How to earn Alaska Airlines miles for the most value

Regular flights and efficient use of credit cards can build your miles fast.

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The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan offers multiple reward opportunities. This airline is among the few offering reward miles based on the miles you travel, rather than dollars you spend.

9 ways to earn Alaska miles

Earn miles with credit cards

A credit card can help you build bonus miles on top of your Mileage Plan rates, as well as additional miles on everyday purchases.

Our pick for transferring to Alaska miles

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn 7x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your card.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
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Compare Alaska cards and other credit cards

Directly earn miles on your Mileage Plan account with eligible purchases using Alaska’s cobranded credit cards.
Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
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.
40,000 miles and companion fare after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
3x miles on Alaska Airlines and 1x miles on all other purchases
$50
Earn 40,000 bonus miles and companion fare after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
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See terms
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Can't decide on a card? Get personalized credit card offers with CardMatch™.

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Other credit cards also allow you to earn points that can be transferred to your Mileage Plan account.

Of note are the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, which allow you to transfer at 1 mile per Marriott Bonvoy point and gain 5,000 bonus miles when you transfer 20,000 to your Mileage Plan account.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
75,000 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
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
125,000 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
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months
9x points at Hyatt hotels as a World of Hyatt member, 2x on gyms, commuting, dining and airlines and 1x on all other purchases
$95
Earn 25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months.
150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
14x points on Hilton, 7x on flights, car rentals and US restaurants and 3x points on all other purchases
$450
150,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. All information about this card has been collected independently by Finder.

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Flying with Alaska Airlines or Alaska partners

You’ll generally earn one reward mile for each mile traveled on an Alaska flight, though your miles depend on the type of fare you’re flying. Boost this value by becoming an elite member of the Alaska status program.

MVPMVP GoldMVP Gold 75K
Elite bonus miles50% bonus on miles100% bonus on miles125% bonus on miles
50,000 bonus miles on qualificationNoNoYes

Data obtained March 2019. Because values are subject to change, use data as a general guide only.

Alaska partners

You can earn miles with Alaska partner airlines, though your rates on earnings can differ from those applied to Alaska Airlines flights based on flight class. Also, not all miles earned on partner flights apply toward Alaska Airlines elite status.

Alaska dining program

Mileage Plan members can join the Mileage Plan Dining program to earn bonus miles when dining at participating restaurants.

Book partner hotels

You can also earn miles for booking stays with Alaska-partnered hotels.

HotelPotential miles
Alaska Airlines Hotels500–10,000 miles per night
Best Western250 miles per stay on qualifying rates
Choice Hotels250 miles per eligible stay
Coast Hotels500 miles per qualifying stay
InterContinental Hotels GroupVaries on suite; average is 2 miles per dollar
La Quinta Hotels250 miles per eligible stay
Marriott RewardsVaries on suite; average is 2 miles per dollar
Rocketmiles500 to 10,000 per night
Westmark Hotels2 miles for every dollar used toward accommodations; 1 mile per dollar spent on food and beverages

Data obtained March 2019. Because values are subject to change, use data as a general guide only.

Car rentals

Alaska allows you to earn miles when you rent cars with its car rental partners.

Car rental partnerMiles earned
Alamo50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
Avis40 miles per rental day on rentals of 1 to 4 days
500 miles per rental on rentals of 5 or more days
Budget50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
Dollar50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
150 miles per day on rentals of 3 or more days
Hertz50 miles per day on rentals of 1 to 4 days
500 miles per rental on rentals of 5 or more days
2,000 miles per rental at participating locations
National50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
Thrifty150 miles per day on rentals of 3 or more days

Data obtained March 2019. Because values are subject to change, use data as a general guide only.

Alaska shopping program

Earn additional miles by shopping through the Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal online. Additional miles earned through the portal vary by retailer.

Buy Alaska miles directly

Use your Mileage Plan account to purchase Alaska miles directly. The price of miles fluctuates but can cost as high as 2 cents per mile.

Mileage Plan deals

You can earn more miles than usual with special deals on services. For example, earn double miles when flying between Seattle and Tokyo as of March 2019.

Refer-a-Friend

Mileage Plan members can earn 5,000 bonus miles for each friend or family member approved for an Alaska cobranded card within 60 days of the referral date.

Bottom line

Alaska Mileage Plan‘s generous opportunities for earnings and wide variety of partner airlines make this program a solid choice for racking up miles. And if you take advantage of an Alaska credit card, you’ll find greater opportunities for earnings.

Once you’ve built up your mile collection, compare your redemption options to ensure you’re redeeming your miles for the best value possible.
How to redeem Alaska Airlines miles

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