When it comes to travel rewards cards, account holders have more to consider than simply the potential miles they can earn over time. Additional benefits like trip insurance, purchase protection, rewards redemption flexibility and unique card member perks should be weighed in marriage with how rewards are earned and at what rate. Card members also want to pay close attention to the fees associated with travel credit cards to ensure they are getting the most cost effective credit card to suit their specific buying needs. The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa encompasses a wide range of card member benefits that may be attractive to frequent flyers. Let’s take a look at the rewards program first.
The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card offers card members the ability to earn up to five miles for each dollar spent when utilizing the Mileage Plan program. Under the Mileage Plan, card members can earn on every day purchases, including miles for spending at over 10,000 partner restaurants under the dining tier, through the online shopping mall offered exclusively to Mileage Plan members, or through other purchases made with every day partners such as Safeway, e-Miles, Diners Club International and Vinesse Wine Clubs. Miles vary for each partner but can add up quickly for card members who fully utilize the Mileage Plan partner sites.
In addition to the Mileage Plan partners, Alaska Airlines Visa card members earn three miles for every dollar spent on Alaska Airlines plane tickets, vacation packages, cargo and inflight purchases. All other purchases made with the credit card earn card members one mile per dollar spent. Card members have the benefit of no mileage cap on earnings, and no expiration date on earned miles as long as the account remains open.
Flexibility in miles redemption is a feature the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card does well. Card members have the option to redeem earned miles for flights on the following partner airlines:
- American Airlines
- Air Frane
- British Airways
- Ravn Alaska
- Fiji Airways
- Korean Air
- Emirate Airlines
- Qantas Airlines
Card members should be aware that reward flights must be booked through the Alaska Airlines website to qualify, and some restrictions and blackout dates may apply depending on the partner selected.
Additional Card Perks
In addition to the everyday rewards program offered by Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa, new card members have the opportunity to boost miles earned under a current promotion. An additional 30,000 miles are credited to card members’ accounts if $1,000 or more in purchases is made within the first 90 days of account opening. Bonus rewards can be redeemed as soon as they are credited, making this sign-up bonus incredibly attractive to frequent flyers.
The mileage rewards program made available through the Alaska Airlines Visa is not the only perk of being an account holder. Card members also receive a coach companion fare after $1,000 is spent on the card within the first 90 days after account opening. No blackout dates apply to the companion fare, but the cost must exceed $121 including taxes and fees. Also, all card members have the extra perk of a free checked bag for themselves as well as up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
Bank of America does a great job of offering additional benefits and security to card members, including the following features:
- A $0 liability guarantee for fraudulent transactions
- ShopSafe service that generates a temporary credit card number for online shopping, protecting the card members true card details
- Chip technology that offers enhanced security and global acceptance
- Overdraft protection that works to prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other excessive spending when a Bank of America checking account is linked to the credit card
- Account alerts to assist with money management including payment due dates and postings
- Digital wallet technology that allows card members to pay via mobile devices
Each additional feature offered with the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card comes with full disclosures and program restrictions, each available within the card member agreement.
The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card has a strong rewards program, and when coupled with the supplemental benefits presents a strong option for frequent travelers. However, there are fees associated with the travel credit card that card members should understand and consider prior to applying. First, an annual fee of $50 applies to all card members, and unlike some current promotions with similar travel credit cards, the fee is not waived for the first year of membership.
Card members must also be aware of the inherent costs associated with the Alaska Airlines Visa that come into play when a balance is carried over from billing cycle to billing cycle. The purchase interest rate for the travel credit card ranges from 12.49% up to 19.49% and may fluctuate over time based on broad interest rate market movements. Compared to other travel credit cards, the Alaska Airlines Visa offers a relatively low purchase APR for well-qualified applicants.
Fees also come into play with balance transfers and cash advance transactions. The interest rate associated with balance transfers is the same as the assigned rate for purchases. However, a 3% balance transfer fee is added to each transaction. Cash advance interest rates range from 15.29% up to 22.49%, depending on the applicant’s credit history at the time the card is opened. Fortunately, card members are not assessed any foreign transactions fees for purchases made outside the United States.
Frequent travelers who fly on Alaska Airlines or its partner airlines on a consistent basis are the best fit for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card. The sign-up bonus currently offered is an added perk that all but makes up for the annual fee, and the free checked bags and companion airfare add up to substantial savings for frequent flyers. Prior to adding the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa to your wallet, it is important to understand the total fees associated with the card by way of purchase, balance transfer and cash advance interest rates. Similarly, card members need to be aware of how miles are earned and credited to the account, as well as restrictions associated with redemption.