Alaska Mileage Plan Miles May Not Expire, But Your Account May Be Deactivated Alaska Mileage Plan Miles May Not Expire, But Your Account May Be Deactivated

Alaska Mileage Plan Miles May Not Expire, But Your Account May Be Deactivated

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Technically, Alaska Mileage Plan Miles do not expire. However, if you have no qualifying activity on your account for two years, your account and any miles in it will be deactivated. Per the Alaska Airlines Terms and conditions page:

“Mileage Plan Miles do not expire. However, Mileage Plan accounts that are inactive for two years or more are deactivated and must be reactivated in order to access Mileage Plan Miles in such accounts.”

The good news is that you have an entire year to reactivate your account. Even better, in March 2022, Alaska permanently eliminated its reactivation fee.

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How To Earn Alaska Mileage Plan Miles?

Aside from flying Alaska, there is a wide range of options to earn Mileage Plan miles, including:

How Can I Redeem Alaska Mileage Plan Miles?

When it comes to redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan miles, your options include:

Reinstating Your Account and Miles

If you have let your account become deactivated, all is not lost. According to the Alaska terms and conditions, you can reactivate your account and have all the miles in it reinstated free of charge by contacting or calling Alaska’s customer care line at 1-800-654-5669. You just need to call to reactivate your account within one year of its deactivation. Per the Alaska T&C’s:

“A deactivated Mileage Plan account can be reactivated, and any miles in the deactivated account can be reinstated, for up to a year after deactivation.”

But, this is not an open-ended commitment. According to Alaska, if your account has been deactivated for more than a year, it will not be reactivated, and all miles in it will be forfeited.

Our Take

Consider that Alaska is our favorite frequent flyer program, due to its excellent redemption sweet spots and the more than exceptional redemption values. Now couple that with lots of different ways to earn and redeem Alaska miles, and there is no excuse for not having one qualifying activity on your Alaska account at least once every two years to keep your account and miles active.

Factor in the safety net of having your account and miles reinstated up to one year after deactivation free of charge, and there is no reason you should ever lose a single Alaska Mileage Plan mile!

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Comments

  • I have a Bank of America Alaska business credit card. Every year, in the Mileage Plan Mileage activity section of their website, there is an entry “BANK OF AMERICA BUSINESS CARD $99 COMPANION FARE AVAILABLE IN YOUR ACCOUNT” with zero miles/bonus credited. Does this entry count as “qualifying activity” for the purpose of account deactivation?

    • Interesting. To be safe, I would assume not. Thankfully, if you have an Alaska credit card, generating activity is as simple as making a small purchase. And you’ll want to do so once a year anyways to generate activity on your account to keep it from being shut down for inactivity.

  • Great news!

  • Thanks for this site to help get bonus bonus points to extend my mileages.

  • My CHAPPELL says:

    Am now in Australia. I cannot seem to join the opinion survey because it requires a US address. We cannot travel outside of AUS at the moment. May have to make a donation to keep AS points.

  • John E Pasceri says:

    It is great that the Opinion servey extends the expiration for 2 years! I just earned 430 Alaska Airline miles for doing a couple of them. Miles posted right away, too!

  • Anon E Mouse says:

    This totally worked. I didn’t even qualify for a survey, but they gave me 5 points for trying anyways! Now my miles expire two years after today’s date!

    The link is:
    https://www.theopinionterminal.com/

  • Mike Johnson says:

    Yes, thanks @Rosario
    “Congratulations – you’ve completed your first survey! Your account will be credited with 400.0 Alaska Airlines bonus miles as a welcome gift.”

    Just one hour after signing up.

    Cool

    • What’s most valuable there is not so much the miles, but the fact that they credit lightenging quick, same day. That beats the shopping portal credit speed. It’s a surprisingly nice, easy option for those that wait until the last moment.

  • I signed up for The Opinion Terminal, which was a little convoluted but allowed me to earn Alaska Miles at no charge. They’re renewed for another 24 months after that!

  • Good that Alaska Mileage Plan has several possibilities of earning miles and so extending the expiration of them.

  • Alaska is also one of the best airline in term of flight on time schedule and service as well. Too bad that Alaska airline does not offer too many flight destinations in East coast.

  • Can someone tell me with the merge of Alaska airlines and One alliance, if I travel in Alaska airline, this will renew my Alaska miles, but what about AA miles? Will AA miles be renewed?

    • It all depends on which airline mileage program you list in the reservation. If you list your AA number, you’ll earn AAdvantage miles (and elite credits). If you list your Alaska number, you’ll get Mileage Plan miles instead.

