Recently, I’ve had a lot of questions about the Alaska credit card by MBNA. The most common one is: How did you get so many Alaska credit cards?
MBNA issues the Alaska credit card, which gives you 25,000 Alaska Mileage Plan points at sign-up, and has a $75 fee. If you get the card through gcr.ca, you will get a $60 refund cheque, making the total cost for 25,000 Mileage Plan points $15. Mileage Plan points are incredibly useful, and can be used on Alaska, American Airlines, AeroMexico, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, Fiji Airways, KLM, Korean Air, LAN, and Qantas. My favourite redemptions with them are for F class tickets with Cathay and Emirates.
MBNA doesn’t seem to care how many Alaska cards you hold at any one time. That means you can have two or three Alaska cards at any one point, and it will be OK (but don’t do it to excess!). Further, if you get denied for additional cards, MBNA is happy to move over credit (minimum $500) from a credit card you have with them to this new Alaska application to get it approved. If you signed up through the GCR link, calling in to have your card manually approved does not stop the $60 refund process. 🙂
Now, some warnings: I have done this to excess, and have gotten the attention of corporate security. Play it slow, 3-4 cards a year, and hold each card for 6 months so that credit line appears as R1 (good standing) instead of R0 (too new) on your credit report. Further, when you close the card, don’t drop the credit line, ask MBNA to move it over to another card, so you can play with that credit availability in the future to get more Alaska cards approved. Last, don’t signup for this credit card from a foreign location. Sometimes when I travel and I’m bored in a lounge, I’ll do some credit card applications. Recently I had an ordeal with my last Alaska card because I applied for the card in Hong Kong. The foreign IP address got their attention, and it was a hassle to get it resolved.
A note to students: MBNA is happy to give you credit (I think it’s around $2500) if you’re a student with no income. With $5000 credit, which can be divided into a maximum of four Alaska cards, students also have the capacity to travel in First Class for (close to) free.