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 and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

How To Get Alaska Airlines Elite Status (And Is It Worth It?)

Katie Seemann's image
Katie Seemann
Katie Seemann's image

Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

360 Published Articles 64 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 28U.S. States Visited: 29

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

38 Published Articles 3340 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 48U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Who doesn’t love airline elite status? Getting perks like free checked baggage, upgrades, and lounge access can be helpful, but sometimes the path to elite status is unclear.

At Upgraded Points, we’ve covered ways to earn elite status with lots of popular airlines, including Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines. Today, it’s Alaska Airlines’ turn.

In this post, we’ll show you everything you need to know about how to get Alaska Airlines elite status, including the minimum requirements, tiers of elite status, the benefits of each level of status, and the all-important question — is it even worth trying to get Alaska Airlines elite status?

How To Earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Elite Status

Earning elite status in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program is relatively straightforward compared to many other airline elite status programs out there.

The earning period runs on a calendar year, from January 1 to December 31. You keep your status for the remainder of the year in which you earn it, as well as the following calendar year.

To earn elite status, you’ll need to meet the minimum number of elite qualifying miles. There is no longer a requirement to meet a minimum number of flights or segments.

Elite qualifying miles are earned by flying on Alaska Airlines and its qualifying partners, with a minimum of 500 miles earned per flight. Award tickets don’t earn elite qualifying miles.

In 2024, you can earn elite qualifying miles through the Alaska Airlines co-branded credit cards. You’ll get 4,000 EQM for every $10,000 spent (with a maximum of 20,000 EQM earned) on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card or Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card.

SCROLL FOR MORE

Once you earn elite status with Alaska Airlines, it will be valid through the following calendar year. For example, if you earned Alaska Airlines MVP status in October 2024, your status would be valid through December 2025.

After flying 1,000,000 miles on Alaska Airlines, you’ll be a Million Miler and have MVP Gold status for life.

Status Match to Alaska Airlines

Mileage Plan also has a great status match program. If you have elite status with another airline, you can apply for a status match to Alaska Airlines.

You can match to MVP status from the following statuses:

You can match to MVP Gold status from the following statuses:

You can match to MVP Gold 75K status from the following statuses:

Once you apply for a status match, you’ll have 90 days to fly a certain number of miles to keep your status.

  • To keep MVP status, fly 5,000 miles on Alaska
  • To keep MVP Gold status, fly 10,000 miles on Alaska
  • To keep MVP Gold 75K status, fly 20,000 miles on Alaska

Once you fly the required miles on Alaska, your elite benefits will be extended based on when you started your status match challenge.

If you start by the end of June, your benefits will be extended to the end of that calendar year. If you started your challenge between July and December, your benefits will be extended through the following calendar year.

Bottom Line:

You can status match to Alaska Airlines from a number of other airline statuses. After status matching, you’ll have 90 days to fly a specified number of miles to keep your benefits. To maximize the time you can take advantage of your matched status, start your status match challenge between July and December so your benefits will be extended to the end of the following calendar year.

Alaska Airlines Credit Cards

The Alaska Signature card can help you earn Alaska Airlines elite status and it’s a great way to earn lots of Alaska Airlines miles. It comes with perks, including free checked bags and a yearly Companion Fare.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Provides the potential to earn plenty of miles to fly with Alaska Airlines or over a dozen partners. Plus, get an annual companion fare from just $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23)!

Provides the potential to earn plenty of miles to fly with Alaska Airlines or over a dozen partners. Plus, get an annual companion fare from just $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23)!
Get 60,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
60,000 bonus + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™
$960
$95
20.24% - 28.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card in your wallet, you could get great perks and earn miles at the same time. This is a win-win if Alaska is the airline you prefer to fly with! Plus, its annual companion fare is a great benefit for traveling couples.

Pros
  • 3x miles per $1 spent on Alaska purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on eligible gas, local transit (including rideshare), cable, and select streaming services
  • 1x mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cons
    • $95 annual fee
  • LIMITED TIME ONLINE OFFER — 60,000 bonus miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™!
  • Get 60,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™. Every year on your credit card account anniversary you’ll receive a companion fare which allows you to book a companion flight from $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23). Valid on all Alaska Airlines flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 6 guests on the same reservation – that’s a savings of $70 per person roundtrip!
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, local transit (including rideshare), cable, and select streaming services, and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don’t expire on active accounts.
  • 10% reward bonus on all miles earned on card with an eligible Bank of America checking, savings, or investment account.
  • Priority boarding on Alaska Airlines when tickets are purchased with card.
  • With oneworld® Alliance member airlines and Alaska’s Global Partners, Alaska has expanded their global reach to over 1,000 destinations worldwide bringing more airline partners and more ways to earn and redeem miles.
  • Flexibility with no blackout dates on Alaska Airlines flights when booking with miles or a companion fare.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $95 annual fee.
  • This online only offer may not be available elsewhere if you leave this page. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.24% - 28.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Frequent Flyer Program

Small business owners may want to check out the Alaska Airlines Business card.

