Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Review

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Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Review

"Annual $99 Companion Pass"

Provides the potential to earn plenty of miles to fly with Alaska Airlines or over a dozen partners. Plus, get an annual companion pass for $99 (+ taxes and fees).

Learn More (at Bank of America's secure site)

Sometimes it feels like you spend more time in the air than you do on the ground! When flying, your favorite carrier is Alaska Airlines, with over 800 destinations worldwide.

With the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card in your wallet, you could get great perks and earn free miles at the same time. This is a win-win if Alaska is the airline you prefer to fly with!

Card Snapshot

The Ideal Cardholder

Sign-Up Bonus, Earning Categories, and Points

The current sign-up bonus for the Alaska credit card can be seen above in the card summary table.

Earn 3x miles for every dollar spent on Alaska Airline tickets, vacation packages, cargo, and in-flight purchases. You’ll get 1x mile for every dollar spent on all of your other purchases.

Plus you can redeem those miles for flights and upgrades on Alaska Airlines or any of their 15 global airline partners, including American Airlines, KLM, and British Airways!

Bottom Line:  Get 3x miles for Alaska flights and 1x miles for all other purchases when using the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card.

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Benefits

The Alaska credit card also comes with a couple great perks.

Not only is your first checked bag free on Alaska Airlines-operated flights, but the benefit extends to 6 other passengers as long as they are on your reservation.

Based on the typical $25 per bag fee, that’s a huge savings of up to $175!

You also get a $99 companion fare each year if you make at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. That means you can travel with a family member or friend for only $99 plus taxes and fees ($22)!

This savings easily offsets the card’s $75 annual fee!

Bottom Line: The 2 major perks of the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card are the free first checked bag and an annual $99 companion fare offer when you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months.

International Travel Benefits

If you like to fly abroad, you’ll love that the card has recently eliminated foreign transaction fee for purchases, saving you 3% automatically.

In addition, the card is chip-enabled for enhanced security. The chip also makes it easier to make purchases out of the country since many places only accept cards that have them.

Bottom Line: No foreign transaction fees and an EMV chip make this card a nice option when traveling abroad.

Even More Benefits

Your miles never expire with the card as long as it stays active. You can also earn as many as you want because there’s no cap.

Plus, because it’s a Visa Signature card, you get a variety of shopping and travel perks, which we’ll break down in the Gritty Details section.

Alaska Credit Card Drawbacks

If you fly Alaska Airlines and its partner airlines on a frequent basis, you can earn a decent amount of miles with the card. Those miles can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, and magazine subscriptions.

Unfortunately, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan loyalty program doesn’t have a wide variety of redemption options like some airline credit cards. In addition, it can be difficult to redeem miles because of the restrictions put on awards.

If you’re looking for more flexibility, you may want to consider another card like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

The sign-up offer for that card is typically very good. In addition, you earn 2 points per $1 for all stays at participating SPG hotels and $1 for everything else. Finally, the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express allows you to transfer points to over 150 airlines (including Alaska Airlines) with no blackout dates. For every 20,000 points you transfer, you get an additional 5,000 bonus miles!

The card gives you other redemption options too. Not only could you still fly Alaska Airlines (as well as a ton of other airlines) but you can redeem points for hotel stays, gift cards, and more.

Bottom Line: Travelers who want more flexible redemption options might consider the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, which allows you to transfer points to Alaska Airlines and has lots of benefits.

Card Conclusion

The potential value you can get from the Alaska credit card depends on how often you fly with the carrier and its partners.

If you choose to fly Alaska Airlines pretty regularly and will use the $99 companion fare benefit, you can come out ahead even after the $75 annual fee.

Bottom Line: You need to be a frequent Alaska Airlines traveler to get any value from the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card.

Great Card If

  • You prefer to fly Alaska Airlines over other carriers
  • You want to earn a $99 companion fare
  • You don’t mind redeeming miles with restrictions

Don't Get If

  • You want a variety of redemption options
  • You don’t have an Alaska Airlines hub nearby

Card Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $75 per year
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
    None
  • Interest Rates
    • 12.74%-19.74% APR on purchases and balance transfers
    • 15.74%-22.74% for direct deposit and check cash advances
  • Late fees ?
    • Interest rate calculated off Prime at 3.50% + Bank's APR on top to get final APR.
  • Balance Transfers
    • $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer (whichever is greater)
    • 12.74%-19.74% APR
  • Cash Advance APR
    • $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer (whichever is greater)
    • ATM, over-the-counter, same-day online, and cash equivalent cash advances: $10 or 5% of each transfer (whichever is greater)
    • 25.49% APR

U.P. Pro Tips

A terrific way to earn miles with your Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card is to enroll in the Mileage Plan Dining program. This program lets you earn miles by eating at thousands of participating restaurants, bars, and clubs nationwide.

