A couple of days ago I wrote a blog post asking how much of a reward you need to apply for a credit card. I shared the Alaska Airlines Visa card as an example of a card that leaves me on the fence as far as applying goes. While it’s churnable (meaning you can earn the bonus on the card multiple times), it only offers a sign-up bonus of 25,000 miles and has an annual fee of $75. I value Alaska miles at 1.5 cents each meaning I value 25,000 Alaska miles at $375, but then there’s a $75 annual fee, bringing the value down to $300.
In that post I said I typically need at least a $400 “reward” to go through the trouble of applying for a credit card, so I was on the fence on this one. The added benefit of the card is that it offers a $99 companion certificate, which I surely value at more than $100, given that it’s not very restrictive and both passengers still earn miles and are eligible for upgrades.
Well in that post reader Elizabeth pointed out the following, which I had never noticed before:
Book a ticket on the Alaska Airlines web site as a guest to get the $100 statement credit after $1k spend offer which will offset the $75 annual fee. You should see the offer on the checkout pages before you pull the trigger (sometimes the ticket price has to be over a certain amount for it to show up). Plus you have 24-hours to cancel the ticket and get a full refund if for some reason you change your mind about the flight
And she is indeed correct. When you get to the “Itinerary and Price Summary” page you should see a banner that looks like this:
While you can’t apply there yet, seeing it on this page indicates that you’ll be eligible for the offer. On the credit card payment page you should see a similar banner again:
Then finally when you get to the itinerary confirmation page you’ll see the link to the offer with the $100 statement credit:
Sure enough the offer is as good as it sounds. You get 25,000 bonus miles after account activation, and a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 on the card within 90 days, as shown below:
While this isn’t a mega sign-up bonus, I do think it makes the card worth applying for given that you can earn the bonus multiple times. With this offer you’re earning $375 worth of miles (by my valuation) plus $25 in cash ($100 statement credit minus the $75 annual fee), so that’s $400 in rewards, plus the companion certificate.
Keep in mind that with Alaska you can refund tickets within 24 hours, for what it’s worth.
Here’s the direct link I get to the application, though I’m not sure it will work for others without purchasing a ticket.