Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card
After purchasing Virgin America, Alaska Airlines became the fifth largest carrier in the United States. Sure, its fleet still isn’t large enough to compete with the likes of American, Delta or United, but Mileage Plan, Alaska’s frequent flyer program, blows the competition out of the water.
If you’re a small business owner based on the West Coast, you should consider the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card from Bank of America. It offers a decent sign-up bonus after reaching a low minimum spending requirement and three miles per dollar spent with either Alaska Airlines or Virgin America, which is a high return on a co-branded airline card.
Alaska partners with many airlines, which means there are plenty of options when it comes to redeeming Mileage Plan miles for award flights. The Alaska Airlines Visa Business credit card will make your business expenses sting a bit less when you use the accumulated miles to book award tickets.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s right for you. In this section we cover the bonuses and perks offered by the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card and the value of Mileage Plan miles.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card offers customers a welcome bonus of 30,000 Mileage Plan miles. To receive the bonus, you have to spend $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days of account opening. Additionally, Alaska card members receive a Companion Fare that allows them to book a flight for a family member or a friend for just $99 plus taxes when a cash ticket is booked for the cardholder. This benefit can save hundreds of dollars every year when used at the right time.
What You Get
- Earn 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Annual Companion Fare for $99 plus taxes and fees on Alaska or Virgin America
- 3 miles per dollar for Alaska and Virgin America purchases
As long as there’s qualifying activity on your Mileage Plan account — including flying on Alaska, Virgin or their airline partners, redeeming miles for award tickets, eating at Mileage Plan Dining restaurants, buying items via Mileage Plan Shopping portal and credit card spending — your miles won’t expire. Any of these activities extends the life of your miles by 24 months. If a Mileage Plan account is inactive for two years, it could be closed and the miles forfeited.
The Value of Mileage Plan Miles
The Alaska Business Visa earns Mileage Plan miles that can be redeemed for travel on Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and about 20 global partners serving over 900 destinations. Region-based award charts are in place, and the redemption levels vary based on the airline you’d like to fly. Besides the Last Frontier, Alaska flies all over the U.S. and to Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Alaska miles will yield the most value when redeemed for international travel, but domestic travel can be lucrative as well. There isn’t a shortage of options when it comes to booking award travel using Mileage Plan miles.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile, or CPM, is a common way to measure the value of miles or points. It tells you how many cents you’re getting for each mile or point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket by the number of miles or points the award flight costs. This can be a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles can vary.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Mileage Plan Miles
Mileage Plan is a unique program in that it allows one free stopover on one-way awards or two stopovers on round-trip awards. There’s an opportunity to maximize your miles by booking a stopover, which is a stay longer than 24 hours, and visiting two cities for the price of one. The only catch is that you cannot mix more than one partner airline in addition to an Alaska flight.
For example, you want to book an award flight to Japan. You can fly to Los Angeles or San Francisco from any U.S. city served by Alaska and go on to Tokyo on Japan Airlines, one of its global partners. The flight in economy class costs 35,000 Mileage Plan miles. It’s also possible to book a flight from the same U.S. city to Tokyo, stopover for a few days, and then continue on to Osaka on the same ticket, and it won’t cost you any more than 35,000 miles.
Seattle–AtlantaEconomy classMiles price25,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$546
San Francisco–MiamiEconomy classMiles price25,000miles+$36.2 feeDollars price$250
Los Angeles–Las VegasEconomy classMiles price25,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$280
Seattle–VancouverEconomy classMiles price25,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$444
Anchorage–TokyoEconomy classMiles price65,000miles+$312.0 feeDollars price$1,478
Las Vegas–San JoseEconomy classMiles price35,000miles+$106.0 feeDollars price$821
Los Angeles–SeattleBusiness classMiles price50,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$498
Dallas–San FranciscoBusiness classMiles price120,000miles+$11.2 feeDollars price$1,145
Denver–HoustonBusiness classMiles price32,500miles+$23.7 feeDollars price$1,365
Anchorage–MexicoBusiness classMiles price60,000miles+$125.0 feeDollars price$1,353
San Francisco–CancunBusiness classMiles price65,000miles+$80.0 feeDollars price$1,500
Santa Barbara–LiberiaBusiness classMiles price60,000miles+$112.0 feeDollars price$1,906
Other Ways You Can Earn Miles
Hotel Stays11 partners11 part.