Start by earning 1 mile per every $2 spent. If you agree to receive emails from the program, you can earn 3 miles per $1 spent instead. Even better, become a VIP member by having 12 or more qualified dining transactions in a calendar year and get a whopping 5 miles per $1 spent!

Best Way To Maximize Points

Obviously, the most effective way to rack up Alaska miles with the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card is to use it for Alaska Airlines purchases where you’ll earn 3x miles.

Here are some other ways to earn more miles with the Alaska credit card.

Tip #1: Qualify for elite status with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program and earn tons of bonus miles. There are 3 levels: MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K.

The following table shows how to qualify for elite status and some of the perks you can receive.

MVPMVP GoldMVP Gold 75K
Alaska Miles20,00040,00075,000
Alaska Airlines and Qualifying Partner Airlines Miles25,00050,00090,000
Alaska Airlines and Qualifying Partner Airlines Segments306090
Bonus Miles50%100%125%
Perks2 free checked bags, preferred seating, dedicated reservations lineUnlimited first class upgrades, express security line, Gold reservation lineTop priority upgrades, standby lists, and waitlists; complimentary in-flight entertainment player

Find more information about the Alaska Airline elite program here.

American Airlines, Delta, British Airways, Hainan Airlines, and Icelandair also award elite bonus miles.

Tip #2: With Mileage Plan Shopping, you earn miles by shopping online with over 800 participating retailers including Groupon, Sears, and REI. Pay with your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card and earn additional miles.

Tip #3: Rent a car with the following agency partners to earn triple miles and other deals from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, or Thrifty. Check the offers for each car rental agency, because they can vary widely during promotional periods.

For example, at one point Hertz offered 4x miles plus savings of up to 35% for using your Alaska Airlines membership number!

Tip #4: Mileage Plan has an extensive list of Everyday Mileage partners such as GCI, Teleflora, and Carrs Safeway. Each business offers miles and discounts for their products and services.

Tip #5: Fly Alaska Airlines partner airlines to earn flight miles and premium cabin bonuses. Click on an airline at the Mileage Plan website to find out how many miles you can earn.

Alaska Partner Airlines
Fiji AirwaysQantasBritish AirwaysPenAirAir France
American AirlinesJapan AirlinesIcelandairLATAM
DeltaHainan AirlinesEmiratesRavn Alaska
KLMKorean AirCathay PacificAeroMexico

The miles you earn with some carriers, such as American Airlines, can even count toward Alaska Airlines elite status.

Tip #6: Stay at partner hotels to earn Alaska Airlines miles. The chart below shows how many miles you can earn.

Alaska Partner Hotels
Best Western /Choice Hotels / La Quinta250 milesMarriott Rewards1-2 miles/$1
Coast Hotels / Fairmont / Wyndham Group500 milesInterContinental Hotels Group  / Starwood Preferred Guest2 miles/$1
Hilton Honors1 mile + up to 10 pts per $1RocketMiles1,000-10,000 miles per night

A list of participating Choice Hotels, Marriott Rewards Hotels, and Wyndham Group Hotels is in the Gritty Details.

Tip #7: Earn 1,500 bonus miles for vacation packages purchased at alaskaair.com. Flights must be marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines with the 2-letter airline code AS preceding the flight number on your receipt or boarding pass.

The following flight number ranges are eligible:

  • 1-999
  • 2000-2999
  • 3124-3499
  • 4800-4999

If flights are shorter than 500 miles, you will earn a minimum of 500 miles. Also, these bonus miles are per booking (not per passenger) and do not count toward elite status qualification.

Best Way To Redeem Points

Tip #1: Redeem miles for flights on Alaska Airlines or over a dozen global airline partners. You can book flights with most partner airlines on Alaskaair.com.

However, you’ll need to call Alaska Airlines at 800-252-7522 to book award flights on Cathay Pacific and LATAM.

Here is a sample of the miles you will need to book an award:

Award TypeCoach/BusinessFirst
Continental U.S. & Canada12,500/20,00025,000
Intra-State7,500/12,50015,000
Hawaii20,000/30,00040,000
Central and South America17,500/25,00030,000
Mexico17,500/25,00030,000

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program allows you to book one-way tickets with a free stopover, which is a unique benefit. After all, stopovers provide time to visit an extra location on the way to your final destination!

Tip #2: Redeem miles for an upgrade; you only need 15,000 for a first class upgrade award! You can also purchase upgrades for as little as $50. The total amount depends on how far you are traveling. Find the price list here.

Tip #3: Use your miles for up to a 50% discount off your Alaska Airline coach or first class airfare. The maximum discounts are $100 off the base fare for coach (10,000 miles) or $200 off the base fare in first (20,000 miles).

You’ll still earn 100% of the miles flown!

Tip #4: Don’t forget about that annual pass. Make sure you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of owning the card so you qualify for the companion pass, which you can get for $99 + $22 in taxes and fees.

