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Getting Alaska Airlines Elite Status: Is It Worth It?

The Alaska Elite Status program is broken up into four tiers and provides rewards for loyal customers. What you can get and how to earn it?
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Table Of Content

luxury conditions on flights for MVP elite status

Airline loyalty programs are one of the best ways to earn rewards from spending money on what you love! Alaska MVP Elite status is one of the most rewarding airline loyalty programs.

The reward structure and how to obtain it may not be as straightforward as some of the other airlines, so let’s get into Alaska MVP status and what it entails!

What Is Alaska Mileage Plan™ Elite Status?

The Alaska Airlines Elite status is granted to loyal customers who qualify for the program in one of three ways. The program offers numerous rewards and perks incentivizing customers to continue flying on Alaska Airlines.

Having Elite MVP status allows you to not only receive rewards to enhance your travel experience, but also accelerates the pace at which you earn miles.

Anyone is eligible for the program, you just need to qualify for one of the ways to obtain the status. The most popular way is flying a certain number of miles, which differs based on the reward level.

How Does Alaska MVP Elite Status Work?

The Alaska Elite Status program is broken up into four tiers: MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K.

Each program comes with more rewards and benefits than the program before but has a higher threshold for qualification. To qualify for each tier, you need to reach a certain number of miles or segments within one calendar year.

We’ll get into specifics more later, but once you qualify, you are enrolled in the program until the end of the next calendar year. So, for example, if you qualify in November 2022, you will be enrolled in the program until November 2023.

Alaska MVP Status 2024
Miles
Eligible Segments
Minimum Flights
MVP
20,000
30
2
MVP Gold
40,000
60
6
MVP 75K
75,000
90
12
MVP 100K
100,000
140
24

What Are Alaska Segments?

A segment is simply the number of flights you have taken on Alaska Airlines. For example, a one-way trip would count as one segment flown but a round-trip would count as two segments flown.

Alaska Airlines utilizes segments as a way to qualify for reward tiers instead of counting the number of miles. If you take many short domestic flights, this could benefit you

What Is Alaska MVP Status And How To Earn It?

Alaska MVP status is the first tier of the Alaska Elite status program. To earn MVP status, you need to have earned at least 20,000 miles on Alaska Airlines, Oneworld alliance, or other global partners. You can also qualify by flying 30 eligible segments on any of the aforementioned airlines.

There are also minimum flights you have to do in order to qualify, even if you have the miles/segments needed to qualify. For the basic MVP level, a minimum of 2 flights are required.

With the MVP status, you receive all of the same benefits of the higher tiers just to a lesser extent. These rewards include a milage bonus, certain first class upgrades, premium class upgrades, discounted lounge access, free checked bags as well as other perks.

What Is Alaska MVP Gold Status And How To Earn It?

Alaska MVP gold status is the next highest tier in the Alaska Elite status program after the basic MVP status. With the reward levels being higher, the threshold for membership is higher.

To get MVP gold status, you must have flown 40,000 miles or 60 segments with Alaska Airlines or their partners, and a minimum of 6 flights. The rewards given to MVP gold status members are similar to MVP status, just to a greater extent.

You earn a higher mileage bonus multiplier, the ability to upgrade to first class or premium class on a wider variety of flights as well as upgrades on companion flights. MVP gold elite status members also receive a few extra perks such as complimentary same-day flight changes.

What Is Alaska MVP Gold 75K And Gold 100K Status?

The Alaska MVP gold 75k and gold 100k status are the two highest level reward tiers in the Elite Status program.

  • To receive the greater benefits of these tiers, you need even more miles or segments to qualify than for the previous lower tiers. For MVP Gold 75K status, you need to have flown 75,000 miles of 90 segments in one year (minimum of 12 flights).
  • To receive MVP Gold 100k status, you need to have flown 100,000 miles of 140 segments in a calendar year (minimum of 24 flights). With the threshold being much higher, the rewards given are greater as well.

With both of these programs, the mile multiplier is increased, you are given access to more first class and premium class upgrades, three free checked bags, complimentary Alaska lounge passes, and international upgrade certificates on American Airlines.

lounge beverages for elite status

What Are Alaska Qualifying Miles And How to Earn Them?

Alaska Airline qualifying miles are reward points given by Alaska Airlines for using branded credit cards or by flying on Alaska flights. These miles can be exchanged to reduce airfares or cover them all together.

Each airline mile is worth a different amount, but one Alaska mile is worth about $0.012 or 1.2 cents. For comparison, an American Airline mile is worth about 1 cent and a JetBlue mile is worth about 1.6 cents.

This is relevant when doing CPM calculations and deciding when the best time is to use your miles. How do you go about doing this?

  • Divide the cash price of the flight by the number of miles needed to cover the fare
  • If the number is above $0.012 for an Alaska Airline flight, it’s a good deal and its worth it to use miles
  • If the number is below $0.012, it may be worth it to continue saving up your miles until you come across a deal with better value

The two primary ways to earn Alaska Airline miles is by flying on Alaska airlines or on an OneWorld alliance airline as well as using an Alaska Airlines credit card.

