Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card review: earn unlimited 3X miles on Alaska Airlines flights

This credit card offers a chance for serious earnings, thanks to ongoing unlimited 3X miles on Alaska Airlines purchases. This generous rewards structure helps to offset the modest annual fee for frequent Alaska Air travelers.
author Jennifer Doss

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
Our Rating:   
Excellent/Good
on Bank of America's secure website

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • For a limited time new cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Additionally, earn Alaska's Companion Fare™ each year on your account anniversary after you spend $6,000 or more on purchases within the prior anniversary year. Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com with no blackout dates.
  • Earn unlimited three miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases; unlimited two miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services and local transit (including ride share) purchases; and unlimited one mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, your miles don't expire on active accounts.
  • If you are someone that doesn’t live in a city that Alaska Airlines services or you don’t fly frequently on their routes, you'll miss out on all the great rewards the card has to offer. Also, unlimited 3X miles on travel purchases is a great rate, however, with this card, travel purchases are limited to Alaska Airlines purchases. This might not be the best option for someone who wants more freedom in the airline they travel.
Terms and Limitations Apply.

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card_name benefits

With no limit on the amount of miles that can be earned and solid travel perks, for those that fly Alaska Airlines often, the card_name is an incredibly valuable card to have.

As part of a limited time online offer, earn 60,000 bonus miles! Get 60,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare(TM) ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. Additionally, you get a companion fare each year on your account anniversary (after you spend $6,000 or more on purchases within the prior anniversary year) which is valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com with no blackout dates. This is certainly one of the biggest perks of this card. This feature allows you to effectively book a round-trip coach fare ticket for a traveling companion for only an additional $99 plus taxes and fees.

The card_name earns three miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases; two miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services and local transit purchases including ride share; and one mile per $1 spent on all other purchases! Furthermore, you can earn a 10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from your card purchases if you have an eligible Bank of America account.

This card also includes a number of great travel benefits for its users including free checked bags for you and up to six guests on the same reservation when you pay for your flight with the card, as well as priority boarding. The free checked-bag benefit is also available for co-applicants and authorized users when they book a reservation, too.

card_name annual fee

The card_name does have a AnnualFees annual fee; however, with this annual fee you are getting an opportunity for a valuable welcome bonus, free checked bags, and the annual companion fare. These perks can more than offset the annual fee on the card. Though, if you are someone that prefers to keep expenses low or will not frequently travel on Alaska Airlines, the annual fee can be prohibitive and should be taken into consideration when evaluating if this card is the right fit.

card_name foreign transaction fee

One fee that the card_name doesn’t have is a foreign transaction fee, allowing you to use your card without worries while traveling abroad. If a card does charge this fee, it normally isn’t high; usually 3%. However, 3% on each transaction in a foreign currency can really add up, especially if you travel abroad often. For example, for your dream trip to Thailand, if you spend $3,000 on international purchases with a card that has foreign transaction fees, you could be adding on an additional $90 or so in these fees alone. On the other hand, if you travel with the card_name, that’s money that stays in your pocket.

card_name credit score

The card_name requires good to excellent credit to get approval but other factors are also considered in the application process including payment history of revolving credit, your total open cards, and the average age of accounts open. The credit bureau Experian says those with good credit usually have FICO scores of at least 670, with excellent scores starting at 800. Please note, though, that these numbers can vary between different bureaus.

If you have limited credit history or are currently building your credit, it may be difficult to get approved for the card_name.

Potential downsides of the card_name

One of the potential downsides of the card_name is that the airline serves mostly West Coast flights. If you are someone that doesn’t live in a city that Alaska Airlines services or you don’t fly frequently on their routes, having this card may not make sense as the perks really benefit Alaska Airlines frequent fliers.

However, there are options to central and eastern U.S. destinations (as well as Mexico), so if you do live in a location that Alaska Airlines serves then this downside is minimized.

The ongoing rewards rate for the card is another potential downside as you earn unlimited 3X miles only on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases. Other cards with comparable annual fees, such as the CardName, earn higher rewards on all travel purchases and not just specific airline purchases. Lastly, as this card requires good to excellent credit to qualify, it may be difficult for some people to obtain the card due to limited credit history.

card_name cardholder scores

CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:

Current Scores Past Scores
Overall Score 77.1 N/A
Features Satisfaction 7.5 N/A
Customer Service 7.5 N/A
Website/App Usability 7.8 N/A
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 9.0 N/A
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 7.6 N/A

*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

How the card_name compares to other cards

card_name vs. Capital One Venture

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The CardName earns two miles for every $1 spent on all purchases. Compared to the card_name's three miles per $1 on Alaska Airlines purchases, two miles on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services, and local transit purchases including ride share, and one mile per $1 on all other purchases, the Venture card’s miles earning is straightforward and doesn’t fluctuate based on what you are purchasing.

The Capital One Venture card’s new cardholder bonus also exceeds the Alaska Airlines card with a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel. The Venture card doesn’t offer free checked bags or in-flight discounts, however, it does offer up to a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® membership, which is an excellent benefit not offered by many cards.

card_name vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus

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The CardName has a comparable annual fee (AnnualFees) and could be a good way to work toward earning a coveted Southwest Companion Pass®, which allows you to bring along a designated companion on all Southwest flights for a time.

New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. On an ongoing basis, earn two points per $1 on Southwest purchases; local transit and commuting (including rideshares); on internet, cable, phone services; and select streaming. Earn one point per $1 on other eligible purchases. Plus, enjoy a bonus 3,000 points each year on your account anniversary.

Southwest is similar to Alaska Airlines in that it serves a somewhat limited market. They can both be great options, but which is better for you will largely depend on the routes that you frequently fly.

card_name vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred®

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The CardName is an excellent alternative to the card_name for anyone looking for more flexibility in how they earn rewards. The Sapphire Preferred® comes with a whole host of benefits including 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more. Plus, Sapphire points are worth 25% more when redeemed through Chase Travel.

The welcome bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is also valuable with new card members earning 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account, worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Travel. The Sapphire card, however, doesn’t include the same travel benefits as the Alaska Airlines card, such as free checked bags, discounted in-flight purchases, and of course, the coveted Alaska Companion Fare™.

Is the card_name a good card?

Yes—for frequent Alaska Airlines fliers, that is. The benefits and rewards program of the card_name are very straightforward. If you frequently fly with Alaska Airlines and can redeem the companion fare, then you can reap rewards each year that can easily be worth hundreds of dollars. If you are unable to fly often with Alaska Airlines, it may be more difficult to justify having this card in your wallet.

Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September 2023 to conduct surveys among 1,869 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2023-Aug. 31, 2023 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted. “Current Scores” reflect scores from the most recent survey (2023); "Past Scores" reflect scores from the 2022 survey.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.