Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Your Complete Guide

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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Your Complete Guide

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For individuals who fly from the West Coast, Alaska Airways checks all of the bins: It serves complimentary in-flight Starbucks, has an insanely priceless co-branded bank card, and will get you the place you want to go. This Seattle-based airline additionally has hubs in Anchorage, Alaska, and Portland, Oregon.

If you happen to typically fly on Alaska, the airline’s broad community of airline companions and profitable bank card gives make it value taking part in Mileage Plan, the airline’s frequent flyer program. It is also a wonderful program for these trying to ebook bold worldwide flights with miles.

The listing is right here.

See 2021’s finest journey reward applications and extra. All backed by tons of nerdy analysis.

Our evaluate of Alaska Airways

Yearly we carry out an exhaustive comparability of main airways and their rewards applications. We fee every program throughout a number of elements, then mix these scores into an total rating.

This 12 months, Alaska swept the competitors and was awarded our greatest airline rewards program in 2021.

Right here’s the way it breaks down:

4.9

NerdWallet ranking 

5.0

NerdWallet ranking 

4.5

NerdWallet ranking 

5.0

NerdWallet ranking 

5.0

NerdWallet ranking 

Merely put, Alaska’s Mileage Plan is the most effective home airline reward program. If you happen to reside in an space served by Alaska, you possibly can’t go mistaken by selecting it for many of your air journey wants.

earn Alaska Airways miles

Alaska Airways’ loyalty program pays out in miles, which might be redeemed for flights on Alaska or its companion airways. NerdWallet values Alaska Airways miles at 1 cent

every, on common, however with strategic redemptions, you possibly can simply get extra out of those rewards.

Signing up for the Alaska Airways Mileage Plan is free. From there, you possibly can qualify for elite standing after flying sufficient in a calendar 12 months. Elite standing comes with free upgrades and different advantages.

If you happen to go two years with none exercise in your awards account, your account could also be closed, and you may lose your miles. If this occurs, you possibly can reclaim the rewards inside as much as one 12 months for a price.

EARNING ALASKA AIRLINES MILES WHEN YOU FLY

Eligible flights on Alaska Airways or different qualifying companion airways earn 1 base Mileage Plan mile per precise mile flown. For instance, flying 1,000 miles would earn 1,000 base miles. Eligible flights shorter than 500 miles will earn 500 miles. To get these miles, you need to present your Mileage Plan quantity when reserving flights.

This distance-based incomes system is uncommon amongst U.S. airways at this time, most of which award frequent flyer miles primarily based on {dollars} spent. Typically, Alaska’s guidelines make it far simpler to rack up miles and attain elite standing sooner — particularly should you ceaselessly take long-haul flights.

You may also earn bonus miles relying on the category of service bought and your loyalty standing. Class-of-service bonuses depend towards elite standing; loyalty standing bonuses do not. To learn how many miles you’d earn on a given flight, use our calculator under. For extra details about elite standing, skip forward.

EARNING ALASKA AIRLINES MILES WITH A CREDIT CARD

Alaska Airways has a fantastic co-branded bank card within the Alaska Airways Visa Signature® bank card. For starters, it gives an extremely beneficiant Companion Fare each anniversary 12 months. That means you possibly can cowl a journey companion’s ticket beginning at $121 ($99 plus taxes and costs from $22). The cardboard, which has an annual price of $75, additionally comes with stable ongoing rewards for many who ceaselessly fly on Alaska Airways:

  • Earn three miles per greenback spent instantly on Alaska Airways purchases

  • Earn 1 mile per greenback spent on all different purchases

Observe: If you happen to apply for the Alaska Airways Visa Signature® bank card however qualify for a credit score restrict of lower than $5,000, you may obtain the Alaska Airways Platinum Plus® bank card as a substitute. This comes with fewer advantages and rewards, but additionally carries a decrease annual price.

Miles earned with a co-branded bank card do not depend towards elite standing, Alaska Airways confirmed in an e mail.

