17 Best Ways to Redeem Alaska Mileage Plan Miles for Max Value

Qantas First Class

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Alaska Airlines offers excellent service and a strong link between North America and the Pacific Northwest, which of course includes Alaska.

They have also increased the value of their award redemption options by offering an extra stopover on their own flights, as well as through partnerships with select airlines.

Read on to learn more about how to use your Alaska Airlines frequent flyer program miles for great award travel!

Redeeming Alaska Airlines Miles Using Mileage Plan

Alaska Airlines is not a part of an alliance like Oneworld. As a result, they have been able to pick and choose which airlines they want to partner with. That means you can use your Alaska miles in many great ways!

List of Alaska Airlines Partners

You can use your Alaska Mileage Plan miles to book with all of the following:

Alaska Partners
American AirlinesHainan Airlines
British AirwaysIcelandair
Cathay Pacific*Japan Airlines
CondorKorean Air
El Al (coming soon)LATAM*
Fiji AirwaysSingapore Airlines (coming soon)
Regional Partners
PenAirRavn Alaska

*Note that you will need to call Alaska Airlines at 800-252-7522 to book award flights on a few of the above partners. For instance, you’ll need to call to book on Cathay Pacific and LAN.

The rest of the partner airlines can typically be booked on Alaskaair.com. You’ll have the chance to redeem Mileage Plan miles by selecting “use miles” when searching for availability.

Notice: starting February 14, 2018 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan intra-Asia awards on Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, and Japan Airlines must be booked at least 72 hours in advance. Other routing is not affected and can still be booked last minute.

How To Boost Your Alaska Miles

Alaska Mileage Plan miles can be earned by signing up for their co-branded credit cards offered by Bank of America.

Marriott Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to Alaska Airlines at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 Mileage Plan miles bonus.

Recommended Marriott Cards

New Award Prices Effective June 25, 2018

Award levels for travel on Alaska Airlines

Within Contiguous U.S. and AlaskaMiles Required
Trips less than 700 miles
Main Cabin5,000 – 30,000
First Class15,000 – 40,000
Trips between 701 – 1,400 miles
Main Cabin7,500 – 30,000
First Class25,000 – 50,000
Trips between 1,401 – 2,100 miles
Main Cabin10,000 – 40,000
First Class25,000 – 60,000
Trips longer than 2,101 miles
Main Cabin12,500 – 50,000
First Class30,000 – 70,000

*Price ranges are all for one-way flights. Highest price in each range is a refundable award.

Contiguous U.S./Alaska to MexicoMiles Required
Trips between 701 – 1,400 miles
Main Cabin10,000 – 35,000
First Class30,000 – 50,000
Trips between 1,401 – 2,100 miles
Main Cabin15,000 – 40,000
First Class30,000 – 60,000
Trips longer than 2,101 miles
Main Cabin17,500 – 50,000
First Class30,000 – 70,000

*Price ranges are all for one-way flights. Highest price in each range is a refundable award.

Contiguous U.S./Alaska to HawaiiMiles Required
Main Cabin15,000 – 50,000
First Class40,000 – 80,000

*Price ranges are all for one-way flights. Highest price in each range is a refundable award.

The 17 Best Ways to Use Your Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

Alaska’s loyalty program offers excellent deals on one-way tickets, which can be used strategically for booking flights to 2 destinations with the same amount of miles it would take to get to 1.

When searching for reward availability on partner flights, simply search your dates with the “use miles” option checked. After you click to search, you may filter the results by airline using the sidebar that appears to the left of the search display.

Here are 17 suggestions that will maximize the value of your Mileage Plan miles on both Alaska Airline flights and partner flights…especially for those of you who fly in business or first class!

1. Fly Cathay Pacific First Class to Asia

First Class on Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777…what an experience!

One of the most exciting and best uses of Alaska bonus miles is to fly first class on Cathay Pacific to Asia. For only 70,000 miles, you can experience this amazing first class product and its stellar in-flight service.

If you are connecting in Cathay Pacific’s hub, Hong Kong, you will have the chance to visit 2 first class lounges: The Pier and The Wing. The Pier just might be one of the nicest airport lounges in the world, but both are spectacular. Check them out if you have enough time!

Is business class more your style? You can use just 50,000 Alaska miles to visit Asia on Cathay Pacific. Business class passengers can also visit one of several Cathay Pacific lounges during a layover, including The Bridge, which is an exceptional way to relax before or between flights.

To really get the most out of your Cathay Pacific experience, remember to utilize Alaska’s stopover policy. Stop in Hong Kong on your way to your final destination and enjoy 2 cities during your trip to Asia. Besides, this means you’ll probably get to visit Cathay Pacific’s lounges!

