02 Mar Helping a Friend Churn Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Cards

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles are valuable. I was talking with a friend about an upcoming trip and highlighted my use of Mileage Plan miles to book the trip!

He was wondering why one should invest in Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles. Well, how about access to a variety of airline partners across multiple alliances, free stopovers (like this one), and zero award change fees!

You should WANT to earn these miles, and you should want to earn them at a fast pace! Duh! But what is the best way to do so!?

By “churning” Alaska credit cards!

Earn an easy 30k Mileage Plan miles per approval!

Note: This process is no secret and is well documented across Flyertalk, Reddit and blog posts all over the interwebs. Make sure to do your research before jumping into churning (applying for multiple credit cards in a short time frame and strategic manner).

Earning Alaska Mileage Plan Miles via Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Cards

Applying for the personal and business Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Cards are the single best way to accumulate Mileage Plan miles.

Personal Alaska Card:

  • 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days.
  • Get a $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. The $100 statement credit offer is not tied to the Alaska Airlines reservation you just completed and will be applied 8-12 weeks after you make the qualifying purchases with your new card.
  • Annual companion fare from $121 ($99, plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.
  • Free checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, vacation packages, cargo and in-flight purchases.
  • 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus chip enabled for enhanced security when used at chip-enabled terminals.
  • $75 Annual Fee – Due in the first statement cycle.

Alaska Business Card:

  • 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days.
  • Annual companion fare from $121 ($99, plus taxes and fees from $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.
  • Free checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, vacation packages, cargo and in-flight purchases.
  • 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus chip enabled for enhanced security when used at chip-enabled terminals.
  • $75 Annual Fee – Due in the first statement cycle.

 

Ok, I know what you’re thinking… 30,000 points seems pretty measly compared to the crowd favorite 100,000 point bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve (still available in branch)!

Well, what if I told you that this bonus wasn’t 30,000, but 60,000! And you could get it every 3-6 months!

The 2-for-1 Special

Currently (as of Monday 2/27/17), Bank of America allows applicants to earn the initial 30,000 mile sign-up bonus over and over and over again!

That’s right. No Citi 24-month language. No Chase 5/24 rule. And absolutely no Amex one bonus per lifetime rule!

If you are approved for the Visa Signature (more on the Visa Signature Threshold below) you are eligible for the initial 30,000 mile sign-up bonus!

If that wasn’t good enough, it is also possible to apply and be approved for 2 Bank of America cards in the same day – with a single credit inquiry! This includes the personal and business Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Cards!

According to Doctor of Credit (DoC), when it comes to Bank of America – you can apply for multiple cards from them in the same day and they will be merged into a single inquiry.”

In my experience, multiple same day credit inquiries related to both Bank of America personal and business credit cards were in fact merged into one. However, DoC notes that combining personal & business apps seems to be YMMV, some people have them combined and others don’t.”

That said, mix business with pleasure at your own risk… and also, keep in mind…

The Visa Signature Threshold

Bank of America has some very churn-friendly policies (highlighted above), but before you rush in to take advantage of BoA’s generosity, you need to know be aware of the “Visa Signature Threshold.”

In order to be eligible for the 30,000 mile bonus, you are required to have the credit card account approved as a Visa Signature Card – carrying at least a $5,000 credit limit. If you are approved with a credit limit of less than $5,000, you will automatically receive the Visa Platinum Plus. The Plus features a mere 2,500 bonus miles.

Remember, you must be granted this credit limit “upon approval.” If your application goes to pending status and is later approved for less than $5,000, you will be subject to the Platinum Plus bonus.

A Workaround?

If you are approved for the card with under $5,000 in credit limit, the common practice is to apply again for the same card (the same day), then call into reconsideration when this application goes into pending.

Note: If you apply for 2 personal versions of the Alaska card, the second application will be flagged as a possible duplicate and will go into pending status.

