Alaska Credit Card Annual Fee Increase
While Alaska Airlines is not my favorite airline they do have one of the better mileage programs out there. That is why their credit cards are pretty popular in the miles and points space. Bank of America recently did a refresh and there was an Alaska credit card annual fee increase. Is this just another sign of the times, with everything getting more expensive, or do you actually get some added value with this increase? Let's take a look at the changes and I'll explain why I think it is a net positive overall.
Update 1/17/23: I have added in the changes for the Bank of America Alaska Business card as well.
Alaska Credit Card Changes
The first change people should know about is the Alaska Airlines credit card annual fee increase brings the yearly cost up from $75 to $95. To be fair, that is a manageable $20 increase and brings the card in line with their competitors. The other negative change is the free checked bag perk. In the near future it will only work when you pay for the fare with your Alaska Airlines credit card. That perk is good for you and up to 6 people on your booking though.
For That Annual Fee Increase The Alaska Airlines Credit Card Will Get The Following Improvements:
- Earn 2X miles in the following categories
- Cable & streaming services
- Local transit including ride share purchases
- Earn 10% bonus miles on all purchases if you have an eligible BOA account (the credit card)
- $100 discount on Alaska lounge memberships when you pay with the card
- Priority boarding
The positive changes should be active on your account now and the annual fee increase will change on 3/31/23. If your account renews before then you get your cake and get to eat it too. That is because you would get the new perks on the card at old $75 annual fee for one more year.
It looks like the popular companion pass perk is staying as is too. There were rumors this would come with a spending threshold change but they seem to have backtracked on that. You will still get the $99 companion fare (plus $23 in taxes and fees) just for paying the annual fee each year.
Alaska Airlines Business Card Changes & Annual Fee Increase
When I originally wrote this we didn't have the terms of the changes for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business card so I wanted to update you. The changes are very similar to the personal version of the card.
- Annual fee increasing from $75 to $95
- Flight must be paid for with the card to get free checked bags
- Card will earn 2X per dollar at
- Gas stations
- Local transit & rideshare
- 10% reward bonus on earned miles
- Priority boarding perk
- $100 discount on lounge membership
Pretty much exactly the same as the personal card. The annual fee increase is $20 per year, like the personal card, the only deviation is the 2X earning opportunities. For the business card streaming and cable was switched out for shipping.
Why I Think These Alaska Airlines Credit Card Changes Are A Net Win
I think what you get back for $20 more dollars a year is a net win here. The only people that may not like this are ones that fly Alaska Airlines frequently and used the free checked bag perk. Having to pay with your card, and losing some potential travel benefits from other cards, may be a deal breaker for some. I think overall most cardholders will enjoy having the bonus earning opportunities on one of the most valuable miles out there. That is especially true because they aren't a transfer partner with any of the major bank transferable currencies. Unfortunately, the only option to transfer miles to Alaska is the Marriott Bonvoy program. Being able to rack up to 2.2 miles per dollar, when including the 10% bonus earn, will be tempting for many.
I also like that the companion pass hasn't changed at all. If they had required $6,000 in spend to earn it each year, like it was rumored, I would have said this is a net negative. Some people hold this card long term just to get a discounted flight each year.
Alaska Credit Card Annual Fee Increase: ToP Thoughts
While you never like to see an annual fee go up, I am okay with it if it is offset with some useful additions. Can you hear me in the back there Amex Platinum?!? Overall, I feel like these changes are worth the additional $20 each year. Especially since the valuable companion pass has remained untouched. The only real downside to these changes is checked bags requiring you to pay for the flight with your Alaska Airlines card. I think many people would like to have the travel protections of a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred instead. Hopefully you are #teamcheckedbag like me and this doesn't matter anyway.