Lucrative airline credit card offers on upswing

Alaska Airlines increases credit card pitch
Alaska Airlines increases credit card pitch

As I drank in the stunning views of a snow-capped Mt. Rainier on a recent Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, the flight attendants were on the loudspeaker upselling hard.

It wasn't whiskey, or perfume, or headphones that they were hawking, but rather the airlines' co-branded Visa credit card with Bank of America. It's the first time in my extensive travels that I've been subject to such a sales pitch.

After plugging their captive audience on the merits of the card -- a free flight upon approval, along with a $99 round-trip companion voucher on each yearly anniversary, both for use on Alaska, or one of 15 partner airlines -- attendants worked the aisles handing out application forms.

The attendants' names and airline codes were stamped on each lengthy fold-out brochure. The offer sounded promising at first -- until I waded through panel after panel of fine print.