The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
Alaska Airlines serves more than 115 destinations around the world and operates nearly 1,200 flights that depart from the United States, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. The airline also offers a range of West Coast hubs commonly utilized by frequent travelers, including in major cities like Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and Anchorage, Alaska. There are also two Alaska Airlines hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Alaska Airlines is also known for its range of partners that make it possible to fly to even more destinations around the world. In fact, Alaska became a member of the oneworld alliance in 2021, which opened the door to using the airline and its alliance partnerships to fly to more than 900 destinations worldwide.
If you’re curious about Alaska Airlines’ partners, how they work and how to make the most of them, read on to learn more.
Who are Alaska Airlines’ partners?
As mentioned, Alaska Airlines is a part of the oneworld alliance, which features 13 airlines total. This means the carrier has a partnership with the following airlines:
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian
- SriLankan Airlines
Also, note that Alaska has some partnerships with airlines that are not a part of the oneworld alliance. While you cannot use your miles to book flights on all of them, these non-alliance partnerships apply with the following carriers:
- Aer Lingus
- Air Tahiti Nui
- EL AL Israel Airlines
- Fiji Airways
- Hainan Airlines
- Korean Air
- LATAM Airlines
- Mokulele Airlines + Southern Airways Express
- Ravn Alaska
- Singapore Airlines
How to use miles with airline partners
Redeeming Alaska Airlines miles through Alaska’s partner airlines is fairly simple, although the airline has switched to a basic awards chart for partners (when you compare it to the one it had before). Travelers select the region they’re traveling from and traveling to, and they can see the base number of miles they would need to travel with Alaska or its partners.
However, because Alaska miles cannot be used on all routes with every carrier, you should use the Alaska Airlines website to check whether the fare you want is available and how many miles it will cost. This can be done by searching for the departure and arrival destinations you want, adding in your travel dates and by clicking the box that says “Use miles.”
Best cards for earning Alaska Airlines miles
Alaska Airlines offers two co-branded credit cards through a partnership with Bank of America. Not only can these airline credit cards help you rack up miles in Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan program, but they come with exclusive benefits like free checked baggage and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare.
The information about the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card and Alaska Airlines Visa Business card was updated on June 28, 2023.
Alaska Airlines Visa credit card
The Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card is for consumers who want to earn miles and enjoy perks when they fly with the airline. With this card, you’ll earn 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases; 2X miles on eligible gas, cable, streaming services and local transit (including rideshares) purchases; and 1X miles on all other spending.
You can also earn a welcome offer of: Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) and get 40,000 bonus miles with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. You can also earn another Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare (from $122; $99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) each account anniversary when you spend $6,000 or more on purchases within the previous year.
Major cardholder benefits include a free checked bag for the cardholder and up to six additional guests when flying with Alaska, priority boarding, 20 percent back on eligible in-flight purchases, $100 off an annual Alaska Lounge+ Membership, 10 percent rewards bonus on all miles earned from card purchases if you have an eligible Bank of America account and no foreign transaction fees. An annual fee of $95 applies.
Alaska Airlines Visa Business card
The Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card* is for small-business owners and entrepreneurs who want to earn Alaska miles. This card gives you the chance to get 50,000 bonus miles, a $100 statement credit plus Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare (from $122; $99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23), when you spend $3,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening. You’ll also earn another Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare (from $122; $99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) each year you renew your card.
Cardholders will also earn 3X miles on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1X miles on all other spending. Notable perks include a free checked bag for the cardholder and up to six additional guests on the same reservation when flying with Alaska, 20 percent back on eligible in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees. An annual fee of $50 for the company and $25 per card applies.
Should you use your Alaska miles with a partner?
You can’t actually transfer your Alaska miles to airline partners. Instead, you can use your Alaska miles to book an itinerary with some of the airline’s partners. And really, you should utilize this option if you can, particularly if you’re hoping to use your miles to fly to destinations Alaska Airlines itself doesn’t visit.
Just keep in mind that you can’t use or even earn miles with all Alaska partners, and that pricing for awards can vary quite a bit. Ultimately, you’ll want to do some research on Alaska Airlines’ website to find out how many miles you’ll need for the flight you want to take with Alaska or another airline.
Also, note the fine print regarding partner awards (under “Terms”). For example, the airline says the “starting at” amount in its award charts represents the “estimated minimum award prices on one or more of our partner airlines.” It adds that it cannot guarantee available inventory at these award levels for your desired dates or itinerary, and that partner awards are subject to capacity controls.
Additionally, be aware that awards with partners that have both an origin and destination outside the U.S. and Canada must be booked at least 72 hours in advance if you want to use miles. Stopovers are also prohibited on award redemptions that have both an origin and destination outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Finally, you should know that some carriers impose fuel surcharges that can make using Alaska miles with them a poor value. For example, British Airways may impose charges from $150 to $1,000 for an award flight, and Hainan Airlines may charge $100 to $750. Icelandair also mandates a carrier-imposed charge that ranges from $150 to over $300 for all awards redeemed by Mileage Plan members.
How to maximize Alaska miles
Getting the most from your Alaska miles works better when you have a plan in place. Here are a few ways you can maximize the miles you have worked so hard to earn:
- Be as flexible as you can. Being flexible with your travel dates is always smart when you’re trying to find an award fare, and you can even try out a few departure airports if you have that flexibility. The more options you have when it comes to where and when you travel, the more likely you’ll be able to get the most from your miles.
- Book early. Alaska Airlines is very clear that, when it comes to its partners, some of them have capacity controls that limit availability. Based on this information, booking as early as you can will leave you with the most options.
- Check out one-way fares. Also, remember that you may have better luck booking one-way flights with your miles instead of round-trip itineraries. You may find better options for each leg of your trip on different partners, but you’ll never know unless you compare round-trip options to one-way bookings.
- Consider multiple airline partners. Finally, remember that some of Alaska’s partners will work better than others based on your destination, departure airport and dates. Keep your mind open and your eyes out for the best deal, and you’ll wind up forking over fewer miles for the flight you want.
The bottom line
Alaska Airlines has quite a few partnerships through the oneworld alliance, and its many other non-alliance partners will let you use your miles in even more ways. That said, the right redemption for you really depends on where you want to go, when you want to go and which cabin you want to fly in.
Our advice? Sign up for an Alaska Airlines credit card for the miles and the perks, and begin searching for the flight you need once you’re ready.
Learn more: Check out Bankrate’s travel toolkit for tips and tricks on how to maximize travel with a credit card.
*The information about the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.