<-- !Begin Adoric Script -->

Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard Review

alaska airlines credit cardWhile not as well known in Canada, the Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard delivers exceptional value to residents of the Rest of Canada (ROC). It comes with a free flight welcome bonus, an annual companion ticket, a low annual fee and one of the largest Airline partner programs.

The Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard has one of Canada’s highest welcome bonus offers in Canada – 25,000 miles (enough to fly return anywhere in North America), with no minimum spend requirement, and it comes with an annual companion fare ticket that you can use to fly return anywhere in North America – including Hawaii!

People who think this program is only good for Alaska Airlines flights flying out of Quebec City–Windsor Corridor are missing out on one of the richest & most flexible partner programs in North America. You can use your 25,000 welcome bonus miles, straight from the Alaska Mileage website, to book flights on American Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacifica, Qantas, Korean Air, Emirates and more!

Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard Benefits

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program is one of the most valuable loyalty currencies out there. The program partners with numerous carriers for points earning and redemption, including both Delta and American in Canada, as well as Korean Air, Cathay Pacific, and Emirates. GreedyRates values these miles at around 2-2.2 Canadian cents, meaning the sign-up bonus alone is worth $550.  With the Canadian dollar as low as it is, those miles may be even worth more now.

Because of it’s great list of partners, the Alaska Airline Mileage program is for all Canadians, whether you live in Montreal, Toronto, Calagary or Vancouver. Here’s why. When looking at the Alaska Airlines flight redemption chart, the 25,000 point sign-up bonus offer is enough to get a return fare ticket that will take you to destinations anywhere within continental North America.

For example, you can fly Toronto to Orlando return for 25,000 miles, and only $67 in taxes and fees on Delta. Or you can fly Toronto to Los Angeles direct on American Airlines for 25,00 miles return and $79.26 in taxes and fees! Notice how low the taxes and fees are compared to Aeroplan.

The other great feature of the card is the annual companion ticket you can redeem for any Alaska Airlines flight within North American including Hawaii and Alaska, for only $121 USD. You get one EVERY year. That means you can get a ticket from Calgary to Honolulu for $118USD, instead of $850!

Your companion will have to fly with you on the same itinerary and it’s only available for coach class tickets on an Alaska Airlines operated flight. Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines only flies out of Calgary and Vancouver. As a result, because you can’t use the companion fare on partner flights, companion fare tickets have the most value for those in Alberta and BC.

Here are some of the additional perks that help the Alaska Airlines credit card stand-out from the pack:

  • Receive 25,000 Bonus Miles after your first eligible purchase
  • Earn 1 Bonus Mile per $1 spent on every eligible purchase
  • Earn 3 Bonus Miles per $1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, cargo purchases, in-flight purchases and vacation packages. Through Alaska Airline’s code sharing system, you can also earn 3 bonus miles when booking on American or Delta through Alaska Airlines as well.
  • Receive an annual Companion Fare from $121 (USD) ($99 base fare, plus taxes and fees from $22)
  • Redeem Miles for flights to over 700 destinations worldwide
  • $75 annual fee (fairly low compared to standard $120-$150 for most travel cards. However, it doesn’t come with as robust insurance coverage.

Worth It?
With the welcome bonus at 25,000 miles, an annual companion ticket that can take you to anywhere in North America including Hawaii, and a low annual fee of $75 this card is rich. The annual companion ticket can save you over $700 a year, more than covering the small $75 annual fee.

Moreover, the flexibility of being able to use your Alaska Mileage points on partner airlines makes this a phenomenal value for every Canadian. 

The Alaska Arilines World Elite MasterCard is not the card for you if you’re looking for maximum travel insurance protection. That said, it does come with insurance such as car rental, unexpected return home, accidental death, purchase assurance,  extended warranty and price protection ( find the same product you bought advertised in Canada at a lower price within 60 days after purchase, the difference will be refunded, up to $500).

Eligibility
You will need to have a minimum personal income of $15,000. They actually played it smart here. You apply for the Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard, which has a min income of $70K, household income of $120K, but if you don’t qualify, you will automatically get the Platinum card, which has the EXACT  same 25,000 mile welcome bonus and companion fare benefits. Apply on the same application, you will automatically be approved for the credit car dmatching your income.

Better Offers?
This is one of the richest offers in the Canadian marketplace. For $75 you’re getting a welcome bonus that can get you a free flight to anywhere in North America, and a companion ticket (if you can use it), that can get you as far away as Hawaii for only $118.

We also love the flexibility to use your points, at the same value, on so many valued partner airlines. The minimal taxes and fees on bookings are appreciated as well.

Take a look around our Best Travel Credit Cards page for more exciting offers.

30 comments

  1. Will the card work in europe? Also as an update, Alaska no longer code shares with Delta as they directly compete on many routes now and Delta ended the agreement. Also as a result of Alaska buying Virgin America they were forced to reduce their codeshare arrangement with American Airlines, so it reduces options when flying out of certain cities.

