Alaska Airlines Credit Card Changes: New 2x Categories, Priority … – Business Insider

Alaska Airlines Credit Card Changes: New 2x Categories, Priority … – Business Insider





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If you’re an Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card or Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card member, there are changes to both cards you should know about. You may have already received notice about the updates; I just got a letter in the mail today about my Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card.
There’s a mix of good news and bad news for cardholders. One major change to these cards is the immediate addition of a priority boarding benefit on Alaska flights — however, you’ll need to use your card to pay for your ticket to enjoy this perk. In addition, both cards are adding new 2x bonus categories, and a 10% reward bonus on all miles earned from purchases (as long as you or your company has an eligible Bank of America account).
The not-so-good news: The annual fee on the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card will increase from $95 to $95 effective March 2023. And at the same time, it will become harder to take advantage of the free checked bag benefit on both cards, as you’ll be required to use your card to pay for your ticket.
Here’s what to know about these (and other) changes to the Alaska Airlines credit cards.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Alaska Airlines miles are among the most valuable travel rewards you can earn, and the easiest way to earn them without flying is by opening and using one of the Alaska Airlines credit cards issued by Bank of America.
The announced refresh on the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card and Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card won’t have as much impact if you don’t actually fly Alaska Airlines; a lot of folks have these cards just for the purpose of earning Alaska miles to use for award flights on Oneworld partners like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and American Airlines. However, all travelers will likely appreciate the addition of new 2x bonus categories (details below).
But if you fly Alaska frequently and take advantage of day-of-travel perks like a free checked bag on Alaska flights and Alaska lounge discounts, these changes are more noteworthy.
As first reported by Frequent Miler, some changes to the personal Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card have already taken effect, while others kick in starting March 2023.
Starting immediately, Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card members can earn 2 miles per dollar in the following categories:
There’s no change to the card’s other bonus categories; cardholders continue to earn 3x miles on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other spending.
Also effective immediately, Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card cardholders and up to six guests on the same reservation will receive priority boarding on Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, and SkyWest flights when they purchase their ticket with the card. This applies to the primary cardholder and authorized users.
Cardholders can board before general boarding, but after Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan elite members, Oneworld alliance elite members, first or premium class ticket holders, and preboarding groups.
If you’re an Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card and also have an eligible consumer Bank of America checking/savings account or Merrill investment account, you’ll now earn a 10% bonus on the miles you earn with your card. For example, if you’d normally earn 100 miles on a purchase, you’ll receive an extra 10 miles (10%) for a total of 110 miles.
This effectively brings the earn rate on the card up to:
Depending on the other rewards credit cards you have in your wallet, it could make sense to shift some of your spending to the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card to take advantage of the new 2x categories and 10% bonus.
Until now, only primary cardholders could qualify for a free first checked bags for themselves and up to six companions on the same Alaska Airlines reservation. Starting immediately, authorized users are also able to take advantage of the benefit.
The downside: Beginning March 2023, you’ll be required to pay for your ticket with the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card to get this perk. While some cardholders would have done this anyway to take advantage of earning 3x miles on the purchase, many folks pay for flights with one of the best credit cards for travel insurance to get benefits like trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay insurance, or baggage delay insurance.
Now you’ll have to choose between getting free checked bags or excellent travel coverage (assuming you have another card with travel insurance). That could be a hard call depending on your travel habits.
Previously, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card offered a 50% discount on one-time passes to Alaska Lounges (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York-JFK only). This perk will disappear effective March 2023.
But starting immediately, cardholders are eligible for $100 off a full Alaska Lounge+ membership when they pay with the card. Note that this applies to an Alaska Lounge+ membership (which includes entry to Alaska-operated lounges and over 90 partner lounges and costs at least $550). The regular Alaska Lounge membership, which only includes Alaska lounges, isn’t eligible for the discount.
As with most credit card “enhancements,” there’s always a caveat, and in this case, it’s an annual fee increase. Right now, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card charges an annual fee of $95; starting March 2023, this will increase to $95. For existing cardholders, the new annual fee will take effect on their next card anniversary from March 2023 onward.
A $20 fee bump might not make a huge difference if you’re able to take advantage of the card’s new perks like priority boarding, 2x miles earning, or free checked bags for authorized users, but if these benefits aren’t important to you, it might be time to reevaluate the card.
Fortunately, the card’s other big draw — an annual companion fare code valid for round-trip economy-class travel on Alaska Airlines – isn’t changing. You can still use the companion certificate to book a guest, traveling on the same paid itinerary as you, starting at $121 ($99 base fare plus taxes and fees from $22). 
The 20% discount on Alaska inflight purchases made with the card (received as a statement credit) also still applies.
The updates to the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card are similar (but not identical) to those on the personal version of the card. However, some changes that have immediate effect on the personal card aren’t coming to the business version until March 2023.
One positive difference: The annual fee on the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card is not changing, according to the letter I received today. It remains $50 per company and $25 per card.
There are new 2x bonus categories on the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card, but they won’t take effect until March 2023, at which point cardholders can earn 2 miles per dollar spent on:
As with the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card, cardholders can still earn 3x miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible spending.
Like the personal version of the card, the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card now offers priority boarding for the primary cardholder and employee cardholders, plus up to six companions on the same reservation. The same restriction applies – you’ll need to pay for your ticket with the card to receive the benefit.
Starting in March 2023, Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card members with an eligible company/business account with Bank of America will receive a 10% bonus on miles earned with the card. Eligible accounts include business checking, business savings, business CDs, and Merrill business investment accounts.
The changes to the checked bag benefit on the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card are the same as on the personal version of the card. Starting now, employee cardholders can also receive a free checked bag for themselves and up to six companions on the same reservation with Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, and SkyWest. In March 2023, you’ll be required to use the card to pay your fare to take advantage of the benefit.
With the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card, the addition of an Alaska Lounge+ membership discount and discontinuation of Alaska Lounge day passes is identical to the changes on the personal version of the card.
Like the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card, the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card isn’t making changes to its annual companion fare or 20% inflight rebate. And again, the annual fee is not changing.

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