Benefits of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Program

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

» COVID-19 updates:

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program may not be part of a big airline alliance, but it still packs a punch. Thanks to extensive airline transfer partnerships, a generous award chart and a lack of revenue requirement for earning elite status, staying loyal to Alaska can pay off. More importantly, the program makes it easy to earn miles through everyday activities beyond flying and credit card spending.

Here are four benefits of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program.

No revenue requirement for earning elite status

While all three of the big U.S. legacy carriers (American, Delta and United) have implemented revenue requirements for earning elite status, Alaska Mileage Plan hasn't. All you have to do to qualify for elite status with Alaska Mileage Plan is fly a certain number of miles or segments:

Alaska MVP

  • 20,000 elite qualifying miles.

  • 30 segments flown on Alaska or qualifying partners.

  • Minimum two segments on Alaska in 2021.

Alaska MVP Gold

  • 40,000 elite qualifying miles.

  • 60 segments flown on Alaska or qualifying partners.

  • Minimum four segments on Alaska in 2021.

Alaska MVP Gold 75K

  • 75,000 miles flown on Alaska.

  • 90 segments flown on Alaska or qualifying partners.

  • Minimum six segments on Alaska in 2021.

New in 2021: Alaska MVP Gold 100K

  • 100,000 elite qualifying miles.

  • 140 segments flown on Alaska or qualifying partners.

  • Minimum 24 segments on Alaska in 2021.

  • Level launches at the end of January 2022 but can be earned starting in 2021.

Great value when redeeming miles

When it comes to redeeming miles, Alaska Airlines has several features that make Mileage Plan a great program. For starters, Alaska has 18 airline partners flying to destinations around the world. That’s more partners than even the Oneworld alliance has. So even though you’re earning miles with a smaller airline, you have a vast network of international destinations you can fly to.

Redemption rates are also reasonable, partly because Alaska Airlines still has an award chart. While programs like Delta and United have implemented dynamic pricing that can vary based on factors like demand, Alaska still charges a set number of miles for flights.

NerdWallet values Alaska miles at 1.1 cents each.

For example, you can fly one-way business class between the U.S. and Asia or Europe for as little as 50,000 miles. Meanwhile, United’s new dynamic pricing model charges upwards of 90,000 miles for a one-way saver award. The stability of a destination-based award chart gives Alaska Mileage Plan a huge advantage.

Additionally, Alaska allows a free stopover on one-way award tickets and two stopovers on round-trips. That’s a great way to maximize Alaska miles and see more of the world for less.

A co-branded credit card

Alaska Airlines has a co-branded personal and credit card through which you can earn points without ever stepping foot on a plane. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card currently has a pretty nice welcome bonus too: Get a $100 statement credit, 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

What’s great about this card is that in exchange for a $75 annual fee, cardholders receive an annual companion fare (it's not just part of the welcome bonus). For just $99 plus taxes and fees, cardholders can bring along a companion on their next flight at minimal cost.

Earning miles through everyday activities

Alaska Mileage Plan only has one personal credit card, but it still offers several ways to earn miles on everyday activities. The Mileage Plan Shopping portal offers bonus miles when you use it to shop at popular online merchants. With so many of us shopping online nowadays, this is a great way to get rewarded for normal activity.

Similarly, Alaska Airlines has a dining rewards program that lets you earn miles when dining at a vast network of participating restaurants. Simply link any rewards card to your account, dine out and earn points.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.