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Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card: Earn Miles and a Companion Pass

For Alaska Airlines frequent flyers, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card could make your travels less expensive.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card has some strong features going for it that Alaska Airline flyers will love, but it's hampered by the lack of flights available for rewards redemption. But Alaska Airlines miles are quite valuable, provided you can find a flight to use them for.

It carries a $75 annual fee -- which is average for cards in this category. However, it uniquely offers an annual companion ticket starting from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) each year on your account anniversary with no spending requirement to qualify for. And as a member of the Oneworld flight alliance, it features mile transfers to a number of airlines, including American Airlines.

If the restrictions won't hinder you, it's certainly not a bad choice if you enjoy flying with Alaska Airlines -- particularly for the lucrative welcome bonus and strong rewards rate for Alaska Airlines purchases. If you don't fly with Alaska Airlines, consider another airline credit card.

In this article

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

6/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferGet 50,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
APR18.99% - 26.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases.
  • Unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Annual Fee$75
Additional Details
Balance Transfer APR18.99% - 26.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Late Payment Fee See terms
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR up to 29.99% APR
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases.
  • Unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Our Take

This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Rewards and redemption

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card offers 3x miles per dollar for eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, and 1x mile for everything else. However, it's slightly less versatile than other airline credit cards (like the United℠ Explorer Card) that offer rewards for multiple aspects of travel, from hotels to dining out, in addition to rewards for airfare.

The miles you earn can be used to fund Alaska Airlines airfare, or transferred to one of the airlines in the Oneworld Alliance. You aren't able to redeem your rewards for statement credits or anything of the like unfortunately, so if you're not planning on turning your miles into flights, consider another travel credit card.

Below you'll find all of the airlines in the Oneworld Alliance.

  • American Airlines
  • British Airway
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • SriLankan Airlines

Alaska Air provides details on the different mile ranges each type of airfare will cost within the contiguous U.S. and Alaska.

Alaska Airlines mile cost

Airfare type Trip length Mile cost range
First Class Less than 700 miles 15,000 to 40,000 miles
Main Cabin Less than 700 miles 5,000 to 30,000 miles
First Class 701 to 1,400 miles 25,000 to 50,000 miles
Main Cabin 701 to 1,400 miles 7,500 to 30,000 miles
First Class 1,401 to 2,100 miles 25,000 to 60,000 miles
Main Cabin 1,401 to 2,100 miles 10,000 to 40,000 miles
First Class 2,101+ miles 30,000 to 70,000 miles
Main Cabin 2,101+ miles 12,500 to 50,000 miles

How much are Alaska Airlines miles worth?

Based on the flights available for miles redemption, we estimate Alaska Airlines miles to be worth 1.66 cents each -- but you can't redeem miles for just any flight.

Depending on where you're looking to fly to, you won't be able to redeem your miles for a lot of Alaska Airlines flights. That dampens the card's earning potential since it seems to mostly defer to American Airlines or other airlines when there are no Alaska Airlines flights available. For example, there is a flight from Nashville to New York City available to use your miles for, but it'll be with American Airlines rather than Alaska Airlines.

Here are the flights we were able to find, and the point values for each. Each flight is one way.

Mile valuations

Flight Dollar cost Mile cost Mile value
ORD to LAX $392 20k + $6 1.96 cents
DEN to JFK $547 40k + $12 1.36 cents
SFO to CVG $494 30k + $12 1.65 cents

So, while there aren't too many east coast Alaska Airlines routes, when you are able to find one, Alaska Airlines miles are pretty valuable. 

Keep in mind that point valuations are volatile and will change depending on factors like when you're looking to travel as well as how many people are traveling at that time. These valuations are all with Alaska Airlines, so miles could be worth less (or more) when transferring miles to other airlines.

Welcome bonus

New Alaska Airlines Visa Signature cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

If, based on our estimates, Alaska Airlines miles are worth 1.36 cents at the low end and 1.96 cents at the high end, then 50,000 miles would be worth $680 (50,000 x .0136) to $980 (50,000 x .0196). Either way that's a pretty decent return for the welcome bonus' spending qualification.

For the companion fare, the discount code will be added to your account within the first two billing cycles after qualifying within the 90 day limit. You'll get an additional companion fare each year automatically as an annual benefit.

Other card perks

Besides the annual companion ticket, you can also get a free checked bag for you and up to six people on your reservations. That could save you quite a bit of money depending on how many times per year you travel. There's also 20% back on inflight Alaska Airlines purchases, which is standard among most co-branded airline credit cards.

Alternative cards

If you prefer flying with another airline, or like to mix and match, consider these other options.

United℠ Explorer Card

The United Explorer Card offers rewards and amenities catered to travelers who prefer to fly with United. It has a higher annual fee of $95 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year), but it offers better perks and expanded rewards.

Cardholders can earn 2x miles per dollar for United purchases, plus for dining and hotel stays purchased directly with the hotel, and 1x point for everything else. So it offers a slightly lower rewards rate (2x miles for United purchases compared to 3x miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases with the Alaska Airlines card), but you can earn 2x miles for more travel-related purchases -- like dining and hotels -- that the Alaska Airlines card would only earn 1x mile for.

There isn't an annual companion ticket, but to make up for it, the United Explorer Card features a wide variety of travel and shopping protections, two one-time passes each year to United's airport lounge and an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. The airport lounge access and application credits alone make the United Explorer card worth the cost, and a better choice for frequent travelers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If you don't have any loyalty to a specific airline, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel credit cards you could choose. 

The card earns 5x points per dollar for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points per dollar for dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), 2x on travel purchases and 1x for everything else. Suffice to say it has more earning potential than the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card.

But the true power comes from its 25% point bonus when redeeming points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and its 1:1 point transfer rate to Chase's airline and hotel partners.

There aren't any companion passes or inflight discounts to be had here, but its redemption bonus and transfer rate make it one of the best general travel cards to choose. Its annual fee of $95 is slightly higher, but its well worth the cost if you travel even a handful of times per year.

You can learn more about it in our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.

FAQs

Which states does Alaska Airlines fly to?

Alaska Airlines flies to Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York (NYC area), North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Washington D.C., Wisconsin and Wyoming.

What's the difference between an airline credit card and a general travel credit card?

The main difference between the two types of travel credit cards is that airline credit cards earn rewards with a specific airline and offer perks centered around flights. General travel credit cards offer rewards and perks for a variety of different kinds of travel spending.

What is Global Entry and TSA PreCheck?

Global Entry expedites the customs process when entering the country. It helps you skip the line and move through it faster. Similarly, TSA PreCheck gets you through the TSA security line and to your gate faster.

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