The MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard is a great card for members of the Mileage Plan program. The bulk of the card’s value is in its signup bonus, rather than everyday spending.
If you don’t meet the minimum income requirement, you should apply for the card’s Platinum Plus variant instead, with a lower welcome bonus but many of the same features. You can’t have both cards at once, so choose the best one that you can qualify for.
The MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard offers 30,000 miles in the Mileage Plan program upon spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.
By applying via the Alaska Airlines website, you get a $100 statement credit to cover the $99 annual fee. It should post to your account after you’ve triggered the welcome bonus points, effectively making the card free for the first year.
With the MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard, you’ll earn 3 miles per dollar spent on Alaska Airlines airfare and vacation packages, and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
As far as Canadian credit cards go, this card isn’t the best option for daily spending, unless you’re aggressively prioritizing Mileage Plan miles above all other rewards. Cards like the American Express Gold Rewards Card offer 2x points on gas, groceries, and travel purchases, for example.
However, by virtue of being a Mastercard, you’ll find that the Alaska card is accepted at more locations than any of your American Express cards, so it can be a good backup option to keep in your wallet.
Miles are transferred to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account every month on the Sunday after your statement date, although sometimes there are delays.
If MBNA can’t find your Mileage Plan account when you apply for the credit card, they might open a new one for you. If that happens, you’d have to contact Mileage Plan to merge the accounts. If you can’t find your miles, you can look up your Mileage Plan account number to see if you have an account that you were unaware of.
Every year you get one round-trip companion fare from US$121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22) on Alaska and Virgin America flights, with no blackout dates. It’s valid for an economy ticket within the contiguous US, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico.
To use the fare when travelling as a duo, you have to book one round-trip somewhere on the Alaska route network, then you apply the companion fare to the booking to add the second passenger for just US$121. The cardholder doesn’t have to be one of the passengers, as long as their credit card is used to purchase the tickets.
The companion fare can be great for anyone living in cities serviced by Alaska. In Canada, that’s Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, or Edmonton. It’s less useful for those on the East Coast, though if you spend a fair amount of time in the US, it can still be a valuable perk.
Read more: The Best Credit Cards with Companion Fares
As a World Elite cardholder, you’ll also get free checked bags on Alaska Airlines for up to six passengers on the same reservation.
Cardholders can also get car rental discounts at Avis and Budget. You’ll save at least 10% in Canada and the US, or 5% internationally, on qualifying rentals at participating locations.
This card comes with the same insurance as all of MBNA’s World Elite cards. Here are a few highlights.
Notably, the card can be used for insurance on award tickets. Coverage for a common carrier accident or an unexpected return home is valid as long as the ticket was paid at least in part on the card. However, the card doesn’t offer insurance for trip cancellation, delays of any kind, or lost baggage at all.
For the types of coverage that extend to the cardholder’s spouse and children, they don’t need to be travelling together with the primary cardholder to be insured.
The card offers comprehensive car rental insurance, beyond the typical collision damage insurance. You are protected in the event of personal injury if you are in a rental vehicle accident.
Also, the card provides rental car burglary insurance. This means that your personal effects are insured if the car is stolen or if your belongings are stolen from the car, as opposed to just the value of the car itself being insured in the event of theft or damage.