[Disclosure: Emily and I do NOT get a commission for the link to the Alaska Airlines Visa card in the post as of the post publication date.]
Via FlyerTalk, you can get 40,000 Alaska Air miles and a $99 Companion Certificate after spending (I’m not making this up!) $24,000 in 12 months.
40,000 Miles Alaska Visa (Personal)
To be fair, you get 25,000 miles after approval so there’s no minimum spending involved initially.
But you get an additional 15,000 miles only after you spend a minimum of $2,000 every month for the first 12 months (or $24,000 within 12 months!) And the $75 annual fee is not waived.
There is a 3% foreign transaction fee so you don’t want to use this card outside the US.
Warning: Bank of America may issue you a lower Platinum Plus or Preferred card, if you don’t qualify for the Visa Signature card, which offers only 5,000 or 3,000 miles! In which case, I suppose you’ll get back by not spending $24,000 on the card.
I can see why Bank of America wants you to actually show them that you’re using the card for your regular spending before giving you the additional bonus miles. If they give you the bonus up front, they know that some folks won’t use the card anymore!
I suspect that this offer is one of many test offers which are evaluating how to ensure that customers sign-up for the card AND spend money on the card.
Spending $24,000 for an extra 15,000 miles isn’t worth it for most folks. Sure, there are over 40 ways to meet the minimum spending, but $24,000 is a lot of money!
Most folks would be better getting the 25,000 Alaska Air miles and using the $24,000 towards the sign-up bonus on other credit cards.
For example, you need to spend only $2,000 within 3 months to get a 50,000 point bonus on the Southwest card which is worth $710 to ~$850 in flights!
But if you’re a Big Spender, you’d earn 1.62 Alaska Air miles per $1 spent up to $24,000. That’s because you’d earn a total of 39,000 Alaska Air miles (24,000 regular miles and 15,000 bonus miles) for spending $24,000.
This is better than the American Express Starwood card which earns 1.25 Alaska Air miles if you transfer Starwood points in increments of 20,000 to airlines.
You get a $99 companion ticket (plus taxes and fees) every year with the Alaska Air card. So someone can fly with you for $99 + taxes to any destination which Alaska Air flies. The companion ticket is only valid in coach, but it can be a good value depending on how you use it.
For example, if you wanted to fly from Austin to the Big Island of Hawaii in June 2014, a coach ticket costs ~ $1,162 for 1 person.
Using your companion ticket you can get 2 tickets for $1,326 ($1,162 for the ticket + $99 Companion Ticket + ~ $65 taxes for the Companion Ticket) or $663 per person. And both you and your companion earn miles on the ticket!
You can also use Alaska Air miles on partner airlines such as American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Air France, LAN, etc.
You can get 40,000 miles and a $99 Companion Ticket on both the personal Alaska Visa and business Alaska Visa.
For most folks, spending $24,000 in a year for an extra 15,000 miles could cause you to lose out on the sign-up bonus from other credit cards!
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