Thursday, January 26, 2023

How Does Alaska Airlines Credit Card Work

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Not Just Credit Card Spend

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card (Overview)

The Alaska Airlines press release didnt just announce credit card spending bonuses, it also mentioned that Alaska Airlines will also be extending their bonus mile promotion. Previously, Alaska Airlines was offering a 50% bonus on all elite miles flown through the end of May. Now, that promotion has been extended until the end of the year.

Starting today, Alaska Airlines customers and members of the award-winning Mileage Plan have three new promotions to enjoy. In addition to guaranteeing 2020 elite status through 2021, the airline is extending a 50% bonus of elite qualifying miles for flights taken through the end of the year. Plus, for the first time ever, Alaska Airlines Visa® cardholders can use their card to earn elite qualifying miles, and consumer cardholders can earn double miles for qualifying restaurant purchases.

First whatever Elite status you hold on December 31st, 2020 will be the elite status that you have for all of 2021. This means that if you havent flown a single mile this year, Alaska will just give it a pass into next year.

Next if you do find yourself on an airplane, youre going to get a nice 50% bump on your elite qualifying miles. That means that for every 10,000 miles flown youll earn aa 5,000 bonus. Hitting the top tier 75k status just got a lot easier.

Alaskas new Bulkhead, from Alaska Airlines

Where The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Shines

Companion Fare

The most valuable feature on this card, by far, is the Companion Fare. This annual benefit allows you to cover a companion’s airline ticket for as low as $121 on any coach flight on Alaska Airlines booked through Plus, this benefit renews automatically each year on your account anniversary, regardless of how much you spend on the account.

Considering how expensive it is to fly to certain destinations even in coach this benefit makes the card incredibly valuable. Say a round trip to Hawaii costs $1,000 per ticket. Assuming a Companion Fare of $121, youd save $879 when purchasing your fellow traveler’s ticket. You can maximize this benefit by purchasing a ticket to one of Alaska’s more expensive destinations, such as Hawaii, Mexico or Costa Rica.

» MORE:Top airline credit cards that offer companion tickets

Solid sign-up bonus

This card comes with a valuable sign-up bonus: Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees and receive 40,000 bonus miles with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. To see how far this bonus might take you, check out Alaskas mileage tool.

Free checked bags

Most airline cards offer this benefit, and Alaska is no exception. Alaska charges $30 for the first checked bag. If you and a companion each checked a bag on a round trip, this benefit would more than make up for the annual fee of $75.

In-flight savings

Fees To Watch Out For

There arent 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, youll 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.

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Ways To Get Free Checked Bags

There are seven ways to get free checked bags, including getting an Alaska cobranded credit card, earning an elite status and joining the Alaska-exclusive Club 49.

1. Get an Alaska Airlines credit card.

There are two card options. Each waives the fee for one checked bag per Alaska Airlines flight. You can avoid checked baggage fees with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card or the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card.

With either card, you and up to six companions on the same reservation can each check one bag for free per flight. You must be enrolled in Alaskas Mileage Plan program to qualify, but you dont have to pay for your flight with the card.

2. Get a credit card with travel credits.

You can pay for Alaska baggage fees and get reimbursed via statement credits. This option might be ideal if you fly only once in a while or if you want to check two or more bags per flight. Consider getting a travel credit card to use this perk.

3. Earn elite status.

Alaskas Mileage Plan has three elite tiers, all of which offer two free checked bags on each Alaska Airlines flight. Find out how Alaskas membership program works and how to earn an elite status.

4. Be a Club 49 member.

If youve joined Club 49 accessible only to residents of Alaska you can check your first two bags free when traveling on an itinerary that has at least one Alaska-based Alaska Airlines city.

5. Travel to destinations within Alaska.

6. As active military personnel.

7. Fly First Class.

The Basics Of The Alaska Companion Fare

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card Review

The Alaska companion fare will automatically be deposited into your Mileage Plan account shortly after you complete the minimum spending on the card, and otherwise shortly after your account anniversary in subsequent years. The terms state that it could take up to two billing cycles, but in my experience it typically posts much faster than that.

