Tag Archives: Bank of America

PSA: Free Checked Bags on Alaska Airlines by Linking BofA Credit Card to Mileage Plan Number

Do you fly Alaska Airlines? Do you have the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card? Do you ever pay to check your bag when you fly Alaska Airlines? Something strange happened to me recently when I flew Alaska Airlines, and I just figured out what happened! For years I flew on Alaska Airlines, and if I checked a bag, I was charged a checked bag fee and paid for it. Then for a few years, I had Alaska Airlines MVP Gold elite status and got used to not paying for checked bags. That was nice! After those status days ended, I had a few flights where I got charged for checked bags and paid the fee. However, for my last five flights where I’ve needed to check a bag, I wasn’t charged a fee. I had no idea why, and I almost didn’t want to know :)

But recently, I put the pieces of the puzzle together and I want to make sure you’re in the know too! You see, I’ve also had the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card for years, and because everyone focuses on the Companion Fare benefit, it’s easy to forget, as I did, that the card also comes with one FREE checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on your reservation.

Somehow I completely forgot about the free checked bag benefit

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I Downgraded to the Virgin America Visa Signature Credit Card

Good morning everyone.  A few days ago, the $149 annual fee posted to my Virgin America Premium Credit Card.  I called the number on the back of the credit card to see if there were any retention offers available, but sadly, the rep had no offers available for me.  Instead of closing the credit card, the rep suggested that I downgrade to the Virgin America Visa Signature Credit Card that had a $49 annual fee.

Most of the card benefits are the same for both cards, including the Virgin America $150 off companion discount code, free checked bag, and 20% off in-flight purchases.  The only difference between the credit cards is the Visa Signature credit card does not earn status points (not a big deal since I am Virgin America Gold and Alaska Airlines MVP Gold), I will get charged a fee for changing or cancelling my ticket (I never used this feature when I had my Virgin America Premium Credit Card) and I will be charged foreign transaction fees (I will never use this credit card internationally).

The only reason I kept the credit card is for the Virgin America $150 off companion discount code and my curiosity surrounding what will happen to this credit card when the Alaska Airlines / Virgin America merger is complete.  If my memory is correct, the Virgin America $150 off companion discount code used to only apply to the Virgin America Premium Credit Card, but sometime in the last year, that benefit was added to the Virgin America Visa Signature Credit Card.

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Which Trip Should I Use with the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare?

Grant did a great job explaining how to use the yearly Alaska Airlines Companion Fare that comes with the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card. However, the question becomes, WHICH trip is the best trip to use it on? I’ve had the credit card and gotten the companion fare deal for many years now. But this year was the first year that I had three potential uses for it. A good problem to have. Maybe you’ve had this good problem as well :)

It did, however, require a thorough look at comparing prices and hotels, as well as seeing what other miles/points I had available for these routes to finally make my choice. It was a lesson in perseverance! Here’s what I did. I was originating from San Diego and my trips were to Hawaii, New York City, and Boston. My dates for Hawaii and Boston were somewhat flexible, but my New York City dates were not.

Great Circle Mapper: http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=hnl-san,san-bos,san-jfk

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How to Redeem Virgin America $150 Companion Discount Code & My Important Warning

Good morning everyone, happy Sunday!  I wanted to quickly thank everyone who braved the 100+ degree weather in Sacramento to attend my Sacramento Travel Hackers Meetup at In-N-Out yesterday.  It was great talking to you about miles and points.  I look forward to returning when the weather cools down a little bit.  A few weeks ago, I needed to purchase flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Las Vegas (LAS) on Virgin America.  I needed to go to Las Vegas for a specific weekend and I bought tickets somewhat last minute, so flights were expensive.  Here was the price for 2 round trip tickets on Virgin America. I found it odd that if I purchased the flights from Virgin America or through Google, the price was $729 total, but if I bought the same flights through Alaska Airlines, the price was only $613 total.  That seemed really strange to me.

I currently have a Comenity Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Credit Card which includes a Virgin America $150 Companion Discount Code.  A few months ago, I wrote Comparing the Alaska Airlines $120 Companion Fare Code vs. Virgin America $150 Companion Discount Code.  I remembered that I still had my Virgin America $150 Companion Discount Code available that was going to expire in the next few months.  In this post, I will show you how to redeem your Virgin America $150 Companion Discount Code and provide a warning before you use your Companion Discount Code.

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Hawaii Travel Hack: Combine Alaska Airlines Companion Fare & Hawaiian Airlines Award Ticket

Good morning everyone, happy Wednesday.  I am writing to you from the WiFi-connected Golden Gate Transit bus, heading to work in San Francisco.  I love Hawaii and I have written a few posts about traveling to Hawaii over the last few years.  Some of my favorite posts about Hawaii include:

Recently, I was trying to book a flight from Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii (LIH) to San Francisco (SFO) or Oakland (OAK).  I will show you how I used a Bank of America Alaska Airlines Companion Fare and Virgin America miles to book a Hawaiian Airlines award ticket.  But first, take a quick look at these route maps from Alaska Airlines and Virgin America.  Those 2 airlines offer lots of flights, but there are only a few routes to Hawaii, and not every major Hawaiian airport is served.

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