      If you’re worried about your American miles expiring, you don’t have to anymore! By commenting on this post, you’ll earn 5 miles. All you need to do is log into your AwardWallet account and refresh this page. Here’s the full details: https://awardwallet.com/blog/earn-bonus-miles-for-commenting/

  • if a Mileage Plan account is inactive for 2 years, Alaska Airlines may close the account, delete any mileage balance and reassign the Mileage Plan number… hope this never happens with me. Thats why awardwallet is great

  • David Stretch says:

    Just wondering whether outside of buying miles or donating miles to charity whether there are any other non-travel methods of keeping Mileage Plan miles from expiring for people based in the UK? The shopping portal is not available to Europe.

  • The Alaska shopping portal is the easiest way to keep your miles from expiring if you are in a situation where you cannot fly Alaska regularly but now that Alaska has joined OW, i think its going to be easier to keep them from expiring

  • Alaska Mileage Plan certainly is more interesting now they have joined Oneworld but what put me off more than anything is that partner flights don’t count towards lifetime status. Whilst it is good that the expiry policy for miles is reasonably generous, I think I’ll be crediting Oneworld flights elsewhere.

  • Great use of the Mileage Plan dining program is to reset the clock on your account’s expiration. Alaska does not fly a lot from my part of the country, but with them joining OneWorld those Alaska miles just became a lot more valuable. Keeping the miles current with occasional small purchases is quite helpful.

  • Can’t believe they still don’t change their points expiration policy during COVID.

    • Yeah, so annoying. Every other airline and travel company extended account expirations by at least a year. I lost my Greyhound points because they refused to extend my points expiration. I’m not sure what they were thinking. The thought of traveling in a cramped, stuffy bus during the height of Covid-19 was not anything anyone was doing.

  • Pablo Quilis says:

    I make a reservation at a hotel with miles and then cancel it. With that, they are renewed

  • Alaska airlines has always had a more generous policy than most of the others.

  • I typically don’t have any issues keeping my Alaska miles from expiring because I fly on Alaska quite often but the shopping portal was very useful in maintaining my parents’s Alaska miles. The miles posted to their accounts in less than a week.

  • To keep my Alaska miles active, I use their shopping portal. It’s super easy, and hundreds of stores participate, including Walmart and Home Depot. I made a $20 purchase at Walmart which gives a 10 mile award and keeps my Alaska account active for another 2 years. Here’s their shopping portal: https://www.mileageplanshopping.com/

  • Going to burn my miles before the inevitable devaluation. Long-term, probably a merge with American

  • Great new please share the Link to survey.

  • One of the overlooked, by too many, programs. Would rather have AS points over any other US program.

  • But also can confirm what Johnann said before: no miles will expire before 1/1/22!

  • Eugene Weinstein says:

    Dear askmrlee,

    Please give us the actual link or specific steps how to find this survey on Alaska website. Tried to find it and even contacted their customer service but no success.

    Appreciate your help.
    — Eugene

  • I just earned 25 miles by completing a survey – much cheaper than other options! It’s shown on Alaska Air’s site as an option.

  • Johnann Gordon says:

    ARE THEY EXTENDING THE DATE FOR AIR MILES INTO NEXT YEAR DO TO COVID 19 THANKS

  • Jeremy Graves says:

    To extend the validity of my miles, I donated 1000 Alaska miles to a charity listed on the Alaska site. Is there a cheaper way to extend my Alaska miles?

    • There sure is! If it were me, I’d make an online purchase through the Alaska travel portal to generate activity.

      • Hey,

        Just wanted to ask , is buying miles counted as an activity to not delete my account? Lets say if i were to buy the 1000 miles for $27.50, will that help not delete my account?

        • Alaska’s T&C are a bit convoluted. But yes, buying miles would be qualifying activity.

          “Mileage Plan miles can be accrued by:
          – Flying on Alaska Airlines designated flights
          – Using an eligible credit card for qualifying purchases
          – Using the services of a Mileage Plan partner (including our programs to buy, share, or gift miles)
          – Promotional bonus miles awarded by Alaska Airlines or one of its Mileage Plan partners

          Mileage Plan miles do not have an expiration date and may remain in an active account indefinitely, provided that the Mileage Plan program has not been terminated pursuant to these conditions of membership. Activity in an account includes redeeming a Mileage Plan award or accruing mileage in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. However, notwithstanding any term to the contrary, if a Mileage Plan account is inactive for 2 years, Alaska Airlines may close the account, delete any mileage balance and reassign the Mileage Plan number.”

