Bank of America Alaska Airlines Travel Rewards Card Review

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Alaska Airlines offers many opportunities for domestic and international flights, both for paid and award travel. The co-brand Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card from Bank of America has some terrific perks when it comes to traveling with Alaska Airlines and its partners. Let’s review the benefits of having this credit card, and you can find out if it's worth adding to your portfolio of rewards earning cards.

Alaska-Airlines-Visa-Signature-Credit-Card

Sign-On Bonus

One of the best perks of the Alaska Visa Card is the sign-on bonus. You receive 30,000 miles into your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account as soon as you are approved for the card and make $1,000 of purchases on the card in the first 90 days. While 30,000 miles might not sound like a lot when compared to other programs, with the quality and flexibility of Alaska's transfer partners, those 30,000 miles can take you a long way.

And, there's also the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card you can apply for as well. For a limited time, the signup bonus includes a $100 statement credit and an improved companion pass, buy one ticket, get one for just taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22).

Low-Cost Companion Tickets

In addition to the companion pass received as soon as you are approved for the Alaska Visa Card, you will be eligible for an annual companion fare starting at $121 (this includes fees for the $99 ticket, which add up to an additional $22).

Accumulate Miles Quickly on Paid Flights

You will receive 3 miles for every dollar that you spend on Alaska Airlines purchases, including tickets, vacation packages, and cargo purchases. You will receive one mile for every other dollar you spend using the Alaska Visa Card. Receive 5 miles per dollar spent on Mileage Plan dining purchases.

There is no limit to the number of miles that you can receive, and Alaska miles never expire as long as your account remains active. Alaska can close inactive accounts after 2 years of no activity.

Mileage Plan Dining

Alaska Airlines offers a great way to earn miles by using the card for dining. First, you sign up for a free Mileage Plan Dining membership. Then, you can dine in or order takeout from more than 11,000 participating restaurants, bars or clubs, and receive up to 5 miles for every dollar you spend with your Alaska Visa Card. This can help you receive tons of miles that can then be redeemed for great travel rewards.

Free Checked Bag

With the Alaska Visa Card, you will get one bag for each person on your reservation, up to 6 people, checked for free. This is a huge cost saving, especially when traveling with a family.

Great Security

The Alaska Visa Card offers chip and signature technology, which helps to protect your personal information from any instances of fraud. Chip technology is growing in popularity and now preferred in more than 130 countries around the world.

Annual Fee

The Alaska Visa Card has an annual fee of $75, which is not waived the first year. Even with the annual fee, most cardholders would agree that the companion ticket alone justifies this cost. Using this ticket along with your miles received means great travel discounts when you fly on Alaska Airlines.

Flexible Redemption

Alaska Airlines is home to one of the highest value frequent flyer programs of any airline. This is owing in part to Alaska not being a member of any global airline alliances, and therefore being able to pick and choose its partners. It's also due to Mileage Plan's fantastic award chart, which features some of the best value awards available today.

Highlights and example awards include:

  • US -> Tokyo (Stopover) -> Delhi 70K in JAL First
  • Intra-Asia With A Stopover for 22.5K in Cathay or Hainan Business
  • LA -> Fiji (Stopover) -> Auckland 55K in Fiji Airways Business
  • Dallas -> Sydney (Stopover) -> Perth 55/70K in Qantas Business/First
  • US -> Asia, South Africa, or the Middle East 70K in Cathay Pacific First

In March 2016, Alaska devalued Emirates first class with no notice, increasing redemption rates between 67% and 100% depending on the route with the minimum now costing 150,000 miles. Japan Airlines is now a much better option to transfer miles to for first class redemptions.

Conclusion

While this card may be flying under the radar and going relatively unnoticed as far as travel cards go, it offers substantial benefits and access to high-value awards. With a lucrative sign-on bonus, and the option to combine cash with miles for redemption, you have a lot of flexibility when you are looking for discounted travel. The companion ticket alone more than justifies the reasonable annual fee.

Take a closer look at the Alaska Visa Card if you are in the market for a solid travel credit card with good redemption options!

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Travel Rewards Card Review
4.4 (88.67%) 30 votes
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Comments

  • Doug Fields says:

    Don’t get this card, unless you want to wait 2 plus months to get your companion coupon.
    I just spent over an hour with the CONcierge service, where I was told there was no way to get the coupon.. its been well over a month!!!!

  • James Morrison says:

    This card is definitely worth having if you anticipate flying on Alaska Airlines, particularly if you will be flying with someone else using the Companion Fare. We just saved $350 on round trip ticket for two using my card. Last month, we used my wife’s card to save about $400 on another round trip ticket. This makes the $75 fee a bargain. Not to mention free luggage, saving $25 per person each flight. Finally, Alaska Air miles are some of the best value out there for redemptions. We used our Alaska Air miles to fly business class on Air France recently.

  • The “rewards” system for this credit card is a JOKE. The limits to what flights you can book are so limited, it’s not even worth the companion fare option or the miles. And trying to upgrade using points? GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. Not a single ticket in first class can be booked if you want to upgrade. And for one flight I was trying to upgrade on, not a single ticket was booked, and they still wouldn’t let me upgrade. And any money in your Alaska wallet to use for future use can’t be used either. They just take your money and then treat you like you’re asking for the moon if you want to use your money for anything than what you originally booked. Spending almost six figures on their credit card gets you nowhere b/c you can’t use your points due to all these restrictions. Don’t even bother with these snakes.

    • Sorry you’ve had such trouble — however, it seems like you don’t fully understand how these programs work. Alaska miles are by far some of the best as far as we’re concerned — they’re actually our favorite.

      They’re not snakes, you just need to understand how the program works and how to maximize the value in the programs. If you want something more straightforward you’re probably better off looking at a cash back style program.

  • I use this card regularly and it is incredibly irritating every time I make a payment, my funds are in limbo for 10 days on some Bank of America decides to put on the payment *EVERY* time I make a payment (not my banking institution). I have to call and spend an hour each time I make a payment to hold someone’s hands to call my bank and validate funds were removed from my account. 🙁 Makes me want to not have this card. In 20 years I’ve not had anything so ludicrous.

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