How Much Are Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles Worth?

Updated: March 21, 2024

Updated: March 21, 2024

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When looking at redeeming Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for Main Cabin travel, you should aim to get at least 1.2 cents per mile. With business class seats, you may even receive upward of 20 cents per mile in some cases.

You can earn miles when you fly with Alaska Airlines, its airline partners or oneworld Alliance members. But you can also earn miles by using a co-branded Alaska Airlines credit card and when you spend at any of its partner hotels, cruises, car rental companies or other partner merchants. Buying miles is an option as well.

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program may be a solid choice for people who fly business class or take long-haul flights, particularly to Asia. It also offers good reward flight alternatives for frequent West Coast flyers. As you progress up the Mileage Plan elite status ladder, you stand to earn bonus miles and enjoy several benefits.

An interesting aspect of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program is that it awards miles based on the distance you travel, not the fare amount. As a result, the farther you fly, the more miles you earn.

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MoneyGeek’s Takeaways

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One Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan mile’s value usually varies from 1.2 cents to 1.8 cents.

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You can earn miles faster by using a co-branded Alaska Airlines credit card.

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You can earn miles for hotel stays and purchases through other merchant partners.

How Much Are Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles Worth?

You can usually expect to get upward of 1.2 cents per mile through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. In most instances, you stand to get better value for long-haul flights as opposed to shorter flights. The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan redemption chart will give you an idea of how many miles you might need to fly with different airlines along different routes.

To determine the exact value of your miles, simply divide the actual fare of a ticket by the number of miles you need to book the same. For instance, if you need 15,000 miles to book a ticket that costs $270, you divide 270 by 15,000. The result is $0.018 or 1.8 cents.

Bear in mind that the number of bonus miles you earn when flying with Alaska Airlines or any of its airline partners depends not just on your membership status but also on the cabin in which you fly. For example, you can often expect a higher bonus when flying first or business class as compared to economy or premium economy.

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HOW TO COMPUTE ALASKA AIRLINES MILEAGE PLAN MILES VALUE

Ticket Cost / Equivalent Points = Miles Value

How Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles Compare to Other Airlines

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program fares better than most other frequent flyer programs offered by U.S. and international airlines.

Alaska Airlines vs. Other Frequent Flyer Programs
Airlines
Value per Mile

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

1.2 cents to 1.8 cents per mile

Air Canada Aeroplan

1.5 cents to 1.9 cents per point

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

1.2 cents to 1.4 cents per mile

American Airlines AAdvantage

1.5 cents to 1.7 cents per mile

British Airways Avios

0.8 cents to 1.5 cents per point

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

1.4 cents to 1.5 cents per mile

Emirates Skywards

1 cent to 1.4 cents per mile

Frontier Miles

0.9 cents to 1.1 cents per mile

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

0.9 cents to 1 cent per mile

JetBlue TrueBlue

1.3 cents to 1.6 cents per point

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

1.1 cents to 1.3 cents per mile

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

1.3 cents to 1.5 cents per point

United Airlines MileagePlus

1.2 cents to 1.6 cents per mile

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

1.1 cents to 1.5 cents per point

How to Earn and Maximize Miles From Alaska Airlines

You can earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles in different ways, which include flying with Alaska Airlines, its airline partners or any airline that’s part of the oneworld Alliance. Earning bonus miles is possible through the program’s multiple membership levels. You can also earn Mileage Plan miles when you use an Alaska Airlines co-branded rewards credit card to make purchases and through the program’s partner merchants.

Earning Miles Using Alaska Airlines Co-Branded Credit Cards

Bank of America provides co-branded Alaska Airlines credit cards for consumers and business owners. Both cards enable you to earn bonus miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, and you also earn miles on all other purchases. You stand to earn a spend-based welcome bonus no matter which card you select.

Alaska Airlines Co-Branded Credit Cards at a Glance
Credit Card Name
Miles Earned per Dollar Spent
How to Increase Miles Earned

Bank of America Alaska
Airlines Visa Credit Card

Up to 3X miles per dollar

Spend $3,000 on purchases
in the first 90 days and earn
70,000 bonus miles

Bank of America Alaska
Airlines Visa Business Credit
Card

Up to 3X miles per dollar

Spend $2,000 on purchases
in the first 90 days and earn
40,000 bonus miles

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card

The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa credit card comes with a $95 annual fee. Eligible Alaska Airlines purchases earn 3X miles per dollar, and you earn 2X miles per dollar on eligible streaming services, gas, cable and local transit purchases (which includes ride shares and even tolls and ferries). You get 1X miles per dollar on all other purchases.

