What is Alaska Airlines Elite Status Worth in 2022?

What is Alaska Airlines Elite Status Worth in 2022?

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Quick facts:

  • Value of elite status: Alaska Airlines elite status is worth between $1,765 to $11,077 depending on the level.
  • Qualifying flights: Earn between 20,000 and 100,000 eligible miles on Alaska Airlines, oneworld Alliance and Global Partners or between 30 and 140 eligible flight segments flown with Alaska Airlines, oneworld Alliance and Global Partners.
  • Available destinations: Alaska Airlines is now part of the oneworld alliance, so its miles can be used to fly not only to Alaska Airlines destinations, but anywhere its partner airlines fly as well.

Is Alaska Airlines' elite status worth it?

One of the only airlines to award miles and status based on distance flown, Alaska Airlines has one of the best value elite status programs of any domestic airline.

Alaska Airlines' elite status provides an excellent upgrade policy and unmatched miles earning potential for travelers serviced by Alaska's route map. We estimate Alaska MVP Gold 100K status — the highest tier — to be worth over $11,000 per year. In general, we estimate that Alaska Airlines elite status is worth between $1,765 to $11,077 depending on the level. Members at every status level enjoy a miles-earning bonus, elite parental leave, discounted Alaska Lounge access and two free checked bags per flight.

The main drawback of Alaska Airlines' elite status has more to do with the limits of the airline's network and location. Alaska's flight traffic is concentrated on the West Coast, so there are limited direct flights among East Coast cities and between East Coast cities and destinations in the middle of the country. However, now that Alaska Airlines has joined the oneworld alliance, status has even more value due to its vast global presence.

How much are Alaska Airlines miles worth?

We estimate Alaska Airlines miles to be worth between 1 to 3 cents per mile when redeeming for flights with partner airlines, but can reach as high as 8 cents per mile depending on the redemption.

To calculate the value of Alaska Airlines miles, use the following equation:

Cash price (including taxes and fees) ÷ Number of miles required = miles value for that specific flight

Be sure to move your decimal two places to the right to get the number of cents per mile.

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What is Alaska Airlines elite status worth?

Alaska Airlines elite status is worth between $1,765 to $11,077 depending on the level.

MVP: $1,765

Value:

  • 50% bonus on base miles on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying airline partners: $150
  • Two free checked bags for you and companions on same reservation: $1,050
  • Discounted Alaska Lounge membership: $100
  • Upgrade to first class or premium class when available: $265
  • Other benefits (preferred seating, priority check-in, elite status leave, etc): $200

MVP Gold: $5,337

Value:

  • 100% bonus on base miles on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying airline partners: $600
  • Two free checked bags for you and companions on the same reservation: $2,100
  • Complimentary same-day standby and flight changes: $150
  • Discounted Alaska Lounge membership: $100
  • Unlimited first-class and premium upgrades for you and a companion: $1,455
  • Complimentary premium beverage in the main cabin: $240
  • Four first-class guest upgrades each year: $92
  • Dedicated phone lines for reservations and customer service: $75
  • Mileage Plan service charges and ticket change fees waivers: $125
  • Other benefits (partner lounge access on select airlines, preferred seating, priority check-in, express security line, etc.): $400

MVP Gold 75K: $10,573

Value:

  • 125% bonus on base miles on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying airline partners: $1,406
  • 50,000 bonus miles: $750
  • Three free checked bags for you and companions on the same reservation: $3,150
  • Complimentary same-day standby and flight changes: $250
  • Discounted Alaska Lounge membership: $100
  • Four complimentary Alaska Lounge day passes: $200
  • Unlimited first-class and premium upgrades for you and a companion: $1,810
  • One one-way International upgrade certificate on American Airlines: $40
  • Complimentary premium beverage in the main cabin: $360
  • Four first-class guest upgrades each year: $92
  • Mileage Plan service charges and ticket change fees waivers: $150
  • Gift MVP status to one person annually: $1,765
  • Other benefits (elite status leave for new parents express security line, priority check-in, partner lounge access, etc.): $500

