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Travel on Point(s) is an independent, advertising-supported website. This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites like Creditcards.com and Bankrate.com. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. Travel on Point(s) has not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any partner entities.

Best Use for Alaska Miles

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has typically offered excellent value for travelers while being one of the hardest to earn. But over the last few months, we saw a lot of changes involving their loyalty program. First, Alaska announced a number of changes to the Mileage Plan program, which included some significant devaluations but also created some awesome new opportunities. Then, Bilt announced Alaska as a new transfer partner while offering cardholders the ability to earn Alaska miles when paying rent (though doing so is a bad deal for most). Now, as part of its Rent Day promo for July 2024, Bilt announced a juicy transfer bonus to Alaska Mileage Plan. To celebrate, we'll share some of the best uses for Alaska miles!

Using Alaska Miles

Alaska is a member of Oneworld, one of the major airline alliances. In addition to redeeming Alaska miles for travel with Oneworld partners, you can also redeem miles for flights with Alaska's many non-alliance partners.

Alaska has a mix of distance-based and zone-based pricing. Mileage Plan splits the world into three zones and prices awards between or within those zones based on distance flown. Pricing is the same for all of Alaska's partners, with a separate award chart for flights operated by Alaska Airlines itself. Alaska's award chart structure is quite similar to that of Air Canada Aeroplan. You can access Alaska's award charts on this page.

Lastly, Alaska does not have any change or cancelation fees on any award booking. This means you can make changes to or cancel your awards and receive your Alaska miles back completely free.

With this summary out of the way, let's check out some of the best uses for Alaska miles.

Best Use for Alaska Miles
Enjoy a free stopover in Singapore with your Alaska miles

1. Free stopovers

Alaska has one of the most generous stopover policies. They offer free stopovers on any international award, including one-ways. The stopover just has to be in a partner hub (such as Tokyo for Japan Airlines or Hong Kong for Cathay Pacific).

There is no limit on the length of the stopover. You can book stopovers directly on Alaska's website using the multi-city search function. This makes Alaska's stopovers one of the easiest to book as well. That is why it is one of the best uses for Alaska miles.

For more information about stopovers on award flights, including with Alaska Mileage Plan, check out this guide.

2. Business class from the Northeast to Europe for 45,000 miles

Alaska charges just 45,000 miles one-way for business class flights between 1,501 and 3,500 miles. Turns out, there are plenty of flights between Northeast US and Europe that are under 3,500 miles. Here are your options, operated by Aer Lingus, American Airlines, or British Airways:

  • Boston, New York or Washington, DC to Dublin
  • Boston or New York to London
  • Boston or New York to Shannon
  • New York to Manchester
  • Boston to Madrid

You can even include a connection with any of these flights for no additional miles if the total distance flown remains under 3,500 miles.

3. Starlux business class between Taiwan and West Coast for 75,000 miles

Alaska's Mileage Plan is the only major loyalty program that offers redemptions with Starlux Airlines, Taiwan's newest carrier. Starlux just started flying to the US in 2023, offering flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. You can book a business class seat on these flights for 75,000 Alaska miles, like Rick did.

Again, you can include a connection for no additional miles if your total distance flown remains under 7,000 miles. That is why this new booking option makes it on the list of best uses for Alaska miles.

For some tips and tricks for booking Starlux with Alaska miles, check out this post.

Best Use for Alaska Miles
Redeem Alaska miles for Starlux business class

4. Business class to South America starting at 35,000 points

You can redeem Alaska miles for travel with South American airline LATAM. For example, you can fly New York to Lima or Santiago for just 35,000 miles in business. Longer flights, such as between São Paulo and Miami or even Boston, cost 50,000 miles in business.

These rates are much lower than with some of LATAM's other redemption partners, such as British Airways or Virgin Atlantic.

5. Short-haul flights with American Airlines (or Alaska)

Alaska actually charges fewer miles for short-haul flights within North America on its partners (i.e., American) than for its own flights. How cheap is cheap? We're talking 4,500 miles one-way in economy for flights under 700 miles.

As we explain in this post, 700 miles covers almost the entire the East Coast. Out of Chicago (ORD), you can fly to Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Toronto, or Washington, DC, to name a few. For folks in the West Coast, this means you can get from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix, or even Salt Lake City. These are only some examples.

Short-haul flights operated by Alaska itself are still a terrific deal at just 5,000 in economy (but a much higher 15,000 in business), and that is why it is one of the best uses for Alaska miles.

Best Use for Alaska Miles

6. Icelandair business class

Business class redemptions on Icelandair follow the premium economy pricing on Alaska's award chart instead of business class. This opens up some great opportunities for flying to Reykjavik and onwards to Europe for very cheap. (Just keep in mind that Icelandair does not have lie-flat seats.)

For example, you can fly from New York JFK to Paris connecting through Reykjavik for just 35,000 miles in business class. And because of Alaska's generous stopover policy (see #1 above), you can stay as long as you like in Reykjavik on the way over!

Out of Boston, you can fly to Reykjavik for just 30,000 miles in business. You can even include a connection to Glasgow, Dublin, or Manchester at no additional cost.

Best Use for Alaska Miles: ToP Thoughts

Alaska Mileage Plan offers lots of great value for award travelers. The examples above are by no means exhaustive, but they should help spur some creativity in your part. What are your favorite uses for Alaska miles?

Come share your thoughts in our Facebook Group!

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