The Ultimate Guide to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

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The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the highest-rated travel rewards programs, offering many ways to earn miles that can stretch your travel budget further.
Updated Feb. 29, 2024
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The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan can help you book award travel to over 120 destinations in North America and over 1,000 locations around the world with its partner airlines. Featuring many ways to earn valuable rewards, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the best tools used by frequent travelers for business and pleasure alike.

In this Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan guide

Key takeaways

  • Your Alaska Mileage Plan miles never expire as long as your account remains active. Activity includes earning and redeeming miles.
  • To maintain an elite status with Alaska Airlines, you’ll need to qualify for it each year.
  • The Mileage Plan has a vast partner network of airlines, hotels, rental car companies, and more.
  • Alaska Airlines miles are typically valued at an average of 1.8 cents per mile when you redeem them for flights.

What is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan?

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is a frequent flyer rewards program that offers great benefits, especially for travelers to and from the West Coast. It’s more than just a punch card as it offers many different ways to earn miles (Alaska Airlines’ version of points) along with useful methods to redeem them.

Alaska Airlines miles tend to be more valuable than the average airline, but changes announced to its program in September 2022 and November 2023 mean that you’ll need to do a little bit more research to find the best redemption value, especially if you’ll be flying on partner airlines outside Alaska Airlines’ footprint.

How to enroll in the Mileage Plan

It takes only a few minutes to enroll in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, requiring just a couple of quick steps.

  1. Visit the Alaska Airlines website and click Sign up. You can also find a link to sign up for the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan sprinkled throughout its website.


  1. Enter your personal information. You’ll need to include your name, birthdate, phone number, email address, and mailing address. You’ll also get to create your User ID and password further down on the same page. When you’re done, hit Join Mileage Plan.


  1. Receive your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number. You’ll now be able to log into your account and see your activity. You can use your Mileage Plan number when earning rewards with Alaska Airlines and its partners.


How to earn Alaska Airlines miles

You have several options for earning miles through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

In addition to flying with Alaska Airlines, you can also rack up more miles with partner companies — including some that aren’t even travel-related — so you can start working toward your next trip before you even leave the ground.

1. Fly with Alaska Airlines

The most straightforward way to earn Alaska Airlines miles is by flying on an Alaska Airlines flight. However, not everyone on the plane earns the same amount of miles.

For every physical mile you fly, you’ll earn 0.3 award miles with a Saver ticket, 1 to 1.5 award miles for an Economy fare, and 1.5 to 2 award miles for a First Class fare.

You can also earn miles by flying with Alaska Airlines’ partner airlines if you enter your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number when you book your ticket. If you fly with Alaska Airlines’ partner airlines, you’ll typically earn miles at the same rates above.

However, some partner airlines may offer different classes than Alaska Airlines. In such cases, the miles you earn will correspond to the rate of the Alaska Airlines class that is most comparable to the class you choose on the partner airline.

2. Use an Alaska Airlines credit card

Alaska Airlines offers the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card, one of the best travel credit cards on the market today.

This credit card helps you earn 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases; 2X miles on eligible gas, EV charging stations, cable, streaming services, and local transit (including ride shares, trains, tolls, and ferries); and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases.

You can also earn 70,000 bonus miles and a Companion Fare ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after making $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account (limited time offer). The annual fee for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature is $95.

The Companion Fare isn’t miles per se, but it does allow you to bring a friend or a spouse along on any regular flight you book with Alaska Airlines. You can also save on Alaska Airlines baggage fees because you’ll get a free checked bag with every reservation.

Learn more in our Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card review.

3. Book hotel stays

You can earn miles through some of Alaska Airlines’ hotel partners. The amount of miles you can earn varies and falls roughly into two earning categories.

Hotel partner Earning rate
  • Coast Hotels
  • Best Western
  • Choice Hotels
250 miles for your entire stay, regardless of length
  • Westmark
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
one to two miles per dollar spent

In addition, you can use Alaska Airlines’ hotel rewards platform to expand your options to even more hotels, including smaller boutique options and large chains alike. The earnings rate varies a lot on this platform, between 500 and 10,000 Alaska Air miles per night.

4. Book cruises or car rentals

You can also book a cruise with the CruisesOnly platform, earning two miles per dollar spent if you pay with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature or one mile per dollar if you use other credit cards.

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan allows you to earn miles with car rentals. Renting a car from Avis or Budget will net you the most benefits, including a discount of up to 35% and the ability to earn a maximum of 1,250 miles with your reservation. You can also earn one mile per dollar spent with Lyft, as well as a daily mileage rate with other car rental agencies.

Car rental partner Earning rate
Alamo 50 miles per day
Dollar 150 miles per day
Hertz 200 miles per day
National 50 miles per day
Thrifty 150 miles per day

5. Shop or dine with partners

Alaska Airlines offers two shopping portals where you can earn additional miles.

