A reader pointed out to us today that the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card is now offering a bonus of 50,000 miles after $2K in purchases in the first 3 months. That is an increase of 10K miles over the previous offer, but the $75 annual fee is no longer waived in the first year. This may still be an excellent deal for those interested in stocking up on Alaska miles.
The Offer & Key Card Details
|Card Offer and Details|
As noted at the top, the key difference here is that the new offer is good for 10,000 more miles, but the $75 annual fee is no longer waived in the first year. Most people familiar with Alaska Mileage Plan miles would likely agree that 10,000 miles are worth more than $75, so I think that is probably a good trade-off. Alaska currently has some terrific sweet spots in its award chart — like business class to Asia on Cathay Pacific for 50K miles one-way (and you could get a free stopover in Hong Kong on a one-way trip).
Other notable sweet spots include Japan Airlines first class for 70K each way to/from Asia, Cathay Pacific first class all the way to South Africa with a free stopover in Hong Kong for 70K miles one-way, or 55K miles in business class to/from Australia (which could be done on Fiji Airlines with a free stopover in Fiji).
All that said, we don’t know whether these sweet spots will remain intact when Alaska fully integrates with oneworld. At the very least, we expect that they will not continue to have separate award charts for each partner as they do today but rather have a oneworld award chart that is more standardized. We just don’t know if the current values will remain intact.
That said, you could book travel about a year out at current rates, so it might be worth picking up this bonus given the very low spend required. We did previously see a 65K bonus last fall, though that required a total of $8K spend in 6 months. The bar here is much lower.
Keep in mind that Alaska did slaughter its Emirates award chart overnight and without notice years ago, so while I’d like to believe that they won’t change the current award chart without notice, I can’t say that with confidence. I’m personally sitting on a nice balance of Alaska miles and expect that they will still be valuable, but it is questionable proposition. Still, I can’t imagine that 50K miles for $2K spend will have been a bad deal.