Alaska Airlines is a favorite airline among domestic travelers. But the Bank of America (BOFA) Alaska Airlines card is not the best for every traveler. This card has a $75 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) and some nice benefits to boot. But its not the most rewarding card compared to transferrable points cards and some other co-branded airline cards.
Is this card a good one for you?
The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Card has a very simple earning structure. But that’s not something in its favor. You earn 3x miles on Alaska Airlines purchases and a single mile for non-bonus spend.
You can also earn Alaska Miles from renting cars and staying at hotels partnered with Alaska.
This card has a sign-up bonus worth 40,000 Miles. It can be earned after spending $2,000 within the first three months. This is a nice bonus considering how weak the card’s earning structure is and how hard it is to earn Alaska Miles.
Alaska Airlines is not partnered with any major transferrable points cards. In other words, you cannot transfer points to Alaska Airlines. It also means that this card and its business counterpart are the only ones that earn Alaska Miles.
As with most airlines, redeeming for airfare is the most rewarding and valuable method. The following table will tell you how much a flight is:
|Continental U.S. & Canada
|Central and South America
You can spend the entire sign-up bonus on one First Class ticket or two Coach tickets to Hawaii. You can also get two Business Class tickets to anywhere in the Continental US or Canada.
Another option is to upgrade to First Class. All you need is to pay for your Coach or Business Class ticket and 15,000 points. This is the best way to go if you want to do a points and cash redemption. It’s also nice if you’re low on points and still want to do a redemption.
A valuable redemption method for Alaska’s Miles is transferring to one of 15 transfer partners. Some of their partners include British Airways, Korean Air, and Singapore. Many people have gotten great value out of transferring, especially for international travel.
Furthermore, most of Alaska’s partners are also partnered with at least one of the major transferrable points card issuers. This means that you can use Alaska Miles to top off your account with a partner airline.
This category is where the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Card truly shines. It’s also where you should receive the most expected value.
This is the biggest benefit that the Alaska Airlines Card has to offer. You will receive one Companion Fare each year from $121. That’s $99 for the Fare itself and $22 for fees. This benefit is available as part of the sign-up bonus. All you need to do is spend $2,000 within the first three months of holding the card.
Free Checked Bags
You and up to six companions will receive one checked bag each if you’re all on the same reservation. This is a nice perk that’s common with Tier III airline cards. At $25 per bag, this perk could be worth up to $175. At a $25 value, all you need is three checked bags on one flight per year to justify the card’s $75 annual fee.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
This is becoming increasingly common with travel cards. Fortunately, the Alaska Airlines does not have them either. You will save 3% on all purchases outside of the United States as a result.
If the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Card is not right for you, check out these alternatives:
American Express Delta Gold Card
This card from Amex and Delta has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) and is very similar to the Alaska Airlines Card. But it has perks that are better for Delta loyalists.
This card has no bonus categories besides 2x on Delta purchases. However, it does have a two-part sign-up bonus. You can receive a $50 statement credit after making one Delta purchase in the first 3 months. And you will also receive 30,000 SkyMiles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. The Alaska Airlines Card has the better bonus and earning structure but not my much.
The main draw for this card is its fantastic Free Checked Bags perk. You and up to eight people can get your first bag checked for free. At $50 per bag, that’s a maximum value of $450. This is the same perk as Alaska’s Free Checked Bags perk. But Delta’s bags are more expensive, and they offer bags to more people. In this way, Delta’s version provides more value.
Barclays Jet Blue Plus Card
Jet Blue’s top card is a better option for Jet Blue fans and for general travelers. It has a $99 annual fee (NOT waived the first year), but it offers more than the Alaska Airlines Card.
This card earns 6x points for every dollar spend with JetBlue flights. It also earns 2x points at Grocery Stores and Restaurants. And it also earns one point for all non-bonus category spend. Barclays also offers a sign-up bonus worth 40,000 points. You can earn the bonus after spending just $1,000 in the first three months.
The Jet Blue Card’s benefits include a $100 annual statement credit and half-off in-flight purchases. This card also comes with free checked bags for you and up to three other people on the same reservation. T
The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Card is a nice option for Alaska loyalists. This is especially true if they can take advantage of the card’s benefits.
But there are better cards out there for most travelers. Those who are not loyal to any particular airline would be better off with any transferrable point earning card. And those who are loyal to one airline would be better off with that airline’s card.
Apply Today: Bank of America Alaska Airlines Card