How To Earn Miles By Flying?

Depending on the value or your flight, you will earn a certain number of miles. All flights besides the basic economy fares offer 100% base miles, which means for every mile flown, you receive one mile.

The higher up fare class you are, you can receive bonus miles. Fare classes F, P, I, Y S, M and B, which primarily are first class or premium seats, offer anywhere from 25% to 100% bonus miles.

earn miles by flying Alaska Airlines
(Screenshot from alaskaair.com)

Alaska Airlines is apart of the OneWorld airline alliance which partners with numerous other airlines to reward miles when flying on partner airlines.

Some of the biggest airlines apart of the program are American Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, and numerous others that can be found online.

How To Earn Miles By Alaska Credit Cards?

If you are an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature cardholder, you can receive airline miles by simply spending on your card.

The Alaska Airlines Signature card rewards unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 2X on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services and local transit (including ride share) purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. If you use the card often or purchase many flights through Alaska Airlines, these points will accumulate quickly.

Additionally, with the signup bonus, you can receive 70,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.. This card only requires approval and a $95 annual fee.

For business owners, there is also the Alaska Airlines Visa Business card that performs a lot of the same functions as the personal card, just targeted to businesses.

Card
Welcome Bonus
Rewards
Annual Fee

Alaska Airlines Visa®

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® consumer credit card
60,000 miles 70,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
1X – 3X unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 2X on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services and local transit (including ride share) purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
$95

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
1X – 10X 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines, 2 miles for every $1 spent on gas, EV charging station, shipping and local transit (including rideshare) purchases, and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, earn a 10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from card purchases if your company has an eligible Bank of America® small business account.
$75

How To Check Your Progress Toward Elite Status?

To check up on your progress made towards obtaining Alaska MVP Elite Status, all you need to do is log into your Alaska Airlines account and look at the number of points accumulated in your profile.

While there is no specific website updating you on your progress, you can easily do this yourself by just knowing how many points you have.

Each status level has a mile’s threshold, so how many points miles you’ve earned in the calendar year in relation to this level is how much progress you’ve made. Steps to Check your points:

  1. Login to your Alaska Airlines account
  2. Access your Mileage Plan activity to check account balance 24/7 and review recent activity
  3. After you’ve flown, check your miles balance to see how much you’ve accumulated
  4. You should have earned as many miles as you flew on your most recent flight

Here's how it looks on Alaska website:

Alaska progress towards elite status

How Does Alaska Status Match Work?

Alaska Status match is a new program implemented by Alaska Airlines to incentivize new users to become members of their loyalty program.

If you have a frequent flier status from another airline, you can gain the equivalent MVP Elite status for 90 days. To receive the match, upload a screenshot with your name, program status, and number of miles flown year-to-day to the Alaska Airlines website.

The chart below displays the  programs of popular airlines that you can get Alaska MVP status with.

Alaska Status Match
Source: Alaska website (Screenshot from alaskaair.com)

If you would like to extend the period of your MVP status, you are able to by flying on Alaska Airlines and earning a certain amount of miles.

If you match to get MVP status, MVP Gold status, or MVP Gold 75K status, you must fly 5,000, 10,000, or 20,000 respectively during the 90-day period. One important fact to keep in mind is you can only status match once

What Do You Get with MVP status?

With Alaska Airlines MVP status, you receive a mileage bonus of 50% per mile earned, as well as first class upgrades at booking for Y and B fares and Premium upgrades for Y, B, and H fares.

  • Earn 50% bonus miles on flights. For every mile flown, earn an extra 0.5 miles.
  • First class upgrades at time of booking for Y and B fares.
  • Premium class upgrades at time of booking for Y, B, and H fares.
  • First and Premium class upgrades on Alaska non-qualifying fares up to 48 hours before departure.
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Two free checked bags
  • Preferred seating
  • Express security line at select airports
  • Alaska Lounge membership discount
  • Priority call routing when calling call center
  • Elite Leave for new parents. This allows you to keep your Mileage Plan benefits for an extra year once you’ve had a new baby!
  • Oneworld Ruby tier

What Do You Get with MVP Gold status?

The bullets represents the extra benefits received from upgrading from MVP to MVP Gold status.

  • Earn 100% bonus miles on flights. For every mile flown, earn an extra 1 mile.
  • First class upgrades at time of booking for Y, B, H and K
  • Premium class upgrades at time of booking for Y, B, H, K, M, L, V, S, and N
  • First and Premium class upgrades on Alaska non-qualifying fares up to 72 hours before departure.
  • Companion upgrades to First Class and Premium Class.
  • A maximum of 4 First Class guest upgrades per year.
  • Complimentary premium beverage of chocolate in Main Cabin.
  • Standby and wait list for full flights
  • Complimentary same-day flight changes
  • Oneworld Sapphire tier

What Do You Get with MVP Gold 75K status?

