Alaska Airlines Credit Cards
40,000 Alaska points ($2,000 initial spend) plus $100 statement credit, initial companion certificate has normal $99 fee. Offer Link.Business card offer is 40,000 miles and a first-year companion certificate, plus 2,000 miles for an employee card, but no $100 credit. Offer Link.
30,000 Alaska miles, plus a companion certificate (without the normal $99 fee).
$1,000 initial spend
($680 net value, .68/$)Signup Bonus Chart
3x Alaska Purchases
1x Everything Else
No Foreign Transaction Fee
If you live in Alaska Airlines territory, this is a "must-have" card. The annual companion certificate alone is worth hundreds of dollars. In addition, you'll get free checked bags, and other benefits, and a solid signup bonus.
Even if you don't live near one of Alaska's hubs, the signup offer is still valuable. You can use the points to fly on Alaska, American, or another one of Alaska's many partners.
Because it is hard to use credit card travel benefits during the pandemic, Alaska has made some temporary changes to their cards.
- You earn 2x Alaska miles on restaurant spending during June and July.
- You earn 2,500 elite qualifying miles for every $5,000 spent on the card from June to September, up to a maximum of 10,000 qualifying miles (per cardholder).
Alaska Airlines Credit Card Options
There are three different Alaska Airlines credit cards.
- Regular (Signature) version.
- Business version. The business version doesn't waive the fee on the initial companion certificate, and isn't available with an extra statement credit. Bank of America Webpage. Alaska Webpage. Signup Bonus Chart.
Collecting the Signup Bonus
- It is worth signing up for this card, just to collect the signup bonus. The normal 30,000 mile signup offer is valued at $420 (at 1.4 cents per point). Even if you can't easily use the miles on Alaska, you can still use them on American Airlines, or one of Alaska's many other partners.
- You can frequently get an extra $100 statement credit. This better offer is often presented during the Alaska checkout process, and can be available using a promotional offer link.
- You may be able to earn the signup bonuses from both the personal and business version of the card. If you have any kind of side business, you are entitled to apply for business cards. If so, you can get 30,000 points and a companion certificate from the regular version, and another 30,000 points and companion certificate from the business version. Unlock Extra Reward Points with Business Credit Cards.
- You aren't eligible to get the personal version of the card, if you've had the card in the last 24 months. To earn another signup bonus, you need to cancel the card, wait two years, and then reapply.
In addition, you'll earn your first year's Alaska Airlines companion certificate, as part of the signup bonus. Because the companion doesn't have to pay the normal $99 fee, we value the certificate at about $350, but it can easily be worth considerably more.
After subtracting the annual fee, and the opportunity cost of using the card for $1,000 of spending, the calculated net value of the sign-up is $680 (68 cents per dollar spent). Your value may be higher or lower, depending on how much you value the points and the companion certificate. How Much are Points Worth?
The Alaska Airlines companion certificate is the only airfare companion certificate that simply just works—without any restrictions or drawbacks. You can travel anywhere that Alaska or Virgin America flies, including Hawaii, Mexico, and Central America. It works whenever there are any seats available, and you can book the initial ticket using any economy fare class. You can even use it for multi-city itineraries. Companions usually pay $99, plus taxes, but you can sometimes get a certificate (as part of the signup bonus) that waives the $99 fee. You’ll get your first companion certificate once you’ve met the initial spending requirement, and an additional certificate, every year when you renew the card. Guide to the Alaska Airlines Companion Certificate
If you live in Alaska Airlines territory, or you are planning a trip to Hawaii or the west coast of Mexico, this certificate provides great value.
You can no longer apply for multiple copies of the personal version of the card. So, if you want to earn multiple certificates per year, you'll need to be able to take advantage of the business card as well.
Other Notable Benefits
- Free checked bags. The first checked bag is free for up to 7 passengers. Authorized cardholders also receive this benefit. Get Free Checked Bags with Airline Credit Cards.
- 25% discount on inflight purchases. Including internet access.
- 50% discount on Alaska Lounge passes. $25 per person, rather then $50.
- Access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. As with all Visa Signature cards, you'll get access to Visa's luxury hotel program. Whenever you book one of the 900+ participating hotels, you'll receive a set of valuable benefits, including free breakfast, late check-out, and a $25 food and beverage credit. The Visa program has slightly weaker benefits than the other luxury hotel programs, but includes a number of more affordable hotel options, and a price guarantee. Take Advantage of Luxury Hotel Programs for Valuable Extra Perks.
- Access to Visa Signature Offers. Your card entitles you to a set of special offers available from Visa.
- Free museum entry. As with all Bank of America credit cards, you'll get free admission to hundreds of museums on the first weekend of every month. Admission is for the cardholder only. Guests are not included, nor are any special exhibitions and other ticketed shows. Museums on Us.
- BankAmeriDeals. Bank of America has a shopping discount program that works like Amex Offers. To get each discount, you'll need to "activate" it through their website. Once activated, discounts are automatically applied when you use your card for the corresponding purchase. Most deals are cash-back based (typically 10%), with the money being automatically applied to your credit card statement. BankAmeriDeals.
- You are probably slightly better off making your Alaska purchases with a card that earns one of the very highest reward rates on all your airfare purchases.. 3x Alaska miles are more valuable than what you'd earn from any general-purpose reward card, and most cards with good bonus rewards on travel purchases, but not quite as good, for most people, as earning 3x Ultimate Rewards points with the Sapphire Reserve card, or 5x Membership Rewards points with the Amex Platinum card. However, if you highly valuable Alaska miles, you can't get them via the Ultimate and Membership Rewards transfer programs, so you may prefer to still use your Alaska card. Best Credit Cards for Travel Spending.
- You don't want to use these cards for your everyday spending. You'll earn higher rewards from a good general-purpose reward card. Get a Great General Purpose Reward Card and Use It for All of Your Spending.
Getting Rid of the Card
You can cancel your card without losing your Alaska miles. They are treated like any other miles in your account.
If you no longer want your Alaska card consider changing it to a no-annual-fee BOA Cash Rewards Card, rather than cancelling it. The Cash Rewards card earns 3% on your first $2,000 of spending in a category of your choice, including a very broad "online purchases" category. If you have over $100,000 in assets at Bank of America and Merrill Lynch (including in a low-fee Merrill Lynch retirement account), you'll get a 75% points bonus, increasing the reward rate to 5.25%. You can only signup for this card if you don't already have one (or one of Bank of America's many other cards that have the same earning structure). But, you can product change to it, regardless of how many other Cash Rewards cards you have, allowing you to increase the amount of bonus rewards you can earn each quarter.
Be careful cancelling the personal version of the Alaska Airlines card. Once you close it, you won't be able to get it (and its companion certificate or free checked bag benefit again for 24 months. On the other hand, cancelling it is the only way to get the clock started on being eligible for a new signup bonus.
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