Earn Miles with the Alaska Air Debit Card

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[Nope, nothing in it for me if you apply for this debit card]

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Update:  Bank of America is no longer issuing the Alaska Air debit card.

Debit Cards

Many folks don’t want to sign-up for credits cards because they have a low credit score (you shouldn’t sign up for credit cards with a score below 700) or because they don’t want the temptation of being able to spend more than what’s in their bank accounts.  You just won’t get ahead paying interest on your credit cards, so it is best to NOT sign-up for credit cards if you can’t pay your balance in full each month.

However, there are a few debit cards which let you earn miles for using them.  Of course, putting your actual spending on a debit card won’t get you as many miles and points as signing-up for credit cards and getting 50,000 point sign-up bonuses.

As I tell folks during my introduction to miles and points at conferences: The average American household earns ~$50,000 a year, so if you spend everything on a credit or debit card, you’ll earn only 50,000 miles and points (assuming 1 mile per $1 spent), which is enough for only 2 domestic tickets.

But something is better than nothing.  For most folks, you get a better return by going after credit card sign-up bonuses, but that option is not available to all Americans.

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Debit Card

The Bank of America Alaska Airlines debit card is only available for personal (not business) checking accounts with Bank of America.  If you already have a Bank of America checking account, you can request an Alaska Airlines debit card for your account.  If you’re signing up for a new Bank of America checking account, you can request an Alaska Airlines debit card.

You can use Alaska Air miles for flights on American Airlines, Delta, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and even Emirates.

3,000 Mile Sign-up Bonus:   You get 3,000 Alaska Airline miles for making a purchase with the Bank of America Alaska Airlines debit card.

Fees:  $30 annual fee for the debit card and there may be monthly fees for your Bank of America checking account, depending on which account you open.

Earning Miles:  Earn 1 Alaska Airlines mile per $2 spent.  This isn’t as good as the earnings ratio on the Delta personal debit card where you earn 1 Delta miles per $1 spent, but depending on how you redeem your miles, Alaska Airlines miles could be more valuable.

The terms say “Earns miles on purchases only. Does not earn miles for ATM transactions, cash-back amounts at point of sale, or for federal, state or local tax payments, or similar payments to federal, state and local government agencies.”

I didn’t earn any miles when I used the Bank of America Alaska Airlines card to make a tax payment, but I did earn miles for using the Delta debit card.  Earning miles for just a $3.49 flat fee when you pay your taxes is unprofitable and I don’t expect it to last long.

Limits:  The terms say that you can’t earn more than 100,000 Alaska Air miles in a calendar year (excluding the sign-up bonus).  This means that you won’t earn miles for spending more than $200,000 in a calendar year.  And like most debit cards there is a daily maximum to the amount of purchases you can make.

Bottom Line:  You earn less miles with a debit card than with a credit card and consumer protections are usually weaker with a debit card.  But this could be useful for folks who don’t or can’t apply for credit cards.

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27 Responses to Earn Miles with the Alaska Air Debit Card

  1. Does this earn miles on your “experiment” at Wal-Mart? When should we expect that full post?

    Thanks!!

  2. RogerPedacter

    You mean before he went public and started getting people shut down.. Yea do it and watch the compliance dept ship you out the death letter as well. Just make sure you dont need either bank as your accts will get closed if you cant explain your actions.

  3. Thanks a lot for useful info. I am pretty new here. A few years collecting miles mostly from JetBlue and AA, getting credit cards bonuses w/o any support of family/friends, I am so happy now to find MMS community.
    My question: Can an existing BoA regular debit card holder get 3,000 Mile Sign-up Bonus for requesting America Alaska Airlines debit card? Also what did you mean by ‘depending on how you redeem your miles, Alaska Airlines miles could be more valuable.’ (compare to Delta miles)?

  4. Second question. Venmo used to be great to meet minimum spends because they had a free $500 limit for sending money through a credit card. Now all credit card transactions come with a 3% fee. All debit card transactions are free! My question is if Venmo transactions are eligible on this Alaska Air Debit card, or any debit card for this matter. They I would get one!

    Someone want to be the guinea pig?

  5. @Tatyana – You can convert your existing BOA debit card to the Alaska Airlines debit card and earn miles and get the 3,000 sign up bonus. You earn double the amount of miles with the Delta debit card, but Delta is also extremely hard to redeem on, so it could be better to earn Alaska miles instead.

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  11. Johnny Grady

    is this debit card gone — I don’t see it on the BofA website…

  12. @Johnny Grady – They don’t issue it any more. I’ll update the post.

  13. I don’t get any miles for using this card to pay off my Chase credit cards. If I were to use this card with Venmo, would I get miles for doing so? Can anyone chime in?

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  15. Bank Of America Alaska Airlines 25,000 Miles Referral –

    http://www.refaround.com/alask

    The Referral Link above offers you an EXTRA 25,000 bonus Alaska

    Airlines Frequent Flier miles; enough for a free round trip airline ticket. You simply make application for a Bank Of America Alaska Airlines Visa Card online, and get an approval in less than 30 seconds. It just could not be any easier.

    Disclosure, using the link also provides me with a referral bonus of 2500 miles if and when you are approved for your bonus miles. With this program we BOTH get EXTRA bonus Frequent Flier miles, and best of all, once you are approved, you too can get thousands of EXTRA bonus Frequent Flier miles, by referring your friends and family.

  16. I’m still seeing the Alaska Airlines card available.
    https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/access/request-debit-card.go

    It’s not advertised anywhere on the site and only mentioned in the FAQ, but it’s there. Gonna try it out…

  17. @Bryan - Very interesting! Please let us know if it works.

  18. I just applied and got the Alaska Airlines Debit Card. May 2013

  19. @Chris – Good to know that they are still issuing it and thanks for sharing!

  20. Steve in Seattle

    I have been using my Alaska Airlines Debit Card for a few months now. BofA and Alaska came to an agreement and reinstated it…although it is NOT something EITHER company advertise a bit. In fact, it took the banker at BofA a bit to even find the option – assuming we wouldn’t want it since it had a $35/year fee. RIGHT…I spend at least $50,000 a year with a debit card and I find $35 too much to pay for a few free round trip tickets! :o)

    It’s been a great option for me – and account holder with not-so-fantastic credit. As has the Aeromexico Secured Credit Card (an Alaska Airlines partner as of a week ago) and it’s been a great option. Along with Korean Air, the Aeromexico card is a very rare item indeed. But I get a full mile per dollar (1.6 Kilometers actually) but the benefits include double miles for gas and groceries, so it’s making for a great supplemental method for racking up the miles.

  21. I can confirm that the card is still available. Signed up using online link, put in my BofA accounts I wanted linked to the card and got the card very soon (a week or so). I’m in Texas and my annual fee is $30 (can have multiple cards for one fee if linked to same account).

  22. @Ivan Y: Did you receive or were you promised a signup bonus? 3,000 miles?

    Thanks.

  23. Can I add a picture of myself to the AS debit card?

  24. does applying for the alaska debit card result in any credit checks? I hoping not – but just want to make sure.

  25. Successfully applied for the BoA Alaska debit card a month ago, began using it and have received the 3k bonus mileage already.

  26. @Shannon M, do you have the link you used to apply?! Thanks!

  27. They quit issuing this card in November 2013, and all previous card holders quit earning points in May 2014.

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