Alitalia has launched a new credit card for U.S. residents. The Alitalia American Express is issued by First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha, and offers two miles per $1 spent on all Alitalia purchases and one mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. The card also offers 10,000 bonus miles after your first purchase within the first three billing cycles after you open your account and 5,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 or more per year. Additional card benefits include two free checked bags, two free Alitalia lounge passes, no foreign transaction fees and the $89 annual fee is waived the first year.
The MilleMiglia program will be ending at the end of 2012 and a new version of the program will launch on Jan. 1, 2013. Alitalia American Express cardholders will receive a “welcome bonus” that is equal to the number of miles they have accrued in their account when the program expires on Dec. 31, 2012.
Bottom line: Alitalia is a member of SkyTeam and members can earn and redeem on SkyTeam airlines. MilleMiglia award flights on SkyTeam carriers start at 50,000 miles in economy and 80,000 miles in business class from North America to Europe, which is cheaper than fellow SkyTeam member Delta’s 60,000 miles and 100,000 miles. Alitalia MilleMiglia awards start at 20,000 miles for a roundtrip flight within Italy.
The credit card sign-up bonus of 10,000 miles after first purchase is low compared to offers from U.S. airlines and with the program re-launching in Jan. 1, 2013, award redemptions may change.
For those who don’t fly frequently with Alitalia, the airline partners with American Express Membership Rewards and members can transfer points from Membership Rewards into MilleMiglia on a 1:1 basis.