18 Best Ways To Earn Lots of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

Alaska Airlines plane against mountains
16

Full Disclosure: We may receive financial compensation when you click on links and are approved for credit card products from our advertising partners. Opinions and product recommendations on this site are ours alone, and have not been influenced, reviewed or approved by the issuer. Please see our Advertiser Disclosure for more details!

Alaska Airlines began offering flights from Anchorage, Alaska in 1932. Today, the airline offers flights to over 115 destinations across U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Costa Rica and has partnered with the Oneworld alliance and many other 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 and 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 2 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 its co-branded credit cards, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card and Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card from Bank of America allow you to earn substantial miles simply for signing up for a card and using it on everyday purchases.

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

Hot Tip: 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. Refer a Friend for Bonus Miles

The Alaska Signature card occasionally offers 5,000 bonus miles for each referral you provide that 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.

3. Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott Bonvoy 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 Alaska Airlines miles bonus.

Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn up to 17X points per $1 at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn up to 14X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Expires 5/12/2021.

Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual Fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - For a limited time, earn 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 of eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21.

This is a solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

4. Transfer Points From Diners Club International

Points transfer from Diners Club International credit cards at a 10,000 to 11,825 transfer ratio.

As of the time of writing this article, Diners Club International is not accepting new consumer credit card applicants. We’re hopeful that this will change in the future.

Earn Miles Through Shopping & Dining

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

5. Mileage Plan Shopping

Regardless of whether you sign up for the Alaska Signature card, as a Mileage Plan Account member, you have access to the 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 850 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 the Mileage Plan Shopping portal. Earn bonus miles for tons of normal, everyday purchases! Image Credit: Mileage Plan Shopping

To earn Mileage Plan miles for your purchases:

  1. Go to Mileage Plan Shopping
  2. Sign up or sign in to 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 to the actual website to complete your shopping. Be sure to finish it on the same visit in order to get your bonus! Image Credit: Mileage Plan Shopping
  1. Shop around on the store’s website
  2. Make sure you are still logged into the portal when you head to checkout

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.

6. Mileage Plan Dining

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

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

Signing up is free and you don’t have to use an Alaska-branded 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-branded 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 spend $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 Earn more section.

Hot Tip: You can only link a credit card to 1 dining portal at a time, so choose the one that is best for you. Remember that you’ll earn points on your credit card in addition to miles from the dining program.

7. Other Retail Purchases

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

Retail CompanyBonus Miles
1-800-FLOWERS.COM20 miles per $1 spent (use code AKA3)
CARRS/Safeway100 miles per $300 spent using Safeway Club card*
GCI1 mile per $1 spent on phone, internet, and TV in Alaska
Rover3 miles per $1 spent on your first booking, 1 mile per $1 after
Teleflora10 miles per $1 spent (use code BAAAL10)
Vinesse2,250 miles upon initial sign up, as well as 5 miles per $1 spent (use 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 the 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. Image Credit: Safeway

Earn Alaska Miles Through Travel

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

8. Airfare & Alaska Airlines Partners

As we mentioned above, the Alaska Signature card and Alaska Airlines Business card earn 3x miles per $1 on Alaska Airlines tickets.

You will also earn bonus Mileage Plan miles flying with any of the following Oneworld partners or other partner airlines when you attach your Mileage Plan number to your booking:

Alaska Partners
Image Credit: Alaska

For the most part, your mileage earnings will be anywhere from 25% to 500% of the miles flown depending on the partner and fare class you’re flying in.

Hot Tip: Here’s more information about crediting your miles to a partner airline.

9. Airfare Class Bonuses

Alaska Airlines offers a class of service/premium cabin bonus.