EARNING ALASKA AIRLINES MILES IN OTHER WAYS

If you happen to’re trying to earn much more miles, Alaska Airways gives:

  • Referral bonuses: 5,000 bonus miles for every buddy or member of the family permitted for an Alaska Airways shopper bank card (not the enterprise bank card).

  • Seasonal promotions: These limited-time gives make it easier to earn extra miles after assembly the spending necessities.

BUYING ALASKA AIRLINES MILES

Alaska sells miles, however they value upward of two cents apiece. That usually signifies that they’re not well worth the value, until you’re getting a very extraordinary redemption worth. Except some focused gives, bought miles don’t depend towards elite standing.

redeem Alaska Airways miles

The key to getting superb worth out of Alaska miles? Assume worldwide. Alaska’s highly effective mixture of Oneworld and different worldwide airline companions makes it straightforward to get excellent worth out of every mile. Lots of its companion airways additionally supply posh first-class lodging for a relative discount when paying in miles, in contrast with what it could value in money.

Alaska Airways units award ticket fares in keeping with class of service and the size of your journey in miles. Refundable tickets are extra expensive than nonrefundable tickets. For flights throughout the contiguous U.S. and Alaska, award tickets begin at 5,000 miles every approach. You possibly can see how a lot your award ticket may cost to your explicit journey by utilizing Alaska Airways’ award chart device.

GOOD REDEMPTION OPTIONS

As a result of the award value of a flight is dependent upon the area you are flying to and from, you get extra for every mile when utilizing rewards on in any other case costly journeys. That usually means reserving worldwide journey with an Alaska Airways companion. Discovering obtainable award seats is not all the time straightforward, however should you can snag one, it may be properly well worth the effort. A few of the particularly priceless prospects embody:

BAD REDEMPTION OPTIONS

On sure routes, redeeming Alaska Airways miles simply is not the most suitable choice. Specifically, listed below are some redemption choices that are not all that nice.

What to learn about Alaska Airways Mileage Plan elite standing

If you happen to ceaselessly fly with Alaska Airways and its companions, you might qualify for elite standing. This will get you entry to a cornucopia of goodies, whether or not you fly with Alaska Airways or different eligible companions. Elite standing is available in three ranges:

The upper your standing, the extra advantages you unlock.

General, Alaska’s elite standing is kind of beneficiant and comparatively straightforward to achieve due to the airline’s distance-based incomes system. It additionally gives “elite depart” for brand spanking new dad and mom, who typically must put touring on maintain as they look after a new child. To keep away from seeing their elite standing go to waste, new dad and mom who present proof of being pregnant or parental depart can obtain an additional 12 months of elite standing. If you happen to’re an elite member welcoming a brand new child, this priceless profit is unquestionably value making use of for.

The loyalty program’s largest downside: Elite members do not get free lounge entry, as they might in lots of different applications. Nonetheless, they’ll buy discounted lounge entry.

Oneworld elite standing

Beginning March 31, 2021, Alaska elites obtain reciprocal Oneworld standing, which gives advantages when flying on Oneworld companion airways (see under). Right here’s how these advantages shake out:

  • Alaska MVP elites obtain Oneworld Ruby standing: This gives some seat choice advantages when flying with Oneworld airways.

  • Alaska MVP Gold elites obtain Oneworld Sapphire standing: This gives seat choice advantages, enterprise class lounge entry, precedence boarding and baggage allowance when flying with Oneworld airways.

  • Alaska MVP Gold 75ok elites obtain Oneworld Emerald standing: This gives seat choice advantages, first and enterprise class lounge entry, precedence boarding, expedited safety, and baggage allowance when flying with Oneworld airways.

Alaska Airways elite standing ranges and advantages

Loyal flyers on Alaska Airways and its associates and companions can snag free upgrades and different perks:

125%, plus 50,000 bonus miles whenever you attain standing

Discounted value of annual Alaska Airways lounge membership (usually $450)

Oneworld reciprocal standing

• Precedence check-in and boarding

• Devoted cellphone strains for reservations and customer support.

• Specific safety line at choose airports.

• Free same-day standby when a confirmed flight change is not obtainable.

• No price for reserving flights by cellphone (often $15).

• 4 complimentary Alaska Lounge day passes.

