Alaska Offering Bonus Elite Miles for Credit Card Spending and Flying

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As some travelers start to travel again, airlines and hotels are fighting hard for our business. Both JetBlue and Southwest are currently offering double points on flights. Now, Alaska has launched new promotions to earn elite status faster and earn bonus award miles.

Alaska has already announced that existing Alaska Mileage Plan elite members will have their elite status extended through the end of 2021. So, these options to fast-track to elite status are going to be best for those who are looking to switch their loyalty to Alaska or earn a higher level of Alaska elite status. If you're not already a member, you can sign up for the Mileage Plan program here.

Extended: Earn Elite Status Through Flying

  • Earn 50% bonus elite qualifying miles on all flights with Alaska Airlines
  • Valid on flights from June 1 through December 31, 2020 — extended through September 30, 2021
  • Partner flights don't receive a bonus

There's no registration required for this promotion. All you need to do is credit Alaska flights to your Mileage Plan account to qualify. Note that you'll earn 50% bonus elite-qualifying miles, but you'll earn the same number of award miles.

Earn Bonus Miles From Credit Card Purchases

Cardholders of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card and Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Credit Card have two new options to earn bonus miles:

[Expired] Earn Elite Miles from Credit Card Spending 

  • Earn 2,500 elite qualifying miles for every $5,000 spent using an Alaska Visa Card or Alaska Business Card
  • Valid on all purchases between June 1st and September 30th, 2020
  • A member can earn a maximum of 10,000 elite qualifying miles from $20,000 in spending
  • Spending excludes any fees—including the annual fee—returns and adjustments

The terms and conditions state that “purchases from different Alaska Airlines accounts cannot be combined to reach the $5,000 threshold.” So, you won't be able to combine spending between an Alaska Visa Card and an Alaska Business Card. Likewise, a member account is limited to a maximum of 10,000 elite-qualifying miles from this offer “even if they hold multiple Alaska Airlines consumer and small business Visa cards.”

The bonus elite-qualifying miles earnings won't show up on your credit card statement but will be credited to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account within the first two billing cycles after qualifying.

[Expired] Earn Bonus Miles from Restaurant Purchases

  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on restaurants, take-out, and delivery services
  • Valid from June 1 to July 31, 2020
  • Limited to the first $1,500 spent

We have seen several other credit cards add offers for spending at restaurants, take-out and delivery services. So, make sure that it makes sense for your situation before taking advantage of this offer.

Alaska Elite Status Requirements and Benefits

Alaska Offering Bonus Miles Info

There are three tiers of Alaska elite status: MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K. And there are three ways that you can earn this status:

  • earning a set number of elite-qualifying miles on Alaska (20k, 40k, 75k respectively)
  • earning a slightly-higher number of elite-qualifying miles on Alaska and its partners (25k, 50k, 90k respectively), or
  • flying a certain number of qualifying segments (30, 60, 90 respectively)

Alaska elite benefits vary based on each tier but include perks like bonus points, first-class upgrades, preferred seating, priority check-in, and boarding.

Remember that Alaska is planning to join the Oneworld Alliance in the summer of 2021. This means that if you use the above deals to get to Alaska elite status, you will also qualify for American Airlines and Oneworld benefits for at least part of next year.

Our Take

By taking full advantage of the credit card spending offer, you can earn half of the 20,000 miles needed to qualify for the first tier of Alaska elite status. Plus, you'll get the 50% elite qualifying miles bonus on your flights to earn the remaining 10,000 miles.

If you don't already have the Alaska Visa Card, you can earn up to 67,000 bonus miles. after meeting a two-part spending requirement.

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  • I wish Alaska Airlines would travel to the Middle east.

  • Alaska miles are some of the most valuable out there, I wish they would become a transfer partner with Chase or AMEX.

  • Will call BOA to verify, but I am assuming the spend portion would not include donations made using the card?

    • JT Genter says:

      Charity donations charged to your credit card would count toward qualifying spending. That’s one way that I have personally used to help knock out sign-up and welcome bonuses on cards requiring a large spend such as the Amex Business Platinum. However, point donations or other non-cash donations wouldn’t count.

  • I am seriously thinking of changing some of my spend to this card due to these benefits. I might want Alaska Airlines elite status and this would be a great way to start.

  • Florencia says:

    If Alaska joins Oneworld in 2021, what will happen to the unused miles? Can they be transferred to a Oneworld partner free of charge?

    • You can’t generally transfer miles between oneworld partners. Transfers BA and IB are an exception but that is because they are both owned by IAG. You can of course use your miles in one oneworld airline program to redeem for flights on another oneworld airline.

  • Harvey Kwan says:

    Alaska miles are the best for cathay!

  • I’m going to take advantage of this. Probably mostly the 2x miles on restaurants but elite points are nice too. I need to build AS miles and I know I could probably get better on my Chase or Barclay right now I view AS as a great place to get miles built up.

  • Wow. Citi and Chase should follow on board!

  • still a ton of money to spend. Also MVP is nearly useless so to get any real benefits you gotta be MVP gold

    • I am not sure that I want to be dining out full time right now. That’s a lot of commitment.

    • It’s a lot of spend, especially right now, but I wouldn’t say MVP is useless. Priority check-in and boarding, 2 free checked bags and 50% bonus RDMs are solid perks.

  • The restaurant purchase bonus is quite nice, just what the Alaska credit card needed.

  • Juan Ignacio says:

    The same promotion AA & AC have with their co branded credit cards, a good way to incentivize people to reach a tier status.

  • Getting Alaska EQM on everyday spend is a good if you afford to make the purchases currently.

  • Decent bonus. That are so late to offer the grocery spend incentive. I am not sure what took BOA so long.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    This is a good deal from a very good airline. I’ve been very satisfied with Alaska. Fourth thousand bonus miles would go a long way. I like this option.

    • I really want to try Alaska – I’ve heard good things – but living on the east coast makes it hard. 🙁

      • I agree! I’ve liked flying with Alaska but the flights are more limited for us here on the East coast, so I’m not sure this would be that good of a deal right now 🙁