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Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card Review

Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card Review

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

The information related to the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

If you’re a loyal customer of Alaska Airlines, you might like the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card, which is tied to the Mileage Plan™ loyalty program and offers a sweet sign-up bonus.

For details about what this card offers, and also cards that might fit you better if you’re not a frequent Alaska Airlines flyer, keep reading.

Read: Best Airline Credit Cards

In this article:

What we like about the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card

Sign-up bonus. Get 40,000 bonus miles after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening, plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) with this offer. There are no blackout dates. The especially great thing about the Companion Fare is that you can get one each account anniversary year.

Check a bag for free. Cardmembers and up to six companions on the same reservation get a free checked bag on Alaska Airlines flights.

Higher airline rewards. Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases. Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. This covers airline tickets, in-flight food and beverage purchases, cargo and vacation packages — and it’s better than what’s offered by competing airline-branded credit cards.

Eat for miles. Under Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan Dining program, you can earn up to 5 miles per $1 spent, depending on your membership status, if you register and use the card at more than 10,000 participating restaurants, bars or clubs.

Redeem miles. You can redeem your Mileage Plan miles on 18 airline global partners. You can also upgrade to first class, book hotel stays at 400,000 properties worldwide and enroll in program for magazines subscriptions. There’s no cap on the number of miles you can earn.

Travel/purchase perks. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card comes with Visa Signature® benefits, including roadside dispatch, auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty protection and travel and emergency assistance services.

What we don’t like about the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card

All miles aren’t equal. It’s nice that Alaska Airlines has 18 partners where cardmembers can earn miles — but the number of miles you earn depends on the airline partner you book your flight on. If you book premium cabins (including the premium economy) on American Airlines, you’ll earn 100% of the miles you fly. But if you book coach, you may only earn 25% of your miles, depending on the fare class. However, Qantas gives you 100% of your miles no matter what class you book, plus a class of service bonus of 10% to 50% for premium seats. Some airlines are better than others when it comes to earning miles, so check this website before hitting that purchase button.

Companion fare costs. That “free” companion fare will actually cost you around $121, depending on the flight you choose, and you must fly with the cardmember who has paid for a flight.

Other travel credit cards to consider

Alaska Airlines has a growing route network, but maybe you fly with another airline more frequently — or perhaps you want a card that’s not tied to a specific airline. With that in mind, let’s consider a Southwest Airlines card and then two that aren’t co-branded with an airline.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Highlights
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events, and more.

See additional details for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

More Info

The sign-up bonus on this card is as follows: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. The rewards rate is 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. There’s an annual fee of $69.

What makes this card a competitive alternative to the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card is that Southwest also provides an opportunity to earn a Companion Pass — a benefit that allows you to choose one person to fly with you, free of airline charges (does not include taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way) every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight.

To earn the Companion Pass, you must fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. After doing that, you’ll get the benefit for the rest of the year in which you earned it and also for the following full calendar year.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

This card’s sign-up bonus allows new cardmembers to earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The bonus points equal $750 when you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal and can be redeemed for a variety of airlines, as well as other travel expenditures. Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. The card gives you 25% more value for your points when you redeem them for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website. There’s an annual fee of $95.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel

  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

  • Earn unlimited 10x miles on hotels when you pay with your Venture card at hotels.com/venture

Highlights
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named 'The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

See additional details for Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

More Info

With the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, there’s a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel. This card will earn you 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. You can also earn 10X miles per $1 spent at hotels.com/venture through January 2020 when you pay with this card. The annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.

Compare these cards at a glance

Here’s a quick comparison of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card:

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Annual fee $75 $69 $95 $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Regular purchase APR 17.24% - 25.24% variable 17.74% - 24.74% Variable 17.74% - 24.74% Variable 17.49% - 24.74% (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. 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Welcome offer/aign-up bonus Get 40,000 bonus miles after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening, plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) with this offer. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
Foreign transaction fee None 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars $0 None

The bottom line

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card comes with higher rewards for airline-related spending than some competing cards, but falls short when it comes to earning in other categories related to travel (such as dining). However, we are big fans of this card’s Companion Fare, which doesn’t require a huge upfront spend or mile accumulation to qualify like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.

It’s worth noting that while Alaska Airlines’ route network may not be as extensive as some cardmembers might want, it has partnerships with other airlines that can make up for that.

If you want a competitive airline card with a different airline, consider the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. If you don’t want a card tied to a specific airline, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card will give you more flexibility in how you earn and spend your rewards.


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