Editorial Review

Alaska Airlines Business Card Review: More Value for the Most Loyal

Earn triple miles on Alaska Airlines purchases, enjoy a checked-bag benefit and receive an annual Companion Fare, which lets someone travel with you for $99 plus taxes and fees.

Sara RathnerMarch 31, 2020

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THIS PAGE MAY BE OUT OF DATE

This page includes information about one or more products not currently available on NerdWallet:

  • Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card

  • Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

  • United℠ Business Card

  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

As a result, offers described on this page may be out of date. See our NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards page for updated offers.

Our Take

3.9

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: The sign-up bonus, Companion Fare and cardholder discounts combine to provide value for a low annual fee. But other cards provide even more flexibility and opportunities to earn rewards.

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card

Annual Fee

$50 for the company and $25 per card

Regular APR

17.49% - 25.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Alternate Pick: More Flexibility

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Use on any airline

Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. You’ll also earn 2 miles per $1 on all purchases, plus 5 miles per $1 on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One’s travel portal. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95. Redeem miles for a variety of travel expenses.

Read our review

Full Review

The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card offers a valuable set of perks in exchange for an annual fee that's relatively modest compared with other airline cards for business flyers.

Alaska’s partnership with American Airlines and its eventual membership in the Oneworld airline alliance in 2021 will make Alaska miles go farther — literally. Still, loyal Alaska Airlines flyers stand to get the most out of this card since some of the benefits apply to Alaska Airlines flights only.

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card: The basics

Card type: Small business and airline.

Annual fee: $50 for the company and $25 per card.

Sign-up bonus: 40,000 Bonus Miles + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer: Get 40,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Campanion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.

Rewards:

  • 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines purchases.

  • 1 mile for every $1 on all other purchases.

NerdWallet values Alaska miles at 0.9 cent 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 0.9 cent or more in value from your Alaska miles.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 17.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.

Other benefits:

  • Earn an additional Companion Fare on each account anniversary. Companion fares are priced from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees, which start at $22).

  • Free checked bag for cardholder and up to six guests on Alaska Airlines flights.

  • Get 50% off Alaska Lounge day passes and 20% back on inflight food, beverage and Wi-Fi purchases when you pay with your card.

Why you might want the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card

If you're a regular Alaska traveler, or could be, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card has a lot to recommend it.

Sign-up bonus with low minimum spending requirement

Depending on your itinerary, the miles earned from this card's bonus offer could cover the cost of a round-trip domestic flight on Alaska or its partner American. That's in addition to the Companion Fare portion of the bonus, which lets you take someone with you on an Alaska Airlines flight for $99 plus taxes and fees when you buy a ticket for yourself. Further, the amount you must spend to qualify for the bonus is on the low side; many business credit cards require spending of $3,000 or more to unlock their bonuses.

Annual companion fare

Every year, you'll earn another Companion Fare starting at $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees, which start at $22). It’s valid for a one-way or round-trip coach seat on Alaska flights booked on alaskair.com. There are no blackout dates.

Comparatively Low annual fee

Airline cards for small business commonly charge annual fees of $95 or more, making the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card a comparative bargain with its annual fee of $50 for the company and $25 per card.

Free checked bags

The first checked bag is free for you and up to six companions traveling on the same reservation on Alaska Airlines flights, including those operated by Horizon Air, SkyWest or PenAir. That’s a savings of $60 per person on a round-trip flight. Keep in mind that you won’t get this benefit on a code-share flight operated by another airline.

Discounts on travel splurges

Get 50% off Alaska Lounge day passes, which ordinarily cost $50. (Note that Alaska Lounges are only available in a small number of U.S. airports.) You’ll also get 20% back, in the form of a statement credit, for in-flight food, beverage and Wi-Fi purchases.

Why you might want a different card

Fewer flight options for some cities

Although Alaska Airlines flies to destinations across the United States, its focus remains on the West Coast. If you don’t live in a city with a lot of route options, you won’t get much value out of the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card. Consider an airline card for the airline you fly the most. Or, if you aren’t committed to any single airline, a general-purpose travel rewards card like the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business will give you significantly more flexibility. You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases, plus 5 miles per $1 on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One’s travel portal. Miles are redeemable for any travel expense — including airfare, hotels, trains, rental cars, taxis, travel agents and more — at a rate of 1 cent per mile. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95. You start with a good bonus offer, too: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Limited rewards categories

The only way to earn more than 1 point per dollar is on Alaska Airlines purchases. Unless you travel on Alaska often, your point-earning potential will be limited. The United℠ Business Card, for example, earns 2 miles per $1 not just on United purchases, but also on common business expenses like transit, gas, office supply store purchases and dining out. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $99.

Lacks the mega-bonus of other business cards

A free flight is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but some business cards offer truly remarkable sign-up bonuses. Take the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Not only can you redeem points for a variety of travel expenses at a value of 1.25 cents per point when booked through Chase, but you can also transfer points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners. The annual fee is $95.

Excellent credit is required

The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card is intended for applicants with excellent credit, corresponding to a FICO score of 720 and up. The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is an option for entrepreneurs with average credit of 630 to 689. While it doesn’t offer travel rewards, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all purchases.

Should you get the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card?

Because the benefits of the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card are so Alaska Airlines-focused, it’s a contender for a specific audience of Alaska frequent flyers. Anyone who needs more wiggle room out of their travel card should look elsewhere.

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