An airline rewards credit card can be a great thing to have in your wallet if you're a frequent traveler. You'll earn airline miles by simply using your card in-network, and then you can book award flights at a discount by redeeming those miles.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Card
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card is issued by Bank of America. This is the credit card issuer and the lending institution that will hold your Visa signature credit card account.
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You can apply for an Alaska Airlines Visa card online at the airline's website or at Bank of America's site.
Alaska Airlines has partnered with the oneworld® Alliance and with more than 20 other airlines so you're not limited to using your earned rewards with just Alaska. Your Alaska Airline miles can also be used to fly on these other airlines. They include American Airlines, Qantas, British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific.
You can use your miles to travel to more than 1,000 destinations, and there are no foreign transaction fees so you can use your card anywhere without adding extra charges to your balance.
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New Account Bonus Miles
As of late 2021, Alaska Airlines will automatically give you 40,000 bonus miles as a sign-up bonus for its card, a cash value of about $720 off your airfare. (This is down from 50,000 earlier in the year.) You can continue earning mileage plan miles from there. You'll get three more miles for every $1 you charge on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and one mile for each $1 you spend on other purchases.
Your miles don't expire as long as your account is open and active. You can add stopovers for free, even on one-way flights. There are no blackout dates.
Companion Fare Benefits
The Alaska Airlines credit card also comes with Alaska's Famous Companion Fare perks if you're not traveling alone. They're valued at $121 as of late 2021: $99 toward airfare plus $22 in taxes and fees for additional tickets on the same flight.
But there are a couple of catches attached to this reward. Annual companion fare is only good for coach travel and you must make $2,000 in purchases with your card within 90 days of opening your account to qualify.
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Free Checked Bags and Other Discounts
You can also check one bag for free each time you fly Alaska Airlines, a value of up to $60 per person on a round trip ($30 each way) for yourself and up to six other passengers.
Additionally, card benefits include saving 50 percent off day passes at the Alaska Lounge, and 20 percent back on any eligible Alaska Airlines inflight purchases you make on Alaska Airlines flights if you pay with your card. The 20-percent-off reward will appear as a statement credit.
How to Sign Up and Redeem Miles
You can apply for an Alaska Airlines Visa card online at the airline's website or at Bank of America's site. Alaska Airlines says that you can get a response as to whether you're approved within as little as 30 seconds, and you can immediately book your next flight using your card. But be warned: Bank of America has a policy that limits you to being approved for four new credit cards in a two-year period.
The card will cost you a $75 annual fee, and it's not waived for the first year, a perk offered by some other lenders. There's no special introductory annual percentage rate, either. It's a variable rate ranging from 15.99 percent to 23.99 percent as of late 2021. Bank of America also charges a $10 balance transfer fee or a fee of 3 percent of the transaction, whichever is greater.
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You can link your card to your Bank of America checking account, if you have one, to avoid declined charges in the event of an overdraft.