Is the Alaska Airlines Visa Business credit card worth the annual fee?

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If you’re a small business owner (or a freelancer like myself), you’re probably always looking for ways to save money. With dozens of business credit cards available, it might be hard to cut through the noise and find the right small business credit card.

The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card is a surprisingly valuable card for small business owners, and currently offers a welcome bonus of 40,000 Alaska Airlines miles after meeting minimum spending requirements. But is the card worth the annual fee? For frugal small business owners, especially those who frequently travel with Alaska Airlines, yes — the card is definitely worth it.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card is worth it if your goal is Emirates first class aboard the Airbus A380. (Photo by Dmitry Birin/Shutterstock)

Is the Alaska Airlines Visa Business credit card worth the annual fee?

The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card comes with a 40,000 Alaska Airlines miles, plus a Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare, plus taxes and fees from $22) after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

It’s hard to pinpoints Alaska Airlines miles value — depending on the flight you book, you could receive a value of one cent per point or eight cents! Some of the best ways to redeem Alaska Airlines miles is for travel on partner airlines like Cathay Pacific or Japan Air Lines. That’s where the real value comes from. Read our post on how to use Alaska Airlines miles for more details.

One major reason the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card is worth it for most small business owners is thanks to the card’s low annual fee. At $75 a year for the fee, it’s hard to find a similar card with this level of sign-up bonus and travel benefits at a lower annual cost. Here are a few reasons why small business owners will find the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card to be worth that fee.

Straightforward earning rates

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card might not feature dozens of earning categories, but I would argue this is actually a benefit of the card. There are only two earning categories:

  • 3 miles per dollar spent directly with Alaska Airlines including tickets, cash upgrades, mileage purchases and other fees incurred over the course of a trip with the airline
  • 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases including at gas stations, major retailers and at restaurants

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare benefit

Another fantastic benefit that makes The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card worth the $75 annual fee cost is the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare. You will earn the Companion Fare when you open the card and meet the minimum spending requirements, and then each following year you renew your card (AKA, pay the annual fee).

The Alaska Airlines Companion Fare allows you to bring along a guest on any Alaska Airlines flight from just $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22). For their ticket, you’ll pay the $99 Companion Fare fee and any taxes and fees, and the regular price for your own. There aren’t any blackout dates, and it’s good for any Alaska Airlines flight in coach. The ticket will be booked into coach but all flights are eligible for upgrades.

The Alaska Airlines Companion Fare easily justifies the annual fee as you could potentially get over $1,000 in value.

Bring a friend or family member along for free with the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare. (Photo by TZIDO SUN/Shutterstock)

Numerous ways to redeem miles for travel

With lots of partners,Alaska Airlines miles allow you to redeem miles for travel to all six inhabited continents. Here are just a few examples of ways to redeem miles earned with Alaska Airlines.

Fly From New York City to Sydney in business class for just 55,000 miles

Domestic award travel starts at just 5,000 miles

Here’s a full list of Alaska Airlines’ partners you can redeem miles to fly with:

  • Aer Lingus
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Condor
  • Emirates
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • PenAir
  • Ravn Alaska

We’re still awaiting the ability to redeem Alaska Airlines miles for flights with El Al, though that should be available in the near future. Also to watch for, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are having a fallout. Don’t expect Alaska Airlines miles to be a handy way to fly American Airlines for much longer.

Alaska Airlines miles are particularly valuable when redeemed on partners for first and business class tickets that would typically cost thousands of dollars. That said, I’ve been able to get four flights out of one sign-up bonus when traveling in coach.

Travel benefits

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card comes with a few travel benefits. The benefit you will use the most is probably the free first checked bag for you and up to six guests traveling on the same itinerary.

The card also has secondary travel insurance. This includes coverage for travel accidents, on car rentals, for emergency ticket replacement, and in the event of lost luggage. Likely one of the more valuable aspects of the card’s travel insurance coverage is car rental insurance.

Bottom line

Is the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card annual fee worth it? Yes, it’s definitely worth the $75 annual fee, partly thanks to the fantastic bonus of 40,000 Alaska Airlines miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

The card comes with added benefits including:

  • Straightforward earning rates
  • Alaska Airlines Companion Fare after qualifying spending the first year, and each year you renew your card
  • The option to redeem miles for travel on numerous airline partners, including travel in premium cabins
  • Travel insurance when your trip doesn’t go as planned

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card’s valuable bonus and ability to earn an unlimited number of miles easily justifies the card’s low annual fee.

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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