|Rewards Rating:||4.5 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||3.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||5.0|
In a Nutshell:
A good deal for budget-conscious West Coast residents who frequently fly Alaska Air, the Alaska Airlines Visa card pairs a generous sign-up bonus and valuable rewards program with one of the lowest APRs available on a travel card.
Limited-time online welcome offer: Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23), plus 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days
Chase Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: First checked bag free, discounted companion pass, no foreign transaction fees, lost luggage reimbursement, car rental insurance, concierge service, shopping discounts, 20% back on all Alaska Airlines inflight purchases
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 flyers. 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 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 companion ticket when you meet the spending requirements.
Solid sign-up bonus
For a limited time, this card is currently offering a very valuable sign-up bonus. If you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days, you’ll not only have a chance at 60,000 bonus miles, but also Alaska’s Famous Companion FareTM ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23).
While the card’s previous offer gave you a chance at 40,000 bonus miles and a unique buy-one-get-one-free companion fare offer with the same spend amount.
The current offer may not be the biggest step up from the card’s previous bonus (and falls far short of a previous high of 70,000 miles and the companion fare after $3,000 in spending), but it still carries impressive value. Considering how much an Alaska Airlines ticket can run (for example, over $500 if you choose a route to Hawaii), the companion fare alone is a terrific value. That’s not even factoring in the 60,000 bonus miles, which can be worth around $660 based on the latest valuations from Bankrate (1.1 cents per point).
Good earning scheme for an airline card
The Alaska Airlines Visa credit card pays you 3 miles back per dollar spent on eligible 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 earns 2 miles per dollar in popular categories including eligible gas, cable, streaming service, local transit and rideshare purchases, as well as 1 mile for all other purchases.
Discounted companion fare
Just like many other airlines, Alaska offers a yearly benefit of a companion fare with a paid ticket each year on your account anniversary. You can get discounted fare for a companion starting at $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you spend $6,000 or more on purchases within the prior anniversary year. The fare is valid for any Alaska flight booked on alaskaair.com, there are no fuel surcharges and all fare brackets qualify. 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.
Why get the Alaska Airlines card?
- 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 the Alaska Airlines card:
- 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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