If you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days, you receive 70,000 bonus miles as well as a companion fare, from $122. You also get a companion fare on every account anniversary if you have spent $6,000 on the card in the previous anniversary year.

You and up to six guests on the same booking get your first bag checked for free and priority boarding. In-flight Alaska Airlines purchases come with 20% back, and if you want an annual Alaska Lounge+ Membership, pay with the card to get $100 off.

Plus, using this card outside of the U.S. is perfect because it does not charge foreign transaction fees.

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Credit Card

The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Business credit card charges a $50 annual fee per company and a $25 annual fee per card. You get 3X miles per dollar on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases. All other purchases come with 1X miles per dollar. Spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days gets you 40,000 bonus miles and a companion fare. All cardholders also receive an annual companion fare.

Flying with Alaska Airlines gives you and up to six guests on the same booking the ability to get your first bag checked for free. Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases come with 20% back. This card comes with no foreign transaction fees. You also get access to different tools for cash flow management.

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Benefit by earning miles through additional employee cards linked to your primary Alaska Airlines Visa Business card.

Sign Up for Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Alaska Airlines runs the Mileage Plan as its frequent flyer program. You earn miles when you fly with Alaska Airlines as well as with its partner airlines and all oneworld Alliance members. Plus, there are several other ways to earn miles. While redeeming your miles for flight tickets is the most common option, it's also possible to redeem them for seat upgrades or to book hotel stays. You have your pick of over 900 destinations and over 400,000 properties.

Signing up for the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program is free, and you may do so online. To complete the application, you will need to provide your name, date of birth, phone number, email address and mailing address.

This airline rewards program comes with four elite membership levels. Moving up levels requires that you earn a minimum number of miles and fly a minimum number of flights operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines. Eligible segments also play a role.

Depending on your membership status, you may earn up to 150% bonus miles. Other tier-specific Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan elite benefits include priority check-in and boarding, free checked bags, preferred seating, express security line, Alaska Lounge day passes and complimentary same-day flight changes.

Buying Airline Tickets From Alaska Airlines and Affiliates

You earn Mileage Plan miles each time you buy an airline ticket from Alaska Airlines, its global partners or members of the oneworld Alliance. The miles you earn depend on the distance of the flight, not the price of the ticket. When you use the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card or the Alaska Airlines Visa Business credit card to make eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, you earn 3X miles per dollar.

You also stand to earn bonus miles when you fly with Alaska Airlines' global partners. However, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan mileage earning chart shows that this number varies depending on the airline you choose, the cabin type and the fare class. For example, if you book a U or D fare business class ticket with Singapore Airlines, you earn 100% bonus miles. If the fare class changes to Z, C or J, you get 125% bonus miles.

Spending on eligible oneworld flights also enables you to earn elite bonus miles.

Earn Miles Through Alaska Airlines Partner Merchants

Earning Mileage Plan miles is possible when you make purchases through any of the program’s partner merchants, which include hotels, cruises, car rental companies and more. In addition, while there are no Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan transfer partners to whom you may transfer your miles, you can use your miles to book hotel stays at any of over 400,000 properties through Alaska Airlines Hotels.

Earn Alaska Airline Miles Through Partner Merchants
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    Hotel and Lodging

    • Get up to 10,000 miles per night when you book through Alaska Airlines Hotels.
    • Get 250 miles per stay at Best Western Hotels and Resorts.
    • Get one mile per dollar spent on Marriott Bonvoy room rates and two miles per dollar on other eligible charges.
    • Earn 250 miles per eligible stay at select Choice hotels.
    • Get up to 10,000 miles per night for hotel bookings made through Rocketmiles.
    • Get 250 miles on Coast Hotels qualifying rates.
    • Get two miles per dollar on Westmark Hotels room accommodation.
    • Get 500 miles per InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) qualifying stay or up to two miles per dollar (or its equivalent in the local currency) on eligible charges.
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    Shopping and Dining