MVP Gold 100K: $11,077

Value:

  • 150% bonus on base miles on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying airline partners: $2,250
  • Three free checked bags for you and companions on the same reservation: $3,150
  • Complimentary same-day standby and flight changes: $250
  • Discounted Alaska Lounge membership: $100
  • Four complimentary Alaska Lounge day passes: $200
  • Unlimited first-class and premium upgrades for you and a companion: $1,810
  • Complimentary premium beverage and snack in the main cabin: $630
  • Two one-way international upgrade certificates on American Airlines: $80
  • Four first-class guest upgrades each year: $92
  • Mileage Plan service charges and ticket change fees waivers: $150
  • Give MVP status to one person each year: $1,765
  • Other benefits (elite status leave for new parents express security line, priority check-in, partner lounge access, etc.): $600

How we calculate the value of each status level

  • We assume for each level, members have flown the lowest possible amount of miles or flown the smallest amount of flight segments in order to achieve status.
  • To reach our estimates, we value Alaska Airlines miles at 1.5 cents each.
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Alaska Airlines elite status levels and requirements

There are four Alaska Airlines elite status levels. You'll qualify for elite status by flying a defined number of miles or flying a set number of flight segments in one calendar year.

Elite status
2021 qualifications for 2022 status
Estimated value
MVPFly 20,000 eligible miles on Alaska Airlines and partners or fly 30 eligible segments on Alaska Airlines and partners (at least two segments must be on flights marketed and operated on Alaska Airlines)$1,765
MVP GoldFly 40,000 eligible miles on Alaska Airlines and partners or 60 eligible segments flown on Alaska Airlines and partners (at least four segments must be on flights marketed and operated on Alaska)$5,337
MVP Gold 75K75,000 eligible miles on Alaska Airlines and partners or 90 eligible segments flown on Alaska Airlines and partners (at least six segments must be on flights marketed and operated on Alaska)$10,573
MVP Gold 100K100,000 eligible miles on Alaska Airlines and partners or 140 eligible segments flown on Alaska Airlines and partners (at least 24 segments must be on flights marketed and operated on Alaska)$11,077
  • Eligible miles are equivalent to the actual number of miles flown on Alaska Airlines flights. (In contrast, many other frequent flyer programs award miles based on ticket price rather than miles flown.)
  • Eligible segments are the number of Alaska Airlines flights you've taken — a one-way flight would count as one segment, while a round-trip flight would count as two segments.

At every elite status level, you'll have access to at least two free checked bags for you and any travel companion on your reservation and enhanced miles-earning opportunity. At the MVP Gold levels, you'll start to enjoy unlimited upgrades and complimentary same-day flight changes.

The lowest elite status level on Alaska Airlines is MVP status, and we value this tier's perks around $1,765. To reach these estimates, we've assumed that members fly the lowest number of miles to reach MVP status (20,000 miles) and the smallest number of flight segments (30 flights).

Alaska Airlines MVP qualification requirements

To qualify for 2022 Alaska MVP status, you'll need to either:

  • Fly 20,000 eligible miles on Alaska Airlines and their partners, or
  • Fly 30 eligible segments on Alaska Airlines and their partners (at least two segments must be on flights marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines).

Alaska Airlines MVP benefits

The most beneficial benefits at the MVP status level are the space-available upgrades to first and premium class, the elite leave for new parents and the two free checked bags for you and your travel companions.

