19 Best Ways to Earn Lots of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles [2018]

alaska air

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Alaska Airlines began offering flights from Anchorage, Alaska in 1932. Today, the airline offers flights to over 100 destinations across North America and has partnered with many airlines operating all over the world.

Luckily for you, there are some great ways to earn lots of miles with Alaska’s Mileage Plan program from flights on Alaska Airlines or its partners to credit cards to shopping.

Sign Up for an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Account

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program allows you to earn miles without signing up for an affiliated credit card. To earn points, you simply need to create an account.

The Mileage Plan account number you receive upon signing up will be used almost every time you want to earn miles. Make sure you keep this number within reach when you utilize the earning tactics below.

Earn Alaska Miles With Credit Cards

There are two paths to earning Alaska miles with credit cards. One involves 2 cards that earn Alaska miles directly, while the other 2 cards earn points that can be transferred to your Alaska account.

You might think earning Alaska miles directly is the best way to go, but stick with us. You might be surprised.

1. Bank of America Alaska Co-Branded Credit Cards

While it is possible to earn points without signing up for their co-branded credit card, the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card allows you to earn substantial miles simply for signing up for the card and using it on everyday purchases.

Bank of America, not a commonly discussed credit card issuer in the points world, offers two credit cards with Alaska Airlines:

Loyalty ProgramCard Name
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Frequent Flyer ProgramBank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card
Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Business Credit Card

Both of these cards earn 3X miles per dollar on purchases with Alaska Airlines and 1X mile per dollar on all other purchases.

If you want to apply for either of these cards, visit our article on Credit Cards and Credit Scores Explained to learn more about getting approved!

2. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards (Our Recommendation)

Starwood Preferred Guest transfers directly to Alaska at a ratio of 1:1. But, you can increase this ratio to 1:1.25 when you transfer in increments of 20,000 points. For each 20,000 Starpoints transferred, you will get an additional 5,000 bonus miles.

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If you want to transfer more than 20,000 SPG Starpoints, keep in mind that you can only transfer a total of 79,999 points per 24 hours.

This means you can get three 5,000-mile bonuses when you transfer 60,000 SPG Starpoints but you cannot transfer 80,000 points to get a fourth 5,000-mile bonus.

While both the business version and personal version only earn 1X point per dollar (just like the Bank of America co-branded cards), this transfer bonus is what really sets them apart.

3. Refer a Friend For Bonus Miles

The Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card occasionally offers 2,500 bonus miles for each referral you provide and is approved. All you have to do is get a friend or family member to sign up using the link you sent to them.

There isn’t a limit on how many times you can receive this referral bonus, so this is a great way to boost your Mileage Plan miles when these referral bonuses are offered.

You can also refer people to both co-branded Starwood Preferred Guest cards. Commonly, the referral bonus for these cards is 5,000 SPG Starpoints once a referral is approved. Occasionally, the referral bonus increased to 7,500 points or even 10,000 points.

American Express does cap the points you can earn through referrals each year to 55,000 points per card.

Earn Miles Through Shopping and Dining

We all spend plenty shopping and dining out, so why not get some Mileage Plan miles in return for it.

4. The Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping Portal

Regardless of whether you sign up for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card, as a Mileage Plan Account member, you have access to the Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping Portal.

Through the shopping portal, you can earn miles on purchases regardless of which credit card you use.

Alaska Airlines has partnered with over 800 stores to offer a mileage bonus for each purchase made through the portal. All of the stores can be viewed on the portal website, but here are some of the top stores:

alaska mileage plan shopping
Just a few of the stores available in your Alaska Mileage Plan shopping portal. Earn bonus miles for tons of normal, everyday purchases!

To earn Mileage Plan miles for your purchases:

  1. Go to Mileage Plan Shopping
  2. Sign up or sign into your account with your Mileage Plan number
  3. Search for and select a product or store offer
  4. A new browser window should open and look something like this:
alaska mileage plan shopping backcountry.com shop
Once you click on a shop, you will be directed through to the actual website to complete your shopping. Be sure to finish it in the same visit in order to get your bonus!
  1. Shop around on the store’s website
  2. Make sure you are still logged into the portal when you head to check out.

Keep an eye out for special sweepstakes through the shopping portal.

Recently, Alaska Airlines ran a “Scenic Route Sweepstakes” in which you could have earned the grand prize of 100,000 miles! Three first prize winners won 20,000 miles.

Account holders simply had to register for the sweepstakes and earned five entries for opting into Mileage Plan Shopping emails, and another five entries for qualifying purchases.

Pay close attention during the holidays as the Mileage Plan shopping portal often offers bonus miles on top of the miles you would normally earn.

