Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Review
Alaska Airlines miles can take you on flights in the U.S. and to exotic destinations throughout the world. The program offers a good per-mile value when booking award flights, and there are several ways to build up your mileage balance.
Don’t let the name fool you – Alaska Airlines isn’t only for those who live in The Last Frontier state. While the name brings to mind one of the most remote U.S. states, Alaska Airlines is actually based in Seattle. The airline offers hundreds of routes abroad to more than 900 destinations internationally as well as many routes across the United States. Many of these routes are offered through its impressive number of airline partners.
Let’s take a look at the Alaska Airlines loyalty program and what it can offer you.
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How to Earn Alaska Miles
Alaska Airline miles can be earned in many different ways, but three of the most common approaches to earning miles include:
- Flying on Alaska Airlines.
- Using the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card.
- Transferring miles from a partner airline.
We’ll discuss each of those methods in more detail below. If you are a Marriott loyalty member, you can also transfer points to Alaska Airlines at a three-to-one ratio.
Alaska Airlines Loyalty Program
While remembering how many miles you earn with some loyalty programs can be tricky, it’s simple with Alaska Airlines points. You earn a mile for every mile you fly with the airline.
You can sign up online to earn miles by filling out some basic information including your birthdate, phone number, email, and mailing address. To make sure you get the mile rewards for your flight, you need the AS aircode to appear on your boarding pass or ticket receipt right before the flight number.
You can request miles for a flight you have already taken by filling out a mileage credit request form online. There are some criteria for making this request:
- You must have been an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan member when you made the trip.
- You must fill out the form within 11 months of the time you went on the trip.
- You have to wait at least seven days after your flight with Alaska Airlines or 14 days after going on a partner airline before making the request.
You can earn elite status on the Alaska mileage plan if you earn at least 20,000 miles in a calendar year. There are different elite status tiers, including MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75k, and Million Miler.
Depending upon your tier you’ll become eligible for additional Alaska Airlines rewards, which could include first-class upgrades, companion upgrades, priority check-in and boarding, two free checked bags, preferred seating, and complimentary same-day flight changes.
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card
While Alaska Airlines may not have as much recognition as American Airlines and Delta, they do offer one of the most competitive airline miles credit cards available – the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card.
You’ll get major perks with this credit card, including 40,000 miles if you spend at least $2,000 in the first three months of opening your account. For any Alaska Airlines purchases you make on the card, you’ll get three miles for every $1. Any other purchases get you one mile per $1 spent. The annual fee is $75, which is low for a travel rewards credit card.
You can redeem your card miles for free flights and hotel accommodations, but you can’t use them toward achieving elite status. There aren’t any blackout dates to avoid when redeeming miles
Transfer Miles from an Alaska Airlines Partner
Alaska Airlines has 17 airline partners you can transfer your points to. You can use your Alaska miles when booking with partner airlines on Alaskaair.com. However, you will have to call Alaska Airlines to reserve award flights with some of the partner airlines.
Be aware you will have to pay fees when transferring miles. Each flight has a small partner booking fee attached to it.
How Much are Alaska Miles Worth?
It can be tricky to come up with a true value because prices for flights are always fluctuating. Also, depending upon where you spend your money, you can get three times the miles per dollar spent — as in the case of Alaska Airlines purchases.
But if you divide the price of a ticket by the number of miles you earn for that flight, you can get a general idea of how much Alaska air miles are worth. It usually averages out to around 1 cent per mile, which is comparative with many other travel rewards programs.
How to Use Alaska Miles
With Alaska miles, you can redeem miles for free flights with Alaska Airlines or their partner airlines. You can also redeem for flight upgrades, rental cars, or hotel accommodations. You can even use your miles for magazine subscriptions or transfer them to another rewards member. So if you have a friend or family member you want to help book a dream trip, you can make that happen.
You can see what options are available on the Alaska Airlines website. But if you want to book an award flight with LAN or Cathay Pacific, two of the Alaska Airlines partners, you’ll have to call Alaska Airlines at 800-252-7522.
Although there are several ways to use reward miles, the most popular ways are generally for flights with Alaska Airlines or their overseas airline partners.
How much free travel you’ll get for your points with the airline partners depends upon the deals you find. You can score some valuable flights by periodically checking the offers from each partner airline on the Alaska Airlines website. Just search the region you want to travel to and see which airline offers the best deal for flights to that part of the world.
Alaska Airlines Partners
Current Alaska Airlines partners include
- Aer Lingus
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Fiji Airways
- Hainan Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Korean Air
- LATAM Airlines
- Ravn Alaska
- Singapore Airlines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because airline rewards can be incredibly complicated, Mileage Plan members often have questions. Here are some of the most common ones.
How Many Alaska Air Miles Do You Need for a Flight?
How many miles you’ll use depends upon the distance you’ll fly and whether you travel in the main cabin or first class. For trips that are less than 700 miles, you may spent as little as 5,000 miles on a seat in the main cabin or 40,000 miles on a first class seat.
For long trips which are more than 2,101 miles, you will spend anywhere from 12,500 miles to 70,000 miles.
How Much Are 40,000 Miles Worth?
The value of your miles is based on the deals you can find. But, here’s an example of how far your miles can go.
You can get a one-way trip from Chicago to Honolulu for 40,000 miles on Alaska airlines. To fly roundtrip, you’d need 80,000 miles. A round trip airfare from Chicago to Honolulu booked on Expedia can be bought for $1,100 for the same date.
Don’t forget to check out Alaska Airline transfer partners if you are considering flying out of the country. You can find some good deals that way.
Is the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Free?
It is free to sign up for the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
How Long Does It Take for Alaska Miles to Post?
Accounts are updated multiple times each week. You should be awarded your miles within a week after your trip with Alaska Airlines but airline partners may take as long as three weeks to post mileage plan miles.
The value of Alaska Airlines miles makes the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit carda valuable travel card to carry in your wallet, especially when you consider the relatively low annual fee you’ll pay. Signing up for this card is an especially good idea if you’re an Alaska Airlines frequent flyer, whether you travel mostly domestically or take Alaska Airlines flights abroad.
Author: Shannon Serpette
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