The Complete Alaska Airlines Credit Card Review

What is the Alaska Airlines Credit Card

Alaska Airlines is the fifth-largest airlines in the United States when measures using a range of metrics such as fleet size, the number of passengers who are transported, and the number of destinations that the airline flies to.

Given the scale and size of the airline, it offers a card that is befitting its reputation. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card is renowned for its companion fare program, the favorable rates that it offers, and a host of other benefits.

Could this be the right card for you? Let’s dig deeper to find out more about one of the most popular and attractive airline credit cards in the U.S.

Benefits

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card has a range of ongoing benefits which make it the natural choice for thousands of Americans. Here’s a closer look at each of those benefits in turn and how you can use them to maximize the rewards that you receive.

Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare

Traveling with a partner is great, and this card helps you to do that for the best price possible. When you buy one ticket, you’ll be able to get another for just the price of taxes and fees (starting at $22). You unlock this bonus after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of having your account open.

This benefit renews each year and this benefit alone can make the card an attractive choice for many Americans. This offer is not susceptible to blackout dates either, meaning that you can travel at your convenience and in the same way you would if you were paying for a full fare.

Free Checked Bags for Up to Six Guests

Looking to move a lot of luggage? This credit card can pay for itself with that one! You receive a free checked bag not only for yourself, but for an additional six other guests on the same reservation. This is a generous offer that goes beyond the regular checked bag option offered by other airlines.

Quickly Build Up Miles

You’re able to quickly build up miles thanks to the points system. When you make a purchase with Alaska Airlines, you’ll receive three miles for each dollar that you spend. Likewise, you’ll receive a mile for each dollar that you spend elsewhere. This means that you’ll quickly build up those miles (we’ll get into just how much they are worth soon).

Cardholders will be particularly pleased to hear that those miles will never expire on an active account. This means that you are able to slowly build up points over the course of time and use them on a big trip. There’s also no mileage cap in place, meaning you can slowly but surely build up those points over time.

Zero Foreign Transaction Fees

Foreign transaction fees are often high with credit cards, but this offering from Alaska Airlines boasts no foreign transaction fees. This is great news if you’re going to be traveling internationally. The card is also chip-enabled, helping you to benefit from enhanced security while on your travels.

Low Annual Fees

You’ll find that at just $75 per year, the annual fees are more than reasonable on this card. This is in the region of what is considered to be normal for a card of this level. Even if you don’t use the card regularly, you may find that it’s worth paying the annual fee to maintain the existing miles that you have within your account.

Application Process and Low-Credit Alternatives

The application process is simple, and you’ll be able to find out whether or not you quality in a matter of minutes. If it transpires that you qualify for a credit limit of less than $5,000, you will receive an alternative credit card that has a lower annual fee but also brings fewer benefits and rewards with it.

A Range of Partners

Alaska Airlines has a wide range of partners that you can fly with using award travel miles, and even earn Alaska Airlines Miles with. In short, you’ll be able to do both of those with the following airlines:

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Condor
  • Emirates
  • Fiji Airways
  • Hainan Airlines
  •   Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines
  • PenAir
  • Qantas
  • Ravn Alaska

You can currently earn miles with Singapore Airlines and Finnair, with the ability to book award travel with them coming soon.

This flexibility means that your points are very valuable and can take you around the world. This is a very sophisticated network and should be considered as a key strength when you come to comparing the various airline credit cards that are on the market.

Point Value

If you fly regularly on Alaska, you’ll be happy to hear that the miles you have can be used to secure flights at reasonable prices. We appreciate how transparent Alaska is when compared to other airlines when it comes to sharing the value of those points. Alaska has an award calculator which tells you exactly how many points you will need for a particular journey.

You’ll find that international flights will get you the best bang for your buck, but you can also find reasonable rates on domestic flights. These trips can be organized through one of Alaska’s international partners.

There are some routes where it doesn’t make sense to use the points. Certain low-cost routes and paths are better paid for using cash, given that it will work out cheaper. Finding the best method of redeeming your points is an exact science.

Unlocking Elite Status

If you fly a certain number of miles each year with Alaska Airlines, you may find that you qualify for elite status with the airline. There are three tiers to this system, beginning at MVP and moving to MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K. You can get a range of great benefits with these programs, such as mileage bonuses, priority check-in and discounted access to the Alaska Airlines Lounge.

If you’re considering signing up for the Alaska Airlines credit card, you’ll probably want to consider these powerful benefits too. To earn these varying degrees of elite status, you’ll need to earn the following number of Alaska Airlines miles:

MVP: 20,000

MVP Gold: 40,000

MVP Gold 75K: 75,000

It’s also possible to qualify by earning miles with Alaska Airlines and its partners, but this is a slightly higher number. You can also qualify by taking a set number of flights if you still happen to fall short of the distances.

Pricing and Interest Rates

There is no introductory APR for this card, and the standard APR rate lies between 17.24% and 25.24% depending on your credit rating. This APR rate is generally around average for these types of credit cards, and you should be sure to quickly settle your balances.

Great Security Features

This card is issued by the Bank of America, meaning that you can rest easy knowing that you benefit from all of its security features while you’re on the road. Potential fraud is not a risk either, given that it is blocked, and you receive a $0 Liability Guarantee for fraudulent transactions.

What’s more, you receive online shopping protection as well as overdraft protection if you link your checking account with your credit card.

Online banking and account alerts are also key features offered by Bank of America – you receive access to them all via this credit card.

Terms and Conditions

It’s important that you carefully read the terms and conditions that are associated with the credit card. This is always highly recommended – a good understanding of the terms and conditions will help you to maximize the benefits that you receive while also helping you to avoid any unexpected errors.

The terms and conditions are clearly explained, and you can rest assured that the card is issued by Bank of America. This means that you get all of the protection and legitimacy that you need.

The Bottom Line

If you fly frequently with Alaska and find yourself well-served by the routes that it offers, then this is a great credit card option. The benefits that you receive are myriad and generous, helping you to enjoy a more pleasant flying experience while also building some serious bonus miles.

These miles are easy to use, and you can even enjoy international travel through Alaska’s international partners. You will probably want to spend some time strategizing and researching which routes are the best. With some considerate selection, you’ll find that you are able to maximize the value of your points.

The other benefits and rates offered by the card are impressive and make it an attractive choice as your main card. Of course, the annual Companion Fare is very impressive if you would like to travel with a partner. The lack of blackout dates is another nice touch, helping you to travel comfortably and at your convenience for a great price.

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