• Capability to appoint somebody for MVP standing (so that they get the advantages with out having to earn the standing).

• Free upgrades to seats with extra legroom (often $15).

• First-class upgrades.

• Premium-class upgrades.

• Free premium beverage in predominant cabin (beer, wine or cocktail, often $6 or $7).
• 4 top quality visitor upgrades per 12 months.
For you and a companion:
• Limitless top quality upgrades when obtainable
• Limitless free upgrades to seats with extra legroom (often $15) when obtainable

2 per flight for you and your companions on the identical reservation.

*Advantages listed apply to flights on Alaska Airways flights. You will get related advantages on companion airways, however the particulars differ. Examine Alaska Airways’ web site for extra info.

earn elite standing with Alaska Airways

You possibly can earn Alaska Airways elite standing by accumulating a certain quantity of elite-qualifying miles or flying a sure variety of segments inside a calendar 12 months. On its web site, Alaska defines segments as journey on “flights with the identical flight quantity between an origin and ultimate vacation spot, no matter intermediate stops.”

Elite-qualifying miles embody:

  • Miles earned by flying on Alaska Airways and companion airways, whenever you ebook together with your Mileage Plan quantity

  • Bonuses earned from class of service

Elite-qualifying miles don’t embody:

  • Bonuses earned from loyalty standing

  • Miles earned on co-branded bank cards

The necessities are listed within the desk under. You possibly can log in to your Alaska Airways on-line portal to see how shut you might be to incomes these statuses.

You earn elite standing together with your exercise in a calendar 12 months; your standing turns into lively about one to 2 weeks after you earn it and is sweet by means of the tip of the subsequent calendar 12 months.

Alaska Airways Mileage Plan airline companions

Due to Alaska Airways’ in depth community of companions, you possibly can ebook award journey everywhere in the world by means of Alaska Airways, each on-line by means of alaskaair.com or by cellphone.

Redeeming your miles this fashion generally is a good transfer. Usually, the money costs of sure worldwide tickets might be fairly excessive in contrast with the award costs. On such redemptions, you’ll get extra worth out of your miles.

Alaska is set to hitch the Oneworld Alliance in summer season 2021. This implies you can begin incomes and redeeming miles on all OneWorld airline companions along with Alaska’s current and separate partnerships.

You may also earn extra Alaska Airways miles whenever you use your Mileage Plan quantity to ebook journey on companion airways when paying for tickets in money, although in some circumstances, you will not earn bonuses for sophistication of service whenever you do that. Alaska Airways’ companions are listed within the desk under, with details about which advantages can be found and how one can ebook award journey.

Earn Alaska miles when flying

Ebook award journey with Alaska miles

If you’re reserving with money by means of alaskaair.com, you may solely see home routes and a handful of worldwide routes on-line. However whenever you’re paying with miles, you’ll ebook journeys to a number of different areas, as properly.

Bank cards that earn Alaska Airways miles

Alaska Airways’ bank cards are issued by Financial institution of America®. The playing cards supplied embody:

  • three miles per $1 spent instantly on Alaska

  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all different purchases

Alaska Airways Platinum Plus® bank card

You will get this card should you apply for the Alaska Airways Visa Signature® bank card, however qualify for a restrict under $5,000

  • 2 miles per $1 spent instantly on Alaska

  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all different purchases

Alaska Airways Visa® Enterprise bank card

  • three miles per $1 spent instantly on Alaska

  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all different purchases

  • Annual price: $Zero and $75 per card, or $50 and $25 per card, relying on billing kind chosen

How a lot Alaska Airways miles are value

Based mostly on our most up-to-date evaluation, NerdWallet values Alaska Airways miles at 1 cent every. To find out the worth of reward miles, we in contrast money costs and reward redemptions for economic system roundtrip routes throughout a number of locations and dates. We divided the price of the money ticket by the price of the reward ticket to find out a “cent per mile” worth for every flight, then averaged this worth throughout a number of flights and dates.

To seek out out the worth of your personal Alaska miles, use the calculator on this web page.

Photograph courtesy of Alaska Airways.

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