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What is the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan? A 2020 guide

A mile flown is a mile earned in this generous rewards program.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is Alaska’s loyalty program that offers travelers a chance to earn miles that they can redeem on reward flights. The Alaska Mileage Plan is rare among airline loyalty programs, as it’s one of the few to offer a bonus mile for each mile flown. The program also has a range of partner flights and cards that can be used to transfer points to the Mileage Plan, making it quite flexible among airline reward programs.

Alaska has announced it will join the oneworld alliance starting in Summer of 2021. This alliance features other major airlines, including American Airlines, British Airways and Finnair.
According to a oneworld press release, this would effectively allow Alaska Mileage Plan members earn and redeem points with airlines featured in the oneworld alliance. Unfortunately, it’s not yet clear on whether members will still be able to earn and redeem with Alaska’s existing partners when they join the new alliance.

Alaska Mileage Plan breakdown

Here’s a quick look at the need-to-know information about the Alaska Mileage Plan:

Points are worth 1.8 cents on average
Number of airlines in program 19 airlines, including Alaska Airlines
Earn points by Traveling on Alaska Airlines or partnered flights
Spending with eligible credit cards
Joining the Alaska Dining program
Booking stays at partnered hotels
Spend at partnered retailers
Refer-a-friend
Purchase miles directly
Full earning guide
Redeem points on Rewards flights
Point transfers to airlines
Full redemption guide

Do Alaska miles expire?

Alaska miles don’t expire so long as your Mileage Plan account remains active. You can keep your account active simply by redeeming awards or earning miles once every two years.

If your account is inactive for more than two years, Alaska may close your account and delete your miles.

How do I earn Alaska miles?

There are two primary ways members can earn miles with a Mileage Plan: Traveling on Alaska Airlines or on qualifying partner airlines and earning miles through a cobranded credit card.

You can also earn miles by using your card at various Alaska-partnered retailers or by taking advantage of special promotions offered on the Mileage Plan website.

Consider a card from another airline

United℠ Explorer Card

  • $0 first-year intro annual fee, then $95.
  • Signup bonus: 60,000 miles after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus an additional 10,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months.
  • 2x miles on United purchases, hotel stays and restaurant purchases.
  • Credit every four years for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
  • 25% back as statement credit on United inflight purchases. Plus, priority boarding and your first checked bag free on United-operated flights.
  • 2 United Club one-time passes each card anniversary.
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See Rates & Fees

Compare cards for earning Alaska miles

Alaska currently offers two cobranded credit cards — the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card and Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card. You can earn additional miles directly to your Mileage Plan when you make purchases using either of these cards. For a look at all of your card options, select your credit range from the table below and click on Show cards to start comparing.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Hilton Honors American Express Card
80,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
With a massive welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card and up to 7x points at Hilton, this is a solid pick for Hilton fans and occasional travelers. Rates & fees
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
130,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$95
With a big welcome offer worth up to $650, up to 12x points on spending, and free Gold status, this is an upgrade from the entry Hilton card. Rates & fees
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See terms
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card
40,000 miles and companion pass after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
3x miles on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$75
40,000 bonus miles after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card
40,000 miles plus companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
3x miles on direct Alaska Airlines purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$50
Earn 40,000 miles plus companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days of your account opening.
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Loyalty program elite levels

Becoming an elite member of the Alaska Mileage Plan earns you a host of benefits, such as flight upgrades and priority seating. Chief among these benefits is a boost to the miles you earn when flying with Alaska and its partners, excluding PenAir and Ravn.

Alaska is moving to oneworld alliance

With Alaska’s impending move to oneworld alliance in summer 2021, Alaska has decided to extend member elite levels through 2021. So whatever your elite level is at the end of 2020, Alaska will grant you that level for free starting in 2021 and through the start of the oneworld alliance merger. We’ll offer more details on this merger as they become available.

Upgrading your status

The Alaska status program offers four ranks: MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K and Million Miler. To upgrade your rank, you’ll need to fly a certain number of miles through Alaska Airlines or its elite-qualifying partners.