5. The Alaska Mileage Plan Dining Program

Many airlines participate in a dining program to help customers earn extra miles on eating out at participating restaurants. Alaska Mileage Plan Dining has over 10,000 participating restaurants, bars, and clubs.

alaska mileage plan dining
A view of the Alaska Mileage Plan dining program portal. Find hundreds of restaurants to eat at and earn bonus Alaska Mileage Plan miles.

Signing up is free and you don’t have to use the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card to enroll.

To earn miles with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining:

  1. Go to Mileage Plan Dining
  2. Use the “Add a card” link on the right side to add any credit card or multiple cards you want to use out at restaurants (any card will do, not just an Alaska Airlines card)
  3. Search for restaurants near you using the search engine at the top
  4. Start using your registered credit card(s) at participating restaurants

Usually, you will earn up to 5X points per $1 you spend at participating restaurants, bars, and clubs. First-time members have the chance to earn up to 1,000 extra miles.

These extra miles are given if you dine for $30 or more at a participating restaurant within 30 days of joining the program and review your experience within 30 days after dining.

Find this new member bonus offer and other bonus offers under the Bonuses section.

Hot Tip: You can only link a credit card to one dining portal at a time, so choose the one that is best for you. Remember you’ll earn points on your credit card in addition to miles from the dining program.

6. Other Retail Purchases

There are other ways to earn even more Mileage Plan frequent flyer program miles on everyday spending including the following partnering retail offers:

Purchase TypeRetail CompanyBonus Miles
Flowers & gifts1-800-FLOWERS.COM20 miles/$1 spent (use code AKA3)
Groceries & Pharmacy*CARRS/Safeway100 miles/$300 spent using Safeway Club card
Alaska’s Long Distance, Local Phone Service, Internet, Cable TV and Cellular communicationsGCI1 mile/$1 spent
Flowers & giftsTeleflora10 miles/$1 spent
WineVinesse2,250 miles upon initial sign up, as well as 5 miles/$1 spent (use/mention code ALASKA)

Make purchases through the links provided to earn the additional miles.

*Only available for stores located in Alaska, and on qualified purchases. For the Safeway supermarket deal, you will need to register your card or sign in to enroll. Once in your Safeway Club card account, navigate to My Account Loyalty Partners page and enter your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number.

safeway alaska airlines
The Safeway Alaska Airlines deal requires you to register your card ahead of time. After it is linked to your Safeway account, you will be able to earn your bonus.

Earn Alaska Miles Through Travel

With all of the interesting ways to earn Mileage Plan miles, it’s easy to forget you can earn them when traveling.

7. Airfare & Alaska Airlines Partners

As we mentioned above, the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card and Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Business Credit Card earns 3x miles per $1 on Alaska Airlines tickets.

You will also earn bonus Mileage Plan miles flying with any of the following Alaska Airlines partners when you attach your Mileage Plan number to your booking:

alaska airlines partners
The Alaska Airlines partners are few but prominent. You can earn Alaska bonus miles and even share your elite status with some of the partner airlines

Mileage Plan miles can also be earned with these regional airlines:


8. Airfare Class Bonuses

Since January of 2015, Alaska Airlines has offered a Class of Service/Premium Cabin bonus.

This means that you’ll earn 10-100% more miles depending on if you’re flying in First, Business, and certain economy classes on Alaska Airlines and some partner airlines.

The percent bonus on actual miles flown with partnering airlines varies greatly.

The following is the bonus breakdown when flying in certain seats on Alaska Airlines:

Alaska Airlines Economy Class Cabin:

  • Earn actual flight miles flown in H, Q, L, V, K, G, T, R, and U class
  • Earn actual flight miles flown in M, and B class plus 25% Bonus Miles
  • Earn actual flight miles flown in Y, and S class plus 50% Bonus Miles

Alaska Airlines First Class Cabin will earn actual flight miles flown in F or P class of service plus 75% bonus.

Visit the Bonus Miles section to see more about this bonus.

Hot Tip: Check for special flight promotions with certain partner airlines. In September 2015, Emirates had a Mileage Plan bonus offer of 3x miles when flying first class and 2x miles when flying business or economy class on Emirates flights between certain cities.

9. Elite Status Bonuses

Earn extra miles once you become an MVP: Most Valued Passenger. There are three levels of elite status, including MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75k.

The Mileage Plan on Alaska Airlines has an elite qualifying program called “Most Valued Passenger” or MVP. Reach MVP levels by flying often on Alaska Airlines or partnering airlines.

Here is a table outlining what you need to do to qualify for each MVP level:

Annual Qualification Period
January 1 – December 31
Flight miles on Alaska Airlines20,000 miles40,000 miles75,000 miles
Flight miles on combination of Alaska Airlines and partner airlines25,000 miles50,000 miles90,000 miles
Flight segments on combination of Alaska Airlines and partner airlines30 segments60 segments90 segments

You’ll earn more miles each time you fly once you reach a given status. Earn 50% bonus Mileage Plan miles as MVP, 75% bonus as MVP Gold, and 125% bonus as MVP Gold 75K.

