Even with the major devaluation hit on Alaska Airlines‘ loyalty program, Mileage Plan, these miles are still very valuable to redeem for flights to Asia. Unfortunately, it is not easy to earn Mileage Plan miles.
Keep in mind that your miles will never expire so long as you earn points within the 9 months after opening and keep it account active once every 24 months. If your miles are deleted from your account, you have the option if reinstating them for up to one year by paying a $75 fee.
Earn Miles Through Car Rentals
Personally, I’m not really a fan of earning car rental points, so I always bank my car rentals towards a partner program. Below are the car rental companies that have partnered up with Alaska Airlines to earn miles directly.
- Alamo – earn 50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
- Avis – earn 50 miles per rental day on rentals 1 – 4 days or 500 miles per rental on rentals of 5 days or more
- Budget – earn 50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
- Dollar – earn 50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
- Hertz – earn 50 miles per rental day on rentals of 1 to 4 days, or 500 miles per rental on rentals of 5 or more days
- National – earn 50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
- Thrifty – earn 50 miles per day or 250 bonus miles for 3 qualifying parking stays
Note that there are frequently bonus promotions to help you earn more miles for your car rental.
Earn Miles Through Hotel Stays
Personally, I actually rather earn hotel points, because I value elite status with hotels. But if you do not use a certain hotel chain very often, you are better off juts banking those points directly to an airline partner such as Mileage Plan. This is actually a very easy way to also help keep your account active:
- Best Western – earn 250 miles per stay on qualifying rates
- Choice Hotels – earn 250 total miles per eligible stay
- Coast Hotels and Resorts – earn 500 miles per qualifying stay
- Fairmont Hotels & Resorts – earn 500 miles per qualifying stay
- Hilton – earn 1 miles per eligible $1 USD spent (maximum 10,000 miles per stay; maximum 100 per stay at Home2 Suites)
- IHG Rewards Club – earn 2 miles per $1 USD or local currency equivalent paid on eligible charges at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean and at all Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express hotels worldwide
- IHG Rewards Club – earn 1 mile per $1 USD or local currency equivalent paid on eligible charges at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites
- IHG Rewards Club – earn 500 miles per qualifying stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts outside of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean and at all InterContinental Alliance Resorts worldwide
- La Quinta Inns & Suites – earn 250 miles per stay
- Marriott – earn 2 miles per US$ spend on all qualifying charges at JW Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club
- Marriott – earn 2 miles per US$ spend on room rate at The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Gaylord Hotels
- Marriott – earn 1 mile per US$ spent on room rate nly at Courtyard by Marriott, AC Hotels by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott®, Marriott Executive Apartments
- Preferred Hotels & Resorts – earn 500 miles per qualifying stay
- Rocketmiles – earn between 1,000 – 10,000 miles per night
- Starwood Preferred Guest – earn 2 miles per $1 (USD) spent on all eligible charges
- Westmark Hotels – earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on accommodations at a qualified rate and earn 1 mile for $1 dollar on food and beverage purchases (excluding alcohol)
- Wyndham Hotel Group – earn 500 miles per qualifying stay
Earn Miles Through a Credit Card
The MNBA World Elite Alaska Airlines MasterCard is actually the only remaining co-branded Canadian credit card that is affiliated with a U.S. based airline.
You may have noticed that they have a new design on the credit card as well.
Below are the highlights of the credit card:
- $75 annual fee
- Earn 25,000 sign up bonus points upon approval
- Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, cargo purchases, in-flight purchases and vacation packages
- Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- 1 annual coach Companion Fare
The $75 annual fee is fairly reasonable compared to the Aeroplan co-branded credit cards of similar benefits, which usually have a $120 annual fee.
Earning 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airline purchases is actually really awesome. Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines only operates out of the Western provinces. But if you fly frequently with this airline, then this credit card is a must-have in your wallet.
Be sure to take advantage of the companion fare as an added perk, which helps justify paying the annual fee year after year.
List of Destinations Departing from Canadian Airports
Below is an updated the list of destinations from last time departing from Canadian based airports (changes are in brackets):
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
- Alaska Airlines: Seattle (added),
- Horizon Air: Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma
- SkyWest Airlines (Seasonal): Seattle (added)
Calgary International Airport (YYC)
- Alaska Airlines: Seattle (to be added on October 3, 2016)
- Horizon Air: Seattle/Tacoma
Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
- Horizon Air (Seasonal): Seattle/Tacoma
- SkyWest Airlines: Seattle/Tacoma
Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
- Horizon Air: Seattle/Tacoma
Kelowna International Airport (YLW)
- Horizon Air: Seattle/Tacoma
I would love to see an expansion of service. I think that Alaska Airlines already has a decent rewards program and offers a great co-branded credit card in Canada. I just hope to continue to see consistency in their product and avoid any more major devaluations.