Alaska Airlines Elite Status Benefits

Alaska Airlines first class seats
Having Alaska Airlines elite status can help you get seats in the front of the plane. Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines elite members have access to select benefits, regardless of elite level:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Free checked bags (2 for MVP and MVP Gold and 3 for MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold 100K)
  • Preferred seating
  • Express security screening at select airports
  • Dedicated reservation phone line
  • Priority call routing in call centers
  • Elite Leave for new parents, allowing you to keep elite status for an additional year during pregnancy or parental leave

In addition, elite members have the following benefits:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Alaska Airlines Elite Benefit

MVP

MVP Gold

MVP Gold 75K

MVP Gold 100K

Oneworld Alliance Status

Oneworld Ruby

Oneworld Sapphire

Oneworld Emerald

Oneworld Emerald

Elite Miles Bonus

50% (25% beginning January 1, 2025)

100% (50% beginning January 1, 2025)

125% (100% beginning January 1, 2025)

150% (150% beginning January 1, 2025)

First Class Upgrades at the Time of Booking

Y, B fares

Y, B, H, K fares

Y, B, H, K, M fares

Y, B, H, K, M fares

Premium Class Upgrades at the Time of Booking

Y, B, H fares

Y, B, H, K, M, L, V, S, N fares

Any fare except Saver fares

Any fare except Saver fares

First and Premium Class Upgrades on Non-Qualifying Fares on Alaska Airlines, Except Saver Fares

48 hours before departure

72 hours before departure

120 hours before departure

120 hours before departure, with the highest waitlist opportunity

First and Premium Class Upgrade Eligibility on Saver Fares

Within 2 hours of departure

Within 2 hours of departure

Within 2 hours of departure

Within 2 hours of departure

Free Checked Bags

2

2

3

3

Discounted Membership for Alaska Lounges

$50 off

$100 off

$150 off

$150 off

Discounted CLEAR Membership and Annual Bonus Miles

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Companion Upgrades to Premium and First Class

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

First Class Guest Upgrades (Max 4 per Year)

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Complimentary Premium Beverage or Chocolate in Main Cabin

 

Yes

Yes

Yes + snack or meal

Standby and Waitlist for Full Flights

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Complimentary Same-Day Flight Changes

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

50,000 Bonus Miles Upon Qualification

 

 

Yes

 

4 Alaska Lounge Day Passes

 

 

Yes

Yes

International Upgrade Certificate on American Airlines

 

 

1 one-way

2 one-way

100K Choice Benefit

 

 

 

Yes

100K Choice Benefit

Upon earning MVP Gold 100K status, members can choose 1 of 5 100K Choice Benefits:

  • 50,000 bonus miles
  • Alaska Lounge+ membership
  • Gift of MVP Gold status
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi every time you fly
  • Complimentary CLEAR® Plus membership
Hot Tip:

Having elite status helps you get first class upgrades on Alaska Airlines.

Oneworld and Global Partner Benefits

In addition to benefits on Alaska Airlines, elite members get benefits from Oneworld Alliance partners and global partners. Benefits include priority check-in, access to preferred or pre-reserved seating, and Priority on waitlists and when on standby, among others.

There are additional perks involved for those with higher elite status including priority boarding, access to Oneworld business class lounges, access to Oneworld Alaska lounges, extra baggage allowance, and priority baggage handling.

Oneworld Alliance Partners

SCROLL FOR MORE
Oneworld Partners
Alaska AirlinesMalaysia Airlines
American AirlinesOman Air (joining in 2024)
British AirwaysQantas
Cathay PacificQatar Airways
Fiji Airways (Oneworld Connect Partner)Royal Air Maroc
FinnairRoyal Jordanian
IberiaS7 Airlines (temporarily suspended)
Japan AirlinesSriLankan Airlines

Global Partners

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Condor
  • EL AL Israel Airlines
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Ravn Alaska
  • Singapore Airlines
  • STARLUX Airlines

Alaska Airlines elite members have access to the following Oneworld Alliance benefits.