    • Hey Sean, thanks for the comment. It’s good to know our readers are just as vigilant as we are, and we appreciate you informing us. We checked with Delta and it seems like you’re right, and so we’ve edited the page accordingly. As for American Airlines, the two airlines have not severed their relationship but merely changed it slightly. The current plan will work as normal until January 1st, 2018, but then the following will be different:

      – You will no longer earn mileage rewards on flights that aren’t shared between the airlines (look for the “AS” airline code on American Airlines, not the “AA” code)
      – Elite members will no longer receive benefits on American Airlines flights, like priority check-in, priority boarding, priority security, preferred seating and checked bags
      – The total points required for redemption on some American Airlines flights will change

      We may have missed something, so if you need a more exact answer before we publish our final word on the matter, you should call support. To address your concerns about the card not working in Europe, we can’t imagine that being the case. The Alaska Airlines card will work, but you’ll be charged foreign transaction fees on your purchases. We don’t believe that you’ll be able to use the travel perks on flights to Europe either, unless the flight’s airline code has an “AS” in it. Sorry if we didn’t fully understand your question. If you need further guidance, you know where to ask!

      GreedyRates Staff

  2. Does this card charge transaction fees on foreign purchases ? I live in Canada but will soon be traveling to the US (Hawaii) and I’m wondering whether using it (as opposed to cash) makes sense.

    Thanks

    • Hey Steve, thanks for your question. The Alaska Airlines World Elite card does charge a small fee for purchases made in a foreign currency if you use it while abroad. However, it will not charge you these fees when booking through Alaska Airlines. There are both USD and CAD cards, offered by Bank of America and MBNA, respectively. If you have the MBNA version, transactions are converted to CAD and will incur fees on your Hawaiian expenses in USD, so we recommend going another route. Have you looked at cards like the Rogers Platinum Mastercard? It’s our go-to card for purchasing abroad without fees. Check that one out for now and let us know if we can be of any help. Enjoy the trip!

      GreedyRates Staff

  3. Hi there! I was recently approved for the Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard. I was wondering if there is an annual fee associated with this card? (I had originally applied for the World Elite which has a fee) I can’t seem to find information about this card on the Canadian MBNA website.

    • Hey Sam! Congratulations on being approved.

      First off, regarding your inquiry towards the Alaska Airlines card’s annual fee, it does indeed require $75 from members each year. The strong benefits are a step above any other card without an annual fee, and fees are typically a staple in cards where there is a high savings potential. Similar cards might charge upwards of $100. Also, we must ask – are you a resident of the RoC (Rest of Canada)?

      If you’re having a hard time obtaining information, it could be because your province is not eligible (Ontario or Quebec). Good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  4. Huh, I just applied and did not get instant approval. My credit score is 845 and my income is definitely over the minimum. Only thing I can think of is that I applied for and was approved for another MBNA card within the last month (before I’d heard of this one). Is that where I went wrong? Prior this, I had not applied for a credit card (with any issuer) since September/October 2016. If I’m denied for some reason, how long should I wait until I try again?

    • Hi Dana!

      We appreciate you stopping by to inquire about the Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard.

      It seems like you may need to consider another issue – are you in a province or territory considered the Rest of Canada (ROC)? Due to new legislation in Quebec and Ontario, MBNA has had to temporarily discontinue this credit card, though it will be back. This may have also affected those who were able to apply before the page was taken down. As to your other thought, we are sure that having another MBNA card will not prevent approval of your application, especially given your impressive credit score.

      We can also not be sure whether you will be approved, denied, or if your application will simply wait in a queue until MBNA finds a way to comply with the new laws. Regardless, keep checking your credit report and follow up with MBNA customer service, if possible. We’d love to hear your feedback and learn how the issue is progressing from your perspective. Thanks again for stopping by.

      GreedyRates Staff

      • I jumped the gun in posting this. I was approved and the card has already arrived. I live in Vancouver, so this card seems like a great choice!

  5. Is the Alaska Airlines MasterCard offered anymore in Canada in CAD? If so, where can I locate it to apply. I swear I did see somewhere online it was offered a few days ago offering 25,000 Alaska Airline Mileage Plan points, but I cannot see this CAD MasterCard anywhere now?

    • Hey Bob, thanks for your question!

      There seems to be frequent confusion with this card regarding the currency it uses, so we appreciate the chance to clear it up.

      Make no mistake, the issuer is American but there are both CAD and USD versions, the former with MBNA and the latter with Bank of America. We recommend the MBNA card to Canadians due to Alaska’s proximity to Canada and its status as a popular destination and airline for residents.

      However, new legislation that was introduced recently makes the offer applicable only to residents of the Rest of Canada (ROC), as mentioned in the article. If you are in Quebec, and some other places in Canada (call support to find out more), you will not see this card available until MBNA changes their offerings to match the new laws.

