The Alaska Airlines award chart has a number of unique opportunities. As an example, you can redeem miles for First Class on Emirates A380, the only airline that currently has an actual shower on board the plane. I’ve also written about a nice opportunity to get free stopovers on domestic flights, making the Alaska Airlines award chart particularly valuable:
It does take 90,000 miles each way to fly First Class, however, and the big downside is that Alaska Airlines miles are notoriously difficult to earn. That said, Alaska Airlines does have a number of transfer partners and a number of options to actually earn the miles, even though it may be harder than some others. In this post, I’ll go over some of the best options for earning lots of Alaska Airlines miles… and then your only problem will be to find award space!
1. Fly Alaska Airlines and Its Partners
Of course, that’s the easiest answer: The most traditional (yet slowest, in my opinion) to earn miles is by actually flying. As we all know, you will earn Alaska Airlines miles by flying on Alaska Airlines. But the thing many people overlook is that Alaska Airlines actually partners with Delta Airlines and American Airlines as well. So if you fly sometimes on American and sometimes on Delta but not a huge amount on either, I recommend just crediting your flights to Alaska – that way, your miles will rack up faster and you may even reach elite status.
Alaska Airlines has a number of other partners that allow you to credit your miles to Alaska Airlines when you fly – so no mile should go to waste! You can find Alaska’s partners here.
2. Alaska Airlines Credit Card with Bank of America
Bank of American has Alaska Airlines co-branded credit cards, both business and personal versions. These offers change frequently and the sign-up bonus has gone as high as 50,000 miles although it’s only at 25,000 miles right now. You can always check the latest offer for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card with Bank of America.
The card also comes with a Companion Ticket so that you can bring a passenger for $99
3. Transfer from Starwood Preferred Guest
Alaska Airlines is a transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest. You can transfer Starwood Preferred Guest points to about 30 different airline partners at a 1:1 ratio with Alaska Airlines being one of them. For every 20,000 miles you transfer, you receive a 5,000 mile bonus. That is, 20,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points will equal 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles.
For instructions on how to transfer Starwood Preferred Guest points to airline miles, you can read my instructions: How to Transfer Starwood Preferred Guest Points to Airline Miles
4. Transfer from Marriott Rewards
Alaska Airlines is a transfer partners of Marriott Rewards. Unfortunately, the transfer ratio is not very good at all and not something I’d recommend doing if you’re just transferring your Marriott Rewards points to Alaska. However, if you are already redeeming Marriott Rewards points for a seven night vacation package, you can then transfer additional points to several airlines at a 1:1 ratio.
5. Transfer from Diners Club
The Diners Club card, previously closed to new applicants, has recently returned and has Alaska Airlines as a transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio.
There are two cards currently available: A $95 annual fee one and a $300 annual fee version. The $300 annual fee version actually earns 3x per dollar at gas, grocery, and drugstores. Depending on much spending you generate at grocery and drugstores, this could be an opportunity to earn 3 Alaska Airlines miles per dollar without a cap. If you do value your Alaska Airlines miles highly and need many of them, the annual fee may very well be worth it… though it probably won’t be for most of us out there.