling on the same reservation can enjoy a free checked bag on Alaska Airlines flights. This can save you up to $60 per person per round trip, depending on the baggage fees.

You will also get priority boarding when you pay for your flight with your card, which means that you can board the plane earlier and secure your overhead bin space. This can make your travel experience more comfortable and hassle-free.

To enjoy these benefits, you just have to include your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ number in your reservation and show your card at check-in. You don’t have to book your flight with your card, but you do have to pay for it with your card.

Earn Miles with No Mileage Cap

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card also allows you to earn miles with no mileage cap on every purchase you make. You will earn:

  • 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, such as flights, inflight Wi-Fi, and vacation packages
  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services, and local transit purchases, including rideshare, trains, even tolls and ferries
  • 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases

The miles you earn will never expire as long as your account is open and active. You can also earn bonus miles by shopping online through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ Shopping portal, dining at participating restaurants through the Mileage Plan™ Dining program, and booking hotels through the Mileage Plan™ Hotels website.

Get More Out of Your Travels

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card also offers some other perks that can enhance your travel experience and save you money. These include:

  • 20% back on Alaska Airlines inflight purchases when you pay with your card. This applies to food, beverages, and entertainment purchases on Alaska Airlines flights. You will receive the 20% back as a statement credit within 7 days of the transaction posting to your account.
  • $100 off an annual Alaska Lounge+ Membership when you pay with your card. This gives you access to over 90 lounges worldwide, including Alaska Lounges, American Airlines Admirals Club, and Priority Pass lounges. You can enjoy complimentary snacks, drinks, Wi-Fi, and more in a relaxing and comfortable environment. The regular price of an Alaska Lounge+ Membership is $450 per year, but you can get it for $350 with your card.

10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from card purchases if you have an eligible Bank of America® account. This means that for every 1,000 miles you earn on purchases, you will receive 1,100 miles. To qualify for this bonus, you must have a Bank of America® checking or savings account, a Merrill Edge® or Merrill Lynch® investment account, or a Bank of America® Preferred Rewards relationship.

How to Apply and Qualify for the Alaska Airlines Credit Card

The Alaska Airlines credit card is available in two versions: the Visa Signature card and the Platinum Plus card. The Visa Signature card has a higher credit limit and more benefits, but it also has a higher annual fee of $95. The Platinum Plus card has a lower credit limit and fewer benefits, but it also has a lower annual fee of $75.

To apply for the Alaska Airlines credit card, you need to be at least 18 years old and have a good to excellent credit score. You can apply online through the Bank of America website or the Alaska Airlines website. You’ll need to provide some personal and financial information, such as your name, address, income, and social security number. You’ll also need to choose whether you want the Visa Signature card or the Platinum Plus card, depending on your creditworthiness and preferences.

You’ll get a response in as few as 30 seconds. If you’re approved, you’ll receive your card in the mail within 7 to 10 business days. You’ll also get a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare after you spend $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. You can use your account number to book your next flight immediately and start earning miles.

Applying for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card

If the features and benefits align with your travel preferences, applying for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Check Your Credit Score: Ensure that your credit score is in the good to excellent range for better approval odds.
  2. Review Terms and Conditions: Familiarize yourself with the card’s terms, including the annual fee, interest rates, and other associated costs.
  3. Online Application: Visit the official Alaska Airlines website or the Bank of America website to apply online. Be prepared to provide personal and financial information.
  4. Limited Time Offer: If the limited time online offer of 60,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ is available, ensure that you apply through the designated channels to qualify.
  5. Wait for Approval: After submitting your application, patiently await the bank’s decision. Approval timelines may vary.
  6. Receive Your Card: Upon approval, you will receive your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card in the mail.

How to Earn and Redeem Miles for Flights, Hotels, and More

One of the main benefits of the Alaska Airlines credit card is the ability to earn and redeem miles for flights, hotels, and more. Here’s how it works:

  • You earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, such as flights and inflight Wi-Fi.
  • You earn unlimited 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services and local transit purchases, including rideshare, trains, even tolls and ferries.
  • You earn unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • You can also earn a 10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from card purchases if you have an eligible Bank of America account. For example, that means that for every 1,000 miles you earn on purchases, you’ll receive 1,100 miles.
  • Your miles don’t expire on active accounts and there’s no limit to how many you can earn.
  • You can redeem your miles for flights on Alaska Airlines and its partner airlines, such as American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and more. You can book flights with no blackout dates and enjoy flexibility when booking with miles or a companion fare.
  • You can also redeem your miles for hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, magazine subscriptions, and more through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Shopping portal.
  • The number of miles you need to redeem for flights or other rewards depends on the destination, travel dates, availability, and other factors. You can use the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Calculator to estimate how many miles you need for your desired reward.