Need help booking? See our step by step guide for booking Cathay Pacific first class.

Hot Tip:  You can also fly Cathay Pacific by transferring points to Asia Miles via American Express Membership Rewards. We recommend the American Express® Gold Card which earns you 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines. (Terms Apply)

2. Fly Cathay Pacific First Class to South Africa

What if I told you that flying first class on Cathay Pacific to South Africa is the same as flying to Asia? Well, you’re in luck! For only 70,000 Alaska miles you can get all the way to Johannesburg. If you prefer, you can do this trip in business class for just 62,500 miles.

Now, I’ll be honest with you: the Hong Kong to Johannesburg flight doesn’t have a first class, so you will only be able to fly in business.

Still, you can basically use this as a bonus flight! Rather than only visiting Asia, you can stopover in Hong Kong to explore, and follow that up with some fun in South Africa.

3. Fly Cathay Pacific First Class to Australia or New Zealand

cathay pacific first class
A little champagne to start your first class journey on Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific might not be the first airline that comes to mind when visiting Australia or New Zealand, but maybe it should be!

For 80,000 Alaska miles, you can fly first class from the United States. Not only is this a great deal, but it’s on one of the top airlines in the world. You can also take this trip in business class for 60,000 miles.

As with the options above, you will have the opportunity to utilize a stopover in Hong Kong on your way.

4. Fly Cathay Pacific First Class to the Middle East or India

You’ve probably started to see a pattern here: Alaska’s award chart for Cathay Pacific gives you ample opportunity to see the world in style. You can visit places like Dubai for only 70,000 Alaska miles in first class. Soon you’ll be able to fly to the historic city of Tel Aviv as well.

Don’t forget to build in a stopover to your trip so you can see Hong Kong, and maybe a bit of another country too!

5. Fly Cathay Pacific First Class Between New York City and Vancouver

If you don’t have time for an adventure across the globe, you can still try Cathay Pacific’s amazing first class product. For 35,000 Alaska miles, you can fly between New York City and Vancouver. This nearly 6-hour flight is a great time to enjoy some amazing first class fun.

6. Fly Qantas Business or First Class to Australia and New Zealand

qantas business class
Enjoy Qantas business class on your way to Sydney. Image courtesy of qantas.com

If you’re visiting either Australia or New Zealand, you might as well see the other country while you’re there too! Using Alaska frequent flyer program bonus miles to fly Qantas will allow you to do just that.

You can stopover in Sydney on your way to Auckland, and a business class flight will only cost 55,000 Alaska miles. Not a bad deal for a typically expensive destination.

If you are able to book 331 days out, you might (I’ll emphasize might) get lucky and find first class space. A first class flight on Qantas will cost only 70,000 Alaska miles, but it is extremely rare to find the necessary award space.

Need help booking? See our step by step guide for booking Qantas first class.

Hot Tip:  You can also use Membership Rewards points to fly Qantas by transferring your points directly to Frequent Flyer. Try The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express for points.

7. Fly Emirates Business Class on the A380 to the Middle East and India

Emirates Business Class
Rest easy in business class on the Emirates A380. Image courtesy of emirates.com.

If you’ve ever wanted to enjoy a fully stocked bar on a flight, look no further than the Emirates A380. Not only can you experience a comfortable flight to the Middle East or India for 82,500 Alaska miles, but you can spend much of the flight mingling in the bar at the rear of the cabin.

An award flight booked with Alaska loyalty program miles wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t include a stopover, so take some time to explore Dubai before continuing to New Delhi or Mumbai.

Need help booking? See our step by step guide to booking Emirates business class.

8. Fly Japan Airlines First Class to Asia

japan airlines first class
Relax in Japan Airlines’ great first class product. Image courtesy of jal.com

A recent addition to Alaska Airlines’ set of partner airlines is Japan Airlines. Known for having a great first class product and amazing in-flight service, you won’t want to miss this experience.

For 70,000 Alaska miles, you can enjoy Japan Airlines’ luxury first class on your way to Asia. Wherever your destination, don’t forget to include a stopover in Tokyo along the way!

9. Fly Korean Air Business Class to Asia

korean air business class
Enjoy a comfortable flight in Korean Air’s business class. Image courtesy of koreanair.com.

Unlike most of Alaska’s partners, booking a one-way ticket on Korean Air costs the same amount of miles as a round-trip ticket. So if you’re considering an award flight on Korean Air, make sure you book a round-trip award!

You can fly to Asia in business class for 125,000 Alaska miles round-trip. Not a bad way to journey across the world! While you’re at it, you might as well enjoy a stopover in Seoul on your way.