  • Mileage Plan Dining allows you to earn up to five miles per dollar spent with over 17,000 restaurants around the country.
  • Mileage Plan Shopping allows you to earn a variable amount of miles with over 1,100 retailers, including popular options like Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s, and Groupon.

Finally, Alaska Airlines partners directly with a few companies that allow you to earn miles with each purchase. Check first to make sure you qualify for these options, as there may be restrictions.

  • GCI
  • SoFi
  • Rover
  • Teleflora
  • Safeway
  • Laithwaites
  • GetYourGuide
  • 1-800-Flowers.com
  • Vinesse Wine Clubs
  • The Opinion Terminal
  • Diners Club International

You can also buy miles if you wish, either for yourself or as a gift to someone you love. These tend to be very low-value redemption options, but they could come in handy if you only need a few more miles to book a free ticket or you want to leave someone the option to choose their own destination.

Alaska Airlines doesn’t have direct affiliations with any of the major U.S. credit card rewards programs.

This makes accumulating Alaska miles more challenging unless you use Alaska’s co-branded credit cards because your only other option is to transfer points from hotel loyalty programs.

That said, you can use other credit cards to earn valuable cashback, miles, or points that you can trade in for travel redemptions through their respective programs.

Credit card Earning rate Annual fee

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card

3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases; 2X miles on eligible gas, EV charging stations, cable, streaming services, and local transit (including ride shares, trains, tolls, and ferries); and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases $95

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card

3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 2X miles on eligible gas, EV charging station, shipping, and local transit (including rideshare) purchases, and 1X miles on all other purchases $70

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%); and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases $0 (Terms apply)

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases $0

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases $95

How to use Mileage Plan miles

Alaska Airlines announced revamps of its award charts in September 2022 and November 2023. Previously you could see an upper and lower estimate of how much redemptions cost based on where you’re flying and which airline you’re using.

However, now Alaska Airlines shows only the starting redemption rate for various regions, which might make it harder to figure out the best way to redeem your miles.

Redeem Alaska Airlines miles for flights

You can redeem your points for a discount or for a full-priced ticket on Alaska Airlines with no blackout dates for award travel.

Tip
To book an Alaska Airlines flight, you can simply search for it on Alaska Airlines’ website and select the "Use Miles" option when you fill in the details for the flight you want.

If you’re booking with a partner airline, there may not be as many award seat options available. In some cases, you can book a flight on partner airlines directly through Alaska Airlines’ website, but in other cases — such as for Cathay Pacific or LATAM flights — you may need to contact Alaska Airlines over the phone.

As of November 2023, the award chart looks like this.

Destination Economy First class
Contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Canada Starting between 5,000 and 12,500 miles, depending on distance Starting between 15,000 and 30,000 miles, depending on distance
Hawaii Starting from 15,000 miles Starting from 40,000 miles
Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Starting from 10,000 miles Starting from 30,000 miles
Africa Starting from 50,000 miles Starting from 85,000 miles
Asia Starting from 30,000 miles Starting from 70,000 miles
Europe Starting from 22,500 miles Starting from 70,000 miles
Indian subcontinent Starting from 42,500 miles Starting from 80,000 miles
Middle East Starting from 42,500 miles Starting from 80,000 miles
South America Starting from 25,000 miles Starting from 85,000 miles
South Pacific Starting from 30,000 miles Starting from 70,000 miles

However, in March 2024, Alaska Airlines will switch to the following award chart.

Distance in physical miles Economy

starting at

Premium Economy

starting at

Business

starting at

First

starting at

Americas Less than 700 4,500 6,000 9,000 13,500
701–1,400 7,500 10,000 15,000 25,000
1,401–2,100 12,500 17,500 25,000 40,000
2,101–4,000 17,500 22,500 35,000 52,500
4,001–6,000 25,000 32,500 50,000 75,000
6,001 and above 30,000 40,000 60,000 90,000
Europe, Middle East, and Africa Less than 1,500 7,500 10,000 15,000 22,500
1,501–3,500 22,500 30,000 45,000 67,500
3,501–5,000 27,500 35,000 55,000 82,500
5,001–7,000 35,000 45,000 70,000 105,000
7,001–10,000 42,500 55,000 85,000 130,000
10,000 and above 55,000 72,500 110,000 165,000
Asia Pacific Less than 1,500 7,500 10,000 15,000 22,500
1,501–3,000 25,000 32,500 50,000 75,000
3,001–5,000 30,000 40,000 60,000 90,000
5,001–7,000 37,500 50,000 75,000 110,000
7,001–10,000 42,500 55,000 85,000 130,000
10,000 and above 65,000 85,000 130,000 195,000

Other redemption options for Alaska Airlines miles

If you’re trying to maximize the value you get from the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program — or any other airline rewards program, for that matter — typically your best bet is to redeem your miles for flights.

But there are still some other ways you can redeem your miles, albeit for a lesser value in most cases.

