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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Alaska Signature Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Do you fly with Alaska Airlines frequently? If so, you’ve probably heard of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. And if you’re looking to make a change to your wallet, you’ve probably considered this card.

But you’ll want to think twice before applying because you might miss out on better rewards and benefits!

That’s because the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best travel rewards credit cards in the world, including for those who fly Alaska frequently.

In this guide, we’ll compare these 2 credit cards head-to-head and show you who might benefit most from choosing one or the other.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Alaska Signature Card — Overview

Before we dive into the details, let’s look at a comparison of these 2 cards. Below you’ll find a summary table that describes what you can expect from each card at a high level:

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BenefitChase Sapphire Preferred® CardAlaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
Welcome OfferEarn 75,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.Get 60,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days.
Earning Potential
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
  • 3x points on dining
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases
  • 3x points on select streaming purchases
  • 2x points on other travel
  • 1x points on other purchases
  • 10% rewards anniversary bonus based on the total dollar amount spent after card renewal
  • 3x miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
  • 2x miles on eligible gas, local transit, rideshare, cable, and select streaming services
  • 1x miles on other purchases
  • 10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from card purchases if you have an eligible Bank of America account
Redemption Options
  • Transfer to airline and hotel partners
  • Bookings made through Chase Travel (25% redemption bonus)
  • Pay Yourself Back (including a 25% redemption bonus on certain categories)
  • Amazon.com purchases
  • BestBuy.com purchases
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Cash-back or statement credits
  • Alaska Airlines flights (including Money & Miles awards)
  • First class upgrades on Alaska Airlines
  • Flights on Alaska Airlines partners such as Japan Airlines and British Airways
  • Hotel bookings through Rocketmiles
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Share, gift, or donate miles
  • Alaska Airlines Extras
Airline Program BenefitsNone
  • Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare once per year after your account anniversary
  • Free checked bag for yourself and up to 6 companions traveling on the same reservation
  • Priority boarding for yourself and up to 6 companions traveling on the same reservation
  • $100 off an annual Alaska Lounge+ membership
  • 20% back on Alaska Airlines inflight purchases
Statement Credits
  • $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit
None
Travel Insurance and Protections
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Trip interruption and cancellation insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Secondary rental car insurance
  • Trip interruption and cancellation insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • 6 months of Instacart+ membership and up to $15 per quarter when you activate by July 31, 2024
  • A minimum of 1 year of DoorDash DashPass membership when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • No foreign transaction fees
Annual Fees$95$95
Authorized UsersNo additional annual fees for authorized usersNo additional annual fees for authorized users

As you can tell from the table above, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers everyday bonus categories that are more useful to the average person than the Alaska Airlines Signature card. For example, earning bonus points on dining and online grocery purchases could mean racking up bonus points every single day.

Also, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are generally more valuable than Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles when compared to each other. You can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for luxury flights and hotels — and in most cases, you can even use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for Alaska Airlines flights.

That’s why we think Chase Ultimate Rewards points are a better currency to accumulate in the long term than Alaska Mileage Plan miles.

That said, the Alaska Airlines Signature card offers some terrific benefits like priority boarding, a free checked bag, a discount on a lounge membership, and more.

If you think you’ll be able to maximize those Alaska Airlines-specific benefits, you might be better off with the Alaska Airlines Signature card. But if you want a card that returns the most money back to your wallet, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card might be the best for you.

The Value of a Welcome Offer

Applying for a credit card at the right time can mean the difference between getting a bonus worth a few hundred dollars or a bonus worth upwards of a thousand dollars!

And if you’re the type of person who wants to sign up for a card when the welcome bonus is at its absolute highest, we absolutely share the same mentality.

That’s because a welcome bonus is one of the quickest, easiest ways to rack up a ton of points in just a few months.

Here are the best welcome offers available on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Alaska Airlines Signature card:

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points vs. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

34-Singapore Airlines new A380 First Suite Double Bed
Singapore Airlines’s new A380 First Class Suite is bookable using Chase Ultimate Rewards points! Image Credit: Greg Stone

In general, we consider Chase Ultimate Rewards points to be more useful than Alaska Mileage Plan miles. That’s because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferrable rewards points, while Alaska Mileage Plan miles are more limited in scope.

