ASK LUCKY (and each other)


Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.

Anyone can post a question, but you'll get the most benefit from registering to join our forum. You'll be able to see when your question is answered, and like comments from other users.

This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so feel free to jump in and share tips!

Thanks for reading!

Best,
Ben

Alaska Credit Card and Mileage Plan

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Steve from LA, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Steve from LA

    Steve from LA New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    I jumped on the Alaska Credit Card and Mileage Plan offer last winter. At the time they were offering a 50,000 mile bonus and a free companion fare. The card fee was $95 a year and that seemed reasonable. In addition, one bag was supposed to be complimentary for me and anyone traveling with me. I used the offer to take a summer trip with my two boys to Mexico.

    Since I signed up, Alaska has terminated a few of its airline partnerships, including its partnership with Aeromexico. That partnership wasn't the main reason I signed up for the Alaska Card, but it was a significant reason as I tend to travel to and within Mexico about half a dozen times a year and have lounge privileges with Aeromexico. Alaska has recently downgraded the amount of miles you acquire when flying with their partners including American and LATAM to name a few. Their inflight service seems to be more hit or miss recently. In addition, they kept trying to charge me for my son's luggage on a recent trip even though I was traveling with him and had purchased my ticket with their card (his was purchased with my miles and subsequently linked to my reservation). In general, I get the sense that Alaska is tightening its benefits.

    My question or more appropiately questions: 1) If things go as planned, I am going to be about 2,000 miles short of MVP status at the end of the year. Is it worth taking a gratuitous trip to make status? The benefits do not seem all that great and there is no way I am going to make MVP Gold this year. My main travel on Alaska seems to be from LAX to Boston now. 2) Should I cancel the credit card before the $95 fee hits at the end of the year? The companion fare isn't as attractive this year as it isn't free and there don't seem to be as many benefits (I can usually get by with a carryon, but on occassion like to check a bag). 3) Will I be better served with a different airline card or with an AMEX? Again, I fly maybe 10 times a year. The majority to and within Mexico, although I do have a kid that will probably start college up in Seattle or Portland in 2019 so thing may change. I pay my card off every month. Thanks in advance for any advice you might offer.
     
    #1
  2. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,226
    Likes Received:
    1,455
    The check bag benefit is eligible to you for having the card, but you dont necessarily need to pay with the card. However, companions are extended the benefit if they're on the same reservation as you are, not if you book a separate ticket, even if it's with your miles and paying the taxes with the Alaska card. If you had booked two mileage/cash tickets on one reservation, Alaska would not have asked for the checked bag fee, though sometimes airlines (like AA) limit this benefit to domestic flights only, for card holders.

    If you travel enough times a year that require a checked bag, then the annual fee pays for itself from waived checked bag fees. If you dont travel with checked bags but can easily get MVP status every year, then the card doesnt offer very many benefits to you, aside from earning extra AS miles when using it to pay for AS flights.

    Note that domestic flights on AA credited to AS earn zero miles and vice versa (unless ticketed as a codeshare flight, which is more difficult than I though, with respect to these two airlines). International flights on AA will earn miles when credited to AS.

    Once the SPG/Marriott loyalty programs merge, Marriott cards might be a better card for earning AS miles since those convert with a bonus.
     
    #2
    BradLAX likes this.
  3. Steve from LA

    Steve from LA New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks David. The more I think about it, the less likely I am to retain the card. If the opportunity comes up to bag another 2,000 miles for the MVP upgrade I might, but I don't think I will go out of my way to get it.
     
    #3