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Alaska Airlines announced via email to its members that it's introducing a new batch of Choice Benefits. The new selection is available for Alaska’s top-tier elite MVP Gold 100K members. Those achieving Mileage Plan elite status in 2022 (for elite status in 2023) will be able to select one of the new benefits in 2023.
New Alaska 100K Choice Benefits
Alaska has announced the introduction of the following Choice Benefits. Alaska elites can select from one of the following.
- You can choose 50,000 bonus miles which are immediately deposited to your Alaska account.
- Qualifying members can select Alaska Lounge+ Membership as a benefit. The status is valid through the end of the program year. If you qualify in 2022 for elite status in 2023, your selection of Lounge+ Membership will be valid through December 31, 2023.
- Members can choose to gift MVP Gold 75K to another member.
- 100K Elite can choose complimentary Wi-Fi access on all Alaska-marketed flights — including those operated by SkyWest Airlines and Horizon Air.
What are the New Befits Worth
Determining the value of each benefit can be tricky. While some befits are easy to work out, others are more difficult.
- 50,000 bonus miles: AwardWallet members have been to redeem Alaska miles for a value of 4.46 cents per mile on average. This yields a terrific value of $2,230. However, remember that the value heavily depends on the type of awards you book. International long-haul flights generate the best value (5.67 cents per mile), while short-haul domestic flights are the worst value (1.29 cents per mile).
- Alaska Lounge+ Membership: Valuing this benefit is pretty simple since you can purchase it directly from Alaska Airlines for $500.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access: Year-long complimentary Wi-Fi access is worth around $588 as you can purchase a monthly unlimited pass for $49 per month.
- Gift MVP Gold 75K: This is much harder to value since it depends on how many MVP Gold 75K status perks are used. For instance, taking 10 fights a year with one free checked bag would save you $300. In contrast, taking the same 10 flights with two checked bags would yield a value of $700. Bear in mind this is only the value of the bags and not any additional benefits you may use, like priority boarding.
How Does it Stack Up Against The Big Three
Personalization is the new “in” thing for loyalty programs. Rather than having set benefits for all elites, more airlines and hotels are letting elite members choose their own benefits.
The new Alaska 100K Choice Benefits stack up reasonably well against the competition. However, Alaska offers a shorter list of perks to choose from than some of its larger competitors:
- Delta's Choice Benefits have been around for years. Platinum and Diamond elites can select from upgrade certificates, a SkyClub lounge membership, get bonus miles, Medallion elite status gift, and more.
- American Airlines recently introduced its Loyalty Choice Rewards — offering systemwide upgrades, bonus miles, lounge membership or day passes, gifts of elite status, and more.
- United offers its high-level elites Plus Points — which can be used for a variety of types of upgrades.
More choices are always welcome news across the board. This is doubly true if it is a choice that rewards loyalty and status. The introduction of new Choice Benefits for 100K members is a nice touch that rewards Alaska’s most frequent flyers. The addition also further differentiates Gold 100K from Gold 75K elite status.
Depending on how you travel, the best value will be either the bonus miles or the Wi-Fi subscription — since these provide the most value.
Which benefit would you choose for 2023? Let us know in the comments.
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