The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card is not one of our top-rated airline credit cards. You can review our list of the best airline credit cards for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card
One-time offer of 40,000 miles, albeit of relatively low value
Annual Companion Fare, with an extra one as a one-time offer
Save 50% on Alaska Lounge day passes
Free checked bag
Per-card annual fee
- One-Time Offer of 40,000 Miles, Albeit of Relatively Low Value: Cardholders earn 40,000 miles when they spend $2,000 in the first three months of account opening. While that’s a competitive bonus in terms of the number of miles, Alaska Airlines miles are worth only eight-tenths of a cent, by our valuation, which is a lower value of all other airlines we’ve analyzed. That makes these 40,000 Alaska miles worth only about $320, one of the less valuable bonuses for an airline card.
- Companion Fare, Accelerated in The First Year: Each year on the card member’s anniversary, Alaska offers what it calls its Famous Companion Fare, which allows you to get a companion ticket for $99 plus taxes and fees. While the fare actually ends up costing at least $121 or so with taxes and fees, that is still an outstanding benefit. This card improves on that offer by offering a companion fare after you complete the one-time offer requirements. And you’re eligible for another companion fare after your cardmember anniversary.
- Save 50% on Alaska Lounge Day Passes: Normally, a day pass to any one of the seven Alaska Lounges (at airports in Anchorage and Portland, along with JFK and LAX, plus three at Seattle-Tacoma International) costs $50. However, with the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card, holders receive 50% off the price of a day pass, so it’s possible to get one for $25. In order to get the discounted price, though, cardmembers need to pay for the pass with their Alaska Airlines card.
- Free Checked Bag: A free checked bag comes with a reservation made with the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card for the person making the reservation and up to six other people on the same reservation. With a checked bag costing $30, this benefit can be worth up to $210 for each flight.
- Per-Card Annual Fee: In addition to an annual fee of $50 for the card account, Alaska Airlines Visa Business also comes with a $25 annual fee for each card issued. So, even if you get only a single card, that’s an annual fee of $75. This unique fee structure is at odds with almost all other business credit cards, which offer the first card free with the annual fee and provide additional cards at no cost.
This Card is Best For
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
Flies often for business or leisure
Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
Earning a primary or side income from a small business
This card is strictly for businesses whose employees fly Alaska Air frequently--which, given the carrier’s flight routes, means the employees are either based on the west coast or Alaska, or fly there frequently from select other U.S. cities. This card also has no foreign-transaction fee. That makes it a decent card for Alaska Air aficionados to take on trips abroad, assuming they have no other card in their wallet that offers better rewards and also imposes no fees for transactions in foreign currency.
Alaska Airlines Visa Business One-Time Offer
This card provides a bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. With award flights starting at 5,000 points, this total makes it possible in theory to get up to eight award flights with the bonus, In reality though, your windfall is likely to earn you far fewer flights than this since most flights require significantly more miles. We value Alaska Airlines miles at less than a cent each (0.85 cents to be exact) when used for flights, so the bonus would be worth $340 in terms of flight redemption value.
Additionally, after meeting the one-time offer requirements, new cardholders are eligible to purchase a companion fare. These fares start at a total cost of $121, including taxes and fees. Generally, one has to wait until the cardmember anniversary to get their first companion fare, but this generous benefit allows you to get one as a bonus offer after meeting initial spending requirements of $2,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.
Rewards Earning Details
On all Alaska Airlines purchases made directly with the airline, cardmembers receive three miles per dollar spent, which we value at about 2.6 cents (3 times the 0.85 cents per mile of value according to our estimates) per dollar in rewards for every dollar spent. All other purchases with the card earn one mile per dollar. You can also earn rewards through non-credit card spending (often at least as many as with Alaska purchases) if you fly with any of 18 Alaska-Air airline partners, including American Airlines, British Airways and Aer Lingus. Other rewards on travel spending include rewards for stays at such chains as Best Western, Choice, and Marriott Bonvoy, and for car rentals from almost all major chains. You can also use the card for the carrier’s Mileage Plan partners and earn up to five miles per dollar spent on 10,000 restaurant locations and up to 12 points (although typically more like a handful) per dollar spent at 850 retailers including Macy's, Groupon, Best Buy, and Walmart.
