Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card Review: Is it the Best Travel Card for Your Business?

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card Review: Is it the Best Travel Card for Your Business?

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The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card is a great card for all things related to Alaska Airlines travel. This card offers a competitive rewards rate on Alaska Airlines purchases, some fantastic travel benefits and a sizable introductory spending bonus. However, its maximum value can only be achieved if you travel with Alaska Airlines often and carefully manage your frequent-flyer miles. If you want an easier to use rewards card, we recommend looking at other options.

Review: Our Thoughts on the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card

The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card is a fantastic option for business owners who are frequent customers of Alaska Airlines or its travel partners. However, the miles earned with the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card can only be used to book travel through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Other travel rewards programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, will let you transfer your rewards to multiple airline mileage plans. This gives you more options when booking flights. If this extra degree of freedom is important to you, consider this before you apply.

The most valuable aspect of this card is its Companion Fare program. The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card offers a Companion Fare certificate both as an introductory spending bonus and as an annual benefit. It can be used to purchase an additional round-trip ticket for only $121. As airfare can cost thousands of dollars, the certificate value can be immense. This is an uncommon feature, making this card incredibly valuable for organizations that fly with Alaska Airlines.

In order for the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card to be used to its full potential, cardholders will need to carefully plan when and how to use their miles. This added time commitment may not appeal to everyone. The value of the miles earned with this card can vary based on the flight. This, coupled with the fact that you have a limited number of carriers to choose from, can make managing the card's rewards difficult. For a card that requires no management and and still offers good rewards, we would suggest the Capital One Spark Cash for Business.

Bottom Line: High rewards rate and excellent benefits make this card a must-have for businesses that frequently fly with Alaska Airlines. However, if you're looking for a card with a lot of different ways to spend rewards, you should look elsewhere.

Benefits and Features

The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card lets users earn miles with every purchase. Card accounts earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases, 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Ticket purchases made through a third-party vendor—such as Kayak, Orbitz or Expedia—will earn only 1 point per dollar spent.

Companion Fare

One of the most valuable benefits of this card is the Companion Fare certificate. If you purchase a coach ticket, you can redeem a Companion Fare code for a single additional round-trip ticket, with no blackout dates, for only $121 ($99 for the base fare plus $22 in fees) on the same itinerary. Each Companion Fare certificate expires one year after its issue date. The value of each certificate will fluctuate depending on the flight. For maximum benefits, these should only be used on the most expensive trips.

How Does the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

Even for institutions that spend a lot on travel, a card like the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card may not be the best option available. Here's how the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card compares to some of the best business credit cards currently offered.

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card vs Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is better than the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card if you want travel rewards without being locked into Alaska Airlines and its partners. The card offers an excellent rewards rate on shipping, certain kinds of advertising and communications services, and it includes a large spending bonus: Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card also offers more flexibility in terms of rewards redemption, as Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to several different travel rewards programs. Some of these transfer partners include British Airways Executive Club, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® and United MileagePlus®.

In contrast, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles must be used with Alaska Airlines and its partners. For any business manager that books flights with Alaska Airlines or one of its partners at least a few times a year, it is worth having the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card as a secondary card, if only for the Companion Fare certificates.

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card vs Capital One Spark Cash for Business

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is a better card for most types of business spending. The Capital One Spark Cash for Business's 2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere has value over the rewards earned through the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card because they can be applied to all purchases and it's easy to optimize rewards. In contrast, the value of the miles earned with the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card is variable. On some of the itineraries, we were only able to get a value of $0.008 per mile. However, if your business can use the benefits specific to Alaska Airlines—such as the Companion Fare—then the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card is worth having.

The information related to the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Bailey is a Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, covering insurance. He graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. Bailey's analysis of the insurance industry and driver behaviors has been featured by CNBC, the Houston Chronicle and the National Transportation Bureau Safety Board.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).