Debit Cards

Alaska Airlines Debit Card Earns Miles on PIN Transactions

UPDATE: PointObsession has reported earning miles for the money orders he purchased with his Alaska debit card, so this deal is a go! Now I’ll still head over there to see if I can directly pay my credit card bill, but at least we know the money order portion works.

According to this post from Million Mile Secrets, you can in fact earn miles on debit transactions with the Alaska Airlines Debit Card. Daraius made a payment at the Money Center of “the world’s largest retailer” and earned miles despite using his PIN Number. 

I don’t recommend using the card to make payments on bills that can otherwise be paid with higher mile-earning credit cards. In fact, if you’re going to use a debit card, I recommend the Suntrust Skymiles Debit Card. However, I know several people whose accounts were closed by Suntrust immediately after funding, without an explanation. I’m assuming it might have something to do with customers living out of Suntrust’s service area, but I can’t be sure.

The Alaska Debit Card from Bank of America is a good choice for those customers. It only earns 0.5 miles per $1, its easily accessible and only has a $30 annual fee.

I’ve had the card for a year and actually cancelled it last week. My new standard check card arrived in the mail on Friday and since I haven’t activated it yet, I can keep using my Alaska card. This is great, because I plan on heading to a local Money Center and testing the following:

1. Whether I can use the card to pay my credit card bills.

2. Whether I can earn miles on money orders.

I strongly advise against abusing money orders and personally plan on using them to pay landscaping and credit card bills, if that is an option. Once I get a definitive answer, I will report back about it.

Has anyone tried paying their bills at the Money Center using the Alaska Debit Card? Have you received miles for this activity? Please comment below.

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  1. I have a large tax bill to pay in very short order. So, since I have an existing Bank of America checking account, I requested the Alaska Mileage Plan debit card. In order to see how things work, I initiated a small payment to the IRS via one of the approved online tax payment services. Success! A $3.49 fee and the miles have poste.!

    I own a few rental properties so I then paid a visit to the worlds largest retailer and bought money orders with which I paid my September mortgages. Success! The points have posted!

    Next, I opened a Suntrust account online and within two days was informed that my account had been closed by their fraud department. I am a persistent soul and after a lot of hold time and escating, was finally told that the address on my credit report did not match my account application so my application was flagged as fraudulent. Fair enough. How do I reconcile that I asked. I was told that I would need to come into a branch. Ok, except that I live in Missouri. Fortunately, I happened to be driving home from our house in New Jersey a week later so I took a detour to Charleston WV to visit a Suntrust branch. I called ahead and spoke with “Jim” explaining my predicament. He assured me that he could get it straightened out and that they were open until 7pm the next day, a Friday. I drive 2 hours out of my way to meet “Jim” and get my points earning account opened. I arrived at Suntrust, in a Kroger grocery store, at 5:15pm, introduced myself to Jim and after a few calls he informs me that the fraud office closed at 5pm and that he can’t help me. You have to be kidding me, right? Nope. So I drive home to Missouri arriving Saturday and proceed to book a Delta reward flight to Atlanta so I could visit the Suntrust branch on Main Street in College Park less than a mile from, (my upgrades cleared). I got everything straightened out in 20 minutes and the bank officer, Flavia, couldn’t have been nicer. A day later she emailed me to say that the card would be on it’s way within a week. Once I recieve the card I will be using an online service to pay my tax bill. I’ll let you know if the points post!

    • PointChaser

      @PointObsession, nicely done! If flying to a Suntrust branch to get your card isn’t persistent, I don’t know what is. I’m glad to hear your miles posted from the money order. I will head over there first thing tomorrow to start paying some bills. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. @Points obsession: are you sure you got pts for the tax amount? i tried this with the now closed BofA US Air debit similar card and only got pts for the 3.49 fee, not the tax amount of the charge

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