The MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard, a traditionally low-key credit card in Canada that rarely puts out special offers, has now raised the stakes with a new $200 statement credit along with the usual signup bonus, valid until January 5, 2022.
We had first seen a $100 statement credit on the MBNA Alaska cards appearing in late 2020, and then again in the spring of 2021. Now, Alaska Airlines and MBNA have doubled the statement credit component for the Winter 2021 promotion period.
$200 Statement Credit + Up to 30,000 Miles
The $200 statement credit applies to both the World Elite and the Platinum Plus versions of this card.
You’ll now be able to earn the respective welcome bonuses of 30,000 and 20,000 Alaska miles, along with the $200 credit, upon spending $1,000 in the first three months, making the MBNA Alaska one of the easiest “low-hanging fruit” in Canada in terms of attractive credit card offers.
This offer only seems to be available through Alaska Airlines’s direct channel, rather than through the MBNA website or a third-party cash back portal like Great Canadian Rebates. You can access the offers here: MBNA Alaska World Elite and MBNA Alaska Platinum Plus.
Outside of this $200 statement credit offer, the best way to apply for the MBNA Alaska was through third-party cash back websites, where it was possible to earn cash back rebates of up to $50 upon approval.
However, since these two avenues cannot be stacked, it’s optimal to apply directly through the Alaska Airlines channel and claim the $200 statement credit instead.
Both the World Elite and Platinum Plus versions of the card will offer the $200 statement credit upon spending $1,000 in the first three months. Recall, however, that the World Elite and Platinum Plus versions of the MBNA Alaska differ in the following ways:
- The World Elite requires a minimum annual personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000, while the Platinum Plus has no income requirement.
- The World Elite offers 30,000 Alaska miles upon spending $1,000 in the first three months, while the Platinum Plus awards 20,000 Alaska miles upon meeting the same threshold.
- The World Elite has an annual fee of $99 vs. the Platinum Plus’s $75.
- The World Elite gives a free first checked bag on Alaska Airlines flights for the primary cardholder and up to six passengers on the same reservation, while the Platinum Plus doesn’t offer this perk.
As you can see, the $200 statement credit more than offsets the annual fee on both products: you’d come out ahead in the first year by $101 on the World Elite and $125 on the Platinum Plus, all while collecting the welcome bonus.
Besides the differences listed above, both the World Elite and Platinum Plus cards come with Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare, which lets you book a second passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight for only US$121 (US$99 base fare plus US$22 in taxes) when you pay full fare for the first passenger.
The cards also offer 3 Alaska miles per dollar spent with Alaska Airlines and 1 Alaska mile per dollar spent on everything else, making it a solid choice for your day-to-day non-Amex spending if you see value in collecting Alaska miles for high-value redemptions.
You can refer to this post for a full list of attractive Alaska miles redemptions – the most popular choices tend to be the aspirational First Class experiences on Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, or Qatar Airways, although Alaska’s other partners like American Airlines, Icelandair, and Fiji Airways can make for solid redemptions too.
Although there is a fair bit of uncertainty lingering over Alaska redemptions to their recent entry into the Oneworld alliance, I certainly expect the Mileage Plan program to continue to deliver value in the future, even if it’s not as good as it is now.
Therefore, despite the uncertainty, I do think that the opportunity of picking up 20,000–30,000 Alaska miles while being paid for your troubles in the form of a $200 statement credit is too good to turn down.
If you only recently applied for the MBNA Alaska, you can try asking MBNA whether it’s possible to match to this new offer, but I personally don’t think they’ll be likely to grant those requests.
However, also keep in mind the prevailing MBNA Alaska credit card strategy: you can downgrade your MBNA Alaska to a no-fee product after three months, at which point you’d be eligible for another MBNA Alaska since you’re no longer a current cardholder.
And since the current offer goes until January 2022, you might even have enough time to pull off this strategy before the $200 statement credit offer expires.
The MBNA Alaska is one of the few credit cards in Canada that specifically excludes Quebec residents from the welcome bonus… on paper, anyway.
On both the ongoing standard offer, as well as this special offer with a $200 statement credit, the verbiage specifically states that “this offer is not available to residents of Quebec”.
(Quebec’s stricter consumer protection rules make it more difficult for banks and financial issuers to offer incentives on spending, which is what a welcome bonus associated with a minimum spending requirement is at the end of the day. Some issuers like TD and HSBC choose to get around this by associating the bonus with a waiting period instead, whereas others, like MBNA, choose to not offer a welcome bonus at all.)
If you enter Quebec as your province, the following warning message is displayed…
…and the applicant is offered to be redirected to an alternative application for Quebec residents, which makes no mention of any signup bonus at all.
Therefore, if you applied for the card as a Quebec resident and didn’t happen to receive the signup bonus upon spending $1,000 in the first three months, then you wouldn’t have any recourse to ask for those bonus miles to be deposited. And of course, nor would you have any recourse to ask for a $200 statement credit either.
The MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard is now offering a $200 statement credit along with 20,000–30,000 Alaska miles upon spending $1,000 in the first three months, which will more than offset your first year’s annual fee. This special offer lasts until January 5, 2022.
It’s a great time to sign up for the card as a new customer or incorporate the offer into your ongoing MBNA strategy as you aim to build up your Alaska Mileage Plan balance and book one of their sweet spots before the program implements changes in the future.