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.
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.