The Best Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Award Chart Sweet Spots The Best Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Award Chart Sweet Spots

The Best Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Award Chart Sweet Spots

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Despite a rather small route network confined to the Americas, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program is a favorite among frequent flyers. We've gone so far as to crown Mileage Plan as AwardWallet's favorite frequent flyer program. This is due in large part to the Alaska Mileage Plan sweet spots that you can book with your miles.

Although Alaska Airlines is the fifth largest carrier in the United States, its frequent flyer program punches above its weight class. Alaska Mileage Plan partners with dozens of airlines around the world — including all Oneworld member airlines. The award booking process is simple, and the program offers some excellent premium cabin award sweet spots. It's clear why so many travelers gravitate towards the Mileage Plan program.

In this post, we'll highlight some of the best sweet spots for redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan miles for maximum value.

Note that Alaska recently changed how it displays its award chart (see the new one here). And we've unfortunately seen some negative changes to award pricing since the program moved to a consolidated chart. One of the worries is that Alaska will slowly roll out more devaluations. However, there are still some excellent Alaska Mileage Plan sweet spots. It might be worth booking them now, before further losses, so let's look at what they are.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Airline Partners

One of the main reasons Mileage Plan remains such a popular program is the lengthy list of airline partners on which members can book award flights. After Alaska Airlines joined the Oneworld Alliance in March 2021, Mileage Plan members have enjoyed a greater array of partner airlines they can book using miles. You can now earn and/or redeem Alaska miles with 28 airline partners.

Of those 28 partners, Mileage Plan members can redeem their miles for award travel on 24 airlines. Best of all, almost all of these partner awards can be booked online at The remaining four partners are “earn only” when you book their flights at

Here is a list of all Mileage Plan partners as of June 2023:

AirlineRedeem MilesEarn Miles
Aer LingusYes, some routes available online*Yes
Air Tahiti NuiYesYes
American AirlinesYesYes
British AirwaysYesYes
Cape AirNoYes, when booked with Alaska Airlines
Cathay PacificYesYes
El AlYesYes
Fiji AirwaysYesYes
Hainan AirlinesYesYes
Japan AirlinesYesYes
Kenmore AirNoYes, when booked with Alaska Airlines
Korean AirYesYes
LATAM AirlinesYes, some routes available online*Yes
Malaysia AirlinesYesYes
Mokulele AirlinesNoYes, when booked with Alaska Airlines
Qatar AirwaysYesYes
Ravn AlaskaYesYes
Royal Air MarocYesYes
Royal JordanianYesYes
Singapore AirlinesYesYes
Sri Lankan AirlinesYesYes
Southern Airways ExpressNoYes, when booked with Alaska Airlines
StarluxComing summer 2023Yes

Topping Off Your Alaska Mileage Plan Account

Travelers have several options to add to their Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account balance. This includes excellent personal and small business credit cards, the extensive list of partners on which you can earn Mileage Plan miles, and the ability to transfer points from other programs.

Alaska Boeing 737 Max

Earn through flying

Mileage Plan members can earn miles when traveling on partners that include American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, and more. Members also can earn miles through the Alaska Airlines shopping portal, dining portal, and with a long list of hotel and car rental partners.

Transfer points

If you have a rather large points and miles balance with other major programs, you may be able to transfer them to your Mileage Plan account. Here are some of the transfer partners that allow members to transfer their points or miles to their Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account:

Related: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: A Complete Guide

Alaska credit cards

As previously mentioned, Alaska Airlines offers both a personal and business co-branded credit card. Both cards offer new cardholders the opportunity to earn bonus Mileage Plan miles after qualifying spend and continue to earn miles on everyday purchases. For personal use, Alaska Airlines offers the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card. For business use, Alaska Airlines offers the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card.

Here's a current look at the welcome bonuses available for new applicants:

Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card
Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus LIMITED TIME ONLINE OFFER - Buy One Get One is Back! Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ + 40,000 Bonus Miles. Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) and get 40,000 bonus miles with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, cable, streaming services and local transit including ride share purchases
  • Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card
Annual Fee$70 for the company and $25 per card
Welcome Bonus Get 50,000 bonus miles, $100 statement credit and 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 opening your account.

Buying Alaska miles

Alaska Airlines also runs regular promotions that offer up to a 50% bonus when purchasing Mileage Plan miles. During these promotions, purchasing miles is a great way to top off your account for that dream award redemption. We do not recommend speculatively buying miles without a plan to use them, however.

