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Alaska Airlines Credit Card Review: Annual Companion Fare, Terrific Partners and 40,000 Valuable Miles (Enough for a Round-Trip to Hawaii)

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Alaska Airlines Credit Card Review: Annual Companion Fare, Terrific Partners and 40,000 Valuable Miles (Enough for a Round-Trip to Hawaii)

Brian BirosAlaska Airlines Credit Card Review: Annual Companion Fare, Terrific Partners and 40,000 Valuable Miles (Enough for a Round-Trip to Hawaii)Million Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER TIP: Alaska Airlines doesn’t partner with most transferable points programs, so the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card is one of the best ways to earn valuable Alaska Airlines miles.

The Alaska Airlines credit card now offers a 40,000-mile sign-up bonus after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. You’ll also receive an Alaska Airlines Companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) when used with a paid coach airfare. This can save you hundreds of dollars, and you get another companion fare every year on your account anniversary!

With a favorable award-redemption chart and variety of airline partners, Alaska Airlines miles are among the most valuable airline miles out there and you don’t have to live in Alaska to get great value out of them! Alaska Airlines has hubs in Seattle, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Los Angeles and Anchorage and has focus cities in San Jose and San Diego. They serve 115 destinations across 35 states, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica!

And if you’d like to go even farther, Alaska Airlines has great redemption options on 17 airline partners that can take you all over the world.

You can apply for the Alaska Airlines credit card here.

With miles earned from the Alaska Airlines credit card, you can be playing in the waves in Costa Rica!

Alaska Airlines credit card Review: Earn 40,000 Miles and an Annual Companion Fare from $121

Apply Here: Alaska Airlines credit card

Upon approval with the Alaska Airlines credit card, you can earn 40,000 Alaska Airlines miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. You’ll also get the Alaska Airlines credit card Companion fare each year that you keep you account open.

With this companion fare, a friend can fly with you for just $99 plus taxes and fees (from $22). This can save you many hundreds of dollars on airfare!

With the Alaska Airlines Credit Card Companion fare, a friend can travel with you for just $99 (plus taxes and fees from $22)!

You also get a free checked bag for you and up to six passengers on your reservation — a savings of $30 per person in baggage fees! And when you use your Alaska Airlines credit card on Alaska Airlines purchases, you earn 3x miles. You also have no foreign transaction fees and can earn unlimited miles and travel without blackout dates.

How to Earn Miles With the Alaska Airlines Card

Alaska Airlines doesn’t partner with the major transferable points programs of Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, American Express Membership Rewards and Capital One. This means the Alaska Airlines credit card is one of the few ways to earn valuable Alaska Airlines miles. Here is how many miles you’ll earn:

  • 3 Alaska Airlines miles per $1 spent on Alaska Airlines purchases (this is high for a co-branded airline credit card!)
  • 1 Alaska Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases

There is no limit to the number of miles you can earn, and there are no blackout dates when you use them.

You’ll earn 3x miles on Alaska Airlines purchases with no limit to the number of miles you earn!

How to Use 40,000 Alaska Airlines Miles

With perhaps the best all-around award chart of any US airline, the 40,000-mile welcome bonus can go a long way. Here are some examples of how you can spend those miles on Alaska Airlines.

  • Two round-trip coach flights from San Francisco to Los Cabos, Mexico
  • Two round-trip coach flights from Seattle to Anchorage
  • Two round-trip coach flights from Chicago to Los Angeles
  • Four round-trip coach flights from Eugene, OR to Vancouver
  • One-way flight in first class from Chicago to Honolulu
  • One round-trip coach flight from New York to Kauai (with 10,000 miles left over)
With the 40,000-mile sign-up bonus, you can get two round-trip flights from California to Los Cabos, Mexico!

Better yet, Alaska lets you book a free stopover on one-way tickets! Look at this example: An award ticket from New York to Kauai costs 15,000 miles, but I can add a free stop in Portland for seven days at no extra cost! You can book these stopovers by searching with the multi-city option.

I can then book a separate one-way award with a stopover in a different city coming back!

Between these two itineraries, I can fly from New York with stops in Portland, Kauai, San Jose and back to New York for only 30,000 miles and $22 in taxes and fees.

Or I could even give myself an “open jaw” in Hawaii by booking my return flight from another Hawaiian airport.

This would give me an itinerary from New York with a stopover in Portland, open jaw between Kauai and Honolulu, and a stopover in Los Angeles before returning to New York. I’d have to book a separate flight from Lihue to Honolulu, but the rest of the itinerary would still cost just 30,000 miles and $22 in taxes and fees!

Don’t forget to book a stopover on the west coast when booking award flights to Hawaii!

Using Alaska Airlines Miles on Partner Airlines

You can also redeem Alaska Airlines miles for flights on airline partners. Alaska Airlines is not a member of the three major airline alliances, so they have great partner options across all alliances.

These are the airline partners of Alaska Airlines. Currently, you can redeem Mileage Plan miles for travel on all partners except Aer Lingus, and Singapore Airlines will be available soon.

And you can get great redemption value on some of these airline partners. Here are some examples of what you can do with the 40,000-mile sign-up bonus on Alaska Airlines partners from the US.

  • One way to Thailand in premium economy on Cathay Pacific (35,000 miles)
  • One way to Australia in coach on Cathay Pacific (40,000 miles)
  • Round trip to Aruba in coach on American Airlines (35,000 miles)
  • Round trip to Peru in coach on American Airlines (40,000 miles)
  • One way to India in coach on Japan Airlines (35,000 miles)
The Alaska Airlines credit card sign-up bonus is enough to get you a round trip ticket to Peru!

