The Essential Guide to

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Last updated: June 13, 2024
Best ways to earn:
Transfer from Marriott Bonvoy (60,000 Bonvoy points = 25,000 Alaska miles)
Transfer from Bilt Rewards at a 1:1 ratio
Bank of America co-branded cards
Flying with Alaska Airlines and oneworld carriers
Best ways to redeem:
Japan Airlines First Class to Asia or India
Intra-Asia flights on Cathay Pacific, JAL, or Hainan
Flights to South America on American Airlines or LATAM
Flights to the South Pacific on Fiji Airways
Short-haul Alaska Airlines flights

Despite being much smaller than the big three US carriers, Alaska Airlines is still a major player. Primarily focused on the West Coast, Alaska Airlines maintains its primary hub in Seattle, and operates secondary hubs out of Anchorage, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland.

Alaska Airlines’ loyalty program, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, is one of the best airline loyalty programs around. Through the program, you can unlock business and First Class flights for a fraction of the cost, not only on Alaska Airlines flights, but also on some world-class partner airlines.

Earning Alaska Miles

Earning Alaska miles isn’t as easy to do as earning points or miles with other programs, since it isn’t a transfer partner with many transferable points currencies. That being said, there are still ways to easily earn a tidy sum of miles if you plan accordingly, and you’ll certainly be awarded for it.

More specifically, you can earn Alaska miles through credit card activity, by transferring points from a few hotel loyalty programs and Bilt Rewards, by flying with Alaska Airlines and partner airlines, or by buying miles outright.

There are also other ways to add to your Alaska Mileage Plan balance by booking travel through the right channels, and by doing all your online shopping through the Mileage Plan shopping portal.

Credit Cards

The best way to get the most Alaska miles in one go is by signing up for one of the two available co-branded Alaska Airlines credit cards issued by Bank of America.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card

  • Annual fee: $95 (USD)
  • Highest recent welcome bonus: 75,000 miles

Alaska Airlines Visa Business credit card

  • Annual fee: $70 (USD)
  • Highest recent welcome bonus: 75,000 miles

On top of the welcome bonus and other Alaska Airlines-related benefits, you’ll continue to earn Alaska miles when you use either of these cards for your everyday purchases.

By using a co-branded credit card for your purchases, you can earn Alaska miles at the following rates:

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card

  • 3 Alaska miles per dollar (USD) spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
  • 2 Alaska miles per dollar (USD) spent on gas and EV charging, cable and streaming services, and local transit, including rideshare purchases
  • 1 Alaska mile per dollar (USD) spent on all other eligible purchases

Alaska Airlines Visa Business credit card

  • 3 Alaska miles per dollar (USD) spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
  • 2 Alaska miles per dollar (USD) spent on gas and EV charging, shipping, and local transit, including rideshare purchases
  • 1 Alaska mile per dollar (USD) spent on all other eligible purchases

For both cards, you can earn an additional 10% Alaska miles if you have an eligible Bank of America bank account.

Transferring Points from Other Programs

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan isn’t a transfer partner with most of the major banks’ loyalty programs in Canada or the US.

The exception to this is Bilt Rewards, which lets you transfer Bilt Points to Alaska miles at a 1:1 ratio.

Plus, you can earn 3 Alaska miles per dollar spent (up to $50,000 per year) on rent payments made on the Bilt platform when you use your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card to pay.

Additionally, you can transfer points from most of the major hotel loyalty programs to Alaska miles, though most of them offer suboptimal transfer rates.

Marriott Bonvoy provides the best transfer rate to Alaska miles, giving you the option to convert at a rate of 3 Bonvoy points = 1 Alaska mile. The program also gives you a bonus 5,000 Alaska miles if you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points at one time.

You can also transfer points from the following hotel programs at a rate of 5:1:

  • Best Western Rewards: points must be transferred in blocks of 5,000 points
  • Choice Privileges: minimum transfer amount is 5,000 points
  • IHG One Rewards: minimum transfer amount is 10,000 points

Furthermore, if you are a Diners Club International member, you can transfer Club Rewards points to Alaska miles at a 1:1 ratio.

