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Bank of America is offering an increased signup bonus on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card of 30,000 bonus MileagePlan miles after $1000 spend in the first 90 days.
It's a borderline call if the 30,000 bonus miles is an improved offer over the previous 25,000 + $100 statement credit. Using a flat redeemable value on MileagePlan miles shows the $100 statement credit as slightly more valuable than the extra 5000 miles (we look to redeem a minimum of 1.7 cents per Alaska Mileage Plan mile, and the statement credit works out to 2 cents per mile).
But, this is always a subjective comparison. The value of MileagePlan miles is at it's most lucrative when redeemed across Alaska's partner airlines, particularly the international partners with Alaska recently adding Japan Airlines as another 1:1 ratio transfer partner.
Here's an outline of benefits on the new co-branded credit card offer from Alaska:
- 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days.
- Annual companion fare from US$121 ($99, plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.
- Free checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
- Up to 5x miles per $1 spent using Mileage Plan Dining.
- 3x miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, vacation packages, cargo and in-flight purchases.
- 1x mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Retains the $75 annual fee. The fee is not waived for the first year.
UPDATE: Alaska and BOA have increased the value of the companion pass offered with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card. For a limited time, new cardholders need to pay just $22 in taxes and fees for the companion pass, saving $99 off the $121 fare typically offered with this card.
Another question on the minds Virgin America Elevate members will be:
Is this the offer that will be available to Elevate members as Alaska moves forward with its Virgin acquisition?
Alaska is using its acquisition of Virgin America to expand the reach of its co-branded credit card deeper into the West Coast, and I imagine that to keep Elevate members engaged it might take a little more incentive than what is currently on the table
Not being a member of a global airline alliance has left Alaska in a unique position for a US carrier, allowing it more freedom to choose its partners. Coupled with the ability to book stopovers on one-way flights, the value of MileagePlan is not just in its cent per point value, but the flexibility to customize itineraries and leverage the value of your miles for added experiences.
The new Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card offer may not be the most valuable co-branded card on the market, but MileagePlan miles are redeemable across a wide variety of partners and with flexible booking options. These are all things worth considering when you weigh up which cards will best suit your current travel goals.
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