May 8, 2018
Review: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

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Alaska airlines miles are a great way to book international First Class flights on partner airlines. For example, you can book Cathay Pacific First Class from North America to Asia, the Middle-East, Africa, or India for just 70,000 miles one-way. You can accumulate Alaska miles by flying Alaska Airlines or its partners, using the Alaska shopping portal, or by using the Alaska credit card from Bank of America.


Sign-Up Bonus


The Alaska Visa Signature offers 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening. Cardholders also get one free Companion Fare. This lets you buy one ticket and get a second for just the price of taxes.


Cardholders continue to receive one annual Companion Fare each year, but it costs $121 after the first year. The Companion Fare can be used on Alaska or Virgin America operated flights booked through alaskaair.com.



Earning Points


The Visa Signature earns 3x Alaska Airlines miles per $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America purchases, and 1x mile per $1 on everything else.


Redeeming Points


You can redeem Alaska miles for travel on Alaska, Virgin America, or several international partners. Some highlights include Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines (Fist Class to Asia costs 70,000 miles), Qantas First Class, and Fiji Airways Business Class.


Perks


Companion Fare

As I mentioned, you get an annual Companion Fare for $121 (free the first year). You can use this to fly someone with you on Alaska Airlines for free. While these can only be used for Economy Class tickets, Companion Fare tickets are eligible for upgrades just like cash tickets.


Free Checked-Bag

The primary cardholder and up to six other passengers on the same reservation get one free checked bag on Alaska flights.


Book flights to Japan using Alaska miles


Fees


The Alaska Visa Signature has a $75 annual fee and charges no foreign transaction fees.


Should You Get It?


This is probably the easiest way to accrue Alaska Airlines miles. The Visa Signature could be a good option if you fly a lot on Alaska or Virgin America and want to accumulate lots of MileagePlan miles. You’ll be giving up earning 5x American Express Membership Reward points with the Platinum Card from Amex, but that could make sense depending on the specific airline redemptions you’d like to make.


The Companion Fare could also get you outsized value if you redeem it for a particularly expensive Economy ticket.

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