4 Things to Do When You Get the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card

Ben Nickel-D’Andrea
By Ben Nickel-D’Andrea 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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You just got approved for your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. Now what? Here are four things to do as soon as you receive your new card.

Meet the minimum spending requirement

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card offers the following welcome bonus: Get 60,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. While 90 days is a rather standard timeframe for meeting a spending requirement, you will want to pencil that into your calendar so that you don’t forget.

A great way to hit the minimum spending requirement is to switch all of your day-to-day spending to this card. That way, you don’t have to be too worried about it. Keep in mind that this card offers no category bonus beyond spending on Alaska Airlines — so if you spend enough already, it may be worth keeping spending for some bonus categories on other cards that will earn you more points.

One way to beef up your spending in that 90-day period is to call your service providers to see if they will let you pay bills a month or two in advance. Paying two or more months in advance will allow you to knock out a big amount of spending quicker and avoid making unnecessary purchases. We don’t advise carrying credit card balances month-to-month, so you should do this only if you’re still able to pay the card off on time.

Plan how to use your Companion Fare

Alaska’s Companion Fare is no doubt the best benefit this card offers. Beyond the welcome offer, you will get this certificate on your account anniversary every year, though aw of Jan. 18, 2023, new cardholders must meet a $6,000 minimum spend annually to be eligible for the perk. The Companion Fare allows you to book a ticket and get a companion fare for as little as $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees starting at $22) with no blackout dates, valid on any Alaska Airlines flights booked via their website.

It’s worth stressing that the Companion Fare can be used on any flights, including to Hawaii, Costa Rica and Mexico, which are some of the more expensive routes available.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Companion Fare tickets are upgradeable to first class by using the Gold Guest Upgrades granted to Alaska MVP Gold members. Plus, if there are multiple people in your household, everyone can get their own card to score multiple Companion Fares every year.

Use the card for in-flight purchases

The next thing you should do immediately after getting your card in the mail is to switch all of your in-flight purchases to the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. Cardholders get 20% back on all Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases when using this card. This is in addition to the 3 miles per $1 you earn when making eligible purchases on Alaska Airlines (and the further 10% bonus you could earn if you also have an eligible Bank of America account).

If you want to get an idea of what’s going to be available on your upcoming flight, check out the Alaska Airlines app, which includes an option to reserve your food ahead of time.

The bottom line

For people whose plans include flying Alaska Airlines, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card is a great card to get and to keep, considering its low $95 annual fee. Even with a fee that isn’t waived the first year, the potential savings offered by the Companion Fare could greatly outweigh what you pay to own the card.

Conversely, if your plans do not include any of the destinations covered by the airline, or you have no plans whatsoever to fly with a companion, then you should reconsider applying for this card. You might not get the most out of the offered benefits, even if the perks like a free checked bag still make it useful.

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 2024, including those best for:

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