Qualifying flights MVP MVP Gold MVP Gold 75K
Eligible miles on Alaska Airlines 20,000 miles 40,000 miles 75,000 miles
Eligible miles on Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partners 25,000 miles 50,000 miles 90,000 miles
Segments flown on Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying partners 30 segments 60 segments 90 segments

Data obtained July 2020. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Are you a Million Miler?

For the especially industrious travelers out there, you’ll be granted MVP Gold status for life if you fly 1,000,000 miles on Alaska Airlines. This is a great deal if you can snag it, but there’s no word on if or how this might change when Alaska Airlines joins the oneworld alliance.

Bonus mile rates

MVP MVP Gold MVP Gold 75K
Elite bonus miles 50% bonus on miles 100% bonus on miles 125% bonus on miles
50,000 bonus miles upon qualification No No Yes

Data obtained July 2020. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Tool tip

Flight segments are the number of times you stop on any given itinerary. A flight with a layover in one city would be considered two segments.

Flight benefits

Companion upgrades, first-class upgrades, guest upgrades and complimentary beverages and entertainment are available to certain elite members depending on status level and fare.

MVP MVP Gold MVP Gold 75K
First class upgrades Y, S, or Z fares Y, S, B, M or Z fares Y, S, B, M, H or Z fares
Premium class upgrades Y, S, B or Z fares Y, S, B, M, H, Q, L, V, N, K, or Z fares All fares except Saver
Upgrades on Alaska nonqualifying fares 48 hours before departure 72 hours before departure 120 hours before departure
Companion upgrades to first class No Yes Yes
Companion upgrades to premium class No Yes Yes
Four one-way first class guest upgrades No Yes Yes
Complimentary premium beverage in main cabin No Yes Yes
Complimentary in-flight entertainment player No No Yes

Airport benefits

Elite membership can earn you preferred seating, priority check-in and boarding, two free checked bags and more to help make your airport experience more enjoyable.

MVP MVP Gold MVP Gold 75K
Priority check-in and boarding Yes Yes Yes
Two free checked bags Yes Yes Yes
Preferred seating Yes Yes Yes
Alaska Lounge membership $50 off $100 off $150 off
Standby and waitlist for full flights No Yes Yes
Express security line at select airports No Yes Yes
Four Alaska Lounge day passes No No Yes

Service benefits

Depending on your status level, you’ll have new service benefits available to you, including waived ticket change fees, complimentary same-day flight changes and dedicated phone lines for reservations.

MVP MVP Gold MVP Gold 75K
Dedicated phone lines for reservations Yes Yes Yes
Elite Leave for new parents Yes Yes Yes
Complimentary same-day flight changes No Yes Yes
Waived ticket-change fees No Yes Yes
Nominate someone for MVP status No No Yes

Partnered airlines

Here is a complete list of the airlines currently partnered with Alaska Airlines. You can earn and redeem Alaska miles on any of the partners featured on this table.

Aer Lingus American Airlines British Airways Cathay Pacific
Condor EL AL Israel Airlines Korean Air LATAM Airlines
PenAir Qantas Ravn Alaska Singapore Airlines

Bottom line

Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan has strong earning opportunities and is a worthwhile investment if you want to use award points for flights. Even if you don’t fly with Alaska Airlines directly, this can still be a good option because of how many associated partner airlines there are to choose from.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan free?
    Yes. You won’t have to pay anything to create a Mileage Plan account.
  • What is Club 49?
    Club 49 is a benefits program offered to Mileage Plan members who live in Alaska. These benefits include two free checked bags when traveling Alaska Airlines, Travel Now discounts and discounts on freight shipping.
  • Can I transfer miles from another rewards program to Mileage Plan?
    No. Alaska doesn’t allow mileage transfers between different airline rewards programs.
  • Can I restore an expired Mileage Plan account?
    Yes. If Alaska closes your account, you have up to one year to restore the account at a cost of $75.
  • Can I use my Alaska miles for someone else?
    Yes. You can use your miles in someone else’s name without the need to transfer the miles to their account.

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