      Additionally, though there is no Canadian site and all prices are quoted in USD, there will be no foreign transaction fee when purchasing flights through Alaska Airlines. The standard foreign exchange rate applies, but this does not impose any unwarranted charges upon the cardholder. Happy travels!

      GreedyRates Staff

  6. Hi,

    Can we churn this card ?
    I am thinking of applying, get the bonus points, cancelling and applying again ?

    Will I lose my first bonus point when I cancell the first time ?

    Thanks

    • Hey Curvenut!

      Thanks for your question about churning with the Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard.

      To address your concerns that the card is not “churnable”, or that you will lose your bonus points upon cancelling (and then reapplying) – there should be nothing to worry about. This credit card is reportedly highly churnable, with some of our readers finding success churning the card every 3-4 months. While you might get away with an apply/bonus/cancel/reapply cycle more frequently than that, we don’t recommend it. It used to be that this issuer allowed multiple credit cards for a single individual cardholder, but no longer (as they were taking too much advantage of the bonus). Note that each case is different, but if you try to apply while holding the same card or with the max credit limit from MBNA, they will not approve. Cancel first, and then let us know how it goes. Good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  7. Hi there, I just applied the mastercard however it seems Alaska airline doesn’t have a Canadian website and all of their fares are quoted in USD? If that’s the case when I book flights from Alaska directly will I be charged the 2.5% foreign transaction fee? If I book the flights from Expedia or Flight Centre will that qualify the 3 bonus miles/dollar spent? Doesn’t seem logic when you use a Alaska credit card to buy Alaska flights while being charged a 2.5% fee.

    • Hi Song! Excellent question. You are correct, Alaska Airlines has no Canadian website. However, this does not mean that when you purchase from Canada, or with a Canadian credit card, that you will be charged extra. The price is quoted in USD, and the standard exchange rate to CAD applies with no foreign currency transaction fee.

      Regarding your second question, in order to get the 3 bonus miles per dollar spent you will need to book tickets through the World Elite MasterCard on the Alaska Airlines website. We hope this sufficiently addresses your concerns!

  8. Does the Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard offer trip cancellation insurance for return flights (Victoria-Puerto Vallarta) booked for my spouse and myself on Air Alaska using a combination of points and $$ if the reason for the cancellation is due to an unforeseeable medical circumstance related to our travelling companion with whom we are sharing accommodation? We have not yet departed on our trip but are scheduled to do so in 4 days.

    • Hi Chris,

      Unfortunately the MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite card does not offer trip cancellation insurance. However, it does offer unexpected return home insurance, in the event of a family members death.

      Hope your situation works out and good luck!

      GreedyRates Staff

  9. Is the $75 fee in USD or CAD ?
    At the current exchange rate $75 USD is over $100 CAD and there are cards that offer better value to me with a $100+ annual fee.

    • Hi Dave,

      The annual fee is in Canadian. With the welcome bonus AND the annual companion ticket, the annual fee is well worth the value you get in return.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  10. can these points be transferred to aeroplan

  11. Actually Alaska flies out of Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton and Calgary. With the most frequency out of Vancouver and Victoria.

  12. Hello,

    I had this card for a year and am considering keeping it. After numerous attempts to contact both mastercard and MBNA about the eligibility of this card for priority pass I havent received a solid response.

    As this card is a MC World Elite product it should qualify for all its perks… do you have any information on getting a priority pass account via this card for free?

    Thanks

    • Hi Cyrus,

      Good question. No the card does not come with Priority Pass lounge access or discounts. Not every World Elite benefit has to be made available by the credit card issuer. Just like PC Financial’s World Elite MasterCard does not come with Priority Pass lounge access or all travel insurances.

      GreedyRates Staff

  13. Why do you think it is that you cannot apply directly for the Platinum card rather than the Elite? You report that it has the same bonuses; and it likely has a small or no yearly fee.

    • Hi Geoff,

      The credit card issuer earns higher interchange fees from the World Elite card than the Platinum card. As a result, they try to funnel as many eligible applications to the World Elite card, and only then downgrade those to Platinum who don’t qualify. Giving the option upfront would only confuse matters for consumers.

      Does that make sense?

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Although if you really want to, the paper applications handed out by flight attendants on Alaska flights do allow you to directly apply for the Platinum by ticking a box for it. If you’re sure you won’t get approved for the World Elite (say, you don’t meet the minimum income requirement), that’s the only way I know of to skip trying for it.

  14. I have just applied and was approved for the card. Didn’t got it yet and was wondering if I can submit another application to double the bonus?
    I did this with other products and was approved.

    • Hi Hosam,

      Not sure. We haven’t tried that on our end. I know it has worked in the past, and it largely depends on the issuer. If you do try it, please let us know how it works out, so all of our readers can benefit from the experience.

      Thanks,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • I tried it and wasn’t approved for the second card. Reason was that Alaska entitles only one CC per customer. Then another agent said i wasn’t approved because I have the max credit from MBNA. Will keep the card for a few months, cancel and reapply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.