Tip: Mileage Plan Miles don't expire as long as you keep your account active. Keeping your account active includes earning or redeeming at least one mile in a 24-month period. If your account goes inactive, you'll still have another year to reactivate your account before losing your miles.

Best Alaska Mileage Plan Sweet Spots

Whether you're hoping to redeem miles for a luxe trip in first class across the globe or a last-minute domestic flight in coach, redeeming Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan for award tickets can yield excellent value.

In recent AwardWallet redemptions, Mileage Plan miles have provided an average of 2.57¢ per mile. However, the exact value depends on what type of award you book:

  • Short-haul economy: 1.17¢ per mile
  • Long-haul economy: 1.33¢ per mile
  • Short-haul business/first: 3.8¢ per mile
  • Long-haul business/first: 4.39¢ per mile

One of the best features of the Mileage Plan program is the ability to book awards with a stopover on one-way awards. Some mileage programs don’t even allow one-way awards, let alone stopovers on one-way awards. The ability to add two additional destinations to a round-trip award adds huge value to Alaska awards. There are some restrictions in terms of stopover destinations, however.

You can add a stopover to most award tickets. But what are the Alaska Mileage Plan sweet spots in terms of value? Without exact award charts anymore, they're more difficult to identify (and some have disappeared altogether). But based on our searches, here are some of the best.

U.S. West Coast to Nadi, Fiji (stopover) to Australia or New Zealand in business class: 55,000 miles + $54

Alaska Mileage Plan Sweet Spot - Fly Fiji Business Class to Oceania with a stopover in Fiji
Fiji Airways business class is a solid Alaska Mileage Plan sweet spot when using it to fly to Oceania and even include a stopover in Fiji.

Fiji Airways awards using Alaska Mileage Plan miles remain one of the best ways to fly business class to the South Pacific. You can fly to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or Auckland for just 55,000 miles one-way. The best part? Add in a stopover in Fiji for no extra miles. This is actually a great way to make this award work at all, given the generally few-and-far-between award space on the U.S.-Fiji routes.

The Fiji Airways A350 business class cabin looks stellar. More than once, I've booked a ticket to fly the cabin; sadly, I've had to cancel each time. Business is the way to go if there is award space. However, you can fly in Fiji Airways economy for 40,000 miles from the US to either Australia or New Zealand — and still add a stopover in beautiful Fiji.

United States to Hong Kong (stopover) to Asia or Middle East in Cathay Pacific first class: 70,000 miles + $60

Booking an award from the United States to Hong Kong and then onward to the Middle East is a fantastic way to maximize the value of your miles. However, as you might imagine, finding award availability for this routing is a challenge. Award space was already limited, but post-COVID, both business- and first-class award seats on Cathay are nearly impossible to snag. Still, if you're lucky, you can book this routing from just 62,500 in business class or 70,000 in first class.

Cathay Pacific First Class seat
Cathay Pacific First Class. Credit: Max Prosperi/AwardWallet

United States to Germany in Condor business class: 55,000 miles + $48

Alaska Airlines award search result for Condor flights to Germany, which is a sweet spot
Fly to Europe for just 55,000 miles in Condor business class.

Condor is a small leisure carrier based in Germany, operating a handful of routes between Germany and the Americas. While the airline wasn't previously known for offering an amazing business-class product, this has changed in recent years. Condor recently unveiled a new business product on par with many larger and more well-known competitors.

Mileage Plan members can book business class flights between North America and Europe for an affordable 55,000 miles. This award redemption is one of the lesser-known and most underrated options offered to Mileage Plan members, creating great sweet spots on a quality product.

Condor New Business Class cabin
Fly in Condor's new business class for just 55,000 Mileage Plan miles. Credit: Condor

U.S. to South America in LATAM business class: 45,000 miles + $19

Alaska Airlines award search results showing prices for LATAM flights to South America
LATAM business class is an excellent use of Alaska miles

Given that LATAM is now a major Delta partner, I've been surprised how long these awards have stuck around. It used to be difficult to book awards such as Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile, as you had to call to see if there was award space. However, you can easily book tickets online now. A nearly 11-hour flight in business class for 45,000 miles is an excellent deal.

Asia to Europe in Finnair business class: 60,000 miles + $58

Fly 14 hours in Finnair business class for just 60,000 miles!

This is one of the best uses of Alaska Mileage Plan miles that doesn't touch the U.S. Travelers can fly between Asia and Europe in Finnair business class. That's a spectacular price, especially due to the current Russian airspace closure. Hong Kong to Helsinki rings in at over 14 hours of flying.