Tip #5: For as few as 500 miles, you can order a magazine subscription. Choose from top magazines such as Glamour, Gold Digest, Sports Illustrated Kids, and many more.

Tip #6: Share miles with a friend or loved one, or donate them to charity. You have both of these options when it comes to the miles you earn with the Alaska credit card.

The Charity Miles program includes Make-A-Wish, The Nature Conservancy, Hero Miles, and various disaster relief organizations.

AeroMexico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, LATAM, PenAir, Qantas, Ravn Alaska

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

A companion fare code will be credited to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account within the first 2 billing cycles after qualifying. It must be redeemed within 12 months of the date of issue.

The companion fare is $99 plus $22 in taxes and fees, totaling $121. It can only be used when traveling with another passenger on a paid published coach airfare on the same itinerary, booked at the same time.

Your free checked bag benefit applies to the cardmember and up to 6 passengers traveling on the same reservation on flights marketed by Alaska Airlines and operated by Alaska Airlines, PenAir, Horizon Air, or SkyWest.

You do not need to pay with the Alaska credit card for this benefit. Complete baggage rules are available at alaskaair.com/bagrules.

Miles in the Alaska Airline Mileage Plan do not expire as long as the card is not inactive for 2 years.

The following hotels are included as partners in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan:

Choice Hotels: Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Quality Inn®, Sleep Inn®, Clarion®, Cambria Hotel & Suites®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn®, or Ascend Hotel Collection®. InterContinental Hotels Group includes Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, and Holiday Inn Express® hotels worldwide.

Marriott Rewards Hotels: JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection®Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott Hotels®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Delta Hotels and Resorts®,The Ritz-Carlton®, EDITION®, Gaylord Hotels®, Protea Hotels®, Moxy Hotels®, Courtyard by Marriott®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites® by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott®, TownePlace Suites by Marriott®, and Marriott Executive Apartments®.

Wyndham Hotel Group: Dolce Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Grand Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Garden Hotels, TRYP by Wyndham, and Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham.

Other Unique Features

The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card provides a variety of benefits for cardholders. Wireless carrier fees may apply to some benefits.

Overdraft ProtectionsLink your Bank of America deposit account to your credit card account and they will transfer funds from your card in multiples of $100 to cover bank account overdrafts.

Mobile Banking – Enroll through the mobile banking app and do your banking on your mobile device.

Text Banking – Send and receive text messages containing information about your bank account on your mobile phone.

Alerts – Receive bank account balance and due date alerts via text message on your mobile device.

$0 Liability Guarantee – Protection against fraudulent transactions on your credit card account.

ShopSafe – This is a free service that generates a temporary credit card number when you shop online so your real card number remains private.

Digital Wallet – Add your credit card to your mobile device to shop in-store or in-app using Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay.

FAQ

What is the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card? Is it worth it?

The Alaska credit card is a partnership of Alaska Airlines and Bank of America. It is great for those who fly Alaska Airlines and its partner airlines frequently and want a card to earn more miles for flight awards.

The card has several benefits, including 30,000 sign-up miles, the ability to earn an annual companion fare for $99 plus taxes and fees, and your first bag checked free (along with that of up to 6 companions!)

How does the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card work?

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card earns 3x miles on all Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x miles for other purchases. Enroll in the Mileage Plan Dining program and earn 1x-5x points on purchases at participating restaurants.

Earn additional miles by booking with hotel and car rental partners and making purchases with participating retailers.

Redeem your miles for travel on Alaska Airlines and its partner airlines, including Delta, British Airways, and KLM. You can also redeem miles for first-class upgrades and magazine subscriptions.

How do you redeem Alaska Airlines Visa Signature points?

Miles earned on your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card automatically get deposited into your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account. From there, you can redeem the miles through the Alaska Airlines portal.

Can you earn a companion fare by using the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card?

Yes. If you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days, you will receive an annual companion fare code. Redeem that code for a $99 (plus taxes and fees) companion ticket.

What is the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card login?

You can sign in to your card through Bank of America.

How do I join Mileage Plan?

You can join Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan by filling out the online forms here.

Who are the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan partners?

Alaska Airlines is not part of an official alliance, but they have partnered with a number of different airlines from each of them.

These partners include AeroMexico, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, LATAM, PenAir, Qantas, Ravn Alaska.

What is the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining program?

Most airlines, including Alaska, have a partnership with the dining network, allowing members to earn miles in their loyalty accounts simply for dining at partner restaurants.

Just register your credit card(s) and the miles will automatically accumulate.

See our detailed review of the Alaska Airlines dining program here. Note that you can only be a part of 1 dining program at a time, but can switch whenever you want by simply signing up for another program.

Which is better, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card?

The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card is great for those who travel Alaska Airlines on a regular basis.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2 points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar for everything else. This means you have the option of earning with carriers other than Alaska Airlines.

The annual fee is slightly higher with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card ($99 vs. $75). You also don’t earn a companion fare with the card like you do with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card.

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