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Which Alaska Airlines Credit Card is Best for You?

Which Alaska Airlines Credit Card is Best for You?

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Sep 30, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If Alaska Airlines is your go-to choice when booking a flight, or if you’re a small business owner who frequently flies Alaska Airlines for business trips, you might want to consider one of the credit cards co-branded by Alaska Airlines and Bank of America — the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card and the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card.

Alaska Airlines has a network of 113 destinations — 98 in the United States, eight in Mexico, five in Canada and two in Costa Rica.

Let’s take a look at both credit cards and what they offer.

In this article:

At a glance

As you can see, many of the cards’ features are quite similar:

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card
Annual fee $75 $50 for the company and $25 per card
Regular purchase APR 17.49% - 25.49% variable 15.99% to 23.99% (Variable)
Rewards Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases. Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases, 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Sign-up bonus Get a $100 statement credit, 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. 40,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion 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.
Foreign transaction fee none none

Because the cards have many similarities, we’re going to look at them together to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.

What we like

Annual Companion Fare. The Companion Fare isn’t just something you can get as part of the cards’ sign-up bonuses — you can earn a Companion Fare every account anniversary.

Higher rewards rate for airline purchases. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card: Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases. Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card offers 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases, 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. The rate of 3 miles per $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases is higher than some competing airline credit cards.

Free checked bag. Both cards offer a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.

Travel discounts. With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card, you can get 50% off day passes at the Alaska Lounge and 20% back on all Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases. With the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card, you can get 50% off Alaska Lounge day passes and 20% back on in-flight food, beverage and Wi-Fi purchases.

Visa Signature® benefits on the consumer card. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card comes with Visa Signature® card benefits, including roadside dispatch, auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty, and travel and emergency assistance services.

Business card benefits. The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card offers discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays using Alaska Airlines Hotels. It also comes with $1 million in travel accident insurance and auto rental insurance, emergency ticket replacement, lost–luggage assistance and the option to get extended protection. The card also lets you set spending limits on individual employee cards.

What we don’t like

Cost for Companion Fare. This benefit is a great value, but it’s not free. You’ll pay $99 plus taxes and fees.

Extra cost for employee cards. The annual fee for the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card is $50 for the company and $25 per card. That last part could end up costing you a significant chunk of money each year if you have several employees to whom you need to issue cards — and there are competing small business cards that offer employee cards at no additional cost.

Alternatives to consider

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great choice if you’re looking for a personal travel card that’s not tied to a specific airline. You can get 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. Plus, Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Points are worth an additional 25% value when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. The card’s annual fee is $95.

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is another option if you’re looking for a business travel card that allows you to redeem miles on a variety of airlines and other travel expenditures and offers a competitive flat rewards rate on all purchases. You can get 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere. Plus, 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.. The card’s annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $95 after that — but you can get additional employee cards at no extra cost.

The bottom line

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card and the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card offer rewards and perks that are very similar. Which one you go with is a simple matter of what you need the card for — personal use or a small business, and whether you are a regular Alaska Airlines customer. In either case, the Companion Fare offers great value.

Read: Need a New Credit Card for Your Growing Small Business? Here’s How to Decide

However, if you’re looking for a card with a little more flexibility, an airline-branded card might not be what you need. A card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (for personal use) or the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business (for a small business) may be better.


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February 1, 2019