I’ve had the Alaska Airlines Visa for a long time, given that it offers a $121 roundtrip companion fare upon your account anniversary every year (and even the companion is eligible to be upgraded and accrue miles). That more than justifies holding onto the card if you live in a market served by Alaska, in my opinion.
The catch with the card is that it typically doesn’t have a very big sign-up bonus, usually just 25,000 miles upon account activation. That’s not a huge bonus, though it is nice that there’s no spend requirement in order to earn the bonus.
There have been better limited time bonuses in the past, either when applying while booking a ticket through Alaska’s website, or with a larger spend requirement.
While not earth shattering, it looks like the Alaska Airlines Visa will be increasing the standard sign-up bonus from 25,000 miles to 30,000 miles. Per a recent 10-K SEC filing from Alaska Airlines, the sign-up bonus on the Bank of America Alaska Visa should be increased to 30,000 miles in May 2016.
It’s also worth noting that the new sign-up bonus will be available after spending $1,000 within three months, rather than upon account activation, as is the case right now.
On a slightly unrelated note, if you have the time, these airline SEC filings can be really interesting to read. Many of us love buying Alaska miles, so it’s worth noting the increased revenue this has led to:
Mileage Plan revenue increased $34 million or 12%, due to increased miles sold.
That’s a sizable increase — no wonder they frequently offer bonuses on the purchase of miles!
Ultimately I consider the sign-up bonus increasing by 5,000 miles to be a positive, even if the minimum spend is increasing. I do find it surprising that they’re putting this increase in the sign-up bonus in their 2015 SEC filing, as that’s not something I recall seeing from other airlines in the past. Though perhaps most interesting is how much revenue has gone up from the sale of Mileage Plan miles. I guess they owe us for that. 😉
(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)