Who Is the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card From Bank of America Good For?
Alaska Airlines may be smaller than the three big U.S. carriers—Delta, American and United—but it has an extensive domestic network of routes, as well as flights to some vacation hot spots in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. The airline isn’t just for visiting Alaska, which makes the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card valuable to anyone who often flies in the U.S., regardless of where you live.
But if you are interested in traveling to and exploring Alaska, you’ll find that miles with Alaska Airlines’ loyalty program, Mileage Plan, are especially valuable. The carrier is the only airline that flies to some smaller destinations in Alaska, and it allows a free stopover on one-way flights. This is a great benefit that can save time and money, allowing you to see more places for the same miles.
Mileage Plan is a region-based program. It has several award charts for Alaska flights, and a separate chart for each of its partners. The program also offers discounted levels for intrastate flights in Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.Alaska Airlines does not belong to a major airline alliance, but it has plenty of partners, including Delta, American, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, British Airways and Air France. You can redeem Alaska Airlines miles on all of them, and you won’t pay fuel surcharges on award flights, except on British Airways.
Bank of America
The current bonus is 30,000 Alaska Airlines miles after you make at least $$1,000 in net retail purchases within the first 3 months.
- Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly with Alaska Airlines and Virgin America.
- 1 mile for everything else
What Do Your Miles Get You?
Alaska Airlines awards begin at 15,000 miles for round-trip intrastate flights, and go up to 25,000 miles for flights in North America.
Some awards on partner airlines, like American and Delta, mimic the redemption rates and benefits offered by that partner’s program, such as off-peak discounts to certain destinations. The details aren’t always the same, though, as Alaska doesn’t allow one-way flights on Delta for half the miles, even though Delta introduced this option when it revamped its own chart at the end of last year.
Mileage Plan members can also book reasonably priced award travel on some luxury airlines, such as Emirates, Qantas and Cathay Pacific.
- Good earning rate on Alaska purchases
- Free annual coach companion fare
- Can apply for both personal and business cards to maximize sign-up bonuses
- No changes or cancellation fees up to 60 days before the flight, $125 afterward
- Excellent partner airlines offering good redemption rates
- Starwood Preferred Guest and Diner’s Club are transfer partners
- Miles expire after two years of inactivity.
- Foreign transaction fee: None.
- No free checked bag with card.
How Far Do Your Points Go?
Mileage Plan’s best feature is a free stopover on one-way travel. This is an unusual benefit in the world of frequent flyer programs. You can fly from New York to Anchorage with a stopover in Portland, and from Anchorage to New York with a stopover in Seattle, for 25,000 miles roundtrip. That means that you can explore the Pacific Northwest and Anchorage for the same price as a flight to just Anchorage.
If you want to explore Alaska, Alaska Airlines is your best option. Using stopovers, you can visit four cities in Alaska on the same round-trip award ticket, starting at only 15,000 miles.
If you’re interested in international destinations, Alaska’s partners Cathay Pacific and Emirates can take you to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia at very reasonable rates. A round-trip ticket between the U.S. and Hong Kong or Africa can be as low as 100,000 miles in business class on Cathay Pacific. That’s less than you’d pay if you used American Airlines miles.
Additional Cardholder Benefits:
- Zero liability
- Extended warranty
- Up to $1,000,000 in travel accident insurance
- Auto rental collision coverage
- Purchase security and extended protection
- Emergency ticket replacement
- Lost luggage assistance
- Emergency translation service
- Savings and discounts on business purchases