Flying with Alaska Airlines

You can earn Alaska miles every time you fly on an eligible Alaska Airlines flight (though this doesn’t include award flights).

With Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, the number of Alaska miles you’ll potentially earn is based on the distance of your route, rather than how much you actually spend for your ticket.

How much you’ll earn will also depend on the fare class you purchase. You can look up exactly how much you can expect to earn on your next flight by exploring the charts available on the Alaska Airlines website.

In general, on all Alaska-operated flights, you’ll earn a base 100% Alaska miles per mile flown, with the exception of X fares, which earn 30%. Economy fare classes H and K earn 25% bonus miles, and economy fare classes Y and B will earn 50% bonus miles.

The premium fare classes earn bonus miles at an incrementally higher rates, with fare classes D and I earning a 50% bonus and fare class C earning a 75% bonus. Fare class J earns the highest rate with a 100% bonus, for a total of 200% Alaska miles earned per mile flown.

Flying with Partner Airlines

Alaska Airlines doesn’t have many international routes. In fact, they don’t fly to any countries outside of North America.

However, Alaska Airlines does have quite a few airline partners that reach all corners of the globe, including the partners through the oneworld alliance, which Alaska Airlines joined in March 2021.

Aside from the oneworld alliance, you’ll earn Alaska miles with the following non-alliance partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Condor
  • EL AL Israel Airlines
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Ravn Alaska
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Starlux Airlines

You’ll earn miles with partner airlines on Alaska-marketed flights at the following rates:

Buying Alaska Miles

By far the quickest way to get your hands on Alaska miles is to buy them outright.

Alaska Airlines normally sells miles for 2.75 cents (USD) each, plus 7.5% tax, or effectively, 2.96 cents (USD) per mile. However, there are often discounts offered where you can get as much as 60% or 70% bonus miles when you make a purchase.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Shopping

You can also earn Alaska miles on pretty much all of your online shopping. To earn Alaska miles, you’ll have to initiate your online shopping through the Mileage Plan shopping portal, and from there, you’ll earn Alaska miles for shopping at any of the thousands of available stores.

What’s more, you can also earn Alaska miles when you shop in-store by linking your credit or debit card to your Mileage Plan Shopping account and using it to pay in-store.

The amount you can earn fluctuates, but usually falls between 1–8 Alaska miles per dollar (USD) spent.

Other Ways to Earn Alaska Miles

There are quite a few other ways of earning Alaska miles beyond credit card activity, transferring points, or flying with Alaska Airlines or partner airlines.


By linking your Mileage Plan account to different hotel partners, you can earn Alaska miles every time you stay at applicable hotels.

The number of Alaska miles you’ll earn for each hotel stay is as follows:

  • Best Western: 250 miles per stay
  • Marriott Bonvoy: Up to 2 miles per dollar (USD) spent on qualifying charges
  • Choice Hotels: 250 miles per stay
  • Rocketmiles: 500–1,000 miles per night on every reservation
  • Coast Hotels: 250 miles per stay
  • Westmark Hotels: 2 miles for every dollar (USD) spent on room accommodations at qualifying rates
  • IHG Hotels: Up to 2 miles per dollar (USD) on eligible charges, or 500 miles per stay.


If you book your cruise through CruisesOnly, you’ll earn 1 mile for every dollar (USD) spent on the total price of the cruise.

Car Rentals and Rideshare Partners

Every time you rent a car with most of the larger car rental companies, or when you take a ride with Lyft, you can earn Alaska miles.

The rates at which you can earn Alaska miles on these services are as follows:

  • Lyft: 1 mile per dollar (USD) spent on all Lyft rides (excluding taxes, fees, tolls, and tips)
  • Alamo: 50 miles per day in the US and Canada
  • Avis and Budget: 1,250 miles per rental
  • Dollar: 50 miles per day
  • Hertz: 50 miles per day on rentals that are one to four days, or 500 miles total on rentals that are five days or more
  • National: 50 miles per day in the US and Canada
  • Thrifty: 50 miles per day


If you sign up for the Mileage Plan Dining program, you can earn up to 5 miles per dollar (USD) spent at participating restaurants in the US, including on food, drinks, taxes, and tips.