SCROLL FOR MORE

Oneworld Benefit

MVP

MVP Gold

MVP Gold 75K

MVP Gold 100K

Oneworld Elite Status

Oneworld Ruby

Oneworld Sapphire

Oneworld Emerald

Oneworld Emerald

Earn and Redeem Miles on Oneworld Partner Flights

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Elite Bonus Miles on Eligible Oneworld Flights

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Priority Check-in

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Preferred or Pre-Reserved Seating

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Waitlist and Standby Priority

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Priority Boarding

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Oneworld Business Class Lounge Access

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Extra Baggage Allowance and Priority Handling

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Oneworld First Class Lounge Access

 

 

Yes

Yes

Fast Track at Security

 

 

Yes

Yes

American Airlines Benefits

Alaska Airlines elite members have access to the following benefits on American Airlines:

SCROLL FOR MORE

Other Partner Airlines Benefits

MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members plus 1 guest will have access to the following partner lounges:

  • Select Hainan Airlines lounges
  • Select Icelandair lounges

Is Alaska Airlines Elite Status Worth It?

Whether or not Alaska Airlines elite status is worth it or not depends on how you use the program. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of Alaska’s elite status to see what they’re actually worth for an average traveler.

Free Checked Baggage

Checked baggage on Alaska Airlines
You’ll save money on checked baggage fees with Alaska Airlines elite status. Image Credit: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines elite members get a minimum of 2 free checked bags per flight. Alaska’s checked baggage fees are increasing to $35 for the first bag and $45 for the second. This means that if you fly 6 times per year round-trip and check 2 bags each time, having elite status would save you $960!

If you don’t have Alaska Airlines elite status but would still like to avoid paying baggage fees, you can consider Alaska Airlines co-branded credit cards. Both of these cards come with a free checked bag for you and up to 6 guests on the same reservation.

Premium Class Upgrades

Alaska Airlines elite members can upgrade to Premium Class at the time of booking, depending on which fares you book. Premium Class comes with roomier seats, complimentary beer and wine, plus priority boarding. Premium Class upgrades start at $15 per flight, so if you fly 6 round trips per year, you’ll save $180.

Elite Miles Bonus

As an Alaska Airlines elite member, you’ll earn 50% to 150% in bonus miles. If you’re an MVP member who flies 20,000 miles per year, that’s a bonus of 10,000 miles.

According to our most recent valuations, Alaska miles are worth ~1.8 cents each. That means your bonus of 10,000 miles is worth about $180. If you’re an MVP Gold 100K member who flies 100,000 miles, your 150% bonus will give you an extra 150,000 miles with a value of about $2,700!

Bottom Line:

Being able to earn bonus Alaska miles is a great perk of having elite status with Alaska Airlines.

Final Thoughts

Alaska’s MVP elite status program is a great way to improve your flying experience. Thankfully, getting Alaska Airlines elite status is relatively straightforward.

Each calendar year, you’ll need to fly at least 20,000 eligible miles. As you get higher elite status, the requirements to earn the status also go up.

Best of all, you can enjoy the benefits of Alaska Airlines elite status on their many Oneworld partner airlines as well.

The information regarding the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get Alaska Airlines elite status?

Earning elite status on Alaska Airlines is simple. All you need to do is earn at least 20,000 elite qualifying miles within a calendar year.

How long does Alaska Airlines elite status last?

Once you’ve earned Alaska Airlines elite status, it’s valid through the following calendar year. For example, if you earned elite status in November 2023, it will last through December 2024.

What does Alaska MVP status get you?

Alaska Airlines MVP status is the lowest level of elite status, but it still comes with lots of benefits including priority check-in, boarding, and seating, seat upgrades, free checked bags, elite bonus miles, discounted Alaska lounges membership, and Oneworld Ruby status. Elite status through Alaska Mileage Plan can be quite rewarding.

Does Alaska Airlines recognize American status?

Yes, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines elite members get some reciprocal benefits. American Airlines elite members can get perks such as priority check-in, priority boarding, free checked bags, and complimentary upgrades from Main Cabin seats to the next class of service when flying on Alaska Airlines.

Does Alaska match status?

Yes, if you hold status with another airline, you can request a status match challenge from Alaska. This is a 1-time opportunity that will give you status for 90 days while you complete your status match challenge to keep your new status longer.

Complete this form to begin your status match challenge.

Katie Seemann's image

About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

The Ultimate Lounge Playbook!

Discover the exact steps we use to get into 1,400+ airport lounges worldwide, for free (even if you’re flying economy!).

playbook cover
DMCA.com Protection Status