And for just 5,000 miles more, you can fly round-trip coach from the US to Europe between October 15 and March 15 on American Airlines!

Booking flights on Alaska Airlines partners is just as easy as booking an Alaska Airlines flight. You can do so right on the website. The only exception is flights on LATAM and Cathay Pacific which you have to book by calling Alaska Airlines reservations at 800-252-7522.

Alaska Airlines Card Annual Companion Fare From $121

Along with the great sign-up bonus, the Alaska Airlines credit card comes with an Alaska Airlines companion fare after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. But what makes this companion fare the most attractive perk of the card is that you earn another companion fare annually for as long as you keep the card!

To use the companion fare, simply search for an itinerary for two people and apply the unique coupon code that is automatically deposited in your Alaska Airlines account. The cost of the second passenger is just $99 + taxes and fees. This can equate to huge savings!

Looking at this flight from Chicago to Anchorage. The price for one passenger is $496, including $57 in taxes and fees.

However, if we applied the companion fare to this itinerary, a second passenger would cost an additional $99 plus $57 in taxes and fees. This would bring the total for two passengers to $652, or $326 per person. That’s a savings of $340!

But we can do even better. You can use the Alaska Airlines credit card companion fare on itineraries with a stopover as well. Take a look at this itinerary from New York to Kauai with a stopover in Seattle.

But when we apply the Alaska Airlines credit card companion fare to this itinerary, a second passenger costs an additional $99 plus $89 in taxes and fees. This would bring the total for two passengers to $1007, or $503 per person – a savings of $631!

Keep in mind that the Alaska Airlines credit card companion fare can only be used on Alaska Airlines flights, but it’s not hard to get great value that far outweighs the $75 annual fee. And if you can’t use the companion fare, you can give it to someone else! Just make sure the credit card used for the purchase matches the name of the Alaska Airlines account holder from which the companion fare is applied.

What is better than traveling to Hawaii? Bringing a partner with you for just $99 (plus taxes and fees from $22).

A Free Checked Bag for You and Your Companions

With the Alaska Airlines credit card, you’ll also receive a free checked bag for you and up to six passengers on the same reservation. That’s a $30 savings per passenger!

Is the Alaska Airlines credit card Worth the Annual Fee?

The annual Alaska Airlines credit card companion fare can easily save you several hundred dollars every year. This far outweighs the $75 annual fee.

Additionally, you get a free checked bag and have an easy way to earn elusive Alaska Airlines miles!

Your checked luggage won’t have to pay to fly with the Alaska Airlines credit card.

Does the Alaska Airlines credit card Charge Foreign Transaction Fees?

No.

Who Is Eligible for the Alaska Airlines credit card?

You’ll need good-to-excellent credit to get approved for the Alaska Airlines credit card. If you’re new to credit cards, we always recommend you apply for the Chase credit cards you want first, because of their strict 5/24 rule.

Bank of America limits the number of new credit cards you can open with them. You cannot open more than two Bank of America credit cards in two months, three in 12 months, and four in 24 months. Additionally, you will not get approved for this card if you have or have had the card in the previous 24 months.

Similar Cards to the Alaska Airlines credit card

If you are a business owner and would like to earn Alaska Airlines miles for business expenses, you can also see the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card. The perks of the business card are almost identical to the great perks listed above!

Bottom Line

The Alaska Airlines credit card is one one of the best ways to earn valuable Alaska Airlines miles. With a 40,000-mile bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements, you’ll be well on your way to a vacation in Hawaii, Mexico or some place even further.

You also get valuable perks like a free checked bag for you and up to six companions on the same reservation, and you’ll earn 3x miles on Alaska Airlines purchases.

But the most valuable perk of all is the annual Alaska Airlines credit card companion fare. This can be used across the Alaska Airlines network and can include a stopover! A ticket from the east coast to Hawaii with a stopover on the west coast can easily cost over $800. With the Alaska Airlines credit card companion fare, you can get fly a second passenger for just $121 ($99 fare, plus taxes and fees from $22). That could mean a savings of $700, which easily makes the $75 annual fee worth it.

Alaska Airlines operates the most flights from the west coast, so the Alaska Airlines credit card should be in the wallets of any west coast travelers. However, with the value and versatility of Mileage Plan miles, travelers from everywhere can find great value in the Alaska Airlines credit card.

You can apply for the Alaska Airlines credit card here.

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Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

  • Now - 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
  • Get Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ every year! Each year on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com with no blackout dates.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don't expire on active accounts.
  • New! Enjoy 50% off day passes at the Alaska Lounge and 20% back on all Alaska Airlines inflight purchases when you pay with your new card.
  • Redeem miles with no blackout dates on any of Alaska's 1,200 daily flights or choose from over 900+ destinations with more than a dozen global airline partners. Plus, get exclusive access to discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays at over 400,000 properties using Alaska Airlines Hotels.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $75 annual fee.

More Info

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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I’m about to go on a trip to Tanzania and want a card to use if necessary while travelling. Should I use this card or my Chase Ink Card which I already met the bonus for? I can’t tell if this Alaska card has a fee on foreign transactions.

Hi Marley,

This card has no foreign transaction fees 🙂

I’m surprised that none of the big sites have mentioned a key point in their Alaska card reviews.

If you get approved for the card with a balance less than $5000, Bank of America instead sends you a Platinum Plus Alaska card that is significantly worse in terms of rewards. They also make it very difficult to find any info on the Platinum Plus card, mentioning it nowhere on their site besides one small reference in the fine print of the Alaska Air Visa.

Author

This is true. Thanks for pointing this out Brandon. If your application is “pending,” it might be beneficial to call Bank of America to make sure you get at least a $5000 credit limit and get the Visa Signature version of the card.