Alaska Airlines Card Adds New Benefits

Alaska's new mood lighting

Alaska Airlines cabin (courtesy of: Alaska Airlines)

One of the easiest ways to make travel less painful is through credit cards. For airlines, these cards often come with perks such as early boarding and free checked bags. If you’re looking to collect Alaska miles or add a few nice perks to your travel experience, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card can be a great addition to your wallet. The card recently added a few new benefits to help improve your travel experience.

What’s Changing?

At the beginning of the month, the card rolled out a few enhanced benefits. These benefits apply to both new and existing cardholders.

20% back on Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases

Is it just me, or did the rest of this flight just get a little easier?

The card will offer a 20% rebate on in-flight purchases on Alaska Airlines. This includes things such as food, beverages, and Wi-Fi. If you’re not able to score an upgrade, having discounted drinks can certainly make the coach experience more tolerable. Having discounted Wi-Fi can be a great benefit, especially on some of Alaska’s longer flights.

50% Lounge Day Pass Discount

With the top quality, complimentary food and beverage options, and the amazing view, guests will arrive to the plane refreshed and ready to go. (PRNewsfoto/Alaska Airlines)

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card now features a 50% discount on single day lounge passes. (PRNewsfoto/Alaska Airlines)

In addition to this, the card is now also offering a 50% discount on lounge day passes. A single day pass for entry into an Alaska Airlines lounge currently costs $50. Having the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card knocks that entry fee down to a much more palatable $25. That’s probably not far off what you’d typically pay for a meal and a drink in the terminal, so why not do it somewhere more comfortable? If you don’t have lounge access, this can be a great way to grab some food, get some work done, or just get away from the stress of the concourse. Even if you don’t use the companion fare (which if you don’t, I know a certain author of an article that would gladly have it) the annual fee pays for itself after just three lounge visits.

Annual Fee

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card carries a $75 annual fee. This is lower than many of the other airlines’ cards and also carries better benefits. The Companion Fare alone can easily cover the cost of the annual fee making this a great card to hang on to, even if you only fly Alaska once or twice a year.

Sign-up Bonus

Right now, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card comes with a 40,000 mile bonus offer after spending $2,000 within 90 of opening your account.

In addition to the bonus miles, you’ll also receive an Alaska Airlines Companion Fare certificate, allowing you to purchase a round trip companion ticket for just $121

Perks

In addition to the new perks, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card still carries some other great perks that can easily justify the card’s annual fee.

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation. If you’re traveling with a large family, this perk can really come in handy. In addition, you don’t have to pay for your ticket with the card to enjoy this benefit.

Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare

Alaska Airlines companion fare allows you to get a second ticket to Hawaii for just $121

One of the best perks of having this card is Alaska’s Companion Fare. This fare allows you to purchase a round trip companion ticket for just $121 ($99 base fare plus $22 in taxes and fees). The fare is valid on any Alaska Airlines economy ticket to any of their destinations, including Hawaii. Even if you only fly on Alaska Airlines occasionally, this perk alone should cover the annual fee. You’ll receive an additional companion voucher every year on your account anniversary.

Earning Points

The Alaska Airlines credit card provides a strong opportunity to earn miles, especially if you’re a frequent Alaska flier. The card earns 3x miles for every dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Most other airline cards in the same category only earn 2x miles per dollar spent, so having 3x undoubtedly helps this card stand out against its competitors. Because Alaska Airlines isn’t a transfer partner of any of the major transferrable currencies, this card can be a good way to help grow your mileage balance.

Possible Uses

Business Class on Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Business Class (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Cathay Pacific undoubtedly offers one of the best redemption options for Alaska Airlines miles. For just 50,000 miles, you can fly to Asia in business class from the US. Compere that to Emirates and Finnair who charge that much just for economy. While the sign-up bonus and minimum spend requirement won’t get you 100% of the way there, it’s close enough that just a little more spending will help you have enough for this ticket.

If that’s a few too many miles, how about 42,500 in business class on Cathay Pacific from Europe to Asia? Up to 12 hours in a flat bed seat for only 42,500 miles is an incredible value.

Business Class to Australia on Qantas

Flights from the US to Australia are notoriously long. If you’re going to be on a plane for 15 hours, wouldn’t it be nicer to have a good meal, room to stretch, and somewhere comfortable to sleep? With just 55,000 Alaska miles, you’d be able to fly from the US to Australia in business class. Economy on Qantas will cost you 42,500 Alaska miles, so the extra 12,500 miles seems like a no brainer. The 55,000 Alaska miles for business class is 25,000 fewer miles than American charges for the exact same flight!

A Reminder

You shouldn’t apply for a credit card unless you’re confident you can meet the minimum spend for the sign-up bonus and you can pay off the full balance every month. If you’re confident in both of those things, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card can be a great card to add to your arsenal.

Final Thoughts

While the two added benefits alone may not be reasons to sign up for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card, there are still plenty of great reasons to get the card. There are so many great uses for Alaska Airlines miles that the perks are really just the icing on the cake. The card is already a keeper with the companion fare, so we’re certainly never upset when a credit card adds new benefits.

Author: Stephen Hoechst

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2 Comments

  1. Great review. But one benefit caption says this:

    “25%” back on Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases

    But the description which follows says this:

    The card will offer a “20%”rebate on in-flight purchases on Alaska Airlines.

    Which is it?

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks for catching that, Richard. It’s 20% back on in-flight purchases. I’ve updated the article to reflect that.

      Post a Reply

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