You can pretty much only use Mileage Plan miles for flights on Alaska Airlines or its partners (including Oneworld airlines).

Here’s an example: if you wanted to book a flight on Germany’s Lufthansa, you’d be out of luck if you tried to use Alaska Mileage Plan miles because the 2 carriers aren’t partners. On the other hand, if you had Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you could book a Lufthansa flight easily.

But, it gets better — you can even use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book flights on Alaska Airlines.

That’s because Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to Alaska Airlines’s partners such as British Airways’ Executive Club program. Once you’ve transferred points to British Airways, you can book Alaska Airlines flights using British Airways Avios.

In addition, you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for hotel stays, thanks to its partnerships with IHG One Rewards, World of Hyatt, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Earning Potential

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Earning CategoryChase Sapphire Preferred CardAlaska Airlines Signature Card
Travel Booked Through Chase Travel5x pointsN/A
Lyft5x points (through March 31, 2025)2x miles
Select Peloton Purchases over $2505x points (through March 31, 2025)1x miles
Dining3x points1x miles
Online Grocery Purchases3x points1x miles
Select Streaming Services3x points2x miles
Other Travel Purchases2x points1x miles
Alaska Airlines Purchases2x points3x miles
Gas1x points2x miles
Local Transit1x points2x miles
Rideshare (Non-Lyft)2x points2x miles
Cable1x points2x miles
Other Purchases1x points1x miles

We value Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, making the Chase Sapphire Preferred card capable of earning you a return on spending upwards of 10%, which is huge.

Meanwhile, the Alaska Airlines Signature card earns Alaska Airlines miles, which we value at 1.8 cents each, so this credit card earns a maximum return on spending of 5.4%.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — 10% Anniversary Earning Bonus

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you qualify for a 10% Ultimate Rewards anniversary earning bonus after every cardmember anniversary year renewal, which is based on the total dollar amount spent, not the total number of points earned.

For example, if you spend $50,000 in a given year, you’ll get a 5,000-point bonus after renewing your card for another year.

Alaska Airlines Signature Card — 10% Rewards Bonus

The Alaska Airlines Signature card also offers a 10% rewards bonus, though it is earned differently. If you have an eligible Bank of America account, you’ll earn a 10% rewards bonus on miles.

Bottom Line:

After all is said and done, you can get up to 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on purchases with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, plus the 10% anniversary earning bonus, which is a 10%+ return on spending. The Alaska Airlines Signature card, in the meantime, maxes out at 3x Alaska Airlines miles and also includes a 10% rewards bonus for those with an eligible Bank of America account, which is a nearly a 6% return on spending.

Redemption Options

Qatar QSuites, 777, Alex Miller of Upgraded Points, Inflight Entertainment
Enjoy Qatar Airways Qsuites’ high level of service on Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Alaska Mileage Plan miles! Image Credit: Alex Miller

Now, let’s get to the fun part: redeeming points!

As a general rule of thumb, the best value you can get from redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points will be when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners.

For example, if you transfer 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Executive Club, you can book a one-way flight in Qatar Airways Qsuites from the U.S. to Doha (DOH). This is a fairly challenging endeavor, though, which requires you to find award availability before booking the flights. You can also transfer points to World of Hyatt and book 5-star hotels using points for stellar value.

Other ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points without searching for award availability include travel booked through the Chase Travel portal with a 25% redemption bonus (1.25 cents per point), Pay Yourself Back, cash-back, gift cards, Amazon.com purchases, BestBuy.com purchases, and so on.

Just keep in mind that you won’t get the same redemption value as you would with airline and hotel partners.

There are also some fantastic ways to redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles, including for Japan Airlines first class, British Airways business class, and so on.

If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can also book hotels through Rocketmiles, redeem miles for first class upgrades, book Money & Miles fares, donate miles, get magazines, and redeem for other ancillaries like onboard Wi-Fi.

