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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. Activity in an account includes redeeming a Mileage Plan award or accruing mileage in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program.”
The good news is that you have an entire year to reactivate your account after it's deactivated. Even better, in March 2022, Alaska permanently eliminated its reactivation fee. If you don’t reactivate your account within one year, your Alaska account and miles are lost permanently.
How To Earn Alaska Mileage Plan Miles
Besides flying with Alaska, there is a wide range of options for earning Mileage Plan miles, including:
- Fly with one of Alaska’s airline partners, such as American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and other Oneworld airlines but also Singapore Airlines, El Al, and LATAM
- Rent a car with Alaska’s car rental partners, including Avis, Dollar, and Hertz.
- Stay at Alaska's hotel partners and choose to earn Alaska miles instead of hotel points with partners including IHG, Choice, Best Western, and Marriott Bonvoy.
- Shop through Alaska’s shopping portal.
- Book a cruise with CruisesOnly.
- Dine out with Mileage Plan Dining.
- Purchase Wi-Fi on a flight
- Earn miles on a wide range of everyday purchases, from flowers to wines, with Alaska’s everyday partners
- Earn miles by spending on an Alaska Airlines co-branded credit card:
- Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card
- Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card
Earning miles in any of the above ways will count as activity and keep your account active. Thus, your Alaska miles won't expire., and your account won't be deactivated.
How Can I Redeem Alaska Mileage Plan Miles?
You have many options for redeeming your Alaska Mileage Plan miles, including:
- Book award flights on Alaska Airlines — including money and miles fares.
- Upgrade to first class on Alaska Airlines flights.
- Book award flights on Alaska’s airline partners.
- Purchase a magazine subscription.
- Share, gift, or donate your miles to good causes, such as Make-A-Wish or The Nature Conservancy.
Reinstating Your Account and Miles
If your account has been deactivated and your Alaska miles expire, 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 customer care or calling Alaska’s customer care line at 800-654-5669. You must call to reactivate your account within one year of its deactivation. Per the terms and conditions:
“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. If a deactivated Mileage Plan account is not reactivated within 1 year after deactivation (3 years after your last qualifying activity), it may not be reactivated in the future, and all Mileage Plan miles previously associated with that account will be forfeited.”
Thus, you have three years from your last activity to save your Alaska miles from expiration and then permanent loss.
Alaska Mileage Plan was our favorite frequent flyer program, thanks to some great sweet spots and exceptional redemption values. How that's impacted by a slew of recent changes and devaluations…only time will tell. But there continue to be numerous ways to earn and redeem Alaska miles. Thus, 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.
Furthermore, throw in the safety net of having your account and miles reinstated for up to one year after deactivation — free of charge. With all of these options, there is no excuse for ever letting any Alaska miles expire!
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