Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

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Save hundreds of dollars with this card’s companion fare offer.

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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.

Review

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.

Advantages
  • The Alaska's Famous Companion Fare can save you hundreds of dollars on a flight -- and it's easy to qualify for.
  • You can use your miles to book with lots of airline partners.
  • Free checked baggage for up to six traveling with you is a generous perk.
Disadvantages
  • The companion fare offer can only be used once annually and only on coach flights.
  • If your travel plans include a location that Alaska Airlines or its partners don't travel to, there's no reason to get this card.
  • The best value from the card’s companion fare is for long-haul travel, which might not fit your needs.

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

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our excellent credit category page.

Card Details
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires on 11/8/2017.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Terms Apply.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.74% to 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Annual Fee $195.
Balance Transfers Intro APR

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 Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our excellent credit category page.

Card Details
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways purchases.
  • Earn 2 points at Southwest Hotel and Car Rental Partners.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.99% to 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Annual Fee $69 annual fee.
Balance Transfers Intro APR

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 Plus Card

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our excellent credit category page.

Card Details
  • Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don't expire
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember's first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 12.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% Variable
Annual Fee $99
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

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.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Card Details
  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

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.

EDITORIAL NOTE

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.