alaska airlines business credit card
I have never flown Alaska Airlines. I have never been to Alaska or even Seattle, which is Alaska Airline’s main hub. Yet I currently have an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card .
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card
The Alaska Airlines credit card issued by Bank of America offers the following benefits:
- Earn 25,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan bonus miles upon approval
- Coach Companion Fare from $121
- Earn 3X miles per $1 on Alaska Airlines tickets, vacation packages and cargo purchases
At its face value, there is not a whole lot to get excited about. The 25,000 sign-up bonus is weak (although there is no minimum spend requirement and you will often get the bonus even before getting your card). And if you do not fly Alaska often or at all, the companion voucher and the miles bonus for Alaska purchases are pretty much worthless.
This card has a $75 annual fee that is not waived the first year, although there are some links available online for an offer which will provide a $100 credit after $1,000 in purchases are made within the first three months of account opening. There is also a business version of this card with almost identical benefits.
While the current sign-bonus for the Alaska Airlines credit card is anything but exciting, there is one reason you should get it: Alaska has an amazing lineup of partner airlines on which you can book awards.
Alaska Airlines’ Partners
Alaska is not a member of any of the three major airline alliances. Nonetheless, they have been able to put together the following impressive lineup of partners from the oneworld and SkyTeam alliances:
However, perhaps their most significant partner is an airline that is also not a member of one of three major alliances: Emirates. Yes, you can use Alaska miles to book business and first class awards on Emirates, which is probably the main reason you should consider an Alaska Airlines credit card.
Alaska also partners with Fiji Airways. With Fiji you can fly to Nadi and the surrounding islands or you can choose to continue to Australia or New Zealand.
Alaska’s Award Rules, Charts and Limitations
Alaska has a unique award redemption system by which the amount of miles you need to book a specific award varies by airline. In other words, there is a different award chart for each partner airline. However, most of these award rates are competitive when compared to other airlines and, in some cases, a complete steal — like 50,000 miles for a business class one-way award between North America and Asia with Cathay Pacific. Click here to view Alaska’s partner award charts.
There are also limitations to the type of awards you might be able to book with specific airlines. For example, you cannot book one-way awards on Korean Air with Alaska miles. You are also not allowed to combine more than one partner airline in an award with the exception of Alaska’s own flights, which can be combined with any of their partner’s flights.
If there is one thing that sets Alaska apart in a positive way from most other airlines, it is that they allow stopovers on one-way awards. That means that you could have a stopover in Milan with a final destination of Dubai on an Emirates award. You could also have a stopover in Hong Kong on your way to Johannesburg on a Cathay Pacific award.
SPG Starpoints Transfers
Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints are the only major rewards currency that can be transferred into Alaska Airlines. As a result, even if you are a few thousand Alaska miles short of the award you are interested in, if you have SPG points available, you might be able to transfer those points and end up with enough Alaska miles.
Points earned from the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express can also come extremely handy for Alaska awards.
Although Alaska Airlines is not a member of one of the major airline alliances, their impressive partner list, which includes top-notch airlines such as Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Korean, among others, makes Alaska Airlines miles extremely valuable. As such, everyone should consider having the Alaska Airlines credit card.
*Terms and restrictions apply.
If you need assistance with an Alaska Airlines award booking or any other award booking, please consider PMM Travel Consulting’s award booking service. Click here to get started.