Rewards Redemption Details
It’s possible to redeem rewards for flights using the Alaska Airlines website. Miles can be used on Alaska Airlines flights or used to book travel with one of Alaska’s partners. However, it’s important to note that may incur a $25 booking fee when booking award flights with partners.
Alaska also has hotel partners that allow cardholders to redeem points for hotels nights. It’s also possible to redeem miles for magazine subscriptions.
Actual redemption values vary, depending on the flight destinations or hotel, and the number of miles required to book the travel.
Rather than transferring points to partners, it’s possible to use Alaska Airlines miles to book award flights with identified partners.
Transferring points to family members and others can be facilitated in some cases. However, this can only be done through a third-party site. Alaska Airlines uses Points.com to manage its points transfers.
For business card holders, the points accrue to the primary cardholder. So points earned by secondary employee cards all accumulate in the main business account.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
The best way to maximize rewards is to use the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card to purchase business-related travel on Alaska Airlines. Additionally, using the card to make other business purchases to earn one point per dollar can also be useful, since it will help you accumulate rewards a bit faster.
Once earned, redeeming rewards for Alaska Airlines award travel is the most lucrative way to make the most of awards.
Alaska Airlines Visa Business' Outstanding Benefits
- 20% back on in-flight food, beverage, and Wi-Fi spending when purchased with this card
- Up to $1,000,000 in travel accident insurance
- Overdraft protection
- $0 liability for fraudulent purchases
- Fraud monitoring
- Paperless statements
- Chip cards
- Set individual employee spending limits
- Cash Flow management tools
The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card is issued by Bank of America, which scored about average in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction study. Its score of 853 put the card issuer on a par with competitors like Wells Fargo, Capital One, and Citi and significantly below the standouts, Discover and American Express.
Bank of America business credit card members enjoy online and mobile banking access to manage their accounts. If you need additional help, you can call customer service, schedule an appointment at a local branch or connect with Bank of America via social media. Online chat support is only available for selected Bank of America products.
There are also some features, common with many business cards, that businesses might find helpful, including the ability to set individual employee spending limits on their cards, as well as cash flow management tools that make it easy to download transactions to QuickBooks.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card comes with fairly standard security features, including $0 liability for fraudulent purchases. There is fraud monitoring, so suspicious purchases will be blocked, based on abnormal patterns.
Another feature is the ability to connect your business checking account to your credit card in order to help prevent overdrafts and declined purchases.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Business is the only branded card for this well-regarded airline, and it’s natural that those who are loyal to Alaska Airlines may want to have it. A key attraction is its annual companion fare, which could save you in the high hundreds of dollars a year on a trip in which a friend, family member, or business colleague travels with you.
However, if that benefit has little appeal to you, you should consider charging your Alaska Air purchases to a general travel card with strong rewards rather than this carrier-branded option. For example, the Ink Business Preferred, which costs $95 a year and provides 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent in up to $150,000 a year in combined spending—with each point, by our valuations, worth considerably more the 3 Alaska miles per dollar you would earn with the Alaska Airlines Visa Business if redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (considering the Chase points receive a 25% redemption bonus for travel). And if you spend $15,000 in the first three months with the Ink Business Preferred you earn a one-time 100,000 point bonus worth $1,250 in travel booked through Chase —more than three times our estimated value for the one offered with the Alaska Airlines Visa Business.
If you’re looking for more flexible points, you can earn 2 Membership Rewards points on all purchases up to $50,000 with the Amex Blue Business Plus, which has no annual fee. With Membership Rewards points worth about 50% more than Alaska miles, by our valuation, your earnings with the Amex Blue Business Plus would approach those of the Alaska Airlines Visa Business, and with more flexibility in both earning and redeeming them.