Alaska Airlines Benefits

Alaska Airlines Visa with food
Get 20% back on Alaska Airlines inflight purchases with the Alaska Airlines Signature card. Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Because the Chase Sapphire Preferred card isn’t co-branded or affiliated with any airlines, it doesn’t offer any airline-specific benefits.

The story is totally different with the Alaska Airlines Signature card, though.

As to be expected, the Alaska Airlines Signature card outperforms the Chase Sapphire Preferred card in airline-specific perks. Here’s what cardholders can expect:

Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare is a major benefit of getting this card. You’ll earn it once per year when you spend $6,000 or more on purchases within the prior anniversary year. This essentially is a buy-one-get-one discount for a $99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23.

So let’s say you’re planning a trip for yourself and a significant other. If the particular plane tickets you found are $300 per person, you can use the companion fare to get a discount on the second ticket, starting from $122.

In addition, when you hold this card, both you and up to 6 companions traveling on the same reservation will get a free checked bag and priority boarding.

If you make an inflight purchase using your card, you’ll get 20% back.

And if lounge access is important to you while flying on Alaska Airlines, this card gets you $100 off of an annual Alaska Lounge+ membership when you purchase with your Alaska Airlines Signature card.

Finally, you can get a 10% Mileage Plan miles bonus on all miles earned from card purchases if you have an eligible Bank of America account.

Statement Credits

Hotel bed
Image Credit: Nik Lanus via Unsplash

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card currently offers a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit, which gives you a statement credit of $50 towards any hotel stay purchased through Chase Travel every cardmember anniversary year.

Travel Insurance and Protections

One area that separates good travel rewards cards from great ones is the realm of travel insurance and protection.

In this section, we’ll dissect both cards’ policies in detail. Pay close attention — using these benefits just once can save you thousands of dollars.

Rental Car Insurance

If you’re renting a car while traveling, you want to make sure you have adequate rental car coverage.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll get primary rental car insurance, which kicks in before your personal insurance policy. That means you don’t need to file a claim with your insurance provider before you can get coverage with your rental car.

The Alaska Airlines Signature card offers a weaker secondary rental car insurance policy. This means you will need to file a claim with your own insurance before filing a claim using your card’s rental car coverage.

To get coverage, decline the rental agency’s loss damage waiver or collision damage waiver (LDW/CDW) and pay for your reservation using your credit card.

Roadside Assistance

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can make roadside assistance service calls for a flat rate of $69.95 per service call, which includes:

  • Changing tires (must have a good, inflated spare)
  • Delivering fuel (up to 5 gallons plus the cost of fuel)
  • Lockout service (key replacement is not included)
  • Jump-starting
  • Standard towing, up to 5 miles
  • Standard winching

The Alaska Airlines Signature card doesn’t offer roadside assistance.

Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance

If you’re about to embark on a trip or you’re already on a trip and you suddenly get ill, injured, or have a death in your family that causes your trip to get canceled or interrupted, you can use trip interruption and cancellation insurance to get reimbursed for expenses that are prepaid and nonrefundable.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s trip interruption and cancellation insurance offers up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip in coverage.

The Alaska Airlines Signature card offers up to $1,500 per trip in trip interruption and cancellation coverage.

Trip Delay Reimbursement

While you’re traveling, you may occasionally be faced with trip delays. When that happens, you might need to book an overnight stay at a hotel or make other plans.

When you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to pay for your common carrier ticket and the trip is delayed for a covered reason, you can get up to $500 in reimbursements for delays of 12 hours or more (or when an overnight stay is required). This reimbursement is only allowed once per trip.

The Alaska Airlines Signature card covers you for up to $250 in reimbursements on eligible delays of 6 hours or more.

Baggage Delay Insurance

If you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, use it to purchase a ticket on a common carrier (such as a commercial airline), and the bags are delayed by more than 6 hours after you land, you’re eligible to get up to $100 per day in reimbursements towards the purchase of essentials while you are waiting for your bags.

The Alaska Airlines Signature card doesn’t currently offer baggage delay insurance.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement

The Alaska Airlines Signature card and Chase Sapphire Preferred card both offer up to $3,000 per passenger in reimbursements for lost or damaged luggage, assuming you paid for your common carrier ticket using your credit card.