Finnair A350 business class cabin
Finnair A350 business class cabin. Credit: Ryan Smith/AwardWallet

United States to Australia in Qantas business/first class: 55,000/70,000 miles + $60

We'll be completely blunt about this redemption: Finding Qantas business class availability is a challenge. And finding first class award availability is close to impossible. Qantas first class from the U.S. to Australia is considered a unicorn of the award travel world.

However, Qantas business class award availability can exist. Taking advantage of Mileage Plan’s generous routing rules, you could book Sydney as your stopover destination and continue onward to Perth on a single award, paying just 55,000 miles for over 10,000 miles in Qantas business class (considering the entire route). It jumps to 70,000 Alaska miles for a ticket in first class.

2 passengers have dinner together in Qantas first class
Qantas First Suite. Credit: Qantas

United States to Europe in Finnair business class: 70,000 miles + $19

While a little pricier when compared to the other options on this list, Finnair's new business-class product makes this a worthwhile redemption. Business class award availability on Finnair's routes between the U.S. and Finland can be hit or miss, however.

a woman relaxes in Finnair's new business class seat
Book Finnair's new business class product between the U.S. and Europe from 70,000 Alaska miles. Credit: Finnair

A flight from Los Angeles (LAX) takes over 10 hours, making this a great deal if you can find award space.

U.S. West Coast to Tokyo in Japan Airlines business class: 60,000 Miles + $19

Mileage Plan awards on JAL are one of the devaluations the program has experienced since rolling out a combined award chart. From the West Coast, the prices are still the same. However, flying to Japan from the rest of the country is now more expensive. Departing Dallas, you'll pay 80,000 miles.

JAL award using Alaska Airlines miles - one of the program's sweet spots
JAL business class costs more from the Midwest and East Coast

What's interesting is that you can connect in the East Coast or Midwest and still pay the West Coast price. Given the general lack of JAL award space, this might be the only way to snag a seat at times.

JAL Business Class ticket departing Seattle and connecting in Dallas-Fort Worth before flying to Tokyo costs the same price as flying directly from Seattle
Same itinerary, but with a connecting flight starting in Seattle, costs just 60,000 miles.

If you can find first class award space, flights from the West Coast are still a good deal at 85,000 miles. This is a jump from the previous 70,000 miles price —  but still a good use. JAL first class is top-notch.

Cheap domestic flights within North America – or last-minute tickets

Alaska Airlines utilizes a distance-based award chart for domestic flights. Here's how Alaska Airlines breaks down domestic award pricing:

  • Hop: Flights less than 700 miles start at 5,000 Alaska miles
  • Skip: Flights between 701 and 1,400 miles start at 7,500 Alaska miles
  • Jump: Flights between 1,401 and 2,100 miles start at 10,000 Alaska miles
  • Leap: Flights over 2,101 starting at 12,500 Alaska miles

Last-minute flights can be a great use of miles. Here's an example: Available for just 12,500 miles, this last-minute flight is currently selling for over $300 one-way. That's over 2.4 cents per mile on a simple economy award!


The West Coast stopover trick

Additionally, Alaska Airlines allows travelers to add stopovers on most domestic itineraries. As is the case with any distance-based award chart, the key is to use this to your advantage. If you live in an Alaska hub, you can use a “stopover” to essentially get half of two trips for the price of one. Consider the following itinerary if you live in Seattle. You can use one ticket to book a return segment from New York (coming home from your vacation there), continuing on to Hawaii weeks later (to start your vacation there).

Alaska Airline sweet spots include stopovers in hubs, which is convenient if you live there; award pricing for JFK-SEA-HNL
Get creative with Alaska stopovers if you live on the West Coast.

Related: Alaska Airlines Flight Pass Now Comes with Elite Status, But There's a Catch

Final Thoughts

With some of the best premium cabin award sweet spots of any frequent flyer program in the world, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan deserves its place at the top of our list of favorite award travel programs. With partners that include American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and Qatar Airways, there are plenty of ways to redeem Mileage Plan miles for travel across the globe.

You can earn miles with Alaska Airlines co-branded credit cards, on eligible flights, or by transferring points or miles from other accounts to your Mileage Plan account. Plus, Mileage Plan miles won't expire so long as you keep your account active. Now that some of our favorite sweet spots have disappeared and others have gone up in price, you might consider booking one of these sooner than later.

What's your favorite Alaska Mileage Plan sweet spot?