When calling the reconsideration line on the second application, instruct the representative to process the second application as a Visa Signature (with at least $5,000 in credit limit) and cancel the first application. Be sure to note the phone numbers and operating times below…

Who ya gonna call!? Reconsideration Line!

The Reconsideration Line

Personal: Operating Times – Monday through Friday 8 AM to 7 PM Eastern Time

  • (800) 354-0401
  • (866) 811-4108

Also, you can view personal application status online.

Business: Operating Times – Monday through Friday 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time

  • 866-695-6598

There are other business numbers listed on other sites, but I did not have success with them. My advice would be to call one of the numbers above and request to be transferred to the business card representatives.

Additional Best Practices:

The $100 Statement Credit

There are some very common publicly available links that DO NOT have the $100 statement credit language in the offer. Make sure you apply for (and retain screenshot evidence) of the offer that includes the $100 statement credit.

Note: There is absolutely no mention of a $100 statement credit!

Note: The $100 statement credit is only available on the personal version of the card.

Planning for the Next Alaska Credit Card Churn

Looking to hit up these great offers again!? Well there are some things you should know in order to avoid hassle/denial!

  • Convert or cancel ALL Alaska cards prior to applying for new ones. It seems that BoA is restricting approvals and will not approve your application if you are already a cardholder. Consider a conversion to the no fee Better Balance Rewards card!
  • Reduce credit limits on any retained converted credit cards to $5,000 or less. This will improve your chances of being instantly approved for the Visa Signature versions the next time around.
  • Keep 30/60/90 days between applications. I have heard all of these timelines thrown out by various sources. Personally, I stick to a 90 days or more time-frame to be on the safe side and cannot speak from direct experience to anything less.
  • Limit your BoA Cards to 4 – DoC noted multiple reports of Bank of America closing credit cards accounts for individuals that had more than 4 active accounts.

These “best practices” are always changing – head to Flyertalk for the most up to date data points and application advice!

AYP Support During the Application Process

Rather than explain all of the above to my buddy, I instructed him to give the application process a shot on his own, and I would assist where it was needed.

Here is my text message conversation on how it all went down:

 

Then…

End Result – 2 approved personal Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Cards, each with a $12,000 credit limit! Now all my friend needs to do is to spend $1,000 on each card to earn 60,000 miles and $200 in statement credits. And all for the price of one credit inquiry and $150 in upfront annual fees!

Final Thought

The best way to earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles is through the initial sign-up bonuses on the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Cards!

Invest in Mileage Plan and you will not be disappointed!

Have you ever applied for multiple Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Cards? If so, what have you found to be some “best practices?”

Happy Travels!

DW

11 Comments
  • Mark
    Posted at 10:00h, 02 March Reply

    Sure it’s well known on Reddit but your memory must be short if you don’t remember what the Bow Tie Guy did and churning alaska cards went from 5 per day to 1-2 every 90 days. You don’t think your post will contribute to that downward spiral?

    And for many:: alaska pulls a different bureau for business.

    • DW
      Posted at 10:19h, 02 March Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Mark. I do remember the 5 cards in one day over on MMS. I realize he caught some flack for it and it was at that point BoA cracked down on the excess (which was justified).

      As far as whether this post contributes to further regulation… it might? But, I highly doubt it! BoA must be making money by allowing this practice. I know this because BoA is in the business of making money (to the tune of $4.7B in Net Income in Q4-2016), if they were not making money with these new account openings to credit worthy individuals, they would have put a complete stop to it a long time ago.

      • Nick @ Personal Finance Digest
        Posted at 10:26h, 02 March Reply

        Credit card companies do not make money from churners; they lose it, that’s why banks have cracked down on it. The only reason they don’t is because it’s a pain to change the systems (from both an IT and an HR perspective). Sure, this stuff is public knowledge, but headlines like the one in this post are basically a giant middle finger to the bank. MMS did indeed prompt the initial B of A crackdown on churning; this was confirmed to me by some folks in a position to know at the bank.

