Is the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card Right for Me?

June CasagrandeSep 8, 2021

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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 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 is for you.

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This offers a solid welcome bonus:

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These days, a $3,000 minimum spending requirement to earn a bonus is far more common, and even $4,000 to $5,000 minimums exist. 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.

Among the sweetest perks of the 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.

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When it comes to rewards credit cards, of course the best annual fee is . 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 a year, the is among the lowest-priced cards in a market where $95-and-up annual fees are far more common.

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?

Alaska miles at  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  or more in value from your Alaska miles.

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.

Normally, to enjoy the wide-open spaces and free goodies in an Alaska Airlines airport lounge, a traveler would have to pay $50 to get in. Cardholders pay just $25 for food, drinks and Wi-Fi (plus some peace and quiet).

Of course, the 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.

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the , including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:

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