I’ve had the Alaska Airlines Visa Card for years. The card has a pretty good sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 within 90 days.
One of the reasons I like this card so much is because it offers a $121 companion certificate (it’s essentially a $99 companion certificate, plus taxes and fees starting at $22 roundtrip). This is one of the better companion certificates out there as it can be redeemed for any economy ticket on Alaska, and even the companion is eligible for mileage accrual. Flights on Virgin America are now even eligible for this certificate.
Assuming you fly Alaska at least once a year with a companion on a ticket that would cost at least ~$200 (which accounts for the $121 companion certificate cost, plus the $75 annual fee), you’ll come out ahead using this card. For example, Ford and I used this certificate a few months ago to fly to Puerto Vallarta.
You can get an even better sign-up bonus than what’s generally available by making a “dummy booking” on the Alaska site. When you go through the process of making a booking, you’ll see the same offer on the final page, except it will also offer a $100 statement credit after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days.
The Points Guy reports that a new sign-up bonus will be coming to the Alaska Visa Card as of tomorrow, May 1, 2017. In addition to the 30,000 bonus miles upon account activation, the card will also offer the companion certificate for the first year just for the cost of taxes and fees. In other words, the $99 co-pay will be waived, though only for the first year (in subsequent years you’ll still have to pay the $99).
Do note that the new bonus isn’t necessarily better than the old one. Presently you can get a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000, though you have to make a dummy booking to do so. Meanwhile the new offer will get you up to $99 of additional value, though I doubt this will be combinable with the $100 statement credit offer, which I assume will be changed as well.
So this represents an improved sign-up bonus for most, though personally I wouldn’t be too confident that the statement credit offer will stick around as well.