17 Best Ways To Redeem Alaska Mileage Plan Miles for Max Value [2017]

Qantas First Class

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
AeromexicoFiji Airways
Air France/KLMHainan Airlines
American AirlinesIcelandair
British AirwaysKorean Air
Cathay Pacific*LATAM*
Delta Air LinesQantas
Emirates
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.

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, but we recommend collecting Starwood (SPG) points which you can transfer to your Alaska Mileage Plan account.

(SPG also has many other transfer partners making them very flexible and therefore, valuable).

Remember that for every 20,000 SPG points you transfer to any of their partners, you’ll receive a 5,000 bonus to that partner!

For example:

If you transfer 20,000 SPG points to Alaska, you’ll get 25,000 Alaska miles!

SPG points can be earned by using the cards below:

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights.
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Our Review
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Our Review

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

cathay-pacific-first-class-777-seat
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 Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express 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 50,000 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.

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 Air France Business Class to Tahiti

When you think Air France, you probably think a transatlantic journey to Europe.

Well, check this one out: you can fly non-stop from Los Angeles to Tahiti in Air France business class for 60,000 Alaska miles!

Hot Tip: Air France/KLM Flying Blue is now a partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards! This means you could utilize cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card to transfer miles to Flying Blue in order to utilize them for reward flights.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. Fly Virgin America to Hawaii

The recent merger of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America has opened up a new and exciting option for visiting Hawaii.

For 40,000 Alaska miles, you can fly business class on Virgin America to Hawaii. You can also use just 20,000 miles to fly in economy class.

Hawaii is always a hot ticket, so it’s great to have a new way to get there with Alaska miles!

18. 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.

Hot Tip:  Another way to fly with American Airlines is by using the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to transfer directly to the program.

19. 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 20,000 Alaska miles each way.

A “Skip” includes trips between 701 and 1,400 miles and will cost between 7,500 and 20,000 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 20,000 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 20,000 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!

How To Earn Lots of Alaska Airlines Miles >>

Photo Credits:
Featured photo courtesy of qantas.com

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

FAQ

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.

You can also transfer points from SPG to Mileage Plan, so you can use the personal Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

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?
Yes, but the partnership will be terminated at the end of April 2017. See all 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.