5 / 5 - (7 votes)
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  • Here is my problem with Alaska Mileage Plan. The devaluation of Japan Airlines in March was totally unannounced and TOTALLY unfair to members. The previous devaluation of Emirates was more kind to members, because at the very least, there was some notice. With JAL, there was none! The other issue with Alaska’s program is there are few ways to transfer in miles. So earning Alaska miles is butt in-seat, CC SUBs, and buying miles.

    I just don’t trust Alaska Mileage Plan, anymore. The JAL devaluation was made because of the huge demand for seats to Japan, because of the end of the Covid travel embargo. But there were already limitations set by JAL in the award seat availability. So Alaska wasn’t producing an unlimited amount of JAL awards, because JAL wasn’t releasing that many award seats to partners. That, in and of itself, are the facts. That Award Wallet white washes and/or ignores what Alaska did to its members is disingenuous. Be honest about what Alaska Mileage Plan’s behaviors have been!

    • Ryan Smith says:

      Hi John, we linked to this article within this post:
      This is our coverage of the JAL changes you’re highlighting. We have been very honest about Alaska’s changes, both for the good and for the bad. It’s fine to think Mileage Plan is no good any more and take your business elsewhere. However, it seems disingenuous to say AwardWallet is whitewashing Alaska’s changes when we have covered all of them in what we believe is an honest, balanced manner.

  • This is helpful information. I’ve been focusing on raising my Alaska balance to take advantage of the program’s advantages. Hainan (relatively) cheap business class flights seem to be a good way to do so.

  • Great informative article!

    Alaska Air has been a favorite of mine since I started flying with them in high school. My loyalty was ensured when they recently reinstated an old expired mileage account. I had just asked for my credit towards million mile status but was surprised when they issued the old miles as well. The Signature card is a great deal for me even just for the free luggage. Also, they in line transferred my luggage for free when I was connecting with Korean Air on a separate ticket. Was surprised and delighted when the check-in attendant brought this option up, which I was not aware of.

    Btw, my American Airlines miles expires 2/25/18, would greatly appreciate 5 bonus miles to my account! 🙂 Cheers!

  • Alaska air my fav. I think this program is tops for me. Hawaii this year , Asia 2018. ?

  • I love Alaska air like southwest. Ofcoursebetter partner redemption

  • Thanks for this advice. New sweet spot will probably arrive in the next few months with the partership with Singapour Airlines. Will be great

  • I’ll have to remember the Alaska Airlines credit card. The link brings up a Bank Of America application with a bonus of 30,000 miles plus a $100 credit and free companion offer with $1000 spent. If it wasn’t for the increased $30,000 Amtrak offer expiring this month and the new Premium Rewards credit card, both also from Bank )f America, it might be worth considering now, but maybe there will be a increased bonus promo one day.

  • No doubt this is one of the best airline frequent flyer programme.
    Thanks for letting us know the best sweet spots.

  • Nice options out of Sydney!

  • This is a useful guide. Mileage Plan really is the best after other airlines have devalued their programs.

  • I did the Fiji Airways 55k award LAX-NAN(stop)-AKL. It was pretty sweet. Availability for 2 business seats was good at the 6 month mark as well!

  • Thanks for the tip

  • I just started accruing with Alaska and it’ll be sweet to try for dfw to syd! We’ll see if I can ever find it :o) But just to be able to use them domestically or to Hawaiian will be a boon. I’m from PNW originally and really didn’t fly Alaska since I mainly went to the southern US. Never really saw them as going more outside the PNW.

    Any word how long the SPG credit cards will still be around?

  • Thanks for the tips

  • This is a terrific article about a terrific airline. Thx so much for all the info!

  • Love the sweet spot posts, keep them coming, thanks very much!

  • Intra-Asia seems to be a super deal!!

  • Somehow I had missed the cheap distance-based domestic awards.

  • I wish Alaska would build out their East Coast routes.

  • Thank you for pointing out all the options.

  • I had definitely looked into some of these awards and I definitely want to do one. Just gotta get more miles first

  • Alaska has been such a great program. So happy to see it around, keeps the other companies a little more honest.

  • ive been looking at using Alaska miles on JAL, but didn’t know about the stopover option. sweet!

  • Awesome. I also love how Alaska still calculates accruals using miles vs fare based.

  • I would love to do the LA stopover FIJI to Auckland in business class for only 55 k.

  • Thanks! Love the Australia to US via HK redemption, and availability on CX is usually OK(ish).

  • Bertrand Say says:

    I plan on using my miles for a trip to Asia.