Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card Review [2021]: Free Checked Bags and an Annual Companion Fare

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card offers excellent value for business travelers who often fly Alaska Airlines or its partners.
Last updated Jan 14, 2021 | By Ben Walker

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Small business credit cards often provide excellent ways for cardholders to earn rewards on their business purchases. Many of the best small business credit cards focus on travel rewards and benefits, which can help you save money on business-related travel expenses.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card can fill a specific role for small business owners who frequently fly with Alaska Airlines or one of its partners. This Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card review will help you decide whether this card would be a good fit for you.

Earn a Bonus & Companion Fare!

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card

Benefits

  • 40,000 bonus mile sign-up offer
  • Annual Alaska Airlines Companion Fare
  • 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
  • First checked bag free on Alaska Airlines flights

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No introductory APR offer

In this Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card review:

Who should get the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card?

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card makes the most sense for business owners who often travel for work. This card offers rewards for your business purchases, which can be redeemed for award flights or hotel stays.

Alaska Airlines has a large presence on the West Coast, so it’s easier to find nonstop flights in this region of the U.S. However, Alaska Airlines also partners with other major airlines to offer flexibility with your bookings. Still, if you aren't a frequent flyer on Alaska Airlines or its partners, you might consider one of the best airline credit cards that partners with a different airline to better suit your flying needs.

If Alaska Airlines works for your flight destinations, consider applying for the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card. Cardmember perks like free checked bags and an annual companion fare can help you save loads of money on flights you regularly plan to take.

Card basics

Card type Business
Credit card issuer Bank of America
Credit card network Visa
Annual fee $50
Intro bonus Earn 40,000 bonus miles and a $200 statement credit, plus an Alaska Airlines Companion Fare (from $121), after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days of account opening
Reward rate 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent
Foreign transaction fee None

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card benefits and perks

  • Generous sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles and a $200 statement credit, plus an Alaska Airlines Companion Fare (from $121), after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earning potential: This credit card offers 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases.
  • Annual companion fare: Receive Alaska’s famous companion fare each year on your cardmember account anniversary. This fare is valid on Alaska Airlines flights booked directly through Alaska Airlines.
  • Free checked bag: You and up to six other guests on the same Alaska Airlines reservation can receive a free checked bag.
  • No blackout dates: Award redemptions using Mileage Plan miles and annual companion fare tickets have no blackout dates.
  • Alaska Airlines Hotels: Receive exclusive access to award redemption offers for hotel stays at more than 400,000 properties.
  • Alaska Lounge and in-flight purchases: Cardmember perks include 50% off Alaska lounge day passes and 20% back on Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases when paying with your Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card.
  • Employee cards: Give cards to your employees at the cost of $25 per year for each employee card.
  • Travel insurance and coverages: Receive complimentary insurance and protection benefits when you use your card on eligible purchases, including travel accident insurance, car rental insurance, emergency ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance, and an extended protection option.
  • Transfer partners: Use and earn Mileage Plan miles with more than a dozen major airline partners like American Airlines, Emirates, and Qantas. Alaska Airlines will also offer more opportunities for earning rewards and benefits when it joins the oneworld alliance on March 31, 2021.

Drawbacks to the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card

  • Annual cost: You have to pay $50 in annual fees each year for this card, though benefits like free checked bags and an annual companion fare can help offset this cost.
  • Companion fare flexibility: Alaska’s famous companion fare can offer tremendous value if you use it correctly. Because the companion fare has a minimum cost of $121 ($99 fare plus $22 in taxes and fees), it wouldn’t make sense to use it on any fare that costs less than $121. This makes the companion fare less flexible, but it’s likely still worth the effort to find a more expensive fare to get the best bang for your buck.
  • Alaska destinations: Alaska Airlines is based out of Seattle, Washington, so its focus is on cities along the West Coast. This means many U.S. domestic flights have to route through an Alaska Airlines hub like Seattle, which can take you well out of your way when flying. For example, a flight from Charleston, South Carolina to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma would create a layover in Seattle even though it’s nowhere near the other cities. However, using Alaska Airlines partner airlines could help you avoid these routing issues by offering more options.

Earning and redeeming Mileage Plan miles

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your Alaska miles can add up with the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $885

Year two earnings: $285

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which looks at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

It’s important to note that the values above only account for general travel spending, not spending specific to Alaska Airlines. If you’re a frequent flyer on Alaska Airlines, you’re likely to get even more value from this card since you’ll earn 3X on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases. The amounts above also do not account for the value of the annual companion fare.

