What’s the Value of Alaska Airlines Miles?

Alaska miles are worth about 1.2 cents each when used for award flights.
Sam Kemmis
By Sam Kemmis 
Edited by Meg Lee

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Nerdy takeaways
  • Alaska Airlines miles are worth about 1.2 cents each when redeemed for award flights.

  • Alaska Airlines miles are worth less than American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and Southwest miles.

  • Award fares booked far in advance yielded the highest per-mile value, while last-minute bookings yielded the lowest.

If you’re a frequent West Coast flyer, or just someone with a bunch of Alaska Airlines miles, you’re probably curious how much those miles are actually worth.

The short answer is this: We peg the value of Alaska miles at 1.2 cents each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1.2 cents or more in value from your Alaska miles.

What does this value mean?

Our estimated value of 1.2 cents per Alaska mile provides a lower-end value you can use to determine the relative value of your own redemptions. It is based on comparing main cabin fares using both cash and miles, across several dates and destinations.

In other words, this is the value you can expect to get from your Alaska miles without seeking particularly high-value redemptions. This means you can get more value by looking for sweet spots and using more advanced award techniques. It also means you can end up getting lower value than this if you’re not careful and book the first award ticket you find.

Calculator: Convert Alaska miles to dollars

Use this calculator to determine the value of any number of Alaska miles, based on our valuation.

How do Alaska miles compare to other airlines?

Alaska miles have an average value compared to other airlines. However, because Alaska miles are earned based on distance flown rather than the amount spent, it is relatively easy to earn a lot of these miles.

Program

Mile value

1.2 cents.

1.5 cents.

1.5 cents.

0.9 cent.

1 cent.

1.5 cents.

1.5 cents.

1.2 cents.

When is the best time to use Alaska miles?

Now we’re getting seriously nerdy. We compared the value of using Alaska Mileage Club miles when booking at three different timeframes: 15 days before departure, 180 days before departure, and during peak holiday travel (Dec. 22 - 29).

Award fares booked far in advance yielded the highest per-mile value, while last-minute bookings yielded the lowest. Traveling during the holidays yielded typical value, on average.

How flexible are Alaska miles?

Simply put, Alaska has some of the best and most diverse global partners of any major U.S. airline, and its miles can be used to great effect by booking partner flights. Some partners to target with your award searches include:

  • American Airlines.

  • Japan Airlines.

  • Cathay Pacific.

  • Qantas.

How did we determine the value of Alaska miles?

We collected hundreds of data points comparing the cash value to award (mile) value for the same routes and dates. That is, we compared the cost of a given ticket in either cash or miles, across many tickets.

This method differs from others in that it looks at actual redemptions rather than hypothetical, maximized redemptions. The advantage of this approach is that it provides a real-world indication of how much these miles are worth, on average. That said, it doesn’t take into account the high-value redemptions that points enthusiasts seek.

Wondering what you can do with those miles? Check out our guide to redeeming Alaska miles, as well as some Alaska award sweet spots to consider.

Frequently asked questions

Based on our analysis, 10,000 Alaska miles are worth about $120.

Based on our analysis, 25,000 Alaska miles are worth about $300.

Based on our analysis, 50,000 Alaska miles are worth about $600.

Based on our analysis, 80,000 Alaska miles are worth about $960.

Based on our analysis, 100,000 Alaska miles are worth about $1,200.

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