10. Double Miles Deals

Search under Explore > Mileage Plan on the Alaska Airlines’ website to check out the latest airfares. The chance to earn double miles on certain popular routes is usually listed there.

Visit the promotion’s webpage and register at the bottom with your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number.

11. Air Cargo and Shipments

If you have something to ship, Alaska Airlines has the biggest passenger airline cargo operation on the west coast of the United States. All packages—small (16 oz) up to large (ULD)—can be shipped onboard Alaska Airlines flights.

You’ll earn extra miles when you use Alaska Airlines for your shipments. Simply book at the Alaska Air Cargo website and use your Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card when you make your purchase.

You will earn 3x miles per $1 spent on your cargo shipment using your card.

12. Car Rentals and Other Transportation

Brooks Mountain range
The Brooks Mountain Range in Alaska. Rent a car to drive around and earn bonus miles!

Rent a car with a partnering car rental company and you will also earn you mileage bonuses:

Car RentalBonus Miles Offer
Alamo50 per day
Avis50 per day (up to 4 days); 500 per rental over 5 days
Budget50 per day
Dollar50 per day
Hertz50 per day (up to 4 days); 500 per rental over 5 days
National50 per day
Thrifty50 per day; 250 for 3 parking stays

Be sure to check the Mileage Plan Deals section of the Alaska Airlines website. The partnering car rental companies occasionally have promotions in which you can earn even more miles per rental.

13. Hotel Partner Offers

The Mileage Plan has multiple hotel partners with which you can earn additional miles for your stay or per night booking.

Check out the bonus miles you could earn for your stay at one of the participating hotels:

HotelBonus MilesHotelBonus Miles
Best Western250 per stayLa Quinta Inns & Suites250 per stay
Choice Hotels250 per stayPreferred Hotels & Resorts500 per stay
Coast Hotels500 per stayRocketmiles3,000 miles for first booking, plus 1,000 – 10,000 per night
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts500 per stayWestmark Hotels2 miles/$1 on stay; 1 mile/$1 on food & beverage
Hilton Honors1 miles/$1Wyndham Hotel Group500 per stay or 2 miles/$1

There are also a couple of hotel rewards programs through which you will earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles.

If you are a part of IHG Rewards Club, you will earn:

  • 2 miles per $1 spent at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean and at all Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express hotels
  • 1 miles per $1 spent Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites
  • 500 miles per stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts outside of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean and at all InterContinental Alliance Resorts

As a part of Marriott Rewards, you will earn:

  • 2 miles per $1 spent on all charges at JW Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels, and Marriott Vacation Club
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on room rate only at the Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, and Gaylord Hotels.
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on room rate only at Courtyard by Marriott, AC Hotels by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Spring Hill Suites by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, and Marriott Executive Apartments.

As a part of Wyndham Rewards you can also transfer reward points into Mileage Plan miles.

  • 2 miles per $1 per stay at Wingate by Wyndham, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Baymont, Microtel, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Knights Inn.
  • 500 miles per stay at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Hawthorn, TRYP by Wyndham, and Dolce Hotels and Resorts

Be sure to choose Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan as the program for which you would like to earn miles when you book through and of the above rewards programs.

14. Hotel Partner Credit Cards

Some hotel points can be transferred to your Alaska Mileage Plan account to earn more miles but, with the exception of SPG Starpoints, this should be avoided if at all possible because of the terrible transfer rate.

Save your hotel points for when you need hotel award stays.

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  • 3x points at Hyatt properties and 2x points at restaurants, airfare purchased directly from the airline and car rental agencies
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15. Cruise Line Partners

alaska cruise bonus miles
If you are a cruise taker, you can earn bonus miles by booking your cruise through the airline.

If you have always wanted to go on a cruise to Alaska, look no further. You can earn bonus miles by booking through Alaska Airlines partner Cruises Only (“America’s Largest Cruise Agency”).

If you take a cruise on any of the following cruise lines through Cruises Only, then you will earn 1,000 bonus miles for spending $0 – $2999 or 2,500 bonus miles for spending $3,000 or more:

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Costa Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Holland America
  • Princess Cruises
  • The Yachts of Seabourn
  • Windstar Cruises

Earning miles through your booking is simple. Visit ak.cruisesonly.com, search for a cruise, and enter your Mileage Plan number at check out.

16. Book Vacation Packages

alaska airlines vacation package bonus miles
Book a full vacation package and earn additional miles while saving time and energy putting together your next vacation

There are many Alaska Airlines vacation packages, both domestic and international, that will earn bonus miles. Many times, you can earn 1,500 bonus miles for simply making a vacation package reservation.

