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[DISCONTINUED] MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercards

Yikes! Another one bites the dust. Most of you probably already heard about this, so today, now that the dust has settled a bit, I will chime in my 2 cents on what happened.

Before I continued, just know that if you are an existing MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard holder, you are still safe. Unfortunately, MBNA has decided to discontinued their MBNA co-branded Alaska Airlines cards.

Below were the highlights of the cards if you managed to sign up for one:

MBNA Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus MasterCard

  • $75 annual fee
  • Earn 20,000 sign up bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, vacation packages, cargo and inflight purchases
  • Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive an annual companion fare (from $121 USD)
  • No minimum personal or household income required

MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite MasterCard

  • $99 annual fee
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, vacation packages, cargo and inflight purchases
  • Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive 1 complimentary checked bag per passenger on the same qualifying reservation (up to a maximum of 6 passengers)
  • Receive an annual companion fare (costing $99 USD plus taxes and fees)
  • Due to Quebec laws, this card is not available to Quebec residents
  • Have at least $80,000 in personal annual income or $150,000 household income

What happens next?

The bad news is that these two credit cards are now closed to new cardholders. The good news is that existing cardholders can continue to use the cards for the time being. There is no deadline on when they will terminated grandfathered cardholders, but it can come if they choose to.

Even though there are backdoor ways for Canadians to earn Alaska miles (e.g. by transferring American Express to Marriott to Alaska), they are low earning ratios. Especially compared to those who frequently pay for Alaska Airlines flights (i.e. ability to earn 3 miles per dollar spent).

So if you have this card in your wallet now, and you can find a way to justify the annual fee (especially through the annual companion fare), I definitely recommend keeping the card as long as possible, as it becomes much more difficult to earn valuable Mileage Plan miles going forward.

Thoughts on the Discontinuation

For most Canadians, the discontinuation might not seem like a big deal. However, for those who are heavily interested in the miles and points world, you probably already know that this is a huge blow to the community.

Even though the reasons are not publicly available, I suspect that MBNA might not have had enough regular users of the cards for it to be profitable. They most had churners who are cardholders and the sign up bonus was sustainable for only so long. Churning has long been a heavily debated topic between people who want to know the secrets to join in, versus those who want to keep it quiet so that it can last longer.

For today, rest in peace MBNA Alaska Airlines, it was great while it lasted 🙁

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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