Other Partners

The full list of Alaska Mileage Plan partners, and the number of Alaska miles you can earn, can be found on the Alaska Airlines website.

The partners available for earning Alaska miles include:

  • Carrs-Safeway (Alaska only)
  • GCI
  • GetYourGuide
  • Laithwaites
  • The Opinion Terminal
  • Rover
  • SoFi
  • Teleflora
  • Vinesse Wine Clubs

Redeeming Alaska Miles

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has published award charts for all partner airlines, which can be found on the Alaska Airlines website.

There are currently three partner airline award charts:

  • Travel within the Americas
  • Travel within Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and travel from the US and those regions
  • Travel within Asia-Pacific, flights from the US to Asia Pacific, and flights between Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East, or Africa.

It’s important to note that the following award charts all show “starting at” prices, which means that you may also find flights priced above these levels. It’s best to use these charts as guidelines for what’s a good deal: if you find flights at or near the “starting at” prices, you know it’s a great deal, and if it’s way above, you may want to look avoid a booking.

Here’s the chart for travel within the Americas:

Here’s the award chart for flights to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa:

And here’s the chart for travel to the Asia-Pacific region:

Alaska Airlines also has a fourth award chart that applies to award flights wholly with Alaska Airlines:

The most notable of these redemption opportunities is for flights to South America.

American Airlines flies direct from the US to many popular South American cities including Bogotá, Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro.

Indeed, most award flights to these destinations cost 50,000 miles for a business class seat, and some shorter distances might only cost 35,000 miles.

Mileage Plan also has some of the lowest taxes and surcharges on award flights compared to other loyalty programs, with some flights being bookable for as little as $5.60 in taxes and fees.

Lastly, all bookings made over the phone will come with an additional $15 (USD) nonrefundable call centre booking fee, and all partner award bookings will come with a nonrefundable $12.50 (USD) partner award fee, per person, each way.

Miles & Money

Alaska Airlines allows you to redeem a combination of miles and money for your upcoming flight.

However, this option is fairly limited, as you can only redeem either 10,000 miles for $100 (USD) off of the base fare when the base fare is at least $200, or 20,000 miles for $200 (USD) off of the base fare when the base fare is at least $400.

If you choose this option, you’ll still be able to earn miles on the flights, but you’ll be redeeming your Alaska miles at a suboptimal 1 cent (USD) per mile.

Flight Upgrades

If you are paying cash for an Alaska Airlines or SkyWest flight (operated on behalf of Alaska Airlines), you can spend 15,000 Alaska Miles to upgrade your flight to First Class.

However, despite being advertised as “First Class,” Alaska’s First Class product is more similar to what you’d expect from a business class cabin experience.

If you’d like to search for available upgraded seats with miles, you’ll need to search for a flight without selecting “Use miles,” and then select “Mileage” for the upgrade type.

Other Ways of Redeeming Alaska Miles

When redeeming Alaska miles, you’ll get the most value by using them for flight awards. That being said, if you never plan on flying, there are a couple other options available.


Mileage Plan has a hotel search function powered by Rocketmiles.

You can toggle between paying with cash to earn miles or redeeming your Alaska miles for a hotel stay.

There isn’t a standard hotel redemption chart, but redeeming Alaska miles for a hotel stay will typically be worth around 0.7 cents (USD) per mile. Once again, this is far below the value you’d receive if you redeemed your miles for an award flight.

Alaska Airlines Extras

Alaska Airlines has an option to redeem miles for experiences that are offered using an auction-style system.

There are five experience categories that can be explored in five different regions. The categories are dining, film, lifestyle, music, and sports, and the regions are Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Northern California, Southern California, and the East Coast.