    • Get 1,000 bonus miles after your first meal through the Mileage Plan dining program. Then, get up to five miles per dollar.
    • Earn miles through Mileage Plan Shopping. The number of miles you earn depends on the store you select.
    • Get 20 miles per dollar through 1-800-Flowers.com by using the promo code AKA3.
    • Get one mile per dollar on various GCI plans.
    • Get 2,250 miles with your Laithwaites Wine introductory case and 1,000 miles with every subscription case thereafter. Nonsubscription purchases come with three miles per dollar.
    • Get 5,000 miles with your first two Vinesse Wine boxes and five miles per dollar on wine that you purchase through the program.
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    Car Rentals

    • Earn miles when you book rental cars through Alaska Airlines Car Rental.
    • Get 50 miles per day on eligible Alamo rentals in the U.S. and Canada.
    • Get 50 miles per day on rentals of up to four days through Avis, Budget and Hertz. It changes to 500 miles if you rent for five or more days.
    • Get 50 miles per day on eligible Dollar car rentals.
    • Get 50 miles per day on eligible National rentals in the U.S. and Canada.
    • Get 50 miles per day on eligible Thrifty rentals.
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    Vacation Packages/Cruises

    • Get one mile per dollar spent on CruisesOnly cruises.
    • Get four miles per dollar when you make an online booking through GetYourGuide.
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    Others

    • Get one mile per two dollars if you refinance a student loan or get a personal loan through SoFi, up to a maximum of 50,000 miles.
    • Get 20 miles per dollar through Teleflora by using the promo code BAAAL10.
    • Get at least 400 miles after you complete your first The Opinion Terminal survey. The platform is free to join.
    • Get a 1:1 transfer ratio when you convert Diners Club International Club Rewards points into Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles.

Buying Miles From Alaska Airlines

You may buy miles through the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. Each mile costs two cents or more. This is higher than the average Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles value. As a result, buying miles might make sense only if your plans to redeem those miles yield a higher value. The program also runs promotional offers through which you may earn bonus miles when buying miles.

There is no limit to the number of miles you may buy if you have elite status. Program members with no elite status may purchase up to 150,000 miles each calendar year. However, the bonus miles you earn do not count toward this limit.

Bear in mind that the Mileage Plan program lets you buy no more than 100,000 miles through a single transaction. So, if you wish to buy 260,000 miles, you’ll need to carry out three transactions.

How to Redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

If you're wondering how to redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles, know that you may use them to fly with Alaska Airlines, its global partners or any oneworld Alliance member. You need to book all award travel through Alaska Airlines. You may make most bookings online.

How much Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles are worth depends on the airline you select, the route you wish to fly and the cabin type. For example, flying one way from the U.S. to Asia with Hainan Airlines requires 30,000 miles for economy class and 50,000 miles for business class. With Korean Air, this changes to 70,000 miles for economy and 105,000 miles for business.

You may use the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan redemption chart to get an idea of how many miles you might need to fly with different partner airlines.

You can also redeem your miles for seat upgrades, hotel stays, magazine subscriptions and more.

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    Hotel accommodations

    You have more than 400,000 properties to choose from when you use your miles to book hotel stays through Alaska Airlines Hotels. If you don’t have enough miles to cover the price of a stay, you may pay the balance using cash. Alaska Airlines credit card holders stand to receive better value for the miles than others.

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    Flight upgrades

    Using your miles to upgrade to first class with Alaska Airlines is possible. This is also the case with flights that SkyWest operates on behalf of Alaska Airlines. To redeem your miles for an upgrade, use the Upgrade preference option when searching for flights. Once you book your ticket, you need to call Alaska Airlines reservations to request a reward upgrade.

    Requesting an upgrade might also be possible via online check-in or a check-in kiosk at an airport within 24 hours of the flight’s departure. Bear in mind that this is not possible in all cases, so calling Alaska Airlines over the phone ahead of time is a better idea.

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    Others

    You get a 50% discount when you book flights through the Money & Miles option. However, you cannot use Money & Miles awards with saver fares. Depending on the number of miles you need for base fares, you may get a discount of up to $200.

    Gifting and sharing your miles is possible, as is donating them to various nonprofit organizations. Redeeming your miles for magazine subscriptions is an option. You may also redeem them for promotional offers that you may find through Alaska Airlines Extras.

