Update 2019-02-26: Please note that the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) American Express Card Canada is no longer available. It has been replaced by the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card. Get the details here!
MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard Introduction
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of my favourite airline programs due to the generous routing rules on award tickets and multiple airline partners. However, for Canadians living anywhere but the west coast, earning Alaska miles can be tricky. Thankfully the MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard is available for Canadians looking for an easy way to earn Mileage Plan miles.
I consider Alaska miles amongst the most valuable out there – so don’t be discouraged by the lack of category spend bonuses with this Mastercard. This card is well worth signing up for just for the welcome bonus. Also great is that this card is easily churnable, with repeat welcome bonuses available when you cancel and re-apply for the card (I recommend waiting 6 months between applications).
MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard Details
- Earn 30,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months of membership
- Receive an annual companion fare for just $99USD plus taxes and fees with the purchase of any Alaska Airlines or Virgin America flight
- Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America flights
- Earn 1 miles for every $1 spent on everything else
- $99 annual fee
The annual fee is not waived the first year, though there is a way to lower the cost by applying through Great Canadian Rebates, which is currently offering $60 cash back on new applications. This means the annual fee is effectively reduced to just $39. One of our readers mentioned that this offer doesn’t seem to be available for Quebec residents, though he suggested using a VPN to get access.
Unfortunately, this card doesn’t come with comprehensive insurance coverage, such a trip cancellation or out of province medical coverage, so make sure you’re carrying a card that does, such as The American Express Gold Rewards Card or The American Express Platinum Card.
Despite it’s low earning rate on everyday spend, I consider this one of the top 5 Canadian credit cards because of the great flight options available with Alaska Airlines partners. Some great uses of miles include:
North America to Africa on Cathay Pacific in Business Class for 62,500 Alaska miles per direction
Or upgrade to first class for only 7,500 additional miles and enjoy seats that are 3 feet wide!
Interested in domestic travel? Alaska has some of the cheapest award prices for short-haul flights in North America, starting at just 5,000 miles per direction!
How To Earn More Alaska Airlines Miles
Starwood Preferred Guest
You may be thinking that 25,000 miles isn’t going to get you first class to Africa, but keep in mind that Starwood Preferred Guest points transfer to Alaska at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. Applying for The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card or The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card could be a great way to get you flying faster!
Marriott Reward Air+Hotel Package
If you have a lot of SPG points, it may make sense to transfer them to Marriott and purchasing a Hotel +Air package. Essentially, for the same amount of points, you can receive a set number of Alaska Miles (depending on which package you choose) in addition to a 7-night hotel voucher, which is valid for one year. The great part is you don’t need to use the miles together with the hotel, meaning you could transfer 90,000 SPG points to Marriott for 120,000 Alaska Miles (nearly enough for roundtrip business class to Africa), and have a 7-night stay at any category 1-5 Marriott property!
MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard Bottom Line
This is a card that most Canadians interested in reward travel should consider getting. While maybe not the best card for miles on everyday spend, the welcome bonus makes it worth it (especially when applying through Great Canadian Rebates for $60 cash back), and the annual companion pass can provide great value on paid flights (especially more expensive flights).
Interested in the card? Click here for the Application through Great Canadian Rebates to pay just $39 for your first year and earn 30,000 Alaska Miles!