Consumers looking for a new airline loyalty program may be surprised at just how versatile miles earned with the Alaska Airlines program can be. No matter what you think, these miles are good for a lot more than a trip to the “Last Frontier.” Thanks to the airline program’s many partner airlines, you can parlay Alaska miles into a luxury First-class trip to Asia, free flights to Hawaii, or a trip to Australia, South Africa, India, or even the Middle East.
With so many ways to use Alaska miles, it’s no wonder many consumers covet this airline currency. Fortunately, there’s yet another way to earn miles within this program if you have a small business or work as a sole proprietor. With the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card, you can score a sweet signup bonus, earn a companion fare, and earn miles for each dollar you spend.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card: Earn Lucrative Miles and a Companion Fare
If you’re considering the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card for your next trip, you may want to consider the signup bonus first. Currently, you’ll earn 40,000 bonus miles just for signing up and spending $2,000 or more in purchases on your card within the first 90 days of opening your account.
Meeting the minimum spending requirement within the time frame also helps you qualify for Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ — a cardholder perk that lets a companion fly round-trip coach from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) with this offer.
Other benefits you can score with the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card include a free checked bag for you and up to six companions on the same reservation and no foreign transaction fees. Finally, you’ll earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases. Your miles never expire, and you can earn as many as you want.
In summary, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card has a lot to offer — specifically for consumers who are comfortable booking with the airline or its partners. Keep in mind, however, that an annual fee of $50 per company and $25 per card does apply.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card: Where it Comes Up Short
There are a few minor details that make the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card less than perfect. For starters, the annual fee can be troublesome if you’re a small business owner who wants to get cards for each of your employees. Paying $50 per business is not a big deal but having to pay $25 per card for each employee could leave you paying huge annual costs that may be hard to justify.
Another potential downside of this card is the fact that companion fare isn’t very flexible. You can only apply this fare to flights booked directly through the airline for starters. Plus, you will be required to pay airline taxes and fees — and these costs can be higher for flights to Alaska’s main international destination, Mexico.
As a final downside, it’s important to keep in mind that Alaska miles aren’t overly flexible. You can use them for flights with Alaska and partner airlines and you can also cash them in for bookings at select hotels. Other than that, your only other options are donating them to charity, redeeming them for magazines, or trying to upgrade your flight.
Considering some flexible rewards credit cards offer dozens of ways you can redeem your rewards, it’s important to keep this in mind before you sign up.
Consider an Alternative Card
If you fly Alaska Airlines or its partners often and are well-versed in how to use miles with this program, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card may be a no-brainer. If not, you may want to consider a card that lets you redeem your miles in more than one way.
Consider the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, for example. Not only does this card offer 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within three months of account opening, but you earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. You will also earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn. The annual fee for this card is only $95. Better yet, employee cards don’t require any additional cost.
When it comes to redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, you have a ton of options ranging from cashing them in for gift cards to redeeming for statement credits at a rate of one cent per point. You can also book travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal (and get 25% more travel for free in the process), or you can transfer points 1:1 to popular airlines and hotel brands like United MileagePlus®, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, Aer Lingus, AerClub, Marriott Bonvoy™, World of Hyatt®, British Airways Executive Club, and JetBlue TrueBlue.
The Bottom Line
The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card is a smart option for consumers who know how to make the most of miles within this program, but many others may be better off with a more flexible card. Of course, you could always consider getting more than one credit card for your business. With both the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card and a more flexible travel card in your wallet, you could double up on signup bonuses and use cards strategically to earn more rewards over time.
For the most part, we think the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card is best for a specific type of consumer:
- Someone who flies Alaska Airlines often and knows they can take advantage of the companion fare
- Anyone who flies Alaska Airlines often enough that the free checked baggage benefit would pay off
- Consumers who fly with Alaska or their partners often
- Business owners who want to earn a signup bonus and miles for each dollar spent on their card
If you’re worried about flexibility with the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card, you may not need to be. Alaska Airlines offers flights to many destinations in the continental United States as well as Alaska and Hawaii. You can also redeem with partner airlines for flights all around the globe.
Then again, a flexible travel credit card might leave you for more options. At the end of the day, it really depends on where you travel the most and how much flexibility you have in your plans. As always, it’s up to you to compare cards and offers and decide which one will leave you better off.
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