When Best to Redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

Even though the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan redemption chart mentions how many miles you will need to book travel across different routes, there is no mention of time frames, so just how many days you book your ticket before departure may impact the value you get for your miles. This is also the case if you plan to travel during the peak holiday season from December 22 to 29.

  • Up to 15 days in advance – 1.1 cents per mile
  • 16 to 180 days in advance – 1.5 cents per mile
  • During the peak holiday season – 1.2 cents per mile

The routes you wish to travel and the airline you select have more of a bearing on the value you get for your miles. For example, you stand to get better value for your miles if you fly business class to Asia with Cathay Pacific instead of American Airlines. In addition, you stand to get better value by using the program’s stopover policy. Consider these examples for one-way travel:

Taking a long-haul flight in business class from Tokyo to New Delhi with Japan Airlines requires just 25,000 miles. Flying first class from Fort Worth to Sydney with Qantas Airways requires 55,000 miles.

You need 40,000 miles to travel to Fiji and Australia with Fiji Airlines. A one-way business class ticket for the same needs 55,000 miles.

Flying with Cathay Pacific to a host of Asia destinations after stopping over in Hong Kong requires 30,000 miles for economy class. You'll need 50,000 miles for business class and 70,000 miles for first class.

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Alaska Airlines miles are extremely valuable as the airline has many excellent partners you can spend your miles with on travel worldwide. So as you earn these miles, be sure to push towards redeeming them for the maximum value possible.
Brett Holzhauer, contributing expert for MoneyGeek

How to Get the Alaska Airlines Elite Status

Moving up the ladder in the Mileage Plan requires earning a minimum number of miles or flying a minimum number of segments and taking a minimum number of flights with Alaska Airlines. The benefits you stand to enjoy are not limited to Alaska Airlines but also extend to its partner airlines and oneworld Alliance members.

1
MVP

You need to earn at least 20,000 eligible miles or fly at least 30 eligible segments in a calendar year, with at least two of the flights being operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines. Some of the benefits on offer include 50% bonus miles, first class upgrades on Y and B fares, premium upgrades on Y, B and H fares, priority check-in and boarding, two free checked bags and preferred seating.

2
MVP Gold

You need to earn at least 40,000 eligible miles or fly at least 60 eligible segments in a calendar year, with at least six of the flights being operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines. You get 100% bonus miles, first class upgrades on Y, B, H and K fares, and premium upgrades on Y, B, H, K, M, L, V, S and N fares. In addition to MVP-level benefits, you also get companion upgrades for first/premium class, standby and waitlist for full flights, no-cost same-day flight changes and a bar of free premium chocolate or a beverage in the main cabin.

3
MVP Gold 75K

You need to earn at least 75,000 eligible miles or fly at least 90 eligible segments in a calendar year, with at least 12 of the flights being operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines. At this level, you get 125% bonus miles. You get first class upgrades on Y, B, H, K and M fares. Premium upgrades come with all but saver fares. You receive all the benefits of the MVP Gold level plus 50,000 bonus miles when you qualify, one one-way international upgrade certificate for use with American Airlines, three free checked bags and four Alaska Lounge day passes per year.

4
MVP Gold 100K

You need to earn at least 100,000 eligible miles or fly at least 140 eligible segments in a calendar year, with at least 24 of the flights being operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines. Members at this level receive 150% bonus miles. Other benefits specific to this level include two one-way international upgrade certificates for use with American Airlines, a complimentary snack in the main cabin and the highest waitlist priority for upgrades on nonqualifying Alaska Airlines fares.

How We Determined the Value of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

MoneyGeek experts have taken a close look at how the value of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles changes based on different redemption methods. They have also carried out in-depth market research to determine the worth of your points.

Other Questions You May Have About Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

Checking the answers to other commonly asked questions about the value you stand to receive through the Alaska Airlines membership program might help you determine how best to redeem the miles you earn.

Can I use my Alaska Airlines miles for someone else?
Can I use my Alaska Airlines to buy something else?
Can I convert my Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles to cash?
Are there any additional fees for booking flights with miles?
When do my Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles expire?
Can I transfer my Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles?

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About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


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