This means that you’ll earn 10% to 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 M, L, V, S, N, Q, O, G, or X class
  • Earn actual flight miles flown in H or K class plus 25% Bonus Miles
  • Earn actual flight miles flown in Y or B class plus 50% Bonus Miles

Alaska Airlines First Class Cabin

  • Earn actual flight miles flown in D or I class plus 50% Bonus Miles
  • Earn actual flight miles flown in C class plus 75% Bonus Miles
  • Earn actual flight miles flown in J class plus 100% Bonus Miles

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

10. Elite Status Bonuses

Alaska Air crew with masks
Earn extra miles once you become an MVP: Most Valued Passenger. There are 3 levels of elite status, including MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K. Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Mileage Plan 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 to December 31
MVPMVP GoldMVP Gold 75K
Miles on Alaska and Qualifying Partner Airlines20,00040,00075,000
Segments on Alaska and Qualifying Partner Airlines306090
Minimum Number of Segments Flown on Alaska to Earn/Retain Status246

You’ll earn more miles each time you fly once you reach a given status. Earn 50% bonus Mileage Plan miles as MVP, 100% bonus as MVP Gold, and 125% bonus as MVP Gold 75K.

Those who fly enough to reach MVP Gold 75K status will also receive 50,000 Bonus Miles upon qualification!

11. Air Cargo & Shipments

If you have something to ship, Alaska Airlines has the biggest passenger airline cargo operation on the U.S. West Coast. All packages — small (16 ounces) up to large (ULD) — can be shipped on board 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 Alaska Signature card when you make your purchase.

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

12. Car Rentals & Other Transportation

Dollar Young Renters 2 Females Sunglasses
Image Credit: Dollar Car Rental

Rent a car with a partnering car rental company and you will also earn 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; 500 per rental over 5 days
Dollar50 per day; 150 per day on all rentals of 3 or more days
Hertz50 per day (up to 4 days); 500 per rental over 5 days
National50 per day
Thrifty50 per day; 150 per day on all rentals of 3 or more days

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 Miles
Best Western250 per stay
Choice Hotels250 per stay
Coast Hotels500 per stay
IHG Hotels & ResortsSee below
Marriott BonvoySee below
Rocketmiles3,000 miles for the first booking, plus 500 to 10,000 per night
Westmark Hotels2 miles per $1 on stay; 1 mile per $1 on food and beverage

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

If you are a member of IHG Rewards, you will earn:

As a part of Marriott Bonvoy, you will earn:

  • 2 miles per $1 spent on all qualifying charges at JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, EDITION, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Marriott Vacation Club, Delta Hotels by Marriott, Le Meridien, Westin, Autograph Collection Hotels, Design Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, and Gaylord Hotels.
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on room rate only at Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Aloft Hotels, Moxy Hotels, Marriott Executive Apartments, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Element by Westin.

Hot Tip: Be sure to choose “Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan” as the program for which you would like to earn miles when you making reservations and checking in at the hotel.

14. Hotel Partner Credit Cards

Some hotel points can be transferred to your Alaska Mileage Plan account to earn more miles, but 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.

15. Cruise Line Partners

alaska cruise bonus miles
If you take cruises, you can earn bonus miles by booking your cruise through Alaska Airlines. Image Credit: Axp via Shutterstock

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”).

The number of miles you’ll earn depends on how long your cruise is—here’s how many points you can earn:

Length of CruiseMiles Earned
1 to 5 nights1,500
6 to 8 nights3,000
9 to 12 nights5,000
13 nights or longer10,000

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

Specialty Earnings for Mileage Plan Miles

There are several other interesting ways to earn Mileage Plan miles from surveys to credit card partners to buying miles.

16. Refinance Your Student Loans (or Take Out a Personal Loan)

Alaska Airlines and finance company SoFi recently partnered to give new SoFi customers Mileage Plan miles when refinancing a student loan or taking out a new personal loan.

Currently, you can earn 1 Mileage Plan mile per $2 borrowed when refinancing a student loan or taking out a new personal loan through SoFi. Just note that there’s a 50,000-mile cap on mileage earning for both student loan refinances and new personal loans.

This option can make sense if you’re already considering refinancing a student loan or taking out a new personal loan. However, always make sure to shop around for the best interest rate before settling on SoFi.

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 the Opinion Terminal to start earning immediately.