10. Fly Hainan Airlines Business Class to China and Beyond

hainan business class
Check out Hainan business class on your way to China. Image courtesy of hainanairlines.com.

If you’re looking for a solid business class option to China, look no further than Hainan Airlines, the largest privately owned airline in China.

A one-way award flight on Hainan in business class will cost 55,000 Alaska miles. Hainan also has many routes to Southeast Asia, so you can easily build a fun trip to that includes China and a second country thanks to Alaska’s stopover rules.

11. Fly Fiji Airways Business Class to Oceania

fiji airways business class cabin
Fly Fiji Airways’ business class on your way to paradise. Image courtesy of fijiairways.com

If you’re going to travel across the world, you may as well do it in style and see as much as you can. Using 55,000 Alaska loyalty program miles to fly business class on Fiji Airways allows you to do just that.

Sure, you could just visit Fiji, but why limit yourself? Make Fiji a stopover on your way to Australia or New Zealand to really get the most out of your miles.

12. Fly American Airlines Business Class to Southern South America

If you’re looking for an adventure to a place like Buenos Aires, Argentina or Santiago, Chile, you can use 50,000 Alaska frequent flyer program miles to fly business class on American Airlines.

As a region, South America doesn’t have the exciting airline products like the Middle East or Asia, but on American Airlines you can get a nice lie flat seat.

13. Fly American Airlines Business Class to Northern South America

American Airlines also provides a great way to fly to Lima, Peru. If you’ve ever wanted to visit Machu Picchu, you’ll be going through Lima so take note!

For only 30,000 Alaska miles, you can get to Lima in business class. You can also make this trip in economy for 17,500 miles during peak season, or 15,000 miles during off-peak times.

14. Fly LATAM Business Class to South America

LATAM business class Dreamliner
Check out LATAM’s Dreamliner on your way to Santiago. Image courtesy of lan.com.

If you want to keep it simple, you can fly LATAM business class to anywhere in South America for 45,000 Alaska miles. The Los Angeles to Santiago route is particularly exciting since they fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

If you’re traveling south, be sure to give LATAM a look. See if you can book a stopover in Santiago on your way to one of many other South American cities.

15. Fly Icelandair to Iceland

Without a doubt, Iceland is one of the most popular destinations in the world right now. However, there are not many airlines that provide year-round service to the island.

Fortunately, Alaska partner Icelandair does, so you can use your Alaska miles to visit at your convenience.

For 50,000 Alaska miles, you can fly business class on Icelandair to Iceland. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to visit Iceland, you can use 22,500 Alaska miles during low season. For an extra special vacation, time it right so you can see the Aurora Borealis.

16. Fly American Airlines Economy Class During Off-Peak Months

If you’re an economy flyer, Alaska miles provide a great opportunity to fly with American Airlines during off-peak months.

An off-peak economy award ticket from the U.S. to Europe only costs 20,000 Alaska miles.

If Asia is more your style, you can fly to South Korea or Japan in economy during off-peak months for only 25,000 miles.

Look no further if you need a cheap award flight across the Atlantic or Pacific. Alaska miles have you covered.

17. Cheap Domestic Flights with a Stopover

Alaska Airlines revamped it’s domestic award chart in December 2016. It is now a distance-based chart that allows stopovers on the way to your destination. They have cleverly named the tiers: Hop, Skim, Jump, and Leap.

A “Hop” is any flight less than 700 miles. These flights will cost between 5,000 and 30,000 Alaska miles each way.

A “Skip” includes trips between 701 and 1,400 miles and will cost between 7,500 and 30,000 miles each way.

If you’re looking to fly a little further across the country, you might fall into the “Jump” tier. Flights between 1,401 and 2,100 miles will cost 10,000 to 40,000 Alaska miles.

Finally, if you’re looking for a transcontinental, you will fall into the “Leap” tier. This include all flights over 2,101 miles and will cost between 12,500 and 50,000 miles.

In Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about the best ways to use your Alaska miles. Use Mileage Plan miles on flights to get a free stopover on one-way tickets all around North America, including to Hawaii.

You’ll also maximize the value of your loyalty program miles when you book one of the top first class experiences in the industry on Cathay Pacific, one of Alaska Airlines’ partners.

Other Alaska Airlines partners have excellent international award flight availability too. Fly to South America, Asia, the South Pacific, or Australia to get a great value with your Mileage Plan miles.

Happy redeeming!

Photo Credits:
Featured photo courtesy of qantas.com


What are Alaska Airlines miles?

Alaska Airlines’ frequent flyer program is called Mileage Plan. The miles you earn, redeem, and transfer are Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles.

Which credit cards earn Alaska miles?