How to Get Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare and Other Travel Perks

Another benefit of the Alaska Airlines credit card is the access to Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare and other travel perks. Here’s what you can enjoy:

  • Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare: This is a special offer that allows you to get a companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) each year on your account anniversary after you spend $6,000 or more in purchases within the prior anniversary year. You can use this fare to book a round-trip coach ticket for a companion on the same itinerary as you, with no blackout dates. You can save hundreds of dollars on travel with this perk.
  • Free checked bag: You and up to six other guests traveling on the same reservation can save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights when you pay with your card. That’s a savings of $60 per person roundtrip.
  • Priority boarding: You and up to six other guests traveling on the same reservation can enjoy priority boarding when you pay for your flight with your card, so you can get to your seat quicker and avoid the hassle of finding overhead space.
  • 20% back on inflight purchases: You can enjoy 20% back on all Alaska Airlines inflight purchases when you pay with your card. This includes food, drinks, entertainment, and Wi-Fi. You’ll receive the statement credit within 7 days of your purchase.
  • $100 off Alaska Lounge+ Membership: You can get $100 off an annual Alaska Lounge+ Membership when you pay with your card. This gives you access to over 90 lounges worldwide, where you can enjoy complimentary snacks, drinks, Wi-Fi, and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees: You can use your card abroad without worrying about paying extra fees for currency conversion. This can save you money and hassle when traveling internationally.

Annual Fee, Interest Rates, and Other Costs

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card has an annual fee of $95, which is not waived for the first year. This is a relatively low fee compared to some other travel credit cards, especially considering the value of the companion fare and the free checked bag benefits.

The card also has a variable APR of 20.24% – 28.24%, depending on your creditworthiness. This is a high interest rate, so you should avoid carrying a balance on this card and pay off your statement in full every month. Otherwise, you will end up paying more in interest than you save in rewards and benefits.

The card also has a balance transfer fee of 3% of each transaction, a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars, and a cash advance fee of either $10 or 5% of each transaction, whichever is greater. These fees can add up quickly, so you should avoid using this card for these purposes.

How to Manage Your Account and Avoid Fees and Interest

The Alaska Airlines credit card is a great way to earn and redeem miles and enjoy travel perks, but it also comes with some fees and interest that you should be aware of. Here’s how to manage your account and avoid paying more than you need to:

  • Annual fee: The card has an annual fee of $95 for the Visa Signature card and $75 for the Platinum Plus card. This fee is charged to your account once a year on your account anniversary. You should weigh the benefits of the card against the cost of the fee and decide if it’s worth it for you.
  • Balance transfer fee: The card has a balance transfer fee of 3% of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater. This fee is charged when you transfer a balance from another credit card to your Alaska Airlines credit card. You should compare the interest rate and the fee of the balance transfer and decide if it’s worth it for you.
  • Cash advance fee: The card has a cash advance fee of 3% of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater. This fee is charged when you use your card to withdraw cash from an ATM or a bank. You should avoid using your card for cash advances unless it’s an emergency, as they also incur a higher interest rate and have no grace period.
  • Late payment fee: The card has a late payment fee of up to $40. This fee is charged when you don’t pay at least the minimum amount due by the due date. You should always pay your bill on time and in full to avoid this fee and maintain a good credit score.
  • Returned payment fee: The card has a returned payment fee of up to $29. This fee is charged when your payment is returned by your bank for insufficient funds or other reasons. You should always make sure you have enough money in your account to cover your payment and avoid this fee.
  • Interest rate: The card has a variable interest rate that ranges from 20.24% to 28.24%, depending on your creditworthiness and the market conditions. This rate is applied to your balance if you don’t pay it in full by the due date. You should always pay your balance in full and on time to avoid paying interest and save money.
  • Grace period: The card has a grace period of 25 days. This means that you have 25 days from the end of your billing cycle to pay your balance in full and avoid interest charges. You should always take advantage of this grace period and pay your bill as soon as possible.

Pros and Cons of the Alaska Airlines Credit Card

Like any credit card, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card has its pros and cons. Here’s a quick overview to help you decide if it’s the right card for you:

Pros:

  • Generous welcome offer: The 60,000 bonus miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ offer is a compelling reason to consider this card.
  • Annual companion fare: The annual companion fare, earned after spending $6,000, can provide significant savings on your travels.
  • Free checked bag and priority boarding: Enjoy added convenience and savings with these exclusive travel benefits.
  • Flexible rewards program: The Mileage Plan™ program offers a variety of redemption options, including flights, hotels, and more.
  • Additional travel perks: Inflight purchase discounts, lounge membership savings, and a rewards bonus for eligible Bank of America® account holders add extra value.