Filling out surveys with e-Rewards will take a few minutes of your time, though surveys from the Opinion Terminal are often rather long (15+ minutes). 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
The Opinion TerminalVariable per survey offer400 miles when completing the first survey

The e-Rewards currency is racked up by 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. There is no public registration directly with e-Rewards. Instead, you’ll need to be invited through Mileage Plan to participate.

18. Buy Alaska Airlines Miles

If you’re planning on redeeming miles for a certain value, you can calculate the cost to see if buying Mileage Plan miles is 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.

For those without Alaska elite status, you are now limited to purchasing 150,000 miles per calendar year. Elite status holders can continue to buy miles without limit. Keep an eye out for any promotional sales!

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? Image Credit: Alexey Kamenskiy via Shutterstock

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!


The information regarding the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card, Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card, and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

What are Alaska Airlines miles?

Alaska Airlines’ points program is called 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 and 2 cents per point. For example, the lowest fare first class ticket will give you a value of 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.

Which credit cards can earn Alaska Airlines miles?

You can sign up for the Alaska Signature card and Alaska Airlines Business card. You can also use Marriott Bonvoy credit cards to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to Alaska at a 3:1 rate.

What is Alaska Airlines Club 49?

Club 49 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?

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?

Mileage Plan miles 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?

Is Alaska Airlines partners with Delta?

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 to 3 weeks to post.

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

Are Alaska Airlines miles refundable?

As of May 1, 2021, all Alaska Airlines miles will be fully refundable without needing to pay any cancellation fees.

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.

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).

Travel prices are about to surge from pent-up demand.

Use this points strategy to lock in pennies-on-the-dollar pricing in 2021, all without being a frequent flyer...

How do I only pay $30 to go to Hawaii, $200 for business class to Asia or just $150 to Europe?

Discover the real-life strategies that anyone can use to enjoy limitless travel (even on a limited budget!)

Just sign up below and I’ll send you the Limitless Travel Playbook instantly:

We respect your privacy. Please view our privacy policy here.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

16 comments

  1. Rocketmiles.com for hotel reservations. Often some high bonuses. Upcoming hotel reservation with a Marriott will net 11k AS miles.

    Reply

    • Rocketmiles charge you a big fee (equivalent to cost of the free miles they give you) which is not broken down in detail and which includes in the tax amount.

      Reply

  2. Judith Manuel June 11, 2018

    Just need clarification – the above indicates that Delta is a partner w/Alaska Airlines yet Alaska’s website does not list Delta?

    Reply

  3. Buying Starpoints can be a less expensive way to get Alaskan miles. It remains to be seen if the combined program with Marriott will be an easy way to get Alaskan miles. My suspicion is that Marriott, being the cheapo organization they are, will eventually end the transfer program.

    Reply

  4. Alaska has some flights with partners that can only be booked as awards and not available for cash. That is another scenario where buying miles or transferring can make slight sense

    Reply

  5. Does purchasing Alaska airmiles move you closer to Elite status, or are elite miles only miles ‘flown’ that year?

    Reply

    • Hi John. Unfortunately purchasing miles does not move you closer to elite status. You would be purchasing only redeemable miles. And yes, elite qualifying miles are flown miles.

      Reply

  6. Paul Roschke July 12, 2019

    I flew on Alaska Air on 4 July 2019 and read in the flight magazine that Alaska Air has an agreement with a company to award frequent flyer miles for walking. That is, so many steps equals a flyer mile. Could you please tell me the name of the program that offers Alaska Air miles for walking?
    Thank you.

    Reply

  7. Hi there. I’d like to know if buying miles is considered activity and extends the life of miles in my account for another 24 months?

    Thanks!!

    Reply

  8. Do segments flown on an award ticket count toward elite status? (I know the miles flown wont count.)

    Reply

  9. With the lack of a transfer partner, i.e. a bank, earning a lot of Alaska miles will take either forever or cost you a lot of money. Compare that to ways to earn united, American or even delta miles (the worst of all three) and you’ll see how tough it is to earn Alaska miles.

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would (or already) use ourselves. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. Click here to see a list of advertisers that we work with.