Mileage Plan members can earn miles by booking rooms at partner hotels, but it’s not possible to redeem miles for free stays.
Car Rental7 partners7 part.
Alaska flyers can earn miles with select car rental companies, even without booking a flight, but there’s no option to reserve a car using miles.
The Alaska Airlines Business card earns three miles per dollar spent directly with Alaska Airlines and Virgin America and one mile per dollar in all other categories. When compared with most co-branded airline credit cards, it’s quite a high return. Most airline cards give you just two miles per dollar. There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn with this card, and earning miles at least once a month prolongs their expiration indefinitely.
- Car Rental
- Alaska Airlines Purchases
- All Other Purchases
Free Checked Bag
Cardholders can get up to seven free checked bags per reservation for them and their travel companions on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and Virgin America.
Annual Companion Fare
Passengers who book a cash ticket can get a second ticket on the same itinerary for $99 plus taxes. Good for anywhere Alaska and Virgin America fly.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You’ll never have to pay an additional fee to use your card while traveling abroad.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
Small business owners can apply for the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card under two different earning plans: Business Level and Individual Level. The card with the Business Level Earning Plan costs $50 per company and $25 per card. The card with the Individual Level Earning Plan costs $0 per company and $75 per card. Unfortunately, the fees are not waived during the first year of card membership.
If you value Mileage Plan miles at 1.5 cents each, which is a conservative value, you’d have to spend $5,000 on purchases annually to break even with the annual fee. Your valuations may vary.
- Late Payment Fee
- $19 if balance less than or equal to $100; $29 if $100.01 - $1,000; $39 if $1,000.01 - $5,000; $49 if greater than $5,000
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Annual Fee
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $1,667 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card
The Alaska Business card is a solid co-branded airline card for small business owners and independent contractors. Below are some of the best benefits of the card.
- Great Sign-Up Bonus: You’ll earn 30,000 Alaska miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. The bonus is worth about $450 or more, depending on the way you redeem the miles.
- Annual Companion Fare: Everyone loves discounted tickets, and with the Companion Fare, it’s possible to book a second ticket on a flight operated by Alaska or Virgin America for just $99 plus taxes.
- High Return on Airfare: If you live in one of Alaska’s or Virgin’s hubs and fly either airline often, it’s possible to rack up a ton of points by earning three miles per dollar spent with either airline.
- Free Checked Bags: Every time you and up to six of your friends fly on Alaska or Virgin America, you can get free checked bags for the entire party as long as everybody is booked on the same reservation.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees: Foreign transaction fees apply to purchases made overseas and can be as high as 3 percent per transaction. Carrying a credit card that waives those fees can save frequent international travelers a lot of money.
Should You Get the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card?
If you’re a small business owner who frequently flies on either Alaska Airlines or Virgin America, then the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card is a solid option. The 30,000 mile sign-up bonus can be redeemed for two domestic flights.
With this card, you will receive free checked bags and three miles per dollar spent directly with the two airlines, which is quite generous. Additionally, the annual Companion Fare can make up for the cost of the annual fee effortlessly.
The drawback of the card is that the miles have to be redeemed on AlaskaAir.com. The points are not flexible and cannot be transferred to any other programs. However, Alaska partners with nearly 20 global partners, ensuring there are redemption opportunities available to many destinations.
Need more info? Check out our FAQ. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Do I have to pay for my Alaska or Virgin America flight with the Alaska Business card to receive free checked bags?
There’s one online application for both the Alaska Visa Signature and the Alaska Airlines Visa® Platinum Plus. The card issuer, Bank of America, will automatically determine which card you qualify for. The Signature card has better benefits and a large sign-up bonus, so if you don’t get that card, you should call Bank of America and ask them to reconsider your application.
Each card member gets his or her own bag covered plus up to six other bags for companions if traveling in a group and booked on the same reservation. The bag fees are also waived for award tickets as long as the cardholder’s Mileage Plan number is attached to the booking. Each one-way flight can save $25 per bag.
Applying for a small business card is a good way of establishing a credit history for the business and keeping personal and business expenses separate. You can qualify for a business card as sole proprietor and do not have to make huge profits. Do you run an Etsy store or carry out contactor work on the side? Chances are that you qualify for a small business card.
It’s beneficial to have all business spending organized in one place and easy to access, which makes your taxes much easier to file. If you have employees, issue employee cards that are attached to a single business account so that they don’t have to worry about reimbursement later.
