6 Things to Do When You Get the Alaska Airlines Visa Card

Reyna Gobel
By Reyna Gobel 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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When you have a Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card, here are the six things you should plan to do within the first few months — starting with earning the welcome bonus.

What to do after getting the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card

1. Qualify for the welcome bonus

Here's the current bonus offer on this card: Get 70,000 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.

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 1.4 cents 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.

2. Plan a trip to use the Companion Fare

The annual Companion Fare is a key perk of the Alaska Airlines Visa® 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.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Cardholders prior to Jan. 18, 2023, earn an annual Companion Fare. Meanwhile, new cardholders are eligible for the perk if they spend $6,000 annually on the card. Read more to see if the card is still worth it.

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.

3. Pack extra on your next trip

If you don’t normally check bags because of the cost, you’re in luck. With the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card, you get your first checked bag free for yourself and up to six traveling companions.

Cardholders and up to six travel companions get priority boarding, too. That means even carry-on only travelers can enjoy early access to the coveted overhead bin space.

4. 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® 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® 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.

5. 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.

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.

6. Add an authorized user

The Alaska Airlines Visa® 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 2024, including those best for:

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