As I first wrote about in February, Alaska Airlines has been planning on increasing the sign-up bonus on their co-branded Bank of America credit card, from 25,000 miles to 30,000 miles. This was found in their 10-K SEC filing at the time, as they expected a higher bonus would bring them even more business.
The increased sign-up bonus finally went live this past week, which was exciting news.
However, arguably it wasn’t necessarily the best offer, given the two types of offers available:
- Earn 30,000 Mileage Plan miles plus an Alaska companion certificate after spending $1,000 within 90 days
- Earn 25,000 Mileage Plan miles plus a $100 statement credit plus an Alaska companion certificate after spending $1,000 within 90 days
Assuming you value Alaska Mileage Plan miles at less than two cents each, the version of the offer with the statement credit is a better one. I value Alaska Mileage Plan miles at 1.8 cents each, so to me the $100 statement credit is worth more than 5,000 miles.
Well, the good news is that you no longer have to choose. The Alaska Visa Card is now offering a sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles plus a $100 statement credit… assuming you’re willing to jump through some hoops.
To be offered this version of the bonus, you’ll have to go through the process of booking a ticket on Alaska’s website (you don’t actually have to ticket the reservation, you can just go as far as the purchase page and then close the window once the credit card application opens).
However, if you already have the Alaska Visa Card, don’t log into your Mileage Plan account when making a dummy booking. If you do, you won’t be presented with this offer, but rather will be reminded of how many miles you can earn by putting spend on the card.
Instead go through the process of searching for any flight, enter all the passenger details, and then get to the payment page without logging into your Mileage Plan account.
Once you get the page where you enter your credit card information, you’ll see a banner on the right which offers you a “$100 Exclusive online statement credit offer.”
Click it, and you’ll be brought to the credit card application.
As you can see, this offer is for 30,000 Mileage Plan miles plus a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 within 90 days.
The card’s $75 annual fee isn’t waived the first year, but I still consider this to be a very nice offer.
I value Mileage Plan miles at 1.8 cents each, thanks to all the amazing partner airlines on which you can redeem miles.
So to me the 30,000 miles are worth $540. Then you basically make a profit of $25 with the statement credit, after you subtract the $75 annual fee. So to me the sign-up bonus is worth $565, plus whatever value you get out of the Alaska companion certificate, which is also potentially very valuable.
The companion certificate can be used on any Alaska economy fare, and the second passenger is treated as a revenue passenger, in the sense that they earn miles, can upgrade, etc.
Historically Alaska doesn’t have mega sign-up bonuses on their co-branded credit cards, so I suspect this is as good as it gets. The 30,000 mile sign-up bonus seems to be the new standard, and the above trick to get an extra $100 statement credit is the icing on the cake.
Historically Bank of America has been extremely generous with approving people for multiple of the same cards, though I’m not sure if that’s still the case.
Do you plan on applying for the Alaska Visa with a 30,000 mile sign-up bonus plus $100 statement credit?
(Tip of the hat to Frequent Miler)