Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Review 2023: A win for west coast-based flyers

Written by Erica Sandberg / January 12, 2023
Reviewed by Robin Saks Frankel

Editor’s note: Some of the card details have changed since this review was originally written. We will be updating this page soon to reflect the card’s current attributes.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card is ideal for those who frequently fly in or out of the west coast. The card offers an annual companion ticket, a generous welcome bonus and free checked bag perks in exchange for a low annual fee of $75.

Inside this article

  1. Introduction
  2. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card basics
  3. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card other details
  4. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card benefits and perks
  5. Alternate Travel Credit Cards
  6. Should you get the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card?
  7. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card summary
  8. Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature is an excellent choice for travelers who frequently fly in and out of the west coast of the United States. There’s a $75 annual fee, but that can easily be offset by the annual companion fare each year on your account anniversary, you’ll get a companion fare, letting you book your travel buddy’s ticket for $99 (plus taxes and fees starting from $22).

New cardholders can take advantage of a welcome bonus of 50,000 miles after spending at least $2,000 within the first 90 days of opening the account. For ongoing rewards, the card earns 3 Alaska Airlines miles for every dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. Those miles can be redeemed for Alaska Airlines flights  or with one of the airline’s multiple Global and Oneworld alliance partners. 

You can also rack up additional miles by booking hotel stays via Alaska Airlines, and using the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program for car rentals, shopping with partner retailers and dining.

There is an annual fee of $75 to carry the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature, but frequent flyers will likely get enough value from the companion fare to justify the cost. Plus, the lack of foreign transaction fees make the card a sensible choice when traveling to international destinations. 

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card basics

  • Annual fee: $75

  • Welcome bonus: 50,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account

  • Rewards: Earn 3 miles for every dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every dollar spent on other purchases with the card

  • APR: 19.74% to 27.74% variable

  • Benefits and perks: Annual companion fare certificate ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22), 20% back on all Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases and free checked bag for cardholder and up to six guests on the same reservation

  • Recommended credit score: Good to excellent 

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card other details

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card rewards

The Alaska AIrlines Visa earns 3 miles per dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases with the card. 

You can redeem your miles for flights with the airline. Visit the Alaska Airlines website and search with miles to identify award availability. The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program allows you to also redeem miles on Oneworld alliance carriers and non-alliance partners like LATAM and Icelandair, so you aren’t just restricted to the airline’s routes (though you should know when searching for and booking flights that all award travel must be booked through Alaska Airlines). 

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card rewards potential

Using government data and other publicly available information, Sound Dollar estimates that a household in the U.S. that would be in the market for this card has an annual income of $84,352 and $25,087 in expenses they are likely to be able to charge to a credit card.

Our sample household spends approximately $1,188 on flights each year. Assuming all flights are booked with Alaska Airlines that would earn 3 miles per dollar for a total of 3,564 miles. All other spending of $23,899 at 1 mile per dollar would earn an additional 23,899 miles for a total of 27,463 miles per year plus the first-year welcome bonus.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card APR details

The APR for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card ranges from 19.74% to 27.74% variable, depending on creditworthiness. 

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card benefits and perks

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature benefits

  • A welcome bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 within 90 days

  • Annual companion fare certificate ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22)

  • Free checked bags for you and up to six traveling companions

  • 20% back on all Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases

  • No foreign transaction fees

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature drawbacks

  • $75 annual fee

  • Low rewards rate on non Alaska Airlines purchases 

  • No 0% intro APR on purchases or balance transfers

Alternate Travel Credit Cards

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature vs. Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

If you're looking for a co-branded airline card with a wider range of flight options, the no-annual-fee Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is a good contender. The welcome bonus is lower, at 10,000 miles, but you have six months to hit the minimum spend of $1,000. 

You'll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on dining and Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. Delta flies all over the U.S. and the world, making it easy to find a use for those miles. 

The card also offers the ability to pay with a combination of money and miles through the Pay with Miles feature when you book on delta.com—in increments of 5,000 miles worth $50—secondary car rental coverage, purchase protection and extended warranty coverage and access to money-saving Amex Offers.


Alaska Airlines Visa Signature vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If you aren’t loyal to Alaska or any airline in particular, a general purpose travel card will provide more flexibility then one that is associated with a specific airline. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one solid option. 

The $95 annual fee card earns high rewards on travel of 5 points per dollar spent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and on Lyft rides (until March 31, 2025), 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases, 3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases, dining, and select streaming services and 1 point per dollar on all other spending. 

There’s also a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in three months, worth $750 if redeemed towards travel booked through Chase or on eligible Pay Yourself Back purchases, a raft of purchase and travel protections and insurances and a $50 annual hotel credit for stays booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card vs. Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Cash back is the most flexible reward of all, so a card that earns rewards you can use on anything you like might be a better fit. One to consider is the Wells Fargo Active Cash card.  

The no-annual-fee card earns a flat rate of 2% cash back on all spending and also comes with a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases within three months.

Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. After, the variable APR will be 18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74%. An introductory fee will apply of $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater, for 120 days from account opening. After that, up to 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5.

Finally, the Wells Fargo Active Cash offers ​​up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible). Terms apply.

Should you get the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card?

If you fly Alaska Airlines with any regularity, the card merits consideration. The high rewards rate on spending with the airline, plus the annual companion pass and free checked baggage perks can offer value above and beyond the cost of owning the card.

But if you can't maximize the benefits of the card or you rarely fly Alaska Airlines, another card will be a better choice.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card summary

Annual fee$75
RewardsEarn unlimited 3 miles for every dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and an unlimited 1 mile per every dollar spent on other purchases
Welcome bonusEarn 50,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account
APR19.74% to 27.74% variable
Foreign transaction feeNone
Companion passEach year on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22)
Other perks and benefitsFree checked bag on Alaska flights for cardholder and up to six other guests on the same reservation 20% back on all Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases when you pay with your card

Frequently Asked Questions

What bank issues the Alaska Airline Visa Signature Card?

The Alaska Airline Visa Signature Card is issued by Bank of America.

Is the Alaska Airline Visa Signature Card worth it for the rewards?
Can you get the Alaska Airline Visa credit card annual fee waived?
How can I use my Alaska Airline Visa Signature Card companion ticket?

About the Authors

Erica Sandberg

Erica Sandberg

Erica Sandberg is a San Francisco-based personal finance expert and reporter. She is the author of Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families. Her passion is helping people achieve lasting financial security and resiliency.

Full bio
Robin Saks Frankel

Robin Saks Frankel

Robin Saks Frankel is a credit cards and personal finance writer and editor for Sound Dollar. Previously, she covered credit cards and related content at other national web publications including Forbes Advisor, NerdWallet, Bankrate and HerMoney. She's been featured as a personal finance expert in outlets including CNBC, Business Insider, CBS Marketplace, and has appeared on or contributed to The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio, ABC Radio, NPR, International Business Times and NBC, ABC and CBS TV affiliates nationwide.

Full bio

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