Why I Plan On Keeping The Alaska Visa Platinum Plus Credit Card

Bank of America is the only bank I’m aware of where you can apply for one product and receive another. Their Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card is one of the best airline branded cards in the market. With a 30,000 mile sign-up bonus, $0 companion certificate for the first year (plus taxes), and $100 statement credit if you apply when making a dummy booking, it’s really a no-brainer.

Given that the offer is available for a limited time, I decided to apply about a month ago. The problem is that Visa Signature cards require a minimum credit limit of $5,000. Different banks have given me vastly different credit limits on my credit cards. It’s always interesting seeing whether I’ll get $1,000 or $10,000, seemingly arbitrarily.

My application went into pending and I (stupidly) waited until it was approved. I’ve heard reports of people calling in to guarantee they only get approved for the Visa Signature, but I didn’t think to do it. Instead, I was given a measly credit limit of ~$2,000. In other words, I didn’t qualify for the card I’d signed up for. Instead, I was given the Alaska Airlines Visa Platinum Plus. The crazy thing is that you can’t apply for this card online, and there is virtually no official information about the benefits, except that it earns two miles per dollar spend with Alaska and one mile per dollar on other purchases. I’ve had about a month and a half to test the card now, and here’s why I actually plan on keeping it:

$100 net-gain for applying 

The card has a $50 annual fee, but comes with a $50 Alaska credit every year. It’s hard not to value this at face value, especially if you live near an Alaska hub. Additionally, since I applied when making a dummy booking, I received a $100 statement credit. When I saw it on my statement, I was actually surprised it was valid for the Platinum Plus as well, but there you go. The annual fee is offset every year, and I gained $100.

5,000 point sign-up bonus

Yes, I know 5,000 points isn’t anything to write home about. However, it’s quite a logical sign-up bonus for a card with a $50 annual fee. Combined with the Alaska voucher and $100 statement credit, I really came out ahead.

It lets me build a relationship with Bank of America

I’ve never had a Bank of America credit card before, so understandably they’re a little more hesitant about giving me credit. This card will help me build a history with them over time. Hopefully, this will help me get approved for the Visa Signature the next time I apply.

Ability to earn referrals (5,000 points each) 

If you have any Alaska Airlines credit card from Bank of America, you gain the ability to refer people, earning you 5,000 points per referral. That’s a decent bonus given how valuable this card is, meaning you can earn a lot more Alaska miles in the long-run.

Free year-on-year

Tying into my first point, this card offers a $50 Alaska discount voucher every year. Essentially, the effective annual fee will be $0, in addition to the two last benefits listed above. The card also has no foreign transaction fees. While I’ll probably apply for the Visa Signature card in the future, I can see myself keeping the Platinum Plus for a few years.

Comments

  1. All I can say is, as one who knows a lot about the retail banking sector, B of A can be notoriously difficult to do business with from a customer standpoint.

    I’ve made a conscientious decision never to transact with them. If they offered a million Citi Thank You points for getting a B of A card, I might reconsider.

  2. This card sucks, the Companion Pass is the real reason to have the Alaska card. The limited time $0 + taxes compassion pass is the real treat. That can be worth $500+ and the annual fee is only $25 more. Basically you got 25k miles less and roughly $400 less in value with the statement credit instead of Companion Pass. Upgrade as soon as they let you and they will.

  3. 2 Miles: Platinum Plus® accounts earn 2 miles (consisting of 1 bonus mile and 1 base mile) for every $1 of eligible Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Net Purchases. 3 Miles: Visa Signature accounts earn 3 miles (consisting of 2 bonus miles and 1 base mile) for every $1 of eligible Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Net Purchases. Eligible Alaska Airlines Net Purchases include Alaska Airlines tickets, in-flight food and beverage purchases and cargo purchases billed by Alaska Airlines as the merchant of record and booked directly through Alaska Airlines

  4. That’s interesting. The month of my 18th birthday I applied for the Alaska Airlines Signature Visa in a branch while opening a checking account and was approved with a $600 limit. It was my first credit card. 4 years later and they have gradually increased the limit to $3500, though I am sure I could request more.

