Improved Alaska Signature Visa sign-up bonus with purchase of an Alaska ticket

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.

Comments

  1. Geoff says

    Looks like it will work. Nice find.
    Question: How can I use these Alaska Miles from an airport not actually served by AS?
    Delta? AA?

  2. Coutureguy says

    Hey Ben,

    Don’t the new “flyer’s rights” rules in the U.S. indicate that all airlines must give a 24 hr ticket cancellation period?

  3. lucky says

    @ Coutureguy — They either have to give you 24 hours to cancel or 24 hours to hold. American, for example, allows 24 hour holds but won’t allow free cancellations after ticketing.

  4. lucky says

    @ Geoff — Alaska has lots of great partners including American, Delta, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, etc., so there are lots of redemption opportunities even if you live in a city they don’t serve.

  5. DBest says

    Since it is churnable, would you say there’s less reason to wait for a 40k offer to return? I hate applying for cards at a lower bonus than has historically been available.

  6. lucky says

    @ DBest — Yes, definitely much less reason to wait for the “best” offer when a card is churnable. So if you’ve been eying the card I’d go for it, in your shoes.

  7. DaninSTL says

    I recently got a targeted offer by mail for 25k plus 5k upon approval, no minimum spend but I don’t think it included the offers you show. Sad I JUST got one of these cards a month ago.

  8. Teri says

    When you apply for a new card, do you just let them assign you an Alaska Air frequent flyer number or you put in your existing one? Thanks Lucky!

  9. lucky says

    @ Teri — You’re going to want to put in your existing one so you earn miles in the same account.

  10. lucky says

    @ duffman — Hmm, I’d probably space Alaska applications over multiple applications cycles. Probably wouldn’t apply for two on one day.

  11. Frank says

    I just applied through your link – instant approval. But on that same screen it asked if I’d like a Business one as well. I was in the middle of a 6-card app and so I had to think about it – but after about 30 seconds the link went away!!!

    Any idea how to get to the Business Alaska card link directly? Need it today!

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