Reviews Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card review

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card review

Published: March 20, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Airline Rating:
2.7 rating
2.7 rating
2.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.9
Rewards Flexibility: 4.0
Flight Options: 4.5
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card has a $75 annual fee and an average sign up-bonus, but the earning scheme and great benefits make it worthwhile – especially for West Coast fliers.

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Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 AA tickets, vacation packages, cargo purchases
  • 1:1 general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
30,000 miles if you spend $1,000 or more in the first 90 days

Annual Bonus
$121 companion fare

Annual Fee
$75

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$308

APR
12.74-19.74% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire and can be reinstated up to 1 year after account closure
  • No blackout dates
  • No change/cancellation fee 60 days or more before travel
  • One-way rewards tickets permitted
  • Open jaws rewards tickets permitted
  • One stopover per one-way travel on most tickets
  • Large network of partner airlines
  • No fuel surcharges (except British Airways and Icelandair flights)

Cons

  • Rewards seats may be limited on some flights
  • $15 call center booking fee and $25 partner fee
  • Only one partner airline per rewards ticket

Flight Options

  • Number of airline partners: 15
  • Number of daily flights: 14,250
  • Number of destinations: 800+
  • Number of countries served: 150

Other Notable Features: First checked bag free, discounted companion pass, no foreign transaction fees, lost luggage reimbursement, car rental insurance, purchase security, concierge service, exclusive events and entertainment, shopping discounts

Rewards Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.6
Rewards Flexibility: 3.5
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

A good deal for budget-conscious West Coast residents who frequently fly Alaska Air, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card pairs a generous sign up bonus and valuable rewards program with one of the lowest APRs available on a travel card.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 AA tickets, vacation packages, cargo purchases
  • 1:1 general purchases

Sign-up Bonus

  • 30,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
  • $121 companion fare if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days

Annual Fee
$75

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$308

APR
12.74-19.74% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire and can be reinstated up to 1 year after account closure
  • No blackout dates
  • No change/cancellation fee 60 days or more before travel
  • One-way rewards tickets permitted
  • Open jaws rewards tickets permitted
  • One stopover per one-way travel on most tickets
  • Large network of partner airlines
  • No fuel surcharges (except British Airways and Icelandair flights)

Cons

  • Rewards seats may be limited on some flights
  • $15 call center booking fee and $25 partner fee
  • Only one partner airline per rewards ticket

Other Notable Features: First checked bag free, discounted companion pass, no foreign transaction fees, lost luggage reimbursement, car rental insurance, purchase security, concierge service, exclusive events and entertainment, shopping discounts

Travel Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.0
Rewards Flexibility: 3.5
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

A good value for Alaska and Pacific Northwest residents, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card pairs a moderate annual fee and affordable interest rate with a valuable rewards program and a strong sign-up bonus.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 AA tickets, vacation packages, cargo purchases
  • 1:1 general purchases

Sign-up Bonus

  • 30,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
  • $121 companion fare if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days


Annual Fee
$75

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$308

APR
12.74-19.74% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire and can be reinstated up to 1 year after account closure
  • No blackout dates
  • No change/cancellation fee 60 days or more before travel
  • One-way rewards tickets permitted
  • Open jaws rewards tickets permitted
  • One stopover per one-way travel on most tickets
  • Large network of partner airlines
  • No fuel surcharges (except British Airways and Icelandair flights)

Cons

  • Rewards seats may be limited on some flights
  • $15 call center booking fee and $25 partner fee
  • Only one partner airline per rewards ticket

Other Notable Features: First checked bag free, discounted companion pass, no foreign transaction fees, lost luggage reimbursement, car rental insurance, purchase security, concierge service, exclusive events and entertainment, shopping discounts

Alaska Airlines has a limited footprint and flies mostly in the Western U.S. But there is a reason why it has amassed a small army of devoted fliers. Alaska miles can carry you further than miles from other popular programs. The major strengths of Alaska’s MileagePlan are a great redemption scheme, generous routing rules, and a vast network of domestic and international partners.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card gives you an opportunity to get bonus miles for things you have to do anyway, such as paying for your airline expenses. Aside from having a better-than-average earning scheme, it also offers a generous bags allowance and a free companion ticket when you spending requirements in the first 90 days.

Good sign-up bonus

The card offers a fairly large sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. However, you will find some other airline cards, as well as general rewards cards, with more generous sign-up bonuses.

Good earning scheme for an airline card

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card pays you 3 miles back per dollar spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, vacation packages and cargo purchases. That’s 50 percent higher than the average airline earning scheme rate. Most co-branded airline cards offer 2 miles per dollar for airline purchases. The card also gives you 1 mile for all other purchases.

Discounted companion pass

Just like many other airlines, Alaska offers a yearly discounted companion pass with a paid ticket both as a sign-up bonus and on an annual basis. To obtain the initial pass, you must spend $1,000 on the card within the first 90 days of account opening. After that, the pass is awarded each year on your account anniversary. There are no fuel surcharges, and all fare brackets qualify.

If you buy a ticket, you get a discounted fare for a companion starting at $121. And the redemption is painless – you simply apply the discount code at the time you purchase the primary ticket.

Wide network of domestic and international partners

Alaska Airlines primarily serves the West Coast. However, even if you don’t live on the West Coast, you may still find Alaska’s rewards program valuable, thanks to Alaska’s vast partner airline network. You can use Alaska miles on American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, British Airways, and many other airlines. Most of these airlines do not make you pay fuel or other carrier surcharges. The award levels are usually quite reasonable, and Alaska rules allow a free stopover – even on a one-way trip. That means two stopovers per round trip – more travel for your miles.

Valuable perks for frequent travelers

The Alaska Airlines card entitles the cardholder and up to six people traveling on the same reservation to one free checked bag each. On top of this valuable perk, the card comes with a slew of Visa Signature benefits, including car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and concierge services.

Reasons to get it:

  • You frequently fly on Alaska Airlines.
  • You want to collect Alaska’s MileagePlan miles to redeem on one or more Alaska partner airlines.
  • You’re interested in a discounted companion pass.
  • You tend to fly with a big group and want to take advantage of the generous bag-checking allowance.

How to use it:

  • Book all your Alaska flights and travel packages with the card to maximize earnings.
  • Try to utilize free stopovers on Alaska and partner airlines to get more bang for your miles.
  • Watch for fuel surcharges on Icelandair and British Airways.

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