Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
Annual companion fare for as little as $121
Free checked bag on Alaska Airlines flights
Earn 3X miles on Alaska Airlines purchases
Bonus of 40,000 miles
$75 annual fee
No 0% APR introductory offer
Limited airline routes
- Annual Companion Fare for as Little as $121: One of the perks of this card is the annual Alaska's Famous Companion Fare. ("Famous" is part of the trademarked name.) Not only are you eligible for a companion fare after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days, but you'll also receive one each year on your anniversary as a cardholder. The companion fare is $99, plus taxes and fees that start at $22, for a total $121. You can use it on flights booked through alaskaair.com, and you don’t have to worry about blackout dates.
- Free Checked Bag on Alaska Airlines Flights: When you make a reservation using an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card, you get one free checked bag on your flight. Additionally, up to six people flying on the same reservation can also check a bag for free.
- Earn 3X Miles on Alaska Airlines Purchases: Whenever you make eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, you can receive 3X Mileage Plan miles for each dollar you spend. You don’t have to worry about miles expiring on an active account, and there are no blackout dates. Miles can also be used to book travel with Alaska Airlines partners. All other spending earns 1 mile per dollar.
- Bonus of 40,000 Miles: After you make $2,000 in purchases during the first 90 days of opening your account, you receive a bonus of 40,000 miles. Redemptions start at 5,000 miles, so you could potentially get eight flights with your bonus. However, redemption value depends on your origin and destination. The airline has an online calculator to help you estimate costs, based on how long your flights are. Investopedia values Alaska Airlines miles at 0.8 cents each on average, placing the bonus miles value at $320 if redeemed for travel on the airline.
$75 Annual Fee: There's a $75 annual fee, although that's relatively low when compared with credit card issuers that charge $95. However, the rewards are also limited, so the lower fee might make sense. On the plus side, the value of the Companion Fare is more than enough to justify the $75 annual fee in many cases. It's also worth noting that the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card doesn’t waive the fee for the first year, unlike some cards, such as the Savor Rewards card from Capital One, which do.
No 0% APR Introductory Offer: Unlike certain credit cards, like some of those offered by American Express, there is no introductory APR. You won’t be able to get a 0% APR on balance transfers or purchases with this card. But, to be fair, most co-branded airline cards don’t offer introductory rates on purchases or balance transfers. However, if you’re looking for a card to help you pay off high-interest debt, this card isn’t it.
Limited Airline Routes: Another consideration with this card is the fact that Alaska Air doesn’t have the same extensive network as some other airlines. While there are destinations on the East Coast, the majority of the cities that Alaska Airlines serves are on the West Coast. There are partner airlines you can use to get where you’re going, but, in general, your choices will be limited.
This Card is Best For
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
Flies often for business or leisure
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
Because of these limitations, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card is best for people who are looking for a travel card and frequently fly on Alaska Airlines. It can be ideal for passengers who make short hops on the West Coast, as it’s possible to redeem points at a low threshold (starting at 5,000 points).
Other advantages for frequent Alaska Airlines customers include the 3X miles for each dollar you spend on Alaska Airlines purchases. On top of that, you can get 20% back on inflight purchases and 50% off a day pass to Alaska Airlines airport lounges.
If you’re interested in a more general-purpose travel card, it might make sense to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which offers 2X points on any travel purchases, plus a 25% bonus on travel redemptions made through the Chase portal. So you don’t need to be loyal to a particular airline.
Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Bonus
There are two parts to the bonus for this card. First of all, you receive 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with the card in 90 days. With redemptions starting at 5,000 miles for a one-way flight, that’s up to four round-trip airfares.
The second part of the signing bonus is swift access to a discounted companion fare. When you meet the requirements of the one-time offer, you can buy a ticket for a companion for as little as $121 ($99 base plus taxes and fees starting at $22). You’ll be eligible for another companion fare on your first card anniversary and every year after that.
Rewards Earning Details
With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card, you earn 3X miles for each dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases. Every other dollar you spend earns 1 mile.
There aren't a lot of other ways to earn rewards with this card, although on some flights you can receive bonus miles depending on the flight ranges and operator. These bonus miles are based on your flight, though, and not the spending on your credit card.
Rewards Redemption Details
You can redeem your rewards by booking on alaskaair.com. It’s important to note that Mileage Plan award travel must be booked with Alaska Airlines. That includes any booking with airline partners.
It's also possible to use your miles to book hotels through Alaska Airlines. To do that, you need to use Alaska’s hotel booking portal.
Even though Alaska has partners like American Airlines and British Airways, you don't directly book your travel with these partners to use your miles. Additionally, you can’t transfer your miles to other loyalty programs. Instead, you book your rewards travel on alaskaair.com, and if a partner is needed to get you to your destination, it’s included in your booking.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Maximizing your rewards with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card is mostly a matter of using your card to book travel on that airline. With 3X miles for each dollar you spend, you can earn points relatively quickly, especially if you meet the requirements for the one-time offer.
You should also take advantage of the companion fare each year to get the fullest use of the benefits.
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card's Outstanding Benefits
- Annual companion fare from $121
- Free checked bags for you and up to six other people on the same reservation
- 20% back on inflight purchases on Alaska Airlines
- Monthly access to your FICO Score
- No foreign transaction fee
- EMV chip technology in cards
- $0 liability guarantee
- Account alerts
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card is issued by Bank of America, which received a score of 798 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The national issuer average was 806.
Bank of America offers the option to schedule an appointment with a financial specialist. You need to use your app or log into your account online to take advantage of this feature. In some cases, you might also be able to use live chat. You can also call the number on the back of your credit card to reach customer service.
This card comes with a range of security features. Bank of America says it monitors your activity and will block potential fraud. Additionally, account alerts can help you stay on top of the situation. As with many other credit cards, this card comes with a $0 liability guarantee for fraudulent transactions.
Other features, like monthly access to your FICO Score, can help you monitor your credit. If you see a sudden drop in your score, that could be an indication that you need to check your credit report for fraudulent activity.
Fees to Watch Out For
There aren’t many fees to worry about with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card. You should be aware that there is a minimum interest charge if you carry a balance. So, even if you have a very small balance, you’ll pay a minimum dollar amount of at least $1.50 in interest.
Also, pay attention to balance transfer and cash advance fees. While it might be tempting to use these services, they can be relatively expensive.
If you frequently travel on Alaska Airlines, this card can be a good choice. However, the airline's routes are limited, so if you take other routes more often, you might do better with a card like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card offered by Southwest Airlines. You’ll receive anniversary points each year, there's a low redemption threshold, and the routes might be more in line with your travel patterns.
Still, if you use Alaska Airlines (or its partners) regularly and book your travel through alaskaair.com, you will likely get a solid return. The companion fare is a good perk, as is the free checked bag for you and your companions on the same reservation.