17 Best Ways to Redeem Alaska Mileage Plan Miles for Max Value (2017 Updated)

how to redeem Alaska airline miles

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To earn extra miles for the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program, you can use your branded Alaska credit card.

Even better, Starpoints can be transferred to Alaska, so you could use the personal Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

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

They have also increase the value of their award redemption options by offering an extra stopover on their own flight bookings and through partnerships with select airlines.

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Redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

alaska airlines redemptions
The mountains of Alaska are beautiful. Use your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles to fly there and see them for yourself!

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 Airline Partners

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

Aeromexico Fiji Airways
Air France/ KLM Hainan Airlines
American Airlines Icelandair
British Airways Korean Air
Cathay Pacific* LATAM*
Delta Air Lines Qantas
Regional Partners
PenAir Ravn Alaska

*Note: 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 typically can be booked on Alaskaair.com. You’ll have the chance to redeem Mileage Plan miles by selecting “Use miles” when searching for availability.

The 17 Best Ways Use Your Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

Alaska Mileage Plan miles can be earned by signing up for credit cards like the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card.

You can also transfer points to your Alaska Mileage Plan account from Starwood Preferred Guest at a 1:1.25 rate.

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The Mileage Plan program offers excellent deals on one-way tickets that can be used strategically to book flights to two destinations for the amount of miles it would take to get to one.

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 side bar that appears on the left side 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 those of you who fly in Business or First Class.

1. Fly Cathay Pacific in 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 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 amazing in-flight service.

If you are connecting in Cathay Pacific’s hub, Hong Kong, you will have the chance to visit two amazing 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 very nice. Check out both if you have enough time.

If business class is more your style, you can use 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 two cities during your trip to Asia. Besides, this makes visiting Cathay Pacific’s lounges much easier!

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 fly to Johannesburg. If you prefer, you can do this trip in business class for 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 class. But seriously, this is basically a bonus flight.

Rather than only visit Asia, you can stopover in Hong Kong to explore and follow it 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.

Like 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 will 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 as well!

5. Fly Cathay Pacific First Class between New York City to 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 six hour flight is a great enjoy some amazing first class fun.

6. Fly Qantas Business 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 Australia or New Zealand, you might as well see the other as well. Using Alaska miles to fly Qantas will allow you to do just that. You can stopover in Sydney on your way to Auckland. 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 only cost 70,000 Alaska miles, but it is extremely rare to find the necessary award space.

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 enjoy a comfortable flight to the Middle East or India for 82,500 Alaska miles, but you can spend much of the flight mingling at the bar at the rear of the cabin.

An award flight booked with Alaska 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.

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 edition to Alaska Airlines’ set of partner airlines is Japan Airlines. Known for having not only a great first class product but also amazing in-flight service, you won’t want to miss this experience.

For 70,000 Alaska miles you can enjoy a luxury first class on Japan Airlines on your way to Asia. Wherever your destination in Asia, 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, one-way bookings on Korean Air cost the same amount of miles as a round-trip. 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 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 your 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

Hot Tip: 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.

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.

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 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 with 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 30,000 Alaska miles you can fly business class to Lima.

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 as they fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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

16. Fly Icelandair Business Class 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. 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 to visit Hawaii. For 40,000 Alaska miles you can fly business class on Virgin America to Hawaii. You can also use 20,000 miles to fly in economy class.

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

In Conclusion

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

You’ll also maximize the value of your miles when you book some of a top First Class experience in the industry with Cathay Pacific, one of Alaska Airlines’ partners.

There is excellent international award flights availability on other Alaska Airlines partners, too. Fly to South America, Asia, the South Pacific, or Australia for 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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

Which credit cards earn Alaska miles?
Both the personal Bank of America 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 Alaska Mileage Plan, so you could use the personal Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or 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 1.0 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 6,250 Alaska Airlines miles.

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?
Yes. 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.