Alaska Airlines Adds Benefits to Credit Card, Raises Annual Fee

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With demand for travel continuing to be strong, one domestic airline is making updates to its co-branded credit card. Effective this week, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card is gaining some new benefits, while also increasing its annual fee.

Starting with what the updated card has to offer, the Alaska Airlines Visa now earns 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible gas, cable, streaming services, and local transit purchases. This is in addition to earning 3x miles on Alaska purchases and 1x on all other purchases. Also new is that cardholders can earn 10% in bonus rewards on all miles earned from card purchases if they have an eligible Bank of America account.

On top of the new rewards, the card has also added some fresh benefits. Now, cardholders will enjoy priority boarding when they pay for their flight with their Alaska Airlines card. Plus, customers who wish to purchase an Alaska Lounge+ membership will be able to save $100 using their Alaska Visa Signature card. This brings the cost to $550 for non-elites or $450 for those with Alaska MVP, MVP Gold, Gold 75k, or Gold 100k status.

As for the downsides of the updates, for one, the annual fee is increasing. Previously the Alaska Airlines Visa carried a $75 annual fee, but it will now come at a cost of $95 per year. Additionally, while cardholders will still be able to get their first checked bag free for them and up to six additional guests traveling with them, this perk will now require that customers pay for their flights using the card.

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To celebrate the launch of the revamped card, there’s also a special welcome bonus. Currently, new cardholders can earn 70,000 miles after they make at least $3,000 in purchases within their first 90 days.

Announcing the updates to the card, Alaska Airlines’ SVP of marketing and guest experience Sangita Woerner said, “With our newly enhanced Visa Signature credit card, we strived to add benefits that mean the most to our cardholders – from adding value to their travel experience when using the card to earning more miles on things we buy all the time. All those earned miles with the card can be redeemed in our award-winning Mileage Plan program for flights on Alaska, our fellow oneworld member airlines and our additional global partners.”

Elsewhere, Bank of America’s Head of Consumer Credit Card Products Jason Gaughan said of the offering, “We are thrilled to work with Alaska Airlines in order to offer customers enhanced benefits on their Visa Signature credit card. With these new changes we’ve created more opportunities for customers to optimize their credit card rewards and get the most out of every dollar spent traveling or for everyday purchases.”

Overall, while the increased annual fee is a definite downside, the new $95 fee for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card is still pretty modest. That’s especially true when you consider how much can be saved with the free first checked bag perk among others. Plus, considering that Alaska miles are known for being among the most valuable, the enhanced multiplier on several everyday spending categories is not something that should be overlooked. All things considered, those who fly Alaska Airlines with any regularity may want to take a closer look at this updated card.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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