Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card
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Do you like to crunch numbers? Are you willing to be ultra-flexible about where and when you travel as long as you’re getting a killer deal? Welcome to the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card.
The Bank of America-issued Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card has a hallmark feature that no other airline card can top: its Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare offer. The card has a top-notch sign-up offer for those who spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening an account. If you buy one Alaska Airlines or partner Virgin America Airlines fare, you’ll get another fare free for just the cost of taxes and fees (which starts at $22.) There are no blackout dates for this companion fare and, depending on how you use it, it could save you hundreds of dollars on a flight.
For example, when Bankrate priced out a flight from New York’s JFK Airport to Lihue Airport in Hawaii, we found a round-trip coach flight with a stopover in Seattle each way that was listed for $1,297.60. The flight charged $84.76 in taxes and fees. This means you could use the Famous Companion Fare offer from signing up for the card to fly yourself and a friend to Hawaii from JFK for a total cost of just $1,382.36 — a savings of $1,212.84.
That same $1,000 you spend within the first 90 says also will earn you 30,000 bonus miles, worth about $300 toward an airline ticket on Alaska Airlines, Virgin America Airlines, or for use on one of their mileage partners, which include American Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Korean Air and others.
Every year, you’ll get another Companion Fare for just $99 plus the cost of taxes and fees, which start at $22. Other perks include a free checked bag for you and up to six guests traveling on your reservation and an earnings rate of 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines or Virgin America flights and 1 mile per $1 on all other spending.
What’s more the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card is also a solid dining rewards card. Cardholders are automatically enrolled in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining Rewards program. You can earn up to 5 miles per $1 spent at more than 11,000 restaurants nationwide. You’ll have to search on the program website to find participating restaurants near you, but we found a hundred or more participating restaurants in each of the several ZIP codes we searched
Who should get this card
Anyone who can take advantage of the savings of the Companion Pass should consider this card.
Fees and APR
- Pay a variable APR for purchases and balance transfers of 13.24% to 20.24% based on creditworthiness.
- Annual fee is $75.
- If you miss a payment, or pay late, you’ll be subject to a variable penalty APR of up to 29.99%, which will apply indefinitely, plus a late payment fee of up to $38.
- Pay no foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside the U.S.
Extras, perks and using points
Miles don’t expire on active accounts. You can book award travel online through the Alaska Airlines website for flights on Alaska Airlines and all of its travel partners with the exception of Cathay Pacific and LAN airlines, which must be booked over the phone.
Miles required for award flights vary based on destination and distance. The lowest award travel redemptions start at 5,000 miles for a one-way flight on Alaska Airlines within the continental U.S., and can go as high as 85,000 miles for a one-way coach flight from the U.S. to New Zealand on Emirates airline.
How this card compares
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express pays 2 miles per $1 spent on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
If you like Delta enough to own a Delta co-branded credit card, you likely already have SkyMiles Loyalty Program membership, where you’ll earn an additional 5 SkyMiles for every $1 you spend on Delta flights. Use this card for Delta purchases along with that SkyMiles membership and you’ll net total of 7 miles for every $1 spent.
Southwest enthusiasts love the airline for its liberal policies. There are no blackout dates, no change fees and no charge for the first two checked bags.
But perhaps the biggest perk of being a Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card holder is the opportunity to earn a pile of points through the sign-up bonus points toward the airline’s Companion Pass offer, which allows you to fly a companion with you on any Southwest flight for free, as often as you like, for just the cost of taxes and fees.
JetBlue enthusiasts can take their loyalty to a new level with the JetBlue Plus Card. For a $99 annual fee, earn a hefty 6 points per $1 spent on JetBlue purchases plus a fat 30,000-point bonus if you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening the account.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard will likely appeal to those who want the most flexible redemption options for their miles. You can use your earnings to book travel, get a statement credit for travel purchases, or for gift cards and select merchandise. This may be of greater value to you depending on your spending habits.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.