Travel Accident Insurance

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card includes up to $500,000 in travel accident insurance, while the Alaska Airlines Signature card does not include any travel accident insurance.

Travel and Emergency Assistance Services

Need to find a doctor in a foreign country? Lost your luggage? Looking for help with prescription medications?

You may find value in the travel and emergency assistance services available to you when you have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Alaska Airlines Signature card.

Here are some of the benefits you can use:

  • Emergency message service
  • Emergency ticket replacement
  • Emergency translation service
  • Emergency transportation services
  • Legal/medical referrals
  • Lost luggage locator assistance
  • Pre-trip assistance
  • Prescription assistance
  • Valuable document delivery

Keep in mind this is a referral service only — you’ll be financially responsible for any services incurred.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Woman with shopping bags walking in mall escalator
Image Credit: freestocks via Unsplash

Instacart+ Benefits

When you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can activate 6 complimentary months of Instacart+ membership and up to $15 per quarter in statement credits when you activate by July 31, 2024.

The Alaska Airlines Signature card doesn’t offer Instacart benefits.

DoorDash Benefits

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can activate your complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership for a minimum of 1 year as long as you activate it by December 31, 2024. This is valid for both DoorDash and Caviar.

The Alaska Airlines Signature card doesn’t offer any benefits with DoorDash.

Purchase Protection

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers purchase protection for eligible purchases up to 120 days after the date of purchase, which covers you in the event that your items are damaged or stolen. You can qualify for up to $500 per item and up to $50,000 per calendar year.

The Alaska Airlines Signature card matches the same reimbursement limits, though it only covers purchases for up to 90 days after the date of purchase.

Extended Warranty

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 1 additional year on eligible warranties of 3 years or less, which can reimburse you for up to $10,000 per item and up to $50,000 per calendar year in total reimbursements.

The extended warranty coverage on the Alaska Airlines Signature card is identical to that on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Both of these cards don’t have any foreign transaction fees, which is an essential benefit for the internationally-focused traveler.

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

Annual Fees

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card charges an annual fee of $95, and the Alaska Airlines Signature card also charges a $95 annual fee.

Adding Authorized Users

Both of these cards offer the ability to add authorized users for no additional annual fees. That way, you can earn points from your family members’ spending!

Final Thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a superior card to the Alaska Airlines Signature card in many respects, even if you tend to book a lot of Alaska Airlines flights.

If you have an appetite for flexible travel rewards and want to avoid limiting yourself to Alaska Airlines’ route network, you should probably use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. That’s because Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be utilized for many types of flights and even hotels and car rentals!

Also, the accrual structure on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is much stronger than the Alaska Airlines Signature card’s accrual structure.

The Alaska Airlines Signature card offers a few Alaska-specific benefits, including a free checked bag, priority boarding, and a discount on Alaska Lounge+ membership. These benefits could tip the scales in favor of the Alaska Airlines Signature card, but you’ll need to ask yourself how often you’d be using these benefits if you’re seriously considering this card.

The information regarding the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Chase Sapphire points for Alaska Airlines?

You can definitely use the points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred card for flights on Alaska Airlines. You can either book Alaska Airlines flights directly through the Chase travel portal with points or you can transfer points to a partner like British Airways Executive Club and book an Alaska Airlines flight through there.

Is Chase Sapphire Preferred card good for flights?

Yes! The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is fantastic for booking flights. You’ll earn 5x points when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You’ll also earn 2x points when you book other travel outside of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Can I book Alaska Airlines through Chase Ultimate Rewards?

Yes, but you cannot transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Alaska Airlines directly. However, you can book Alaska Airlines flights through the Chase travel portal. You can also search for award availability through British Airways Executive Club and then transfer your points to British Airways for Alaska Airlines flights when you find availability.

How hard is it to get an Alaska Airlines credit card?

In general, you should try to have a good credit score of at least 700 before you apply for the Alaska Airlines Signature card. Keep in mind you can get approved with a score of less than 700 and you can also get denied with a score of higher than 700, but it depends on your credit profile.

Stephen Au's image

About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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