To take advantage of the Companion Fare, cardholders must book a revenue ticket on any Alaska Airlines or Virgin America flight. Any destination qualifies, including Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Costa Rica. The ticket has to be paid with cash and not Alaska miles.
You can then book another ticket on the same itinerary for a second traveler for just $99 plus taxes, which start at $22. Unfortunately, only economy tickets are eligible for the Companion Fare, but the benefit can still save you hundreds of dollars when traveling with a buddy.
The benefit applies every year you renew your Alaska card and pay the fee, which is easily covered by the Companion Fare.
Besides the the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card, Bank of America offers two personal Alaska cards: Alaska Airlines Visa Signature and Alaska Airlines Visa Platinum Plus. Let’s take a closer look at these cards.
Other Alaska Airlines cards
|Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card||Alaska Airlines Visa® Platinum Plus|
|Sign-up bonus||30,000 miles||30,000 miles||5,000 miles|
|APR On Purchases||13.49% to 20.49% Variable±||13.24% to 20.24% Variable±||13.24% to 20.24% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$360||$360||$360|
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card comes with a 30,000 miles sign-up bonus and charges a $75 annual fee. The card is essentially identical to the business version of the card and offers all the same perks. You do not have to be a business owner to apply for this card and enjoy all the cardholder benefits.
If you do not qualify for the Visa Signature card for any reason, such as a low credit score or high limits with the issuer, Bank of America might assign you the Alaska Airlines Visa Platinum Plus card instead. This card offers just 5,000 miles for a sign-up bonus and charges a lower annual fee of $50. There’s no annual Companion Fare with this card, either, so being approved for this card instead of the Visa Signature is not great.
Compare Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card to Other Cards
Most airlines offer a business version of their co-branded credit cards. Some carriers might work better for you, depending on where you’re based. Let’s take a look at a few other co-branded airline cards for business owners.
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card
30,000 miles offerRead Review
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®
60,000 miles offerRead Review
- United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card
50,000 miles offerRead Review
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Business card from American Express OPEN is a great choice for business owners who prefer flying with Delta and live in one of the airline’s hubs, such as Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis or Detroit. The card earns two miles per dollar spent with Delta and offers a $50 statement to be used with Delta in the first three months, free checked bags for the cardholder and up to eight companions and Zone 1 boarding.
The CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard is targeted to those who fly on American Airlines. This small business card earns two miles on American Airlines purchases and for gas, car rentals and telecommunications. The card offers a 10 percent rebate on redeemed miles, free checked bags for up to five people and preferred boarding.
The United MileagePlus Explorer Business card offers some of the best returns on spending. The card earns two miles per dollar spent directly with United Airlines and at restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores. Some of the benefits include free checked bags for the cardholder and one companion, two annual United Club passes and priority boarding on United flights.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Visa Business card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 13.24% to 20.24% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 25 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer's warranty by an additional year on warranties of three years or less.
- Purchase Protection:
- The card covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft for up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 25.24% Variable ±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater (exception below)
Security and Protections
Bank of America offers great security features, such as zero liability for unauthorized purchases, an embedded microchip and fraud monitoring. It’s also possible to track your account with an on-the-go mobile app for your smartphone.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified when large transactions occur, if there’s an unauthorized withdrawal and when your bill’s due.
- Banking On the Go:
- Track your account with the Bank of America mobile app. EMV Chip Technology: Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
- Credit Score Reports:
- Monitor your credit history for unusual activity, including recently opened accounts and inquiries.
- Fraud Monitoring:
- Bank of America blocks potential fraud if unusual activity posts to your account.
Mobile wallet options, which are safe and secure, have become increasingly popular among cardholders. The Alaska Business card works with Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
Visa Signature Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- When renting a car for business purposes, Visa offers secondary coverage on domestic rentals and primary coverage abroad when the entire rental cost is charged to the card. Simply decline the rental company’s collision insurance.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Cardholders can receive up to $3,000 per passenger for damaged or lost bags. Coverage includes cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary as long as travel was paid with eligible card.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- Call 1-800-847-2869 for roadside assistance available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Service includes towing (up to 5 miles), tire changing, jump-starts, lockout service, fuel delivery (up to 5 gallons) and winching. Service charges apply.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000 for any air, bus, train or cruise ship transportation paid for with your card.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Offering advice for medical help, legal help, emergency messaging, emergency transportation, ticket replacement or cash advances. Cardholder is required to cover the cost of the actual services.