Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Review: Annual Companion Fare and Valuable Welcome Bonus for Alaska Fans

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Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

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Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases. Unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: 40,000 miles
  • Annual fee: $75
  • Regular APR: 15.99% – 23.99% Variable APR on purchases
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card — issued by Bank of America — offers a generous bonus offer: 40,000 bonus miles, a $100 statement credit, and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ after you spend $2,000 within three months of account opening. But this card’s ongoing benefits can make it a valuable permanent addition to your wallet if you’re already a fan of the airline.

At a Glance

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and a $100 statement credit after spending $2,000 within three months of account opening
  • Earn discounted companion fare ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after spending $2,000 within three months of account opening, and every year on your account anniversary
  • 3x miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases 
  • 1 mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • $75 annual fee
  • 15.99% to 23.99% variable APR

Pros

  • Generous welcome bonus offer

  • Discounted companion fare each year on your cardmember anniversary

  • Free checked bag benefit

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $75 annual fee

  • High ongoing APR

  • Bonus rewards rate only on Alaska Airlines purchases

Additional Card Details

The Alaska Airlines card offers quite a few benefits aside from the reward miles you can earn on your spending. 

Not only is Alaska’s reduced companion fare part of the welcome bonus, but you’ll also get the benefit annually, on your cardmember anniversary. This companion benefit is valid for a round-trip economy flight on Alaska Airlines from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees starting at $22) when you pay for an economy fare on the same itinerary. 

You’ll also receive a free checked bag for you and up to six companions booked on the same itinerary; 50% off day passes to Alaska lounges; and a 20% rebate in the form of a statement credit toward in-flight food, drinks, and Wi-Fi. This card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, so you can make purchases when you travel internationally without any added charges.

Since this card is a Visa Signature card, it comes with added purchase and travel protections too, such as rental car insurance and extended warranty. You can check your individual card agreement to see which specific protections are included with your card.

Should You Get the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card?

Whether or not this card is for you really depends on how your travel aligns with Alaska Airlines’ offerings and how often you’ll take advantage of the card’s added benefits. 

Alaska Airlines operates most commonly along the West Coast, and also offers flights to cities throughout Alaska and Hawaii. In total, Alaska flies to and from 35 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, but flight options from most states are very limited. 

As of 2021, the airline has expanded via partnerships with larger airlines. It’s now part of the oneworld alliance alongside partners like American Airlines and British Airways. This makes it possible to use your miles to fly to more than 1,000 destinations around the world. 

But you shouldn’t count on those partners to take advantage of this card’s benefits. Some perks of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card only apply when you actually fly with Alaska Airlines. The discounted companion fare, for example, doesn’t work with partner bookings, and the free checked bag benefit is only for flights operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, SkyWest, or PenAir. 

Pro Tip

This card comes with a free checked bag benefit when you fly with Alaska Airlines, but don’t forget to book your reservation with your travel companions. The perk actually applies to up to six other guests on the same itinerary, with potential savings of up to $60 round trip per person.

If you’re looking for a card to use among Alaska’s partners, but you don’t fly Alaska Airlines often, a co-branded card with a larger airline like American Airlines card may be a better option. And if you’re not partial to any single airline, you’ll likely get more value from a general travel card that earns points you can transfer to a variety of travel partners, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or American Express® Gold Card.

How to Use the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

To make the most of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card, you’ll want to make sure you spend at least $2,000 on your card within three months of account opening to score the great welcome bonus. You’ll get 40,000 bonus miles, a $100 statement credit, and the Alaska companion fare, which you can use when you’re ready to book your next flight.

In the future, remember your cardmember anniversary date, so you can plan future flights around your annual reduced companion fare benefit. And whenever you plan travel with family or friends, save on baggage fees by booking all your flights on the same itinerary. The first free checked bag benefit applies for you and up to six people when you fly with Alaska Airlines, which can lead to a total savings of $30 per person, per one-way flight. 

You can quickly make up this card’s $75 annual fee with these benefits alone, but make sure you charge only what you can afford to pay off at the end of each month. Any balances you carry will incur the card’s high APR and easily wipe out your other savings. In fact, because this card’s 3x bonus rewards are limited to Alaska Airlines spending, consider using it only for purchases you make with the airline, while sticking to a cash back credit card for everyday purchases when you’re not traveling. 

Once you’re ready to redeem the miles you earn, you can choose to book flights with Alaska or fly across the globe with Alaska’s oneworld partners. Award flights with Alaska Airlines start at just 5,000 miles one-way (plus taxes and fees). You can use Alaska’s award chart to see how many miles you’ll need for any destination you’re considering —  a one-way flight to Hawaii from within the contiguous U.S. or Alaska, for example, starts at just 15,000 miles in economy.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Compared to Other Cards

  • Intro bonus:
    40,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $75
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 23.99% Variable APR on purchases
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Editor’s Score: (3.85/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    70,000 Miles
  • Annual fee:
    $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
  • Regular APR:
    15.74% to 24.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Editor’s Score: (3.65/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    50,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $99, waived for first 12 months
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Bottom Line

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card is best for fans of the airline who fly frequently enough to gain value from the card’s flight benefits. A $75 annual fee is required the first year and every year thereafter, but those who can use the checked bag benefit and Companion Fare can still end up ahead.

But before you apply, compare this card to more general travel credit cards or co-branded airline cards to make sure it’s the best fit for your spending and travel plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

What credit score do you need for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card?

For the best chances of approval, you’ll need a good-to-excellent credit score (at least 690) before applying for this card.

What are the benefits of having the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card?

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card comes with a generous bonus offer that includes bonus miles, a statement credit, and reduced companion fare. You’ll also get a free checked bag, 50% off day passes into Alaska airport lounges, and pay no foreign transaction fees.

How do you use miles earned with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card?

Since Alaska Airlines is a oneworld alliance partner, you can use miles you earn with this card to fly with Alaska or any of its global airline partners.