When you have a brand new Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, here are the six things you should plan to do within the first few months — starting with earning the welcome bonus.
Qualify for the welcome bonus
Here's the current bonus offer on this card: Get a $100 statement credit, 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
If you fall short, you’ll lose out on the reason you may have gotten the card in the first place. NerdWallet values Alaska miles at 1 cent each.
Charge all of your daily spending to this card and maybe even consider pre-paying bills like insurance premiums, assuming you can pay your card off at the end of the month. Sign in to your account online at least once per month to make sure you're on track to get the bonus.
Plan a trip to use the Companion Fare
The annual Companion Fare is a key perk of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. With it, you can book a ticket for a companion on the same itinerary for just $99 plus taxes and fees. This can potentially result in hundreds of dollars in savings.
It takes up to two billing cycles past earning your Companion Fare to receive the code. The code has an expiration date that will be listed. The Companion Fare must be booked within 12 months of the date of issue.
Pack a few extra things
If you don’t normally check bags because of the cost, you’re in luck. With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, you get your first checked bag free for yourself and up to six traveling companions.
Plan your strategy to earn miles
If you’re getting a new airline rewards card, you should make a plan for how you’re going to earn miles. With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, you’ll earn 1 mile per $1 spent on any purchase. Alaska Airlines purchases earn 3 miles per $1 spent.
You can also earn miles through the Alaska Airlines Dining Rewards program. Simply sign up, link your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card and whenever you dine at a participating restaurant, you’ll earn bonus miles.
When you're ready to cash in your rewards, use the interactive award chart to figure out how many miles you’ll need for the trips you want to take.
» Learn more: The best dining rewards programs
Familiarize yourself with partners and routes
When you look up where Alaska Airlines flies, look up the airline's partners as well. If Alaska doesn't fly a given domestic route, for example, its partner American Airlines still might.
» Learn More: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Your Complete Guide
Also, look at your international travel to-do list to see what you can check off with your Alaska miles. Check out the routes of Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Aer Lingus, among other partners. Alaska's award charts for partner airlines allow you to calculate the miles you'd need to fly all over the world.
Add an authorized user
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card allows you to add an authorized user to the card free of charge. So go ahead and add your significant other to help you meet that spending requirement faster.
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 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best airline credit card for you Why Alaska Airlines’ card is 2019’s best airline credit card Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Your complete guide