        • DW
          Posted at 10:40h, 02 March Reply

          Appreciate the comment and your point regarding churners as a money loser is mostly correct, though there must be something to be said for the “new accounts opened” metric.

          While banks have “cracked down on it,” we still see multiple instances where their new tough policies are mysteriously lifted for limited times – allowing a rush of applicants. Chase’s Pre-Approved offers on the CSR to boost initial sign-ups, Citi introducing new AA links (every week it seems like) that don’t include the 24-month language, and Amex offering up links/mailers that don’t include the “lifetime” restriction.

          So while it may seem to some that banks are cracking down, it seems convenient all of these opportunities for churners continue to appear…

    • Ryan
      Posted at 12:52h, 02 March Reply

      Agree with Mark. No it’s not a secret but that doesn’t mean one should be drawing any more attention to it than necessary. It’s often like that with these deals – even where the company knows about it, they may turn a blind eye for various reasons. But as it becomes more widely discuss, at some point it becomes too much for them and it gets killed…either the cost of the “loophole” now outweighs the cost of the fix, or some manager gets called on the carpet by his management who has finally found out about it publicly, or the company (or US Mint in that case) becomes embarrassed by it, or whatever the reason.

      But hey, you get some clicks and conversions in the meantime so who cares right? Hadn’t seen your blog before but I can’t say I’ll be a regular reader with this sort of posting.

      Google “tragedy of the commons”

      • DW
        Posted at 13:12h, 02 March Reply

        Appreciate the comment and your point is noted. I stand by the responses I posted throughout the comments section. Eventually this “deal” will die, just like every other one before it, so I advise everyone to take advantage of it now. Or, perhaps this can serve as motivation to work to find a new one!

        Sad to see you won’t read again, but hopefully you see something on here soon that changes your mind.

        If not, there’s plenty of great points and miles information out there and not having to read my blog should free you up to enjoy more of it…

        • SumOfAll
          Posted at 00:12h, 03 March Reply

          Every deal doesnt “die” moron. If you were around any amount of time, you’d know that. SMH

          • DW
            Posted at 08:15h, 03 March

            Thanks for the comment! I haven’t been called a moron in quite some time, and this provided me with a nice chuckle to start the day.

            As far as deals go, your point is well taken – all of them don’t “die.” For instance I still think the CSP 50k bonus is a great deal. But, in regards to loopholes and operating in lucrative grey areas that costs banks/credit card companies, those all eventually find an end at some point.

            My intention behind the post was not to ruin a good thing, but to provide more people with knowledge about it/access to it. Perhaps you came upon this deal on your own by testing multiple applications with BoA (props to you if so), but I doubt it. You read this somewhere and it provided you access to easy Mileage Plan miles. I am attempting to provide the same to others what was provided to you.

  • DaninMCI
    Posted at 10:14h, 02 March Reply

    If you are really set on earning more Alaska miles you’d have the friend apply for the two Virgin credit cards for another 25k+conversion rate and about $500 in travel credits. I think one of them comes with a companion credit of some sort as well.

    I have 3 BofA Alaska cards and I got them on a rate of about 1 every 90 days. I don’t have any business products from them. I tend to be a little more conservative on churning. Alaska miles are really good. I’m just afraid they will devalue soon.

    Good post by the way.

    • DW
      Posted at 10:24h, 02 March Reply

      Thanks for the comment – Great point on the Virgin credit cards. I haven’t explored those in much detail, but with the merger they are definitely worth another look!

      I align with you pretty closely with the 90 day timing and am also not interested in pushing this churning concept to a further extent.

  • Still Alive - The Merrill+ Visa Signature 50k Sign-up Bonus - AcCounting Your Points
    Posted at 11:02h, 30 May Reply

    […] Unlike the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature, it doesn’t seem to matter whether you currently have this card […]

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