Both the personal Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Business Credit Card can help you earn additional Alaska 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 1-2 cents per point. For example, a lowest fare first class ticket will give you a value up to 1.6 cents per reward point.

At 1.6 cents per point, that’s like getting a $100 ticket for the equivalent of about 6,250 Alaska Airlines miles.

What is Alaska Airlines Club 49?

This club was set up to benefit Alaska residents as a thank you for 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?

Redeem your Alaska Airlines companion fare from your Mileage Plan account online.

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 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.

Does Alaska Airlines partner with United?

No. See their partners here.

Does Alaska Airlines partner with Delta?

No, the partnership was terminated at the end of April 2017. See all current airline partners here.

Is Alaska Airlines partners with American?

Yes. See a full list of 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, but 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 every 24 months to keep your account from expiring.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).


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  1. Can I use my Alaska mileage points to book a rental car?

    • Christine Krzyszton · October 3, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Brian! While you can earn Alaska Airline Mileage Plan miles on car rental partners, you can redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles only for flights on Alaska Airline partners, hotel partners, and for magazine subscriptions.

      • Cameron West · April 23, 2019 · Reply

        Could I utilize a stopover using Alaska miles from DFW-SYD-HNL OR HNL-SYD-DFW?

        Thank you!

        • Stephen Au · April 24, 2019 · Reply

          Hey Cameron,

          I can help answer your question here. You generally cannot backtrack. You have to fly a routing that is logical. For example, going from the continental U.S. to Hawaii via Australia is not a logical route and vice versa.

          However, you can still book two one-way award flights to satisfy this goal. You just have to pay for each segment separately.

  2. In using the AS search feature, I rarely see AA award space open. Is there an option to call AS to book AA awards? Similar to what you need to do for Cathay? Thank you.

    • Stephen Au · February 13, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Linden,

      Yes, you will want to use British Airways (ba.com) to search for award availability on American Airlines. You’ll want to call Alaska Airlines after you’ve confirmed availability. The same procedure is true for Cathay Pacific flights. Thanks for reading!

  3. Helpful, thank you Stephen! I’ve called Alaska to use Cathay (via BA) but I am surprised at the same tactic for American. I guess I was assuming the Alaska folks couldn’t book AA flights via call center. I’m glad I’m mistaken!

  4. DaninMCI · February 22, 2019 · Reply

    Good write up. I would take some issue with the Icelandair example. I seldom find Iceland business available on Alaska award searches. I’m sure it might exist but I wouldn’t count on it on most routes. Maybe for close in booking that changes at times?

    • Stephen Au · February 24, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Danin,

      Icelandair is not generous with award availability at all times. There are some instances where they release lots of award availability, but those are rare. Just keep looking and you might find something, especially close-in availability!

  5. I just checked US (LAX, SFO, JFK, ORD, SEA) to Australia and NZ, and there is ZERO availability in premium cabins on Qantas between now and March 2020. Forget the advertised 70K miles US to Australia on Qantas F published in the Alaska award charts. You’ll have to shell out at least 125K (and 225K in first) and fly EK or KE with long or awkward connections. Alaska award charts on QF = false advertising.

    • Stephen Au · April 28, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Gio,

      Thanks for reading. As you are well aware, Qantas availability is very limited, especially in first class. However, if you plan extremely far in advance, you will generally luck out and find at least 1 award seat available. Keep searching! The best rewards come to the most dedicated.

  6. Jaberou · May 2, 2019 · Reply

    I’m looking to fly to HKG on CX in first. If I’m lucky I can find only 1 seat available. Is it possible to book 1 first and 1 business class seat and upgrade the biz for first with extra miles, if the seat becomes available?

    • Stephen Au · May 2, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Jaberou,

      You won’t be able to upgrade the business class seat. However, what you can do is cancel the business class seat and confirm the second first class seat. You’ll have to pay for the difference along with any cancellation fees. Keep in mind that the mistake fare from Cathay Pacific meant that there’s a lot less first class space available this year.

  7. Wendrika Olofson · May 18, 2019 · Reply

    I’d like to use Alaska Awards to travel from PDX or SEA to Greece for June 2019; how far in advance does should I have searching for there to be any availability online? I’ve searched for the past two months and there is never any availably online (the trip was only recently planned). I had hoped something would open up, but I think my tactic was wrong and that award seats actually sell out very far in advance. Do I simply need to call into the call center? Is 2019 summer travel with AA awards a lost cause? Thanks!

    • Stephen Au · May 21, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Wendrika,

      Yes, getting award travel is generally pretty tough within your time frame unless you’re flexible. Our best advice is to keep looking and to be flexible. Thanks for reading.

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