Today I am reviewing the Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard because as I have discovered over the past year or so, Alaska Airline’s Mileage Plan is an incredibly powerful program that not a lot of people know about. I will post a review on the program in a later post but some highlights include:
- Canada to Asia on Cathay Pacific Business Class for 50,000 miles one way or 100,000 roundtrip
- Canada to Australia on Fiji Airways Business Class with a stopover in Fiji for 55,000 miles one way or 110.000 roundtrip
- Canada to Australia on Qantas Business Class for 55,000 miles one way or 110.000 roundtrip
- Canada to Peru on American Airlines Economy Class for 15,000 miles one way or 30,000 roundtrip
If you know the Air Canada redemption chart, you will know that you need way fewer miles to fly to dream destinations with Alaska Miles than Aeroplan.
So how do we start accumulating these miles? Well, it’s fairly difficult to accumulate these miles as a Canadian but we do have access to one credit card that is an INCREDIBLE value if you use my method.
The Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard is a card offered by MBNA and comes with a very reasonable $75 annual fee. Stick around to the end of the article for how to reduce that to $15!!! With that annual fee, you are provided with two key benefits:
- 25,000 Alaska Airlines Miles
- A companion pass
25,000 miles is provided on first purchase so it’s one of those cards you can use once and throw in a drawer if you don’t see value in carrying it in your wallet. As far as the companion pass goes, you need to pay $121 (USD) for a companion to travel with you on any Alaska Airlines economy class flight (no partners or codeshares). This could be a good value for travel to Hawaii depending on where you live and the price of the the ticket. For the most part, the big benefit here is the 25,000 miles.
Churning is not a term that I have used in my articles until now but it refers to applying for a credit card, receiving the bonus and then cancelling the card and doing it over and over again.
MBNA cards are currently churnable but that’s not to say that this will continue on forever. It used to be that you could have 2 Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercards at the same time so you could churn twice as fast but they have eliminated that loophole so you can only hold one card at a time.
I have anecdotally heard stories of people churning this card every 3 months. Personally, 6 feels more realistic but I’ll leave that up to you. I usually apply, get the bonus and then hold the card open for 3-4 months and then cancel. I then re-apply 2-3 months later.
No Other Benefits
I like to highlight all the benefits of the cards I review because you never know if it makes sense to have this particular cards as your daily driver. Unfortunately with this card, the benefits end with the miles and companion pass. As this card does not have a high annual fee you give up all the insurances you normally see in a travel card (flight delay insurance, lost baggage insurance, etc.) as well as any other benefits like price protection.
The full list of benefits from this card are below:
- 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
- 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
How to Save $60 on the Annual Fee
I haven’t spoken about shopping portals yet but they serve as an excellent way for you to get money back for the online purchases (or applications in this case) that you would already make.
The way that these companies work is that by referring you to a credit card company, they receive compensation for the referral. Because they received money from this referral, they kick back a percentage back to you. That money is then either transferred to you via PayPal or via a cheque.
When I tell people about this, they roll their eyes because it sounds too good to be true but I swear to you on the life of my daughter (that’s pretty serious right there folks) that this work. I personally have received well over $1.000 back through these online stores. Here’s proof:
So how do you take advantage of these online stores to reduce your Alaska Airline’s World Elite Mastercard Annual Fee? It’s easy.
- Create an account at GreatCanadianRebates
- Go to the MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard Credit Card
- Click on the link and you will be automatically redirected to the MBNA page for application
- When your card gets approved, wait a couple of days and you will see confirmation that you received your $60 (or whatever the current offer is)
Here’s what it will look like:
You will need to wait 45 days for your rebate to come to you as this is the holding period that GreatCanadianRebates implements. This is to protect the GCR in the event that a return happens on a purchase from an online store, which leads me to another point. Use these portals to make all your online purchases. It’s free money.
So let’s think about this. We have a credit card that has an annual fee of $75. We have a rebate of $60. This leaves a total annual fee of $15!
If we look at the cost for each point, referred to as Cents Per Mile (CPM), we need to use the calculation of cost/points:
$15 / 25,000 = 0.0006 CPM
This is an UNREAL value.
I know that I preach having a plan before you speculatively collect points but at $15 for 25,000 miles, you cannot go wrong.
A very prominent travel hacker has valued Alaska Miles at 1.8¢/mile (USD) so you are getting $450 USD value for $15. A absolute no brainer. Get this card now!
Also published on Medium.