The Different Ways To Earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles – Simple Flying

Alaska Airlines is unusual in that it still uses a distance-based method of earning miles on flights. Plus there are other ways to earn.
Mileage Plan is the frequent flyer and mileage program from Alaska Airlines. It has long been a favorite among travelers for its generous earning and redeeming rates. Things have changed for the better since Alaska Airlines joined the oneworld alliance – miles can now be earned and used on all alliance airlines.
For the time being, the program retains a distance-based method of earning miles. All the main US legacy airlines have now moved to a revenue-based earning method (at least for their own flights), setting MileagePlan apart.
Mileage is earned based on the flight distance. All flights operated and marketed by Alaska Airlines will earn base miles of 100% of the distance flown. Flights operated by American Airlines and marketed by Alaska Airlines will also earn 100% – the only exception being basic economy American Airlines flights (with fare class X). There is also a minimum earning of 500 miles for flights shorter than this.
In addition to this, there are two further earning bonuses:
The table below shows the earning rates for all Alaska Airlines fare classes. You can see full details on the Mileage Plan website.
Alaska Airlines joined the oneworld alliance in 2021. Miles can now be earned on all oneworld partner airlines – including American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, and SriLankan Airlines.
In addition, Alaska Airlines has several partnerships allowing mileage to be earned on non-alliance airlines. These airlines are Aer Lingus, Condor, El Al, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, Korean Air, LATAM, and Singapore Airlines.
For all airlines, mileage is earned based on the flight distance and the fare class purchased. Tables are published for each airline, showing the percentage earned in each case. Unlike Alaska Airlines flights (which all earn 100% base miles), the base miles with partners vary from 100% down to 25%. As with Alaska Airlines flights, there are additional bonuses for cabin/fare class and for elite status.
You can see all tables on the Mileage Plan website. The two examples below are for American Airlines, British Airways, and Singapore Airlines.
Whilst earning from flying is usually the most common method with any frequent flyer program, there are several other possibilities as well.
Like most US airlines, Alaska Airlines offers the chance to earn miles from spending on co-branded credit cards. These are only offered at the moment in the US and Canada. Personal and business cards are available, both issued with Bank of America. Cards earn miles at a rate of three miles per dollar on Alaska Airlines flights, and one mile per dollar for all other spending.
These cards offer additional benefits as well. They both offer a reduced companion fare offer (to use once per year on an Alaskan Airlines flight), and a free checked bag. There is also a signup bonus for new cardholders – this can be as much as 70,000 miles but varies with promotions throughout the year.
Earn miles through hotel stays. This is a feature of most airline frequent flyer programs. When booking and staying at major hotel chains, you can often opt to receive miles instead of points in the hotel's own program. Mileage Plan does not have as many partnerships as some programs. You can earn with stays at IHG, Best Western, Choice Hotels, and Marriott. These either offer a fixed number of miles per stay or a variable rate based on dollars spent.
Earn miles through car rental. Mileage Plan has partnerships will all the main car rental companies. With Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, and Thrifty, you will earn the same rate of 50 miles per day. Some of these have slightly increased rates for rentals longer than three days.
Earn miles through online shopping. Many airline programs have an online shopping portal where you can earn miles by shopping through links. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is no exception. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Shopping offers miles based on spend at over 1,100 retailers in the US. There are regular bonus promotions as well, which can be excellent value if timed right. In addition, it has offers with several retailers, where you provide Mileage Plan details as part of ordering. These include 1-800-flowers, Carrs/Safeway stores in Alaska, GCI, Laithwaites wine, Teleflora, and Vinesse Wine Clubs.
Earn miles at restaurants. The Mileage Plan Dining Program rewards miles for spending at over 10,000 restaurants in the US. You sign up, link your Mileage Plan account, and then register the credit card you will use.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is certainly one of the most rewarding US-based frequent flyer programs. Especially as it now shares an alliance with American Airlines, there is always a chance it, too, will move to revenue-based earning. But it hasn’t yet, and for now, remains differentiated. Feel free to discuss earning methods and your experiences further in the comments.
Journalist – With almost a decade of experience in the publishing sphere, Justin has built up a deep understanding of the issues facing aviation today. With a keen interest in route development, new aircraft, and loyalty, his extensive travels with airlines such as British Airways and Cathay Pacific has given him profound direct comprehension of industry matters. Based in Hong Kong and Darlington, UK.
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