Cons:

  • Annual fee: While the annual fee is reasonable considering the benefits, it’s still an additional cost to consider.
  • High-interest rates: The variable APR is relatively high, underscoring the importance of paying your balance in full each month.
  • Foreign transaction fee: A 3% fee on foreign transactions can add up, so it’s not the best card for international spending.
  • Limited airline partnerships: While Alaska Airlines has several partners, the list is not as extensive as some other airline alliances.

How to Compare the Alaska Airlines Credit Card with Other Travel Credit Cards

The Alaska Airlines credit card is a great option for loyal Alaska Airlines customers who want to earn and redeem miles and enjoy travel perks. However, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Here are some factors to consider when comparing the Alaska Airlines credit card with other travel credit cards:

  • Airline preference: If you fly frequently with Alaska Airlines and its partner airlines, the Alaska Airlines credit card can offer you a lot of value and flexibility. However, if you fly with other airlines or prefer more options, you may want to look for a travel credit card that offers more airline choices or transferable points.
  • Travel frequency: If you travel often and can take advantage of the travel perks and rewards of the Alaska Airlines credit card, the annual fee may be worth it for you. However, if you travel infrequently or only for short trips, you may not be able to justify the annual fee and may want to look for a travel credit card that has no annual fee or a lower one.
  • Spending habits: If you spend a lot on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services and local transit purchases, the Alaska Airlines credit card can help you earn a lot of miles and rewards. However, if you spend more on other categories, such as dining, groceries, or travel, you may want to look for a travel credit card that offers more rewards in those specific categories.
  • Welcome bonus: The Alaska Airlines credit card’s welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days is quite generous. However, if you’re looking for a higher welcome bonus or one with different redemption options, you may want to explore other credit cards with more lucrative introductory offers.
  • Annual companion fare: Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ is a significant perk, especially for those who frequently travel with a companion. If having an annual companion fare is a crucial feature for you, compare it with similar offerings from other airline credit cards to ensure you’re getting the best value.
  • Additional travel perks: Consider the other travel benefits provided by the Alaska Airlines credit card, such as free checked bags, priority boarding, and discounts on inflight purchases. If these perks align with your travel preferences, the card may be a good fit. However, if you prioritize other perks like airport lounge access or travel insurance, explore credit cards that offer those specific benefits.
  • Fees and interest rates: Compare the fees and interest rates of the Alaska Airlines credit card with other travel credit cards. Assess whether the annual fee, balance transfer fee, cash advance fee, and other charges align with your financial preferences. Additionally, consider the interest rates if you anticipate carrying a balance, although it’s advisable to pay in full each month to avoid accruing interest.

By evaluating these factors based on your individual needs and preferences, you can determine whether the Alaska Airlines credit card is the right choice for you or if there’s another travel credit card that better suits your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s address some common questions about the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card:

Q: How do I maximize the value of the companion fare?

A: To get the most value, use the companion fare for long-haul or international flights where the savings are more substantial.

Q: Can I use my miles for hotels and other travel expenses?

A: Yes, the Mileage Plan™ program allows you to redeem miles for hotel stays, car rentals, and various other travel expenses.

Q: What is priority boarding, and how do I access it?

A: Priority boarding allows you to board the plane earlier. To access it, include your Mileage Plan™ number in your reservation and show your card at check-in.

Q: Are there blackout dates for redeeming miles for flights?

A: No, the Mileage Plan™ program does not have blackout dates, providing flexibility in booking your travel.

Q: Is the annual fee worth it?

A: The annual fee is justified by the valuable benefits, including the annual companion fare and free checked bag, making it worthwhile for frequent Alaska Airlines travelers.

Conclusion

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve delved into the details of the Alaska Airlines credit card, covering its application process, rewards program, travel perks, account management, and how it compares to other travel credit cards. Whether you’re a frequent Alaska Airlines traveler or someone exploring travel credit card options, this guide equips you with the information needed to make an informed decision.

The Alaska Airlines credit card, with its generous welcome bonus, annual companion fare, and a range of travel benefits, stands out as a valuable option for those loyal to Alaska Airlines. However, individual preferences, travel habits, and spending patterns play a crucial role in determining the suitability of this card for each person.

As you embark on your journey with the Alaska Airlines credit card, remember to leverage its features wisely, earn and redeem miles strategically, and stay informed about potential fees and interest rates. By doing so, you can make the most of your credit card and turn your everyday purchases into rewarding travel experiences.

Apply today and elevate your travel adventures with the Alaska Airlines credit card.