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For frequent travelers within the US, the Alaska Airlines Visa® offers flight-centric perks and rewards that may be worth considering. However, international jetsetters and rewards seekers looking for an everyday credit card can find better deals.
The Alaska Airlines Visa® card is a worthwhile option for frequent Alaska Airlines travelers. Though their range is limited—Alaska Airlines only serves North America, but that doesn’t include every US state—your miles can be redeemed for flights with 23 airline partners.
With the Alaska Airlines Visa® card, you’ll earn three miles per dollar on your Alaska Airlines purchases and one mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases, plus one mile per every two dollars spent on eligible dining expenses through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining program.
Those rates are fairly typical for an airline-specific rewards card, but a little lower-than-average for a general travel card. Miles can be redeemed for tickets, seat upgrades, and hotel reservations through Alaska Airlines Hotels, among other ways.
The most notable benefit of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan loyalty program is the annual Companion Fare, which lets a guest travel on a round-trip coach ticket for only $99 (you’ll still pay taxes and fees on the ticket). You’ll also save 20% on your in-flight purchases when you fly with Alaska Airlines and get up to seven free checked bags for yourself and guests on your itinerary.
With benefits like these, you stand to save a lot of money when you fly with Alaska Airlines if you regularly fly in North America. On the other hand, you’ll be paying a $75 annual fee and potentially face some high APR for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.
If you don’t fly Alaska Airlines enough to justify the annual fee, consider a different airline’s credit card or look at general travel cards—their rewards rates and other benefits may stack up a lot higher.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Important Details
Basic Card Details
- Credit card issuer: Bank of America
- Annual fee: $75
- Purchase APR: 18.24%–26.24% (variable)
- Rewards rate: 1%–3%
- Grace period: 25 days after end of billing cycle
- $0 liability for fraudulent purchases
- Get 20% back for in-flight Alaska Airlines purchases
- Free checked bags for you and 6 other guests on your reservation
- Pay only $99 (plus taxes and fees) on a guest’s ticket with an annual Companion Fare code
- Overdraft protection when you link your Bank of America checking account
- FICO score checks through the Bank of America mobile app
Alaska Airlines Visa® Feature Breakdown
Here’s an overview of the Alaska Airlines Visa® card’s fees, interest rates, rewards, and other notable features.
- Annual fee: $75
- Balance transfer fee: 10 or 3% of transaction amount (whichever is greater)
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 3%–5% of transaction amount (depending on advance method and whichever is greater)
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Late payment fee: $40
- Purchase APR: 18.24%–26.24% (variable)
- Balance transfer APR: 18.24%–26.24% (variable)
- Cash advance APR: 21.24%–29.24%
- Penalty APR: 29.99%
With the Alaska Airlines Visa® card you’ll earn unlimited miles per dollar in two tiers:
- 3x on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
- 1x on all other purchases
Purchases eligible for 3x miles include flights, vacation packages, lounge memberships, food and drinks purchased in-flight or in Alaska Airlines lounges, and more.
Alaska Airlines Visa® cardholders are also enrolled by default in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining program and earn 1 mile for every 2 dollars spent at participating restaurants.
You can redeem your miles in the following ways through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program:
- Flights from Alaska Airlines and other eligible Oneworld Alliance airlines
- Reservations at participating hotels booked through Alaska Airlines Hotels
- Alaska Airlines seat upgrades to First Class
- Subscriptions to magazines
- Buying or bidding on tickets to sports, entertainment, and dining events through Alaska Extras
When you redeem your miles for Alaska Airlines flights, you won’t be subject to blackout dates, but you will need to meet a 5,000-mile redemption threshold.
Each year, you’ll get a Companion Fare code for a round-trip coach ticket. With the code, you’ll only pay a $99 base fare (plus fees and taxes of at least $22) on a qualifying ticket on your itinerary.
When you spend at least $2,000 within your first 90 days, you’ll get 50,000 bonus miles and a Companion Fare code—normally only available after your first year.
The Alaska Airlines Visa® card lets you take out cash advances, a kind of loan taken out using your available credit. There are many ways to take out a cash advance with your card, and they come with varying fees and interest.
For cash advances made via check or as a direct deposit, you’ll pay $10 or 3% of your cash advance amount (whichever is greater) and a variable 21.24%–29.24% APR.
For cash-equivalent advances, cash advances taken out from ATMs or over-the-counter at a bank, or same-day online cash advances, the fee is $10 or 5% of your cash advance amount (whichever is greater) and the APR is 29.24% (variable).
You can transfer your balance from another credit card to your Alaska Airlines Visa® card. Balance transfers are subject to an APR of 18.24%–26.24% (variable) and a fee of $10 or 3% of the amount transferred (whichever is greater).
When you make a wire transfer from a non-financial institution, you’ll need to pay a fee of $10 or 5% of the amount of your transfer.
The Alaska Airlines Visa® card offers two special benefits for Alaska Airlines travelers:
- Statement credit equal to 20% of your in-flight purchases, including food, beverages, and Wi-Fi access
- Check a bag free for each member on your reservation (up to seven bags)
As a Visa Signature card, the Alaska Airlines Visa® card comes with 24/7 roadside and travel assistance, cell phone insurance coverage, and a variety of other protections.
Cardholders also receive the following benefits from Bank of America:
- $0 fraud liability: You won’t be held liable for any fraudulent charges posted to your account.
- Overdraft protection: Connect your card to an eligible Bank of America checking account and you’ll automatically take out a cash advance to cover overdrafts.
- FICO score checks: Get free monthly TransUnion FICO Score checks through the Bank of America mobile app.
Bank of America reports to the credit bureaus, including Equifax, Transunion, and Experian.
Other Alaska Airlines Cards
Bank of America also issues the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card, which doesn’t differ from the consumer card in any notable ways besides a larger welcome bonus (70,000 miles).
In the past, Bank of America offered two consumer Alaska Airlines cards: the Alaska Airlines Visa® Signature and Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Visa®. The Visa® Signature became the currently available card, and the Platinum Plus card was retired.
Canadian residents have access to the Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus® Mastercard® and Alaska Airlines World Elite® Mastercard®, which are issued by MBNA.
The Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus® Mastercard® offers lower APR but half as many miles as a welcome bonus. It also features some MBNA-exclusive benefits, like purchase protection and discounts on rental cars from Avis and Budget.
The Alaska Airlines World Elite® Mastercard® is exclusively available to high-income earners ($80,000 CAD for individuals and $150,000 CAD for households) and offers its own special benefits, like price protection for flights and complimentary checked bags.
Should You Get the Alaska Airlines Visa®?
The Alaska Airlines Visa® card may be worth its $75 annual fee if you’re already an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan member or frequently fly with Alaska Airlines. Between the opportunities for free checked bags, the annual Companion Fare, and the ability to redeem miles for flights, you can save a pretty penny if you use this card to the fullest.
However, if you tend to travel outside Alaska Airlines’ range or just want better rewards rates, you may find more value in a different airline loyalty program card or a general travel rewards card.
Who is this card for?
- Frequent Alaska Airlines flyers: If you regularly travel with Alaska Airlines, you’ll get the most out of this card, earning miles on flights and other eligible purchases while saving money through free checked bags and the 20% rebate on in-flight purchases.
- Traveling couples or small groups: If you’re traveling with a partner or your family, you can make good use of those complimentary checked bags and the yearly Companion Fare.
To help you decide if the Alaska Airlines Visa® card is right for you, here’s a look at how it compares to some of its competitors.