Alaska Visa offering 40,000 mile sign-up bonus for elite members (with $10,000 of spend)

Alaska is offering an increased sign-up bonus of up to 40,000 Mileage Plan miles targeted at elite members (though I suspect in practice anyone could apply for it). The offer is for 25,000 miles upon approval, and an additional 15,000 miles after making $10,000 of purchases within six months. The annual fee on the card is $75, and it isn’t waived the first year.


While the standard sign-up bonus on the card is 25,000 miles upon account approval (and when they say upon account approval they really mean it, since miles often post before you even receive the card), there are a couple of other targeted bonuses out there that also seem to work for everyone.

One of those offers is for 30,000 miles after account approval, and the other offer is for 25,000 miles upon account approval plus a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 within 90 days.

Personally, I signed up for the offer for 30,000 miles upon account approval. I’d rather have an extra 5,000 miles without having to spend a dime than $100 after spending $1,000.

So is the offer for 40,000 miles after spending $10,000 on the card better than either of the above? Well compared to the 30,000 mile sign-up bonus you’re basically getting an extra 10,000 bonus miles for spending $10,000, which is the equivalent of two miles per dollar.

I’d say that’s a good value if you’re a big credit card spender, since Alaska miles are extremely valuable (especially for travel on Cathay Pacific and Emirates) and they’re somewhat hard to rack up. But if you’re not a huge credit card spender I’d probably go for the 30,000 mile sign-up bonus upon account activation.


  1. so theoretically you could apply for the 30k point card, get the points and when the card arrives you just never activate it and don’t have to pay the annual fee? has this been done before?

  2. @ Lantean — I believe you’d still have to pay the annual fee, though I’m not positive to be honest. I value the card for the companion certificate so find it worthwhile to keep long term.

  3. Bank of America always turn me down, but I’ll try again, this time for the 30K. Thanks for the info!

  4. The 30K and 40K offers work out to paying 2 and 1.9 cents per mile for the additional 5K or 15K, when assuming min spend would otherwise be on a 2% cash back card. A little rich for my taste, much as I appreciate Alaska miles. Caveats would be (a) the extra 5K or 15K complete requirements nicely with immediate award booking, and/or (b) min spend is either very hard (so go with 30K offer) or very easy (so go with 40K offer).

  5. @Lucky

    I think this is the first time I see you value something that makes you travel in coach!

  6. @ Lantean — Hah, I have to earn my miles for international first class somehow, and flying Alaska domestically is a great way to do that.

  7. If there was any way to get to 90 or 100k, I would do this. Even with one SPG at 30k and the Alaska card at 30k, that would only give me 70k (40k for the SPG, including transfer bonus and $5,000 spend). Not worth $10,000 spend for the 40k Alaska card, IMO. Where can I get the extra 20 or 30k needed for first class Emirates flight :)? I know you say you actually fly Alaska, so that works for you. I don’t see any other combination that makes sense to get the needed miles.

  8. I am focusing on Alaska CC spend right now on and just paid $11k for last month statement without any manufactured spend. Though I did get a call from BOFA analyst today and they wanted to know how come I suddenly spend so much and paid all in one go.

  9. I would apply for this card again in a heartbeat but planning to apply for a home refinance this week. Hopefully this is around by the time I am done

  10. Although anyone can sign up for this offer, the fine print says “New Visa Signature cardholders that are also Alaska Airlines Elite Mileage Plan members (MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K) at the time of qualifying will receive 15,000 additional miles after making at least $10,000 in net purchases in the first six months of account open date.” So it’s questionable whether someone without MVP status would get the additional miles.

    I am MVP and might apply, although I have other AS Visa cards. Sadly, I will not have trouble meeting the spend limit. (Like you, I love the companion fare certificate.)

  11. How do they react to a biz and personal Alaska card at the same time? I can only find a 25k biz card, anyone have a better link?

  12. @ mileswhore — 25K is the best offer on the business card. I applied for both at the same time a few weeks ago and had no issues.

  13. Does anybody know if any fuel surcharges to redeem Alaska miles onto CX flights? If yes, how much would that be approximately?

  14. This card is issued through Bank of America correct? Applied last night through the 30k link above and got a pending status. Hopefully it works out! This will be my first BofA CC and looking forward to a few more with them.

  15. When you say *extremely* churnable, what does that mean? Care to give us your churn schedule?

    I really like AS, and if I can churn the card, I’d sure like to know the ins-and-outs of doing so.

  16. @ Lantean You get slammed with the annual fee even before the card shows up in the mail. I was on a long trip when the card arrived and before I could call the activation number, I already had a bill with the annual fee, which was already late. So, yeah, just putting it in the drawer is not going to work. This was about 3 years ago and I did get a 40,000 signup bonus without a spend that was a short lived promo at the time. I have since used the miles for F on a Emirates A380 (through PointsPro), which gives them a value of $$$$$/mile.The partner awards on AS are just amazing.

  17. Thanks, Lucky – got both cards. Without your info about AS, I would have never considered this. I was looking more at the AS award program and I actually like it. Their search engine is decent, too 🙂

  18. @ Paul — To be honest I don’t know exactly what the limits are, but you can easily pick up the personal card once every few months without canceling it. I know people that have more than a handful of them at any given time.

  19. Personally I prefer the 25k + $100 statement credit after $1k/3 mo spend offer that you posted. Just got my 2nd one on that offer. This is a great card to keep applying for with how juicy the rewards program is!

  20. any real data on whether you can get 40k if not AS elite? applied anyway, but would like to be sure of the 15k bonus before putting 10k on the card. anyone?

  21. Ditto that, just got the 25k card and would like the 15k extra miles if possible. Confirmation would be nice.

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