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New Perks on the Alaska Airlines Credit Card

James Larounis's image
James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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If you hold the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, there are a few upcoming changes you need to be aware of with your card benefits — some good and some bad. Card issuers occasionally refresh benefits based on the demands of consumers and profit to the bank, and these changes are no exception.

Cardholders will soon face an increase in the annual fee but will receive lounge discounts, new bonus categories, increased boarding privileges, and the opportunity to earn a miles bonus.

Here’s what you can expect.

Increase in Annual Fee

The annual fee on this credit card is moving from $75 to $95. The higher fee will be charged to cardholders who renew their cards after February 28, 2023 (and likely to new applicants after that time). It’s not uncommon for credit cards to increase annual fees, but this $20 difference is likely to compensate for the new perks.

Lounge Discounts

Alaska used to offer the ability for cardholders to receive a discount on daily Alaska lounge passes. Now, the company is switching to offer a $100 discount on its most premium Lounge+ membership.

Many may see this as a good thing, especially regular flyers. Keep in mind that a Lounge+ membership can be used to access 90+ partner lounges including American Airlines Admirals Clubs, so this membership is versatile.

Lounge+ memberships normally cost $650 per year for non-elite members, and $550 per year for Alaska’s MVP, MVP Gold, Gold 75k, or Gold 100k members.

Alaska Airlines Lounge
You’ll no longer receive a discount on daily lounge passes but will receive a discount on annual lounge memberships. Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

First Checked Bag Free Changes

If you intend on utilizing the free checked bag benefit of the card, you’ll need to purchase your Alaska airfare with the card. This has been a common “loophole” of many airline co-branded cards in that you could take advantage of the perks, but still charge the airfare to another card.

Alaska has caught onto this, and you’ll now be required to purchase your airfare with your Alaska credit card. Remember that you’ll earn 3x miles on eligible Alaska purchases.

New Bonus Categories

There are several new categories where you’ll earn 2x Alaska Mileage Plan miles per dollar spent, including:

  • Gas
  • Local transit, including ridesharing
  • Cable and streaming services

Increased Boarding Position

If you hold the Alaska Signature card, you’ll also receive priority boarding privileges, immediately after Premium Class passengers. This is actually quite far ahead of most economy passengers, so this could be a valuable benefit for many.

Like the checked-bag benefit, in order to take advantage of this priority boarding, you’ll need to purchase your airfare on the Alaska Signature card.

Hot Tip: You’ll want to consider whether it’s worth charging your airfare that earns more miles, or receiving priority boarding by charging your airfare to the Alaska Signature card.

Bonus Miles

If you have another Bank of America account, you’ll be eligible to earn a 10% bonus on miles earned throughout the year. If you put a lot of spend on this credit card, this could be particularly valuable.

Final Thoughts

Most of these changes are great for flyers, though you’ll need to put more of your flight purchases on the Alaska Signature card to take advantage. Whether these changes are worth the new increased annual fee is up to you, but you have a little over a month to decide before the new rates kick in.

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

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.


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