There are 3 Great Alaska Airlines Visa Offers. Which is Best?

The Alaska Airlines Visa has long been a sleeper favorite.

I first got the card several years ago, and writing this post reminds me that I need to consider getting it again.

There are several offers, including a new one where you make money on top of the mileage bonus for signup. I’ll look at which one is best.

The card comes with a $75 fee, and isn’t generally waived the first year. It also comes with a $99+tax companion certificate, which can be used on any paid economy fare with no exclusions or restrictions. If you can book a ticket on the Alaska website in economy, the second passenger is $99+tax and earns miles. (I do miss the days 25,000 miles on approval and a $100 statement credit after $1000 in purchases within 90 days. This one is new to me.

  • 30,000 miles on approval. This one has been around for awhile.
  • 25,000 miles on approval and 15,000 more miles after $10,000 spend within 6 months. This has been around as well.

    Sadly the 50,000 mile signup bonus for the card is no longer available.

    If you’re going to make the Alaska card your primary spend card, then the third offer for 40,000 miles is best. But the truth is that if you want Alaska miles, the Starwood American Express is more powerful for earning them than this card is (because Starpoints transfer 1:1, albeit not quickly, and award a 5000 mile bonus for transferring 20,000 points).

    For most people it comes down to the first offer — 25,000 miles and $100, or 30,000 miles.

    You’re effectively buying 5000 incremental miles for 2 cents apiece with the 30,000 mile offer.

    Which one is best for you depends on how many Alaska miles you have and how many you need, I roughly consider the offers a wash. If you have no immediate need for a bump of 5000 miles then the statement credit is probably better, I’d conserve cash rather than buying Alaska miles at 2 cents. But it’s actually close.

    Verdict, for me, is the 25,000 mile signup bonus plus $100 statement credit. But as they say ‘your mileage may vary’.

    There’s been talk for some time about possible improvements to the card, and that would only bolster its appeal.

    Alaska did make some changes to its award chart, but they were modest. One nice thing about the Delta buildup in Seattle is that Alaska may be reticent to make broader changes. We also know that those of us who use Alaska miles for partner awards are a very small minority of members.

    (HT: Gene F. for the statement credit offer link, the other two have been around awhile and I’ve written on them but this offer was new to me.)

    Disclosure: no affiliate links were harmed – or used – in the making of this post.

  • About Gary Leff

    Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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    1. Thanks for the break down which card is the best but I have to disagree with the SPG Amex card, I m all for it but for most folks who like to MS, it is not worth the trouble of getting FR and eventual involuntary closer. somtimes going for the lower earning card is better in long term than a slightly better earning rate card.

    2. I’ll be applying for a few new cards next week, including the personal and biz Alaska cards. Your $100 statement credit link doesn’t work. Do you have a working one?

    3. @HoKO, you can definitely churn this card and business card, just like very other BoA card out there. Every 90 days, like clock-work.



    4. Thanks for the great post. Have been slowly adjusting earning strategy to Alaska (away from Delta and American for now) and the time is drawing nigh to get some Alaska cards in our next churn. Now to decide who to get it this time – my husband or me?

    5. No way I’m letting Bank of America into my life for any amount of miles. That’s concentrated evil you’re playing with there kids. Just sayin’.

    6. What are you saying? That 30k miles after 1st purchase is evil? My experience with BoA has been nothing but normal as compared to the other big banks, which is completely acceptable. I feel that the majority have the same experience judging by the forums. I just don’t get statements like this.

    7. As far as the Big Monster Mega banks go I have never had a single issue with BOA. Had many of their products over the years. In fact wish they had more bonus deals and a btter lineup of cards. Always high limits and never a single issue. Out of the big names Chase is one that can be a big problem. I do no MS by the way.

    8. hello,
      i can’t tell when these comments were posted, but are all three of these offers still applicable? i’m new to this, can someone explain the churning? every 90 days? thank you!!

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