The bullets represents the extra benefits received from upgrading from MVP Gold status to MVP Gold 75K status.

  • Earn 125% bonus miles on flights. For every mile flown, earn an extra 1.25 miles.
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles upon qualification.
  • First class upgrades at time of booking for Y, B, H, K, and M
  • Premium class upgrades at time of booking for all fares except saver fares. Saver fares are the most restrictive and cheapest fares offered by Alaska Airlines.
  • First and Premium class upgrades on Alaska non-qualifying fares up to 120 hours before departure.
  • International upgrade certificate on American Airlines for 1 one-way flight per year.
  • Three free checked bags
  • Alaska Lounge membership discount
  • Four Alaska Lounge day passes, with a maximum of 4 per year

What Do You Get with MVP Gold 100K status?

The bullets represents extra benefits received from upgrading from MVP Gold 75K status to MVP Gold 100K status.

  • Earn 150% bonus miles on flights. For every mile flown, earn an extra 1.25 miles.
  • 100K choice benefit. This gives you the option to choose to receive 50,000 bonus miles, receive Alaska Lounge+ Membership, gift MVP Gold Status, or receive complimentary WiFi on every flight

Restrictions and Limitations You Should Know

The restrictions and limitations related to the Elite status are fairly few and far between. Some of the notable ones that you should know is that miles can only be accrued on Alaska Airline or partner airline flights in which the name of the account holder is on the ticket.

So you cannot receive points for someone else’s travels. 

There are also certain flights that will not accrue miles, and these include unused tickets, Mileage plan awarded tickets, complimentary tickets, and reduced industry rate tickets among others.  Members can only receive miles from a flight once, even if they have multiple accounts of multiple levels.

Finally, Alaska Airlines has the ability to institute blackout dates when you cannot redeem award miles, which mainly occur during holidays of other peak flight seasons.

Is Alaska MVP Elite Worth It?

The answer to this question depends entirely on you and what your spending habits are.

  • If you are a frequent flier on Alaska Airlines and can see the benefits listed above having a tangible impact on your travel experience, then yes, its worth it for you!
  • If you’ve never flown on Alaska Airlines before and don’t see yourself getting much use of the rewards offered, then its probably not the best fit for you. There are a few other factors to consider to decide whether the plan is worth it for you.
  • Generally, residents on the West Coast of the United States will receive more benefits from the MVP Elite Status. This is a result of all of the Alaska Airline hubs being on the West Coast.
  • If you frequent Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Portland International Airport (PDX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), or Seattle/Tacoma International Airport (SEA), you are able to fly on Alaska Airlines easily.
  • If you do not have easy access to Alaska Airlines flights, it may not be worth it for you to go out of your way to receive and utilize these benefits.  

There is no one answer to this question, and the answer can even change for you from year to year. To answer whether the program is worth it for you accurately, you need to be able to assess your travel plans for the coming year.

If you expect to travel with Alaska Airlines often and these flights are convenient for you, becoming a member of the MVP Elite Status program may be perfect for you!

FAQs

To be approved for the Alaska Airlines credit card, you will typically need a credit score above 680. While this isn’t a hard cut off, a score above this threshold will greatly increase your chances of being approved.

The Alaska Airlines MVP elite status expires at the end of the following year after you qualify for the status. For example, if you qualify for MVP status in May of 2022, you will retain this status through the end of 2023.

There is no way to directly purchase Alaska MVP status. However, through status match, you can receive MVP status through purchasing another airline’s elite status. Certain airlines allow for their program to be outright bought, and you can use this status to get MVP Elite.

The Alaska card can help you get to elite status much quicker than otherwise. With the mileage multiplier especially, you can earn miles at a much faster rate than simply earning them through flying often.

Flights on Alaska Airlines, Oneworld alliance, and global partners count towards elite status. All miles earned on these flights contribute to your total miles that establish what elite status you are.

The MVP status does not show up directly on the boarding pass but some of the perks you receive are displayed. All MVP elite status levels come with priority boarding, and you are able to get a certain number of upgrades per year, so these will show up on the boarding pass.

The quickest way to earn Alaska MVP status is to fly on Alaska Airlines often and purchase these flights with the Alaska Airlines credit card. You can also receive Alaska MVP status though using status match if you have elite status on another airline.

It is possible to directly purchase Alaska miles, however it is not advisable. You can purchase miles at a rate of about 2 cents per mile, which is significantly higher than the value of one Alaska mile.

You can receive Alaska MVP miles through using your Alaska credit card on all purchases. With the card, you can receive one mile for every dollar spent.

The card also offers bonus offers where you receive a set number of miles for qualifying. Besides using the Alaska card, the only way to earn miles without flying is by buying miles.

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Picture of Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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