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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Your Complete Guide

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For individuals who fly from the West Coast, Alaska Airlines checks all of the packing containers: It serves complimentary in-flight Starbucks, has an insanely beneficial co-branded bank card, and will get you the place it’s worthwhile to go. This Seattle-based airline additionally has hubs in Anchorage, Alaska, and Portland, Oregon. After buying Virgin America, it now flies to greater than 100 overseas and home places.

In case you typically fly on Alaska, the airline’s broad community of airline companions and profitable bank card provides make it value collaborating in Mileage Plan, the airline’s frequent flyer program. It is also a wonderful program for these trying to e book formidable worldwide flights with miles.

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In This Evaluate

How a lot Alaska Airlines Miles are value

Based mostly on our most up-to-date evaluation, NerdWallet values Alaska Airlines miles at 0.9 cent apiece. To find out the worth of reward miles, we in contrast money costs and reward redemptions for financial 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. Learn extra about how we arrived at these figures.

That is due to this fact a baseline worth for Alaska miles, based mostly on real-world information collected from a whole lot of financial system routes, not a maximized worth. In different phrases, it’s best to intention for award redemptions that supply 0.9 cent or extra in worth out of your Alaska miles.

To find out the worth of your miles for particular flights, divide the money worth of the ticket (much less any relevant taxes/charges when you redeem miles) by the variety of miles required for the flight. So if the ticket would price both $100, or 15,000 miles + $10 in taxes/charges, the mathematics can be as follows:

($100 – $10) / 15,000 = 0.006, or 0.6 cent per mile.

Methods to earn Alaska Airlines Miles

Alaska Airlines’ loyalty program pays out in miles, which might be redeemed for flights on Alaska or its associate airways. NerdWallet values Alaska Airlines miles at 0.9 cent

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

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

In case you go two years with none exercise in your awards account, your account could also be closed, and you’ll lose your miles. If this occurs, you possibly can reclaim the rewards inside as much as one yr for a price.

EARNING ALASKA AIRLINES MILES WHEN YOU FLY

Eligible flights on Alaska Airlines or different qualifying associate 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 could present your Mileage Plan quantity when reserving flights.

This distance-based incomes system is uncommon amongst U.S. airways in the present day, most of which award frequent flyer miles based mostly on {dollars} spent. Usually, Alaska’s guidelines make it far simpler to rack up miles and attain elite standing sooner — particularly when you often take long-haul flights.

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

EARNING ALASKA AIRLINES MILES WITH A CREDIT CARD

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

  • Earn three miles per greenback spent immediately on Alaska Airlines purchases

  • Earn 1 mile per greenback spent on all different purchases

Be aware: In case you apply for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® bank card however qualify for a credit score restrict of lower than $5,000, you may obtain the Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus® bank card as a substitute. This comes with fewer advantages and rewards, but in addition carries a decrease annual price.

Miles earned with a co-branded bank card do not rely towards elite standing, Alaska Airlines confirmed in an electronic mail.

EARNING ALASKA AIRLINES MILES IN OTHER WAYS

In case you’re trying to earn much more miles, Alaska Airlines provides:

  • Referral bonuses: 5,000 bonus miles for every pal or member of the family permitted for an Alaska Airlines client bank card (not the enterprise bank card)

  • Seasonal promotions: These limited-time provides provide help to earn extra miles after assembly the spending necessities

BUYING ALASKA AIRLINES MILES

Alaska sells miles, however they price upward of two cents apiece. That usually signifies that they’re not definitely worth the price, except you’re getting a very extraordinary redemption worth. Aside from some focused provides, bought miles don’t rely towards elite standing.

Methods to redeem Alaska Airlines Miles

The key to getting wonderful worth out of Alaska miles? Assume worldwide. Though Alaska Airlines is not a member of any of the three main airline alliances (Oneworld, Star Alliance, SkyTeam), its highly effective community of worldwide airline companions makes it straightforward to get excellent worth out of every mile. Lots of its associate airways additionally supply posh first-class lodging for a relative discount when paying in miles, in contrast with what it might price in money.

Alaska Airlines units award ticket fares based on class of service and the size of your journey in miles. Refundable tickets are extra pricey than nonrefundable tickets. For flights inside the contiguous U.S. and Alaska, award tickets begin at 5,000 miles every manner. You may see how a lot your award ticket may cost a little in your specific journey by utilizing Alaska Airlines’ award chart device.

GOOD REDEMPTION OPTIONS

As a result of the award value of a flight depends 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 Airlines associate. Discovering out there award seats is not at all times straightforward, however when you can snag one, it may be nicely definitely worth the effort. A number of the particularly beneficial potentialities embrace:

BAD REDEMPTION OPTIONS

On sure routes, redeeming Alaska Airlines miles simply is not the best choice. Specifically, listed here are some redemption choices that are not all that nice.

