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If you’ve never considered an Alaska Airlines-branded credit card because you don’t travel to Alaska often (or ever), you could be missing out. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card isn’t just for travelers to the Last Frontier. A range of perks and extensive travel partnerships give this card broad appeal worth considering.
Here’s how to know if the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card is for you.
You don’t want to spend $4,000+ to earn a welcome bonus
This Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card offers a solid welcome bonus: Get 50,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
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These days, $4,000 to $5,000 minimums are not uncommon. But if your goal is to earn travel rewards without racking up interest fees or going hog wild at the mall, the lower spending requirement makes this an attractive offer.
You have a travel partner already picked out
Among the sweetest perks of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card is the $99 Companion Fare, which lets you bring a companion on any Alaska flight from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22). That includes Alaska-operated flights to Hawaii and Costa Rica. Just buy your own ticket with cash and book your companion on the same reservation using your Companion Fare code to enjoy the discounted rate.
A $75 annual fee sounds good to you
When it comes to rewards credit cards, of course the best annual fee is no annual fee. And those no-fee cards are out there if that’s what you’re looking for. But sometimes annual fees are worth it — and the lower they are, the better. At $75 a year, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card is among the lowest-priced cards in a market where $95-and-up annual fees are far more common.
You’d like flexible miles
Your Mileage Plan miles can be redeemed for flights on Alaska, which can get you to tons of cities across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. But you can also redeem miles for flights to Europe, South America, Australia, Asia or the Middle East. Qantas Airlines, Korean Air, Iceland Air and Aer Lingus are a few of the partner airlines on which you can book seats with Alaska Mileage Plan miles.
How much are those miles worth?
NerdWallet values Alaska miles at 1.2 cents each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1.2 cents or more in value from your Alaska miles.
You travel with a lot of people and a lot of stuff
Normally, a checked bag on an Alaska flight will cost you $60 round-trip, but with this card you'll get it free for up to seven people on the same reservation. If you and six others fly together, that’s $420 in savings on every trip — a perk that offsets your annual fee more than five times over.
The bottom line
Of course, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card comes with many of the perks common to other travel rewards cards: 1 mile per $1 spent on all purchases, 3 miles per $1 spent on Alaska Airlines purchases, no foreign transaction fees — and your miles don’t expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. So even if you never plan to go to Alaska itself, this card is worth a look.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
on Chase's website
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X on dining and 2X on all other travel purchases, plus more
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
on Chase's website
Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card
on Wells Fargo's website
- Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value
- Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases
- $0 annual fee
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
on Bank of America's website
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
- 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
- Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
on Bank of America's website