Two popular travel cards are the card_name and Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card.
The Sapphire Reserve is a premium travel rewards card offering a $300 travel credit, airport lounge access, 3x points on travel and dining, and great travel protections.
The Alaska Airlines Visa is a good option for frequent Alaska Airlines flyers with a free checked bag, priority boarding, annual companion fare, and a 20% in-flight savings.
This article will compare each card based on several factors to help you make an informed decision on which card is the best to add to your wallet.
Overview of Each Card
The Alaska Airlines Visa currently offers the following welcome bonus:
Earn up to 70,000 Bonus Miles plus a Companion Fare when you spend at least $3,000 in the first 90 days.
The card_name offers bonus points in the following categories:
- 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Travel;
- 10 points per dollar on dining purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards;
- 10 points per dollar on Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025);
- 10 points per dollar on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases (through March 2025) of $250 or more, with a maximum of 50,000 points;
- 5 points per dollar on flights purchased through Chase Travel;
- 3 points per dollar on all other travel (excluding the $300 travel credit);
- 3 points per dollar on dining purchases worldwide; and
- 1 point per dollar on all other eligible spending.
The Alaska Airlines Visa earns Alaska miles at the following rates:
- 3 miles per dollar on Alaska Airlines purchases;
- 2 miles per dollar at gas stations;
- 2 miles per dollar on cable and streaming services;
- 2 miles per dollar on local transit, including rideshare, trains, tolls, ferries, and more; and
- 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Card Benefits and Perks
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers the following benefits:
- $300 travel credit after making a travel purchase.
- Receive 50% more value on points redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
- Priority Pass airport lounge access.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS fee credit.
- Free one-year Instacart+ subscription.
- 2 complimentary years of Lyft Pink All Access when activated by Dec 31, 2024—a value of $199/year.
- Free DashPass subscription through December 31, 2024.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance (up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip).
- Primary car rental insurance.
- Lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 per passenger)
- Baggage delay insurance (up to $100 per day for five days).
- Trip delay reimbursement (up to $500 per ticket for a delay longer than 12 hours or overnight).
- Extended warranty.
- Return protection (90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year).
- 120 days purchase protection (up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year).
- Roadside assistance.
- No foreign transaction fees.
The Alaska Airlines Visa offers the following benefits for its cardholders:
- Free checked bag.
- Priority boarding.
- Annual Companion fare for $99 plus taxes and fees starting at $22 (valid on all Alaska flights with no blackout dates).
- 20% in-flight savings.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- 10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from card purchases if you have an eligible Bank of America® account.
Value of the Annual Fees
The card_name has an annual fee of $550, which is higher than many other credit cards.
However, the card offers a $300 annual travel credit, effectively reducing the annual fee to $250. The airport lounge access, fee credits, and travel and purchase protections can offset the remaining annual fee.
The Alaska Airlines Visa has a $95 annual fee, which you can offset with a free checked bag, companion fare, and priority boarding.
Winner: Alaska Airlines Visa, assuming you can take advantage of the free checked bag benefit and the companion fare.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve earns Ultimate Rewards points.
You can use your points to book flights, hotel stays, and even rent a car through Chase Travel — all at a fixed rate of 1.5 cents per point. For example, 100,000 points are equivalent to $1,500 towards travel.
This rate is higher than Chase’s other cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) at 1.25 cents per point, and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ (review) and Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) with a redemption value of 1.0 cents per point.
You can also get even more value when you transfer to Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners listed below:
Alaska Airlines’ miles are quite valuable. You can redeem them for Alaska Airlines flights or on flights on one of their OneWorld or other partner airlines.
My favorite ways to redeem Alaska Airlines miles are:
- U.S. to Tokyo or Beijing on Cathay Pacific First Class from 70,000 miles one-way.
- U.S. to Johannesburg on Cathay Pacific starting at 70,000 miles in First Class or 62,500 in Business class.
- U.S. to Auckland or Melbourne on Cathay Pacific starting at 80,000 miles on a mixed cabin flight – First and Business.
- Qatar Airways Qsuites from the U.S. to the Middle East and Africa starting at 85,000 miles and 120,000 miles, respectively (one-way).
- Japan Airlines First Classy from the U.S. to Asia starting at 70,000 miles one-way.
- Fly Economy on American Airlines from the U.S. to Europe or Asia starting at 20,000 Alaska miles.
Winner: Tie. The Sapphire Reserve offers more award flexibility because you can transfer to multiple airline and hotel programs, but Alaska Airlines miles are quite valuable and can be used to fly anywhere in the world.
Both the card_name and Alaska Airlines Visa are good choices.
I recommend the Sapphire Reserve if you fly multiple airlines each year and want airport lounge access.
The Alaska Airlines Visa could be a good option if you can take advantage of the checked bag benefit or want to earn Alaska Airlines miles.
Which card are you going to choose?