Whereas the Cash and Miles cost choice, which helps you to pay partially with miles, partially with cash, guarantees comfort, it additionally provides comparatively poor worth. For flights within the contiguous U.S. and Alaska, as an illustration, you will get 50% off as much as a $100 low cost for 10,000 miles, or 50% off as much as a $200 low cost for 20,000, successfully getting you a most of 1 cent per mile. The pliability is sweet, however you are able to do higher.

British Airways has moderately priced award journey fares generally, however it tends to tack on giant gas surcharges for sure routes. These can successfully tank the worth of your miles. In case you’re planning to redeem with British Airways, remember to be careful for this. If the charges are extreme, it’d make sense to e book the journey with one other associate.

What to learn about Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan elite standing

In case you often fly with Alaska Airlines and its companions, you could qualify for elite standing. This will get you entry to a cornucopia of goodies, whether or not you fly with Alaska Airlines 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 realize due to the airline’s distance-based incomes system. It additionally provides “elite depart” for brand new mother and father, 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 mother and father who present proof of being pregnant or parental depart can obtain an additional yr of elite standing. In case you’re an elite member welcoming a brand new child, this beneficial profit is certainly value making use of for.

The loyalty program’s greatest disadvantage: Elite members do not get free lounge entry, as they might in lots of different applications. Nevertheless, they will buy discounted lounge entry.

ALASKA AIRLINES ELITE STATUS LEVELS AND BENEFITS

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

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

Discounted price of annual Alaska Airlines lounge membership (usually $450)

• Precedence check-in and boarding.
• Devoted telephone traces for reservations and customer support.

MVP advantages plus:
• Categorical safety line at choose airports.
• Complimentary same-day standby when a confirmed flight change is not out there.
• Complimentary same-day flight modifications.
• No price for reserving flights by telephone (normally $15).
• Waivers for ticket change charges for flights modified lower than 60 days earlier than departure (normally $125).

MVP Gold advantages, plus:
• 4 complimentary Alaska Lounge day passes.
• Skill 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 (normally $15).
• First-class upgrades.
• Premium-class upgrades.

• Complimentary premium beverage in essential cabin (beer, wine or cocktail, normally $6 or $7).
• 4 top quality visitor upgrades per yr.

For you and a companion:
• Limitless top quality upgrades when out there
• Limitless free upgrades to seats with extra legroom (normally $15) when out there

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

*Advantages listed apply to flights on Alaska Airlines flights. You may get related advantages on associate airways, however the particulars fluctuate. Verify Alaska Airlines’ web site for extra data.

HOW TO EARN ELITE STATUS WITH ALASKA AIRLINES

You may earn Alaska Airlines elite standing by amassing a specific amount of elite-qualifying miles or flying a sure variety of segments inside a calendar yr. On its web site, Alaska defines segments as journey on “flights with the identical flight quantity between an origin and closing vacation spot, no matter intermediate stops.”

Elite-qualifying miles embrace:

  • Miles earned by flying on Alaska Airlines and associate airways, while you e book along with your Mileage Plan quantity

  • Bonuses earned from class of service

Elite-qualifying miles don’t embrace:

  • Bonuses earned from loyalty standing

  • Miles earned on co-branded bank cards

The necessities are listed within the desk beneath. You may log in to your Alaska Airlines on-line portal to see how shut you might be to incomes these statuses.

You earn elite standing along with your exercise in a calendar yr; your standing turns into energetic about one to 2 weeks after you earn it and is sweet via the tip of the subsequent calendar yr.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan airline companions

Due to Alaska Airlines’ intensive community of companions, you possibly can e book award journey everywhere in the world via Alaska Airlines, each on-line via alaskaair.com or by telephone.

Redeeming your miles this manner could be a sensible 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.

You can even earn extra Alaska Airlines miles while you use your Mileage Plan quantity to e book journey on associate airways when paying for tickets in money, although in some instances, you will not earn bonuses for sophistication of service while you do that. Alaska Airlines’ companions are listed within the desk beneath, with details about which advantages can be found and how one can e book award journey.

Whenever you’re reserving with money via alaskaair.com, you may solely see home routes and a handful of worldwide routes on-line. However while you’re paying with miles, you’ll e book journeys to a number of different areas, as nicely. Use the shape beneath to see which airways will take you to your vacation spot of selection while you’re redeeming Alaska Airlines miles.

Bank cards that earn Alaska Airlines miles

Alaska Airlines’ bank cards are issued by Financial institution of America®. The playing cards provided embrace:

  • three miles per $1 spent immediately on Alaska

  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all different purchases

Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus® bank card

You will get this card when you apply for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® bank card, however qualify for a restrict beneath $5,000

  • 2 miles per $1 spent immediately on Alaska

  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all different purchases

Alaska Airlines Visa® Enterprise bank card

  • three miles per $1 spent immediately 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

Photograph courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

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