However, at this time, the only thing on auction is in-flight Wi-Fi for 750 miles. The price of Wi-Fi on Alaska flights ranges from $8–24.99 (USD), so redeeming 750 Alaska miles for in-flight Wi-Fi could actually be a decent option.


Lastly, you can even redeem as few as 100 miles for a new magazine subscription. This can be done online through the Mags for Miles program, but delivery is only available in the contiguous US.

Alaska Mileage Plan Tips & Tricks

As with many airline loyalty programs, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has a couple noteworthy tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your miles.


Alaska Airlines has a very generous stopover policy that allows you to add a free stopover on all award flights.

However, in order to be eligible for this benefit, there are a few rules you have to follow, which are outlined as follows:

  • All of your flights have to be with the same airline, or with a single airline plus Alaska Airlines
  • Stopovers are only permitted on international journeys
  • Your stopover will likely be limited to a partner hub airport
  • Each one-way trip can have a stopover, which means that on a round-trip booking, you could have two stopovers (in addition to your destination)

If your flights follow the rules that have been set out, you’ll have the option to build an itinerary that includes one (or more) stopovers.

For example, you could fly from San Francisco (SFO) to Osaka (KIX), with a connection in Tokyo (NRT) for 37,500 Alaska miles plus $18.10 in taxes and fees in economy class.

With this itinerary, for no extra cost, you can schedule a multi-day stopover in Tokyo, and then continue on your original ticket to Osaka afterwards.

This means that every time you redeem Alaska miles for an award flight, you should always look to see if you can make use of the generous stopover rule, and enjoy a bonus adventure in the middle of your scheduled itinerary.

Cancellation Fees

In addition to low taxes and surcharges, Alaska Airlines’ cancellation fees are exceptionally favourable.

In fact, the airline doesn’t even have any cancellation fees, and all taxes paid are refundable. Only the $15 (USD) call centre booking fee and the $12.50 (USD) partner award fee are nonrefundable (if applicable).

The only exceptions to the above is for Saver fare bookings and same day changes, which are both subject to a different set of change and cancellation rules.

Award Calendar Search

Fortunately, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan lets you easily see a month’s worth of availability at a time with the award calendar search function.

This function makes it easy to see when the lowest price for any particular itinerary is each month, and by using filters, it can also help you find some coveted awards.

When you go to make a search, simply select “Award calendar”, and then enter in the rest of the information as per usual.

Then, once the search results load, make sure you select your desired class of service, and then you’ll see a month’s worth of availability with the lowest price for each date. This makes it easy to find the best deals.

Alaska Airlines Elite Status

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan allows you to earn elite status within the program, which comes with quite a number of perks and benefits.

There are four elite status levels:

  • MVP
  • MVP Gold
  • MVP Gold 75k
  • MVP Gold 100k

To qualify for elite status with Alaska Airlines you must earn elite-qualifying miles (EQMs). You can earn EQMs by flying on eligible Alaska Airlines, oneworld alliance, or other partner airline flights.

In 2024, you can also earn up to 20,000 EQMs to go towards your elite status for 2025 by spending on your Alaska Airlines credit card. You’ll earn 4,000 EQMs for every $10,000 you spend on purchases.

An easier way to reach Alaska Airlines elite tiers is by completing a status match.

With this option, if you hold elite status with an eligible airline, you can gain the equivalent Mileage Plan status for 90 days.

However, the elite status from which you’re matching has to have been earned by flying the required miles or by meeting the required flight segments in that program. This means that you can’t get a status match from an airline’s elite status that you received through a promotion or through a previous status match.

In order to retain your newly matched Mileage Plan status for longer than 90 days, you must fly a specific amount of miles on Alaska Airlines, based on the status level you matched.

As an Mileage Plan elite status member, you’ll receive benefits every time you fly with Alaska Airlines and with partner airlines.

All benefits can be found on Alaska Airlines’s website.

Depending on your elite status, benefits include earning bonus miles on paid flights, upgrades when available on Alaska Airlines flights and on American Airlines, and complimentary beverages or snacks.