In addition to these promotional miles, you will also earn 3x miles per $1 spent on these packages when you purchase your vacation package using your Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card.

Specialty Earnings for Mileage Plan Miles

From surveys to credit card partners to buying miles, there are several other interesting ways to earn Mileage Plan miles.

17. Fill Out Surveys for Mileage Plan Miles

Earning bonus miles is easy even without spending lots of money or owning one of the Alaska Airlines credit cards. Simply sign up for a free account with Mileage Plan partners, e-Rewards and e-Miles, to start earning immediately.

Filling out surveys with e-Rewards and viewing marketing ads with e-Miles will take a few minutes of your time. Do this a few times a week and the miles you earn from them will add up faster than you realize!

This can help you top off your account when you’re a few miles short of a free flight.

CompanyPer survey currency or milesBonus Rapid Rewards Points
e-Miles5 – 1000 miles100 Points for enrolling
e-Rewards$0.10 – $25.00250 Points when completing the first survey within 2 months

The e-Rewards currency is racked up through filling out online surveys. Some of the surveys are more interesting than others and some are longer than others.

All of them will earn you a set amount of e-Rewards currency which will be posted as soon as you complete the survey.

You have to first enroll your Mileage Plan account with e-Rewards to be able to transfer e-Rewards currency into Mileage Plan miles.

18. Exchange Points into Mileage Plan Miles at Points.com

Alaska Airlines is a partner at Points.com. Points can be transferred between various programs on points.com.

The transfer rates are usually pretty bad so it should only be used when absolutely necessary.

You can sign up for a points.com account for free, link all of your points-earning accounts, including your Alaska Airlines account. Whenever you’re ready, make an exchange to earn some Mileage Plan miles.

19. Buy Alaska Airlines Miles

If you’re planning on redeeming miles for a certain value, you can calculate the cost of the miles and compare to see if its worth it.

Rarely is buying miles worth it. Leave it for topping off an account when you don’t have time to earn the last few miles for your next award flight.

Keep an eye out for any promotional sales. Go here to buy Alaska Miles!

Final Thoughts

Klondike Highway and White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad Lake View
Did you find a new way to earn Alaska Airlines miles in the above list of 20? Keep earning and then jump over the Redeem Miles area to learn how to use them!

The above strategies for earning Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles will help you earn tons of miles.

Whether through the credit card sign-up bonuses or the many partnering airlines with which you can fly, your options for earning miles are endless!

As soon as you start applying the strategies above, you’ll be rolling in tons of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles. Then, when you’re itching for a vacation, you can begin researching ways to use them!

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What are Alaska Airlines miles?
Alaska Airlines’ points program is called the Mileage Plan. The miles you earn, redeem, and transfer are Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles.

How much are Alaska Airlines miles worth?
The value of Alaska Airlines miles depends on the ticket you are getting. You’ll usually always get somewhere between 1.0 and 2.0 cents per point. For example, a lowest fare first class ticket will give you a value up to 1.6 cents per point.

At 1.6 cents per point, that’s like getting a $100 ticket for the equivalent of about 6250 Alaska Airlines miles.

Which credit cards can earn Alaska Airlines miles?
You can sign up for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card and the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Business Credit Card. Unfortunately, no other partners of the airline exist outside of flying partner airlines to earn miles.

You can also transfer Starpoint from SPG to Alaska, so other credit cards that allow you to earn points include the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

What is Alaska Airlines Club 49?
This club was set up to benefit Alaska residents as a thank you to 80 years of loyalty. Alaska residents can enroll to receive special benefits like discount fares with Alaska Airlines.

How do I use Alaska Airlines companion tickets?
In your Alaska Airlines account, select “Valid” under Discount Codes on the left side of your account page. On the loaded page, select Shop and use the code listed under the Shop button to find flights. Note the expiration date for this code.

Choose your desired flights for 2 people and then go through the checkout process ensuring your discount code was applied (it should appear in the summary of the total price for 2 travelers).

Can Alaska Airlines miles be transferred?
Alaska Airlines program cannot be transferred to other airlines. They can, however, be redeemed for flights on other carriers, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.

Is Alaska Airlines partners with United?
No. See their partners here.

Is Alaska Airlines partners with Delta?
No. See all airline partners here.

When do Alaska Airlines miles post in your account?
Alaska Airlines miles should post to your account within 7 days. Miles from partner airlines activity can take 2-3 weeks to post.

If miles do not post in this time frame, you may request missing credit.

Are Alaska Airlines miles refundable?
Yes. The “refundable” coach and first class award tickets have no cancellation or change fees while the regular award tickets do.

When do Alaska Airlines miles expire?
Alaska Airlines miles expire after 24 months of inactivity. Earn or redeem at least 1 mile a minimum of every 24 months to keep your account from expiring.

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