Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Robin Saks Frankel  in  Airline Advertising Disclosure
Bank of America Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

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Best for travel buddies

Annual Fee:
$75
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
17.24%-25.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Terms and Restrictions Apply
Bankrate Score: 93 out of 100

Commonly used for: Airline, Excellent Credit, No Foreign Transaction Fees, Rewards, Sign-up Bonus, Travel.

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. This card also boasts a great airline transfer program and a Companion Fare that is relatively unmatched in the credit card market.

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 is top-notch, get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. 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, plus the $99 companion fare. 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 $1,481.36.

That same $2,000 you spend within the first 90 says also will earn you 40,000 bonus miles, worth about $400 toward an airline ticket on Alaska Airlines.

Every year, you’ll get another Companion Fare for just $99 plus the cost of taxes and fees, which start at $22, on all Alaska flights booked on Alaskaair.com. Other perks include a free checked bag for you and up to six guests traveling on eligible Alaska Airline reservations and an earnings rate of 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines 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 of 17.24% – 25.24% on purchases and balance transfers.
  • 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 $39.
  • 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
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you make $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.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Enjoy in-flight savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card to make an eligible purchase, on board your next Delta flight.
  • Receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights -that's a savings of up to $240 per round trip for a family of four.
  • $195 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply Now On American Express's secure website
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

17.99%-26.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$195

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

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.

JetBlue Plus Card
  • 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

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)

For $99 a year, the JetBlue Plus Card pays 6X points on all JetBlue purchases and the same 2X points on restaurants and groceries and one percent on all other spending. If you spend more than $1,650 a year on JetBlue flights, you’ll earn back the $99 annual fee and get some additional perks like a $100 statement credit when booking a JetBlue vacation package and a 30,000 point sign-up bonus. Unlike many other travel credit cards, the JetBlue Plus card doesn’t come with any travel or auto protections so you’d have to take that into consideration.