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How to Earn Alaska Air Miles

alaskaairSince BootsnAll is based in Portland, Oregon, Alaska Airlines is one of the carriers we tend to fly often – so not only do we think you’ll find this article useful, we’re actually going to bookmark it ourselves for future reference.

Don’t let the state-specific name fool you – the reach of Alaska Airlines route network is pretty extensive, and includes some long cross-country flights from one coast to the other. And their frequent flyer program, cleverly called Mileage Plan, makes quite a few different miles-earning methods available to its customers.

You’ll find some details about each of the ways to earn Alaska Air miles listed below, and at the bottom of this post there’s a link to the official Alaska Mileage Plan website. Because things can change with regard to partnerships the airlines have with other earning methods, it’s always a good idea to double-check the official site to make sure you’ve got the most updated information before you book anything.

Here’s how to earn Alaska air miles.

Air Travel
Passengers earn Mileage Plan miles on flights taken on Alaska Airlines or any one of the 16 partner airlines. The amount of miles earned will vary depending on the airline you’re flying, so be sure to check the specifics before you book – just in case you have a choice, you don’t want to miss out on earning as many miles as you can.

When you fly on Alaska Airlines you’ll earn 500 miles or the actual number of miles flown, whichever is greater. And if you paid for a first class seat, you’ll get 50% more bonus miles on top of that. The other airlines with which you can earn Alaska air miles are:

  • Air France
  • Air Pacific
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Era Aviation
  • Frontier Alaska
  • Horizon Air
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • LAN
  • Mokulele Airlines
  • Northwest Airlines
  • PenAir
  • Qantas

Hotel Stays
The list of hotel partners that work with Alaska Airlines isn’t as extensive as some airlines, but it’s long enough to suffice in most cases. As with the airline partners listed above, the number of miles you earn for stays at each of these hotels varies by the hotel – so make sure you check before you book in order to maximize your miles-earning potential.

The hotels that are partners with Mileage Plan are:

  • Aston Hotels & Resorts
  • Best Western
  • Choice Hotels International
  • Coast Hotels & Resorts
  • Delta Hotels & Resorts
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
  • Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Outrigger Hotels & Resorts
  • Preferred Hotel Group
  • Princess Lodges
  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Red Lion Hotels
  • Shilo Inns Hotels & Suites
  • Silver Legacy Resort & Casino
  • Starwood Hotels
  • Westmark Hotels

Car Rentals
Alaska Airlines has partnerships with all the major car rental companies, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one when you travel that will help you earn Mileage Plan miles. Check the details for each company so you know how many miles you’ll be getting with your rental car. Additionally, some of the companies award miles on a per-rental basis, while others work on a per-day basis, so be on the lookout for that.

The car rental companies that partner with Alaska Airlines are:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Dollar
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Thrifty

Credit Cards
Like many airlines and hotel chains, Alaska Airlines has a partnership with a bank to provide airline mileage credit and debit cards for customer use. Alaska partners with Bank of America, and there are three choices available to you.

  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card – Earns 1 mile for every qualifying $1 spent, or 3 miles for every qualifying $1 spent on Alaska/Horizon purchases; earns up to 25,000 bonus miles for new accounts.
  • Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card – Earns 1 mile for every qualifying $1 spent, or 3 miles for every qualifying $1 spent on Alaska/Horizon purchases; earns up to 20,000 bonus miles for new accounts.
  • Alaska Airlines Visa Check Card – Earns 1 mile for every qualifying $2 spent, or 1 mile for every qualifying $1 spent on Alaska/Horizon purchases; earns 3,000 bonus miles with your first purchase on the card.

Also very cool? Every time you use one of your Alaska credit or debit cards to buy an Alaska or Horizon airline ticket, you’ll get an extra 1,000 bonus miles.

Note that there are different Alaska Airlines credit cards available to you if you live in Canada instead of the United States – so be sure to check out those details on the official site.

Other Travel
Most mileage or points plans with airlines and hotels have some component wherein if you book a vacation using their in-house vacation planning service, it’ll not only help you get your trip planning out of the way but you’ll earn miles in the process. Alaska Airlines is no different.

When you book a cruise through Alaska Airlines Cruises, you’ll earn up to 5,000 bonus miles (the amount varies depending on how much the cruise costs). And Alaska works with some big cruise companies, too, like Carnival, Holland America, Princess, and Costa.

Shopping & Dining
You can earn Alaska Airlines miles by shopping with various retailers, and also by eating out. The dining program is simpler to explain, so we’ll start with that.

First, you sign up with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining. Next, you register one credit or debit card you’ll use on dining purchases. Then, you can earn up to 5 miles for every $1 spent on the whole bill (food, drinks, even tax and tip) at any one of the participating restaurants in the U.S. and Canada when you use the card you’ve registered.

Now for the shopping.

Alaska partners with lots of retailers you already know and love to help you earn miles faster; the thing is that you’ll often have to do your shopping online in order to get the miles. The number of miles earned varies widely depending on what the merchant is and what portal you’re using to do your shopping (going directly to the retailer’s website or shopping through Alaska’s online “mall”), so be sure to check your options before buying anything.

Some of the retailers Alaska partners with are:

  • Teleflora
  • FTD
  • Safeway
  • SkyMall
  • Mileage Plan Shopping
  • Vinesse Wine Club

Also, Alaska has some specific regional partnerships with local businesses, so check this list for the companies in your area where you can also earn Alaska miles.

Financial & Real Estate Services
There are a few financial and real estate partners with which you can earn Alaska Airlines miles, and (this part is kind of like a broken record, sorry, it’s just true) the number of miles you’ll earn varies depending on the company.

The financial and real estate services partnering with Alaska Airlines are:

  • ING Direct
  • LendingTree
  • Miles4RealEstate

Miscellaneous Ways to Earn Miles
Alaska Airlines has a few ways to earn miles that really don’t fit into any other category listed above. We’ve highlighted a few of them below, but you’ll want to check the “specialty” list of partnerships to find the most recent list.

  • Do you like dispensing your opinion? See if you can get an invitation to join the e-Rewards Opinion Panel, and earn up to 8,000 miles per year just by filling out surveys.
  • Looking for valet parking services at Sea-Tac airport (Alaska’s base)? Earn 50 miles per paid day by using MasterPark.
  • Need to start or renew a mobile calling plan? Do it through Alaska Airlines Wireless and earn up to 5,000 miles – plus there’s the potential to earn miles with every $1 spent, too.

>> For more details on any of these miles-earning opportunities, be sure to check out the official Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan website.

photo by Alaskan Dude