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For travelers who fly often on Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, the can offer incredible value — but only if you’re able to take advantage of the card’s richest benefits.
Here’s a look at the card’s most important perks and how they work.
With the , you get an upon each account anniversary. Aside from paying the annual fee, you don't need to meet any ongoing spending requirements to earn this perk. (You do need to meet a spending requirement to earn the Companion Fare in the first year as part of the card's sign-up bonus, however; more on that later.) This benefit gets you a traveling partner’s round-trip economy ticket on an Alaska flight for as little as $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees starting from $22), if the trip is booked on your reservation. You can squeeze more value out of it by redeeming it on some of Alaska Airlines’ otherwise pricey itineraries.
Say, for example, your Alaska flight costs $1,000 per person with taxes and fees. With the Companion Fare, you’d pay $1,000 for yourself, but just $121 for your traveling partner on the same reservation, effectively saving you almost $880.
You can redeem this benefit by logging into your Alaska Airlines account on desktop, looking under the label “Discount and companion fare codes” on the left rail, and clicking “Valid.” Click through on your valid Companion Fare code to book the trip.
The offers a solid sign-up bonus:
Both parts of the offer — the bonus miles and Companion Fare in the first year — are valuable, but they can’t be combined. To use the Companion Fare, you need to pay for your tickets with cash, not miles.
Most co-branded airline credit cards these days charge annual fees of $95 a year, but the is more affordable at only a year. Assuming you can regularly make good use of the card's Companion Fare, the card is well worth keeping.
Most co-branded airline cards offer free checked bags for cardholders, and this one is no exception. With this card, you can check one bag free for yourself and up to six people on the same qualifying reservation. This benefit can be used on flights operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, SkyWest or PenAir. You don’t necessarily need to purchase your ticket with an either; you’ll get the perk if you’re the primary cardholder and your Mileage Plan number is in your reservation.
Normally, you’d have to shell out $50 to get a day pass to an Alaska Lounge. But with this card, day passes are 50% off, so you can get in for $25. For travelers eager for respite from a bustling airport, the mini-splurge could be worth it. Alaska Lounges, which are otherwise available to those flying first class or those who pay for membership, generally offer free booze, food and Wi-Fi.
With this card, you’ll get a 20% rebate on all in-flight purchases — including Wi-Fi, food and beverages — in the form of a statement credit. That could effectively make the fruit and cheese platter on Alaska’s menu almost $2 cheaper, once the credits hit your account. Rebates should post to your account within seven days of the transaction.