When it comes to redeeming the Alaska companion fare:

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How To Upgrade Alaska Companion Fare Ticket

The Alaska companion fare is limited to economy tickets, though the good news is that these tickets are upgradeable to first class. There are a few ways to go about this:

  • MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members are eligible for complimentary space available upgrades for themselves and a companion, and those upgrades start clearing at 72-120 hours before departure, respectively note that Saver fares, booked in the X fare class, are excluded
  • MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members receive four Gold Guest Upgrades per year, each of which can be used to confirm a one-way upgrade at the time of booking, subject to upgrade availability note that tickets booked in G, T, R, or X, fare classes arent eligible
  • Elite members receive complimentary upgrades at the time of booking when booking certain fare classes and when there is confirmable upgrade availability MVP members get complimentary upgrades on Y, S, and Z fares, MVP Gold members get complimentary upgrades on Y, S, B, M, and Z fares, and MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold 100K members get complimentary upgrades on Y, S, B, M, H, and Z fares
  • All Mileage Plan members can upgrade on a space available basis for 15,000 miles one-way, though need to book a ticket in the Y, S, B, M, or H, fare classes

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Vs Citi Premier Card

If you want a credit card that earns rewards on air travel but are not ready to commit to a specific airline, take a look at the Citi Premier® Card. For a $95 annual fee, cardholders will earn the following rewards: 3 ThankYou points per dollar at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

If redemptions for air travel are what you are looking for, ThankYou points can be transferred to a number of airlines or used to book travel directly through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center. ThankYou points can also be used for a number of other redemption options, including gift cards and statement credits.

The Citi Premier® Card card offers a welcome bonus: 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Also Check: What Is The Best Chase Credit Card For Bad Credit

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card Overview

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card is effective for the airlines frequent flyers on account of its benefits, but the card also stands out for its solid sign-up bonus. Cardholders can also hit the ground running with Alaskas Famous Companion Fare on Alaska Airlines one of the best deals you can find on an airline rewards card.

This card can be well worth the $75 annual fee, but mostly for those who fly with Alaska Airlines often since the rewards and benefits dont extend beyond the airline.

How To Apply For The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card

Alaska Airlines Credit Card Review 2021

To apply for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card, you must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen or permanent resident. Heres how to apply.

  • Go to the provider’s site and select Apply now.
  • Complete the application with your personal and financial information. Click Review your information.
  • Confirm that your information is correct and submit your application.
  • How long will it take to get my Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card?

    The website automates conditional approval, so youll find out about your applications status in as little as a minute after submitting it. Based on your creditworthiness and other factors, Bank of America may approve you for either the Visa Signature or Platinum Plus card.

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    No Low Intro Financing Offer

    Many credit cards, even some obviously geared toward travel rewards, offer 0% introductory interest rates applicable to new purchases, balance transfers or both. The Alaska Airlines Credit Card is not among them. That means the ability to always pay your monthly bill in full should be a prerequisite for applying.

    How To Make Payments On The Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card

    • Phone: Call 236-6497 and follow the prompts. Theres no fee to make a payment via phone.
    • Bank of America Mobile Banking: Log in to the app, select your business credit card, and click Make a payment.
    • Mail: Send your payment via the following address:

    Business Card PaymentsBank of America Business CardPO Box 15710Wilmington, DE 19850-5710

    • Financial center or ATM: Drop off your payment at any Bank of America financial center or make a payment at one of the ATMs available.
    • Website: Log in to Bank of Americas Online Banking site, select the Bill Pay tab, and follow the prompts.

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    Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Vs Delta Skymiles Gold American Express Card

    Delta Airlines has been building its presence in Seattle, making it into a west coast hub for domestic travel and a primary gateway for flights to Asia. Naturally, if you are a frequent traveler in the Pacific Northwest, you might consider making Delta your preferred airline.

    The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card offers a free checked bag when you fly with Delta. The card offers 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, at U.S. supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. and 1 mile per dollar on other eligible purchases. The card also offers a welcome bonus: 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

    Generally, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature has the edge because of its higher earning rate. The Alaska Airlines companion certificate can provide much more value than the $100 Delta flight credit, but the Delta flight credit is decidedly easier to use.

    The Delta Skymiles Gold American Express Card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. .

    Redeeming Alaska Airlines Miles

    Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Review: A Generous Companion ...

    Once you’ve earned the miles you need for a free flight, the exciting part is redeeming them for a free flight.

    To redeem your Alaska Airlines miles, visit the Alaska Airlines website and log in to your loyalty account. And then start searching for your preferred itinerary, but be sure to select “use miles”.

