Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card Review [2022]: A Generous Companion Pass and Travel Perks Galore

Is the card’s companion pass and welcome bonus enough to make it worth the annual fee?
Last updated Sept. 29, 2022 | By Kevin Payne

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The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card can be a valuable card to own, depending on where you travel. With perks like free checked bags, companion fare, valuable mileage rewards, and a host of compatible travel partners, becoming a cardmember could be a wise decision. But is this card worth the $75 annual fee?

Earn Valuable Alaska Airlines Miles

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Annual Fee

$75

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees (plus 40,000 bonus miles) after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days (limited time offer)
  • 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
  • Multiple travel perks when flying with Alaska Airlines
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees (plus 40,000 bonus miles) after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days (limited time offer)
  • 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases

In this Alaska Airlines Visa credit card review

Who should get the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card?

The Alaska Airlines Visa credit card is a great option for frequent travelers. With its impressive loyalty program and generous welcome bonus, this card offers a ton of value.

Alaska Airlines Visa credit card cardmembers can earn valuable rewards on Alaska Airlines purchases and book with well over a dozen air travel partners, so there’s likely a flight option for everyone. And if dining out is your thing, you can use this card to earn rewards at over 10,000 restaurants across the U.S.

Because this card is part of the Visa Signature series, cardholders can also access Visa travel benefits. These include car rental insurance, travel and emergency assistance, and more.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Bank of America
Credit card network Visa
Annual fee $75
Intro bonus Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees (plus 40,000 bonus miles) after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days (limited time offer) of account opening
Reward rate 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

Alaska Airlines Visa credit card benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees (plus 40,000 bonus miles) after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days (limited time offer) of account opening.
  • Annual companion fare: Alaska's famous companion fare is one of the major perks of this card. The Alaskan companion fare, which you can access once a year following your account anniversary, allows you to book a one-way or round-trip companion ticket for a $99 base fare plus taxes and fees, with the total price starting at $121. It can come in handy if you have a trip planned and want to save on airfare.
  • Signature Visa benefits: The Alaska Air Visa credit card offers benefits like roadside dispatch, car rental insurance coverage, extended warranties for products purchased with the card, and travel and emergency assistance services.
  • Rewards on purchases: Cardholders earn 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases. There is no mileage cap and the miles don't expire.
  • Free checked bag: You and up to six guests on the same reservation each get a free checked bag. 
  • Discounted Alaska lounge pass: Want to relax in the comfort of an Alaska Airlines airport lounge? Alaska Airlines Visa credit card cardholders receive a 50% discount on day passes to their airport lounges purchased with this card. Day passes normally cost $50, but cardholders can purchase passes for $25.

Drawbacks to the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card

  • Annual fee: This card does come with an annual fee of $75. If you're thinking about applying, make sure you'll be able to offset this cost each year. If not, it might make sense to consider a more flexible travel rewards card or a card without an annual fee. 
  • Limited/inefficient routes: Since Alaska Airlines is based in Seattle, it generally offers more flight options for West Coast travelers than East Coast travelers. And due to its prevalence on the West Coast, flights that originate on the East Coast may also have a stopover in an out-of-the-way city like Seattle. Per Alaska Air's current route map, a flight from Boston, MA, to Wichita, KS, includes a layover in Seattle, even though Seattle is halfway across the country in the opposite direction. This doesn't necessarily make it the most efficient option for East Coast travelers.

Earn Valuable Alaska Airlines Miles

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Annual Fee

$75

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees (plus 40,000 bonus miles) after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days (limited time offer)
  • 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
  • Multiple travel perks when flying with Alaska Airlines
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees (plus 40,000 bonus miles) after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days (limited time offer)
  • 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases

Earning & redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan miles

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

Potential earnings in years one and two

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: $860

Year two earnings: $260

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

The values above account for general travel spending only, not spending specific to Alaska Air. If you're a frequent flyer on Alaska Air, your earnings with this card will be higher due to the bonus miles it offers for Alaska Airlines spending. The companion fare isn't accounted for in the numbers above, either. Taking advantage of that fare each year will also increase the value you get from this card. 

Best ways to earn

You can earn miles in multiple ways with your Alaska Airlines Visa credit card. The most lucrative option is making eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, which earn 3X miles per dollar spent.

When you sign up for the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card, you are also enrolled in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining program. This program allows you to earn 1 mile per $2 spent at over 10,000 participating restaurants, bars, and clubs.

You can also earn miles by shopping online at stores like Macy's, Nike, and Best Buy through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan’s portal. The number of miles you can earn depends on the specific retailer.

You’ll also earn 1X miles on every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases with your Alaska Airlines Visa card. While this isn’t the best rewards rate out there, it’s still enough to make the card worth considering.

Maximizing your redemptions

You can get the most out of your Alaska Airlines rewards by using them to book Alaska Airlines flights or airfare with a partner airline. This is one of the best airline credit cards if you use certain carriers. Redemption value depends on factors like the airline, destination, time of travel, and more.

You can also use your Alaska Airlines miles to book hotel stays at over 400,000 participating properties. Rooms can be paid in full with miles or with a combination of cash and miles.

Cardholders also have the option to donate their points to charity or share them with family and friends.

Alaska Airlines Visa credit card transfer partners

if you want the flexibility of using your miles with different airlines, you're in luck with the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card. You can choose to redeem your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for travel on Alaska Airlines or one of their many travel partners. 

Booking award flights or transferring miles is simple, and you can do so by visiting AlaskaAir.com or calling Alaska Airlines reservations at 1-800-252-7522. 

Here's the full list of current Alaska Airlines partners: 

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Condor
  • EL AL Israel Airlines
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Ravn Alaska
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Singapore Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines

Alaska Airlines Visa credit card FAQs

Is the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card worth it?

If you travel frequently with Alaska Airlines or its air travel partners, this card may be worth it. The money you’ll save using the companion fare alone far outweighs the $75 annual fee attached to this card. The rewards you earn also have no expiration date and there are no blackout dates to worry about when you redeem them for flight purchases.

Can you have two Alaska Airlines Visa credit cards?

You can’t have two of these credit cards, but you can apply for the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card. The business credit card offers many of the same benefits, including a generous welcome offer and companion fare. You must have excellent credit to be eligible for the Alaska Airlines Visa Business credit card.

Does my Alaska Airlines credit card cover rental car insurance?

This card comes with the benefits afforded to Visa Signature credit cards, including car rental coverage for damage due to collision or theft.

Do I get a free checked bag with my Alaska Airlines credit card?

Yes, cardholders receive a free checked bag for themselves and up to six other guests on qualifying reservations. Alaska Airlines baggage fees are $30 for first checked bags.

Other cards to consider

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card is one of the best credit cards for frequent flyers on Alaska Air. But if you don’t fly Alaska Air or its travel partners often, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card may be a good alternative for you. New cardholders earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. 

Venture Rewards cardholders earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and car shares booked through Turo; and 2X miles on all other purchases.

Learn more in our Capital One Venture card review

Travelers could also consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It has an $95 annual fee, and it delivers in travel value. New cardmembers can earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, which equals $750 in travel value through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. 

The Sapphire Preferred card also includes 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

Learn more in our Chase Sapphire Preferred review

Earn Valuable Alaska Airlines Miles

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Special Offer

Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees (plus 40,000 bonus miles) after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days (limited time offer)

See how these cards compare:

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • 75,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.