      • There is even a cheaper one 🙂
        Just book a cheapest award flight I could find (for 5K miles + $5.60) and cancelled it for free immediately (free within 24 hours). -5K, +5K => activity on the account, and another 2 years not to worry about.
        Good luck.

        • Interesting. And that extended the expiration date? I’d be worried that Alaska would negate the activity in the account.

      • A charity donation is always a good thing though; you don’t always need to buy something just to use up points.

  • My Alaska miles are about to expire but I have yet to find the right time to use them. If I were to book a trip in the future with the points. If I cancel it, do I get the points back or will I lose them as a way to extend the points?

    • I’m not 100% sure if that will work. I think the date should reset if you book a trip in the future and then cancel. However, the mechanism for this to work is that the miles need to be deducted from your account, so if you book and cancel within 24 hours to avoid a cancel fee, it might not be enough time to trigger the activity. If time is short, maybe donate 1k miles to charity.

      • The miles deducted instantly, and refunded instantly. At least for the main routs on Alaska (not sure about the partners). All in all less than 10 min, and the message about the account going inactive disappeared. Good luck.

  • Anyone see that Amtrak change their expiration from 3 years to 2 years without notice?
    And you can’t log into your account without accepting the new terms to check…

  • Is Points.com still active? Was going to see about transferring miles thru it to Alaska, but my login is disabled. When you click the support link, that doesn’t work either – says send an email that they may respond to within 5 days.

  • hope that I can keep my miles active

  • Thank you to the person that mentioned we can keep our kids Alaska mileage account active by using the shopping portal. We use Groupon, Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack which are one of the hundreds of shops Alaska allows to earn miles. I went to their website, then mileage plan, then shopping to get into the portal. Just have to earn one point in 24 months to keep their, or your account active. Cool.

  • Will the miles given out by Alaska Air for promotion purposes extend the expiration date of my miles?

  • I had a Mileage Plan account quite a while back which I didn’t use and the account ended up expiring. Funny thing is that Alaska continues to send me promotional emails referencing the account that no longer exists.

  • I wish their kids accounts did not have the two year activity rule (like Aeroplan).

    I have to buy some miles with Points.com just to keep his account active.

  • Delta just increased the cost of many international fares using partners without accouncement in the past week: https://awardwallet.com/blog/delta-devastates-partner-awards-massive-price-hike/

  • One of the best, if not the best current frequent flyer program!

  • So like pretty much all other miles? Seems like thats the standard for most point based currencies

  • Alaska Airlines is probably the best airline loyalty program right now. Delta with the ever changing increase in award travel is slowly going to the bottom.

  • These transfer 1:1 to American right?

    • Alaska miles DO NOT transfer to American at any ratio. That said, you can use Alaska miles to book flights on American. As long as sAAver space shows at AA.com for a flight, you should have no problem booking that flight using Alaska miles either online at AlaskaAir.com or by calling up Alaska Mileage Plan customer support.

  • And I assume all transfers from Virgin Elevate to Mileage Plan count as eligible activity to keep the balance?

  • Alaska is one of the better programs even after their devaluations

  • I really like AS as I’ve only had good experiences flying them. I especially like their Mileage Plan program and find it exceptionally easy to keep the account active. Thx for covering all the ways this can be done as it’s easy to lose sight of those methods one might not use often.

  • I didn’t know Alaska had a shopping portal. That’s perfect for me to refresh my Alaska account.

  • It’s good of them to be so reasonable on their reinstatement policy. There are some airlines that won’t reinstate at all.

  • Does Hyatt partner with Alaska?

  • Earning through one of their partners (Carmel Limousine in NYC and other USA cities) is also a great way of extending mileage expiration.

  • The co-branded card isn’t anything special, but the companion ticket alone makes it worth having.

  • My new favorite airline loyalty program!

    • Southwest is still by far the best program with chase credit card. They have a shopping portal as well, points don’t expire, and you barely need many points (1point per dollar, or sometimes up to 5 per dollar depending on your shopping through their portal) to get even a one way get away fare.
      One way sometimes is only 4-5,000 points domestically. It seems that most airlines, you have to rack up 50,000 points just to get a discount on a flight or a one way domestically.

      • Southwest has a terrible mileage program simply because their planes lack a first class section. I always fly on airlines like Alaska because I have a choice of flying in coach or first class

  • They have a good program. Award availability is pretty good. Hopefully will improve with Virgin in the fold.

  • The best sign up offer I have seen is 30000miles + $100statement credit + extra 1000miles sign up bonus from employee referral. Haven’t seen such an offer for a while.

  • Does Alaska Airlines historically offer targeted sign-up offers on its branded credit card above the usual 30k miles?