Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card
Great for flying with friends or family
Annual fee: $95
This content is curated by Intuit Credit Karma’s Editorial team using data from members who were approved for this card or similar cards, or who self-matched this card or similar cards. Intuit Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse this content. Information about financial products not offered on Credit Karma is collected independently. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.
Updated: November 1, 2023
Average credit utilization (or what percent of the card’s credit limit is being used) of members who matched with this card or similar cards.
Average age of members who matched this card or similar cards.
Average annual income of members who matched this card or similar cards. Note: Income may be estimated for some members by Credit Karma and may differ from members’ actual incomes.
Opportunity to earn Companion Fare each account anniversary year
Free stopovers on many flights
Free checked bag
Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card review: Should you make it your companion?
Updated October 3, 2023
This date may not reflect recent changes in individual terms.
Written by: Tim Devaney
- Opportunity to earn Companion Fare each account anniversary year
- Free stopovers on many flights
- Good rewards for flying with Alaska Airlines
- Free checked bag
- Modest annual fee
- No quick path to elite status
- No complimentary access to airport lounges
- No application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
5 things you need to know about the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card
1. Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare can make up for the annual fee
You might have heard about Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare.
With the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card, you get one companion fare each year on your account anniversary if you spent at least $6,000 on purchases within the prior anniversary year. The offer works like this: When you pay for a ticket of your own, you can use a companion fare code for a round-trip or one-way coach fare from $122 ($99 base fare plus taxes and fees from $23) booked on alaskaair.com. The amount of money you save could easily outpace the card’s $95 annual fee.
Unlike the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, you can’t use Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare on an unlimited number of flights to book buy-one-get-one-free airfare. You also can’t redeem Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare when you pay for your ticket with award miles. But both you and your guest are eligible to earn Alaska Airlines bonus miles for the flight you take.
2. The miles you could earn aren’t the only good part of the sign-up bonus
Some travel credit cards blow you away with a large sign-up bonus.
The Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card flies just under the radar with a 60,000-mile sign-up bonus and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) when you spend $3,000 on purchases during the first 90 days after opening the account.
3. More ways to earn miles
You’ll earn three miles for every $1 you spend on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases using your Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card. If you fly with Alaska Airlines on a regular basis, it could be especially beneficial to capitalize on the opportunity to save more miles that you can use to book an award flight.
You’ll earn two miles per $1 spent on eligible gas, EV charging, cable, local transit and streaming services purchases. And all other purchases will earn one mile per $1 spent.
4. No-cost stopovers can help you see more of the world
Alaska’s stopover program could give you more bang for your buck.
When you book an award flight, Alaska Airlines gives you the opportunity to add one free stopover en route to your final destination. This allows you to travel to two cities for the price of one. You can stay as long as you like in your stopover destination before continuing your trip, and you may even be able to book a second stopover in a different city on your way back home.
Alaska Airlines only flies around North America, Hawaii and Costa Rica but it partners with other airlines where you can use your miles to book a stopover in an international city. There are some restrictions on where and when you can use your stopover perk, but the availability of these offers can provide some truly interesting additions to your trip.
“If you’re planning to visit Europe, you could make Munich your destination, stopover in London on your way there with British Airways and then stopover in Paris on your way back,” according to the Alaska Airlines website. “Adding stopovers will not change the number of miles you pay for your ticket, but the taxes and fees could vary.”
Keep in mind that the stopover offer is part of Alaska’s frequent flyer program and not unique to Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card holders. But using the card to earn miles may be able to help you take advantage of a stopover through an award flight.
5. Annual fee
The Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card’s $95 annual fee is quite reasonable and is easily covered should you spend enough money to earn the Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare perk each year.
Does it have the benefits you’d hope to get from an airline credit card?
Aside from offering free checked bags on Alaska Airlines flights, the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card is missing some perks that frequent flyers may hope to receive from an airline credit card.
Free checked bag
Alaska Airlines allows cardholders to check one bag for free on each flight on Alaska Airlines.
This benefit extends to up to six guests traveling with the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card holder on the same reservation. Many airline credit cards offer similar benefits, but not all allow for quite so many guests.
On the other hand, Southwest allows all passengers to check two bags for free, even if they don’t have one of the airline’s credit cards.
No complimentary airline status upgrade
You’ll have to qualify for Alaska Airlines MVP® status like everyone else.
Some airline and hotel credit cards may give you a complimentary status upgrade along with your membership, but not the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card. You’ll have to earn it the old-fashioned way: by flying to earn 20,000 program miles with Alaska in a calendar year.
Without MVP® status, you won’t qualify for complimentary preferred seating, first-class upgrades, a second free checked bag or discounts on an Alaska Lounge membership.
The Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card also doesn’t come with a credit of up to $100 that you can use for the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee. While there are many other airline cards that don’t offer this feature, it’s becoming increasingly common among more versatile travel cards.
Who this card is good for
As the name suggests, the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card is great for passengers who frequently fly with Alaska Airlines.
Taking advantage of Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare and free stopovers are great ways to save money on travel and see more of the world.
Alaska is an especially popular option for people who mostly travel to or from the West Coast, but it also flies to a handful of cities in other parts of the country. If you don’t live near one of those airports, you might be able to transfer your points to a partner airline that flies out of your local airport.
Updated: November 7, 2023
Most helpful positive review
December 12, 2016
Great for Alaska Customers
— Credit Karma Member
I think the card is great! I just got approved for it and like the idea of a passenger fare every year as well as the bonus miles. Free checked baggage is great and 3 points for airline purchases is great! 75/year can be a drag, but it compensates with the benefits. I got approved with a 705 EQ and 724 TU. I applied using the "pre-approved" mailer and got a $5,000 CL.
Most helpful negative review
November 25, 2022
You dont actually GET the bonus
— Credit Karma Member
Watch the fine, teeny tiny print. If you dont spend a certain amount of money in 90 days, they throw out the bonus. Its only written in one very inconspicuous place on the application, and they dont put it in writing anywhere else at any time. They clearly dont want you to actually get the bonus and they absolutely REFUSE to honor it after purposely not giving you adequate notice.
*Approval Odds are not a guarantee of approval. Credit Karma determines Approval Odds by comparing your credit profile to other Credit Karma members who were approved for the card shown, or whether you meet certain criteria determined by the lender. Of course, there's no such thing as a sure thing, but knowing your Approval Odds may help you narrow down your choices. For example, you may not be approved because you don't meet the lender's "ability to pay standard" after they verify your income and employment; or, you already have the maximum number of accounts with that specific lender.