    Additionally, if you’re earning transferable credit cards rewards such as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points or American Express Membership Rewards® points, you can transfer your miles to any Oneworld partner, like British Airways, and redeem them for a flight on Alaska Airlines.

    However, the best part of redeeming Alaska miles is you can roughly estimate how much your flight will cost using their award chart. This is rare for domestic airlines as many have shifted to dynamic pricing, which means each flight and seat can cost a different amount based on their supply and demand.

    So for example, if you want to book a flight from Los Angeles to Miami in economy, it will cost between 12,500 and 50,000 miles each way. While the range of miles needed is large, it’s still helpful to know how far your miles can take you.

    You can get great value when redeeming Alaska Airlines miles for international business and first class flights. For example, you can book a one-way ticket from the U.S. to Asia in first class on Japan Airlines or Cathay Pacific for 70,000 Alaska miles. That flight can easily cost upwards of $7,000 when paid for in cash.

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    Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card Review For 2022

    REVIEWED BY:Tricia Tetreault

    Tricia has nearly two decades of experience in commercial and federal government lending. Her expertise is highlighted throughout small business loan content on Fit Small Business.

    Nancy Fernandez is a Credit Card and Insurance Expert at Fit Small Business, specializing in business credit cards and business insurance.

    This article is part of a larger series on Best Small Business Credit Cards.

  • 8Bottom Line
  • The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card from Bank of America is designed for business owners who travel with Alaska Airlines frequently. This business credit card offers travel perks like Alaskas Famous Companion FareTM from $121 every yearon Alaska flights purchased via alaskaair.comand free checked baggage for you and up to six guests.

    If you wish to compare one card over another, select a maximum of three cards on this page and click Add to compare to view the details in a side-by-side comparison.

    Card Benefits And Perks

    The cards most lucrative ongoing benefit is likely the annual companion fare, which youll earn every year on your account anniversary.

    The companion fare is only valid for coach travel, but it is eligible for upgrades if you hold Alaskas elite status. TPGs Zach Honig and Summer Hull have both taken advantage of a status match to earn Alaska MVP Gold 75k status, then used some of the four one-way upgrades that come with that status to upgrade flights to Hawaii that were booked using the companion fare.

    For more information on the companion ticket and how to get the most value out of it, see our tips in Maximizing the Alaska Airlines Visa Companion Fare. Remember that round-trip flights will generally offer a better value for this perk and youll have to pay for the ticket with your Alaska Airlines Visa.

    As previously mentioned, the card also offers a free checked bag for the cardholder and up to six other travelers on the same reservation. There are no foreign transaction fees, so you can use the card anywhere around the globe without incurring extra charges.

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    Potential Earnings In Years One And Two

    Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

    Year one earnings: $860

    Year two earnings: $260

    These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

    The values above account for general travel spending only, not spending specific to Alaska Air. If you’re a frequent flyer on Alaska Air, your earnings with this card will be higher due to the bonus miles it offers for Alaska Airlines spending. The companion fare isn’t accounted for in the numbers above, either. Taking advantage of that fare each year will also increase the value you get from this card.

    The Alaska Airlines Credit Card Companion Fare

    How to get Alaska Air miles and what to do with them

    The Alaska Airlines Companion fare is good for a round-trip coach ticket on Alaska Airlines when traveling with another passenger. The code must be used to purchase a ticket within 12 months of its issue date, but actual travel may be completed past the expiration. For instance, if the codes expiration date is in July, you can book in June for travel in November.

    While Alaska flies to some 900 destinations through its travel partners, only those on Alaska Airlines are available with the companion fare. You can, however, add in a stopover. Taxes and fees might be slightly higher though.

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    The Long And Short Of It

    If Alaska Airlines flies to destinations on your travel list, the companion fare is a great deal. That alone may make the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card worth having. Although there are many other best miles credit card options if you are not near an Alaska hub. But if you fly Alaska often and collect miles with the airline, its a definite bonus, especially for bucket list destinations like Hawaii and Alaska.

    Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card Vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred has one of the best bonus offers among travel credit cards at its price tag right now, and you also get to earn bonus points in a wide range of everyday spending categories. On the redemption end, you can cash in your points for statement credits, gift cards or merchandise. You also get 1.25 cents per point in value when you redeem for travel through Chase, or you can transfer your points to Chase Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio.

    Overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a better overall rewards rate and points that are much more flexible. However, you dont get any frequent flyer benefits with specific airlines.

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