You’ll also be automatically matched to the oneworld alliance elite tiers, with MVP matching to Ruby, MVP Gold matching to Sapphire, and both MVP Gold 75k and MVP Gold 100k matching to Oneworld Emerald.

Notably, oneworld Sapphire will get you access to oneworld business class lounges, and oneworld Emerald status will get you access to oneworld First Class lounges.


Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan still stands as one of the best airline loyalty programs out there. With co-branded credit cards offering easy earning opportunities, award pricing sweet spots, and the ability to add a stopover on a one-way journey, the program is absolutely world-class.

While it’s a little more favourable for travellers living on the West Coast rather than the East Coast, Alaska’s partnerships open up flight opportunities regardless of location.

Additionally, Alaska’s favourable change and cancellation policy means that it’s easy for you to book award flights without worrying about having to pay a significant amount if your plans change later.

  1. Sid

    Does it make sense for someone living in the East (YYZ) to earn Alaska Mileage points on the side for Costco purchases? I have a MBNA Alaska world elite mastercard but i feel like i should have gone for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard or the RBC Westjet world elite.
    For Alaska Mileage plan: Most of the routes that i see out of Toronto involve either British Airways or American Airlines. (Would need to fly out of Montreal to take advantage of Qatar).

  2. Sid

    Hi Ricky,

    Thanks for this as a resource.

    Page might need some updates, however – Emirates terminated their arrangement with Alaska this August ( and keeping with Alaska’s joining OneWorld, Qatar’s availability is now showing on the mileage plan which would be ripe for some good opportunities, I think.

    Just calling it out to anyone visiting this page pending a formal update.

  3. Mike

    The article says alaska miles are easy to get any tips on fast ways to collect a lot of miles.

    1. Ricky YVR

      MBNA Alaska welcome bonuses.

  4. Grant

    Reduction in Bonvoy Points to Alaska Airmiles. I just converted 65,000 Bonvoy point and just got over 21,000 Alaska Airmiles.
    I am not complaining just FYI. You are the best Prince.

    1. Ricky YVR

      I’d echo this, it seems the extra bonus for converting in chunks of 60,000 Bonvoy points hasn’t kicked in, even though this shouldn’t have changed. If the extra chunk doesn’t post in a few days, I’d follow up with Bonvoy about this.

    2. EH

      Strange. You should have received 26,666 (21,666+5,000 bonus) points.

  5. Jeff H TOR

    I have a few hundred thousand alaska miles that i’ve not used for years although maintained. I want to book a flight for my wife who’s working overseas at the moment. Tunis (north africa) to Toronto oct 23rd; any suggestions guys?

  6. MurrayF

    You need to update the article, on the intra Asia flights Alaska took away the ability to do stopovers 12 months + ago. Also I thought the vancouver to JFK 5th freedom flight with Cathy was withdrawn 9-12 months ago?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Late here – but these corrections have been made!

    2. Kyrie English

      India is also not considered part of Asia anymore.

  7. Eric

    I had no idea you could use Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan towards partnered airlines and I see some that I personally love to fly with. I practically want to fly to Asia. Ricky is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan for me? Although I would only fly to Asia once or twice every year to 2 years. Other than that I don’t do much flying throughout the year. Being able to fly in Business would be great but necessary. Thanks.

    1. Alex YWG

      Heads up Eric,
      Alaska Airlines is joining OneWorld in Q4 2020. The general consensus on that is that there will be a devaluation on the points needed to fly CX or JAL to Asia. Keep that in mind if you are just starting in accumulating Alaska mileage points.
      Not saying dont do it, since Alaska points are nice and handy, but be aware.

      Good Luck

      1. Eric

        Hi Alex
        Does this mean that current Alaska Partners will no longer be Alaska’s partners? They will have new partners that have joined OneWorld? I’ve checked OneWorld and they have airlines I love too so I am happy about that.
        Alaska Miles do not expire?
        Thanks for the heads up btw Alex.

    2. Anmacrak

      “I practically want to fly to Asia.” well there is just the one feasible way of going anywhere in the world

      1. Kyrie English

        Until we can churn cruise ship..

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