Best ways to earn

The most efficient way to earn Mileage Plan miles with this card would be to use it on any Alaska Airlines flights, though you’ll also earn a lower rate on other purchases. You can earn 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases.

You can also earn Mileage Plan miles when you fly with Alaska Airlines global partner airlines (more on partner airlines below), reserve car rentals with certain car rental agencies, and shop or dine through applicable Mileage Plan portals. So it’s possible to continue earning valuable Mileage Plan miles even when you aren’t purchasing Alaska Airlines flights.

Categories Rewards rate
Eligible Alaska Airlines purchases 3X
All other purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card earns miles within the Mileage Plan rewards program. This program offers multiple redemption options for your miles, including:

  • Award flights with Alaska Airlines and its partners
  • Award hotel stays at over 400,000 properties worldwide
  • Seat upgrades on eligible flights
  • Charitable donations
  • Magazine subscriptions

Using your miles for award flights will likely offer you the best value for your redemptions compared to the other available options. For example, a $99 one-way flight from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Portland, Oregon, could be only 5,000 miles, which is about 2 cents per mile ($99 / 5,000 = 0.0198).

However, one night at the Hyatt Regency Denver could cost you $104 or 16,600 miles, which is about 6 cents per mile ($104 / 16,600 = 0.006265). The award flight offers much better value for your miles than the award hotel stay, so you can maximize your redemptions if you stick to award flights that offer good value.

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card transfer partners

The Mileage Plan miles you earn with the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card can be used to book flights with loads of Alaska Airlines transfer partners. This increases your redemption options for award flights to worldwide destinations. Many of the best travel credit cards earn rewards that can be redeemed with travel partners, which improves the flexibility of your points and miles.

You can book most Mileage Plan award flights, including with partner airlines, online through the Alaska Airlines website. Award travel with Cathay Pacific and LAN must be booked through Alaska Airlines reservations at 1-800-252-7522.

Here are Alaska Airlines’ global airline partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • Condor
  • EL aL Israel Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card FAQs

Is the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card a good card?

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card is an excellent card option for business owners who want to save money on business travel expenses. This card earns bonus miles on all purchases, though eligible Alaska Airlines purchases will earn the most miles. In addition, you also get benefits like free checked bags and an annual companion ticket after your cardmember anniversary.

What credit score do you need for the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card?

You likely need an excellent credit score to qualify for the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card. An excellent FICO score is between 800 to 850, whereas an excellent VantageScore is above 780.

Do you need a business to get the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card?

You need a legitimate business to get the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card. However, many forms of earned income can be considered a business. This could include babysitting, selling items online, or doing freelance work on the side.

How does the Alaska Airlines companion ticket work?

The Alaska Airlines companion ticket allows eligible cardholders to add a round-trip companion fare to another identical Alaska Airlines itinerary being booked at the same time. The companion fare costs at least $121 ($99 plus at least $22 in fees and taxes). Companion fares cannot be used for award travel or combined with other discounts. Credit cards like the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card and Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card have the companion fare benefit.

Does the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card have an annual fee?

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card has an annual fee of $50 and an additional $25 every year for each employee card issued. Compared with many travel credit cards, this is a small price to pay. Especially when you consider benefits like free checked bags and an annual companion fare.

Other cards to consider

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card can be a great option, but it won’t make sense for everyone. For other business credit card options, consider the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and the American Express Business Gold Card.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred has a higher $95 annual fee, but its rewards and benefits help offset this cost. You can earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points on common business expenses, including the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines. In addition, your points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through the Chase travel portal. You can also transfer your points to more than a dozen Chase transfer partners, like World of Hyatt and Southwest Rapid Rewards.

If you want to earn Amex Membership Rewards points and gain access to Amex transfer partners like Marriott Bonvoy and Delta SkyMiles, consider the American Express Business Gold. This card has a steep $295 annual fee, but it can offer plenty of value with its earning potential and benefits.

You can earn bonus rewards for purchases in two select categories (up to $150,000 annually) in categories like airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases at gas stations, U.S. purchases for shipping, and more. Also, if you book flights using Amex Travel and the Pay with Points option, you’ll get 25% of your points back.

Earn a Bonus & Companion Fare!

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card

Special Offer

Earn 40,000 bonus miles and a $200 statement credit, plus an Alaska Airlines Companion Fare (from $121), after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days

See how these cards compare:

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 3X points on travel and common business spending categories
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Additional employee cards at no extra cost
American Express Business Gold Card
American Express Business Gold Card
  • 35,000 point welcome offer
  • 4X Membership Rewards points in selected categories
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply