On Monday, wholesale giant Costco started accepting Visa credit cards, including the Alaska Airlines Signature card.

On Monday, wholesale giant Costco started accepting Visa credit cards, including the Alaska Airlines Signature card.

More bulk toilet paper, more Alaska miles

On Monday, Costco stopped accepting American Express and started accepting Visa credit cards, including the Alaska Airlines Signature card.

Juneau resident and Costco Wholesale member Barbara Whiting heard the news on Facebook.

“I thought, ‘Fabulous, I’m going shopping today,’” she said, while pushing a grocery cart at the warehouse Monday.

Whiting has been a member of the wholesale club since it opened in Juneau in 1993. She said she shops at Costco “a lot,” spending at least $150 each trip.

Prior to Monday, she used to pay for her Costco groceries with a Costco credit card. Now, she said she’s going to exclusively use her Alaska Airlines credit card.

“I’m very excited because I can get miles,” she said.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature cardholders earn a mile for every dollar spent on everyday purchases, like groceries, which can be redeemed to fly on Alaska or a mileage plan partner.

Whiting isn’t the only one pleased about the change.

“We’ve had a lot good comments. A lot of people are happy we’re accepting Visa now,” Juneau Costco Wholesale general manager Aaron Lahnum said.

While the change is a nationwide move for the retail giant, Lahnum anticipates Alaska Airlines credit cardholders may be more excited than others.

“The whole Northwest here uses a lot of Alaska Airlines. I think it’s going to be a good thing overall,” he said.

Juneau Costco has about 16,000 members around Southeast Alaska, Lahnum said. Besides the Juneau location, Costco has two warehouses in Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines spokesperson Halley Knigge said the Costco credit card switch to Visa is “great for our customers.”

“Any opportunity that they have to shop with their Visa card is fantastic,” she said.

For those without the Alaska Airlines Visa, there’s also the option of applying for a Costco co-card — a membership and Visa card combined — which Lahnum said comes with a rebate structure and other perks.

• Contact reporter Lisa Phu at 523-2246 or lisa.phu@juneauempire.com.

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