Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.
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.
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 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. Buy 1 ticket, get 1 for just the taxes and fees with Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare(TM) Offer. 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.
Every year, you’ll get another Companion Fare for just $121 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 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 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 $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.
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.
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.