Alaska Airlines Visa Business card review: Good for frequent Alaska business travelers

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.  

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card overview

The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card is an easily overlooked card that earns valuable airline miles. It has a low annual fee and lucrative ongoing perks for travelers loyal to Alaska Airlines. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Alaska Airlines has one of the best airline loyalty programs in the world, which makes the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card a surprisingly valuable credit card to carry.

Alaska Airlines is a part of the Oneworld alliance and has an exclusive partnership with American Airlines, meaning Alaska miles can be useful on more than just the airline itself. Some of the award prices to fly the airline’s partners are outstanding, like flights to Asia from 70,000 miles in Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines first class.

If you don’t already have an Alaska Airlines cobranded credit card, you might want to think about picking one up.

Here’s a closer look at this card and why you might want to consider applying for it.

Alaska Airlines Visa Business welcome offer

With the Alaska Airlines Business, you’ll get 50,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after making $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

TPG pegs Alaska miles at 1.4 cents each, making these miles worth $700.

(Photo by Wallace Cotton/The Points Guy)

Maximizing the Companion Fare part of the introductory offer can save a few hundred dollars more. This companion certificate is valid on all Alaska Airlines flights; you pay just $99 plus the taxes and fees for a companion who is booked on the same round-trip economy reservation as you.

When you add that this card has a very reasonable $95 annual fee ($70 for your company and $25 per card), the bonus and benefits start to look even better.

Related: How my unused Alaska Companion Fare saved a co-worker nearly $700 on summer travel

Alaska Airlines Visa Business benefits

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business comes with all the standard perks you’d expect from a cobranded airline card and a few extra benefits.

First, when you pay with a card, the cardholder and up to six guests on the same reservation will get a free checked bag on Alaska Airlines flights. That’s savings of $60 per person for each round-trip flight. In addition, you’ll get 20% back on inflight purchases, including food, beverages and Wi-Fi.

You’ll also enjoy priority boarding when using this card to pay for your flight and $100 off one Alaska Lounge+ Membership annually.

Lastly, you’ll earn a 10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from purchases if your company has an eligible Bank of America small-business account.

Related: How to avoid checked baggage fees on major domestic airlines

What really makes this card shine, though, is the Companion Fare. You get one as part of the current sign-up bonus and another each year after spending $6,000 or more on purchases within your anniversary year.

With the Companion Fare, you can bring a guest along on any coach Alaska Airlines fare for only $99 plus the taxes and fees (from $23). The cardholder doesn’t need to be one of the travelers, but the flights must be paid for with your Alaska Airlines card. Both travelers will earn Alaska miles for the flight and are eligible for upgrades, which is great if you have Alaska Airlines elite status.

The fact that you’ll earn a companion certificate every year without having to meet huge minimum spending requirements, and that both flyers are still eligible for mileage earning and upgrades, make this one of the better airline card companion tickets. If you travel internationally, it’ll come in handy that this card charges no foreign transaction fees.

Earning miles on the Alaska Airlines Visa Business

When you use the Alaska Airlines business card to make direct Alaska Airlines purchases, you’ll earn 3 miles per dollar on eligible purchases. You’ll also earn 2 miles per dollar on gas, EV charging stations, shipping and local transit (including ride-hailing services) and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Tthat’s like getting a return of 4.2% on Alaska purchases, 2.8% on those specified categories and 1.4% everywhere else, based on our valuations. That’s a decent rate, but you can do better on airfare purchases and everyday spending with other cards.

Redeeming miles on the Alaska Airlines Visa Business

For most flights on Alaska Airlines itself, you’ll pay 5,000-12,500 miles each way in economy. This can be a good value, but you can really maximize your Mileage Plan miles by redeeming them for flights on Alaska’s partners.

(Photo by Samantha Rosen / The Points Guy)

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles are a great option if you book long-haul international flights in business or first class.

You can fly from the U.S. to/from Asia from only 50,000 miles each way in business class with Cathay Pacific, and you can add in a free stopover (in a hub city) on that ticket. For example, I flew Cathay Pacific business class from Japan to the U.S. and added a free stopover in Hong Kong for a few days.

There are also plenty of ways to use Alaska miles to book some of the most difficult awards to find: premium-cabin flights to Australia or New Zealand. You can fly nonstop on American Airlines or Qantas, or route through Asia with another partner. You could even book Fiji Airways business class from 55,000 miles one-way to New Zealand or Australia and add a free stopover in Fiji.

Related: How to book a trip to Sydney with points and miles

Finally, Singapore Airlines is among the airline’s non-Oneworld alliance partners to look out for. Premium-class award space is hard to come by, but economy awards are plentiful.

Which cards compete with the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card?

When it comes to travel cards not specific to Alaska Airlines that help you maximize your business spending, there are some better options:

For additional options, check out our full list of the best business cards.

Related: The power of the Chase Trifecta: Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred and Freedom Unlimited

Is the Alaska Airlines Visa Business worth it?

The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card is a card that makes sense if you fly a lot with Alaska and can take advantage of its mileage program. It has a valuable sign-up bonus, a low annual fee and lucrative ongoing perks. For most people, it’s a card that’s easy to justify opening and keeping long-term, but only if you take advantage of the Companion Fare.

Bottom line

In short, the Alaska Airlines Business card makes a lot of sense for Alaska loyalists, but you can do better elsewhere if you’re looking for a more general business credit card.

This isn’t a great card for rewards on your business spending since it only earns 1-2 miles per dollar for all purchases outside of Alaska Airlines purchases, so consider that if you’re looking for a higher earn rate across all spend categories.

But if you fly Alaska Airlines frequently, this card is worth keeping in your wallet long-term.

Apply here: The Alaska Airlines Visa Business card offering 50,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after making $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.