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Alaska Airlines and Bank of America Announce New Benefits for Cardholders

Loyal customers will have more opportunities to earn rewards, starting with 70,000 bonus miles

by Lauren Smith

January 19, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

Travelers can earn 70,000 bonus miles if they sign up for an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card from Bank of America and spend $3,000 in the first three months—one of the best introductory offers spotted recently and from one of the most valuable frequent flyer programs.

As another welcome bonus, cardholders who meet the minimum spend in the first 90 days will qualify for Alaska’s companion fare, allowing them to bring a friend along on a flight for just $99 plus taxes and fees (starting at $23). For as long as you hold the card and are booking flights with it, you’ll receive one companion fare on each account anniversary, provided you’ve spent $6,000 on purchases during the previous year.

Other new benefits include priority boarding on flights and a discount of $100 on the price of an Alaska Lounge+ membership each year (regularly priced at $550 for elite members of the Mileage Plan and $650 for non-elites).

Cardholders will also earn two miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases, including gas, cable, select streaming services, and local transit, including rideshare apps. Customers who have an open Bank of America checking, savings, or investment account will receive an additional 10 percent bonus on all miles earned with card purchases.

Other purchases will continue to earn one mile per dollar spent, while Alaska Airlines purchases are worth three miles per dollar.

You’ll also get free checked luggage for yourself and up to six additional guests traveling on the same reservation, plus twenty percent back on all onboard purchases, including food, beverages, and Wi-Fi.

Alaska Airlines miles are among the most coveted globally, with low redemption rates, free stopovers, and partnerships with a diverse array of airlines. However, they are among the trickiest to earn because Alaska Airlines is not a transfer partner of any major credit card programs, making this 70,000-mile bonus more attractive.

Alaska overhauled its award chart at the end of 2022, making redemption rates less transparent but no less generous. By our calculations, 70,000 Alaska miles would be enough for a first-class one-way trip from the U.S. to Asia, India, or the Middle East on Cathay Pacific.

You could also book a one-way first-class ticket from the U.S. to Tokyo on Japan Airlines with those 70,000 miles.

The spending requirement—$3,000 in three months—is also very achievable. A previous offer on the Alaska Visa netted 100,000 bonus miles, but only if customers spent $15,000 in 90 days.

The credit card costs $95 annually. There are also interest charges, at an APR of 19% to 27%, depending on your credit score, if you don’t pay off your balance each month.

Sangita Woerner, senior vice president of marketing and guest experience at Alaska Airlines, 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.”

Jason Gaughan, head of consumer credit card products at Bank of America, said: “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 travelling or for everyday purchases.”

Alaska Airlines and Bank of America also recently renewed their co-branding credit card partnership until 2030, so you could be earning those companion fares for years into the future.