  5. Bank of America is generous when it comes to requests for an increase to your credit line amount.

  6. As a Canadian purchasing real estate in the United States I went specifically to Bank of America to open deposit accounts because of the Alaska Airlines Signature Visa. While in branch I applied for the card and was immediately approved and received the KamesSignature Visa with no prior US Credit history. Subsequently, with a $5K limit which I found limiting for my spend pattern, I requested an increase to $10K online and was approved within 15 seconds. Another request to $17K was approved similarly. My experience with BOA has been fantastic. Fast forward 5 years and I have been declined for CC applications from other institutions despite now having a FICO in excess of 800.

    There is also a Canadian Version Alaska Airlines cobranded Mastercard with all the same benefits and features. Annual Fee is $75 CAD (~$60 USD) but the companion certificate savings is in USD. I have four accounts so get 4 companion certificates annually.

    While in a prior post Brad says he values the companion certificates at $500+, my savings is routonely $1000+ four times a year even considering the regular $99 fare, taxes & annual fee.

    Cheers!

  7. As a Canadian purchasing real estate in the United States I went specifically to Bank of America to open deposit accounts because of the Alaska Airlines Signature Visa. While in branch I applied for the card and was immediately approved and received the Signature Visa with no prior US Credit history. Subsequently, with a $5K limit which I found limiting for my spend pattern, I requested an increase to $10K online and was approved within 15 seconds. Another request to $17K was approved similarly. My experience with BOA has been fantastic. Fast forward 5 years and I have been declined for CC applications from other institutions despite now having a FICO in excess of 800.

    There is also a Canadian Version Alaska Airlines cobranded Mastercard with all the same benefits and features. Annual Fee is $75 CAD (~$60 USD) but the companion certificate savings is in USD. I have four accounts so get 4 companion certificates annually.

    While in a prior post Brad says he values the companion certificates at $500+, my savings is routonely $1000+ four times a year even considering the regular $99 fare, taxes & annual fee.

    Cheers!

  8. Do you know when the 50,000 mile sign up bonus is coming back on the “regular” Alaska card?

  9. I applied for the visa signature card and they gave me a platinum plus with a $4800 card limit which is a bummer.

  10. Just got off the phone with BOA. I have excellent credit history, a good stable job, make good income etc and I was given the platinum plus card with a limit of $3,500. The platinum card is one of the most useless cards with an annual fee that I have ever seen. I cannot imagine anyone keeping this card after you get the lousy 5,000 miles you get for getting the card and spending whatever. The only real “perk” (which isn’t even that great) is no foreign transaction fees. The $50 credit or whatever on a future flight each year is also stupid unless you truly fly with AA each year since you have to pay a $50 annual fee (what a coincidence….). You don’t even get a free bag to check in!!! I think that may be the only paid for airline card that you still have to pay for your bag (could be wrong).

    Anyway I got transferred to person after person (spoke to 3 people). They approved my spending to go to $5,000 a month, but said that I would have to wait a week to actually hear if I will qualify for the Signature card. If I do get approved, I will have to wait up to 2 months to actually have the card in my hands… Assuming I get approved, I anticipate that I would have to call them up again to say that I didn’t get a $100 statement credit, didn’t get the buy 1 ticket, get 1 for just the taxes deal added to my account, and that the 30k miles didn’t get added to my account.

    I pretty much gave up on airline credit cards until I saw that offer, and foolishly thought I would be approved to do my financial history which is excellent. Airline credit cards are just not great for me…. I travel maybe 3x a year and it’s during peak season so it isn’t like I have that many miles to use during the holidays or the summer (when I can actually travel). I just saw the offer with Alaskan and wanted to take advantage of that. It’s 24,500 miles for on AA from LAX-JFK for a flight time I actually could use so that’s like saving $315, and I’m traveling with a family member most likely on Alaska or Virgin in January and could have used the buy 1 ticket get 1 for just the taxes deal. It would have been a savings of around $815 for me.

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