  • Upgrade to first class
  • Subscribe to a magazine
  • Book a hotel stay through Alaska Airlines Hotels
  • Donate, share, or transfer miles to someone else
  • Get in-flight Wi-Fi upgrades and other occasional offers

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan elite status benefits

In addition to base miles offered on every flight and bonus miles offered as a perk for people flying on more premium-level tickets, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan also uses Elite-Qualifying Miles (EQMs). These miles accumulate towards earning elite status, which brings a lot of benefits to frequent fliers.

You can also earn elite status by flying a certain number of flight segments with Alaska Airlines or another partner airline rather than qualifying based on the number of EQMs you earned. However, you’ll need to have flown at least a certain number of flights with Alaska Airlines itself, even if you’re qualifying by flying with other airlines:

MVP MVP Gold MVP Gold 75K MVP Gold 100K
Annual eligibility requirements 20,000 EQMs or 30 segments. At least two flights must be with Alaska Airlines. 40,000 EQMs or 60 segments. At least six flights must be with Alaska Airlines. 75,000 EQMs or 90 segments. At least 12 flights must be with Alaska Airlines. 100,000 EQMs or 140 segments. At least 24 flights must be with Alaska Airlines.
Elite bonus miles 50% 100% 125% 150%
Free checked bags 2 2 3 3
Alaska Lounge day passes N/A N/A 4 per year 4 per year
First Class upgrades at the time of booking Yes, for Y or B fares. Yes, for Y, B, H, or K fares. Yes, for Y, B, H, K, or M fares. Yes, for Y, B, H, K, or M fares.
Premium Class upgrades at the time of booking Yes, for Y, B, or H fares. Yes, for Y, B, H, K, M, L, V, S, or N fares. Yes, for all fares except Saver fares Yes, for all fares except Saver fares
First and Premium Class upgrades on Alaska non-qualifying fares 48 hours before departure 72 hours before departure 120 hours before departure 120 hours before departure, plus highest waitlist priority
Complimentary premium beverage or chocolate in Main Cabin N/A Yes Yes Yes
Complimentary snack or meal in Main Cabin N/A N/A N/A Yes

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan partners

Most people don’t fly exclusively on Alaska Airlines, which only goes to 120 cities around North America. You can expand your travel options further by redeeming your miles with one of Alaska Airlines’ many travel partners.

Keep in mind
It’s important to double check any redemption restrictions before you start collecting miles for a specific purpose so you know whether you’ll be able to use them or not.

Airlines partners

Alaska Airlines partners with many different airlines, some within a formal airline alliance and some not. Your earnings and redemption options also vary with each airline.

You can earn, redeem, and qualify for elite status benefits with the following partner airlines in the oneworld Alliance.

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • SriLankan Airlines

In contrast, you can earn and redeem miles on the following partner airlines, but you won’t be able to use your elite status benefits.

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

Finally, you can earn miles on the following airlines, but you can’t redeem them for a flight (on these airlines) nor get elite state benefits.

  • Bahamasair
  • Cape Air
  • Kenmore Air
  • Mokulele Airlines
  • Southern Airways Express

Hotel partners

Alaska Airlines partners with several hotel chains to enable you to earn points, but there’s only one way to redeem your miles for hotel stays.

You’ll need to use Alaska Airlines’ hotel portal to book your stay, and there are plenty of options with over 400,000 lodging choices around the world.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan FAQ

How much are Alaska Airlines miles worth?

There is no set standard for how much Alaska Airlines miles are worth as it depends on how you redeem them. In general, redeeming your miles for flights should net you the highest value. When you redeem your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan rewards for flights, you can expect your points to be worth about 1.8 cents per mile on average.

How do I contact Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan?

There are several ways to get ahold of an Alaska Airlines customer service agent.

  • Phone: Call 1-800-654-5669 to speak to an agent.
  • Text message: Text 82008 to get help.
  • Live chat: Visit the Help Center webpage to start a chat session.

How many miles do I need to get a flight on Alaska Airlines?

Award redemptions start at 5,000 miles for short flights on an economy fare within the United States. Depending on where you’re flying, which type of ticket you purchase, along with other factors, you may spend upwards of 85,000 miles or more for a flight. Since Alaska Airlines no longer publishes a comprehensive award mile redemption chart as it did previously, you’ll need to perform a search for each individual flight option you’re interested in to see the exact number of miles you need.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: bottom line

You’ll get the most benefit from the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan if you live along the West Coast since some of the best redemption options are limited to Alaska Airlines, and that’s where it flies most frequently.

However, since Alaska Airlines partners with so many other airlines, you still have plenty of options if you live in the Midwest or along the Eastern Seaboard or if you live in the Pacific Northwest and want to venture somewhere else.

Learn more about similar programs in our American Airlines AAdvantage guide and United MileagePlus guide. You can also explore our list of the best airline credit cards for more ways to boost your travel credit card rewards.

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Author Details

Lindsay VanSomeren Lindsay VanSomeren is a professional writer based in Suquamish, Washington. Originally a wildlife biologist, Lindsay became passionate about helping others learn smart financial moves after seeing how positive money habits made a big difference in her own life.

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