MVP benefits
Estimated value
50% bonus on base miles on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying airline partners
  • $150
  • If you fly 20,000 miles in one year, you'll earn an additional 10,000 Alaska miles (30,000 miles total) with the 50% points bonus. We value each Alaska mile at approximately 1.5 cents each.
  • $0.015 * 10,000 = $150
Two free checked bags for you and companions on the same reservation
  • $1,050
  • Alaska charges $30 for your first checked bag and $40 for your second checked bag. Between you and your travel companion(s), we assume that you bring two checked bags on 15 flights — half of your flights each year.
  • $70 * 15 = $1,050
Discounted Alaska Lounge membership
  • $100
  • You'll receive a $100 discount on an Alaska Lounge membership ($350 vs. $450).
Upgrade to first class or premium class when available
  • $265
  • Premium class upgrades start at $15, while first-class upgrades start at $23. We assume that you get upgraded on 15 flights (10 on premium and five on first class) — half of your flights each year.
  • ($10 * 15) + ($23 * 5) = $265
Other benefits, such as:
  • Access to preferred seating (aisle seats or seats closer to the front)
  • Priority check-in and Group B boarding
  • Dedicated phone lines for reservations and customer service
  • Elite leave for new parents
  • $200
  • These benefits are harder to calculate as the value will depend on how often and whether you leverage these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated these benefits to be worth $200.
TOTAL$1,765

MVP members will also benefit from a 50% miles-earning bonus, meaning that you'll earn 1.5 miles for every mile you fly on Alaska Airlines. This is a better-earning bonus than what entry-level status holders get from the Big Three airlines, which give a 40% bonus at best. Combined with Alaska's distance-based earning system, Mileage Plan MVP members will likely be able to earn their first reward flight quicker than United Premier Silver or American AAdvantage Gold members.

The next highest elite status level on Alaska Airlines is MVP Gold status, and we value this tier's perks around $5,337. To reach these estimates, we've assumed that members fly the lowest number of miles to reach MVP Gold status (40,000 miles) and the smallest number of flight segments (60 flights).

Alaska Airlines MVP Gold qualification requirements

To qualify for 2022 Alaska MVP status, you'll need to either:

  • Fly 40,000 eligible miles on Alaska Airlines and their partners, or
  • Fly 60 eligible segments on Alaska Airlines and their partners — and at least four segments must be on flights marketed and operated by Alaska.

Alaska Airlines MVP Gold benefits

At the MVP Gold level, frequent flyers can access benefits like standby and waitlist for full flights and first-class guest upgrades. Mileage Plan members at MVP Gold and above will get a free beverage when flying in Alaska's main cabin (economy class). Additionally, you'll get a 100% miles-earning bonus as an MVP Gold member, meaning that you'll earn two miles for every mile flown.

MVP Gold benefits
Estimated value
100% bonus on base miles on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying airline partners
  • $600
  • If you fly 40,000 miles in one year, you'll earn 40,000 additional Alaska miles (80,000 miles total) with the 100% points bonus. We value each Alaska mile at approximately 1.5 cents each.
  • $0.015 * 40,000 = $600
Two free checked bags for you and companions on the same reservation
  • $2,100
  • Alaska charges $30 for your first checked bag and $40 for your second checked bag. Between you and your travel companion(s), we assume that you bring two checked bags on 30 flights — half of your flights each year.
  • $70 * 30 = $2,100
Complimentary same-day standby and flight changes
  • $150
  • Each same-day confirmed change fee costs $50. We conservatively estimate that you use this benefit on three flights each year.
  • $3 * 50 = $150
Discounted Alaska Lounge membership
  • $100
  • You'll receive a $100 discount on an Alaska Lounge membership ($350 vs. $450).
Unlimited first-class and premium upgrades for you and a companion
  • $1,455
  • Premium class upgrades start at $15, while first-class upgrades start at $23. Of your 60 flights each year, we assume that you get upgraded to first class 45 times and premium 15 times.
  • ($10 * 15) + ($29 * 45) = $1,455
Complimentary premium beverage in main cabin
  • $240
  • Beverages start at $7.50 and can be as expensive as $8.50, averaging about $8 per drink. Of your 60 flights each year, we assume that you order a premium drink on 30 flights — half of your flights each year.
  • $8 * 30 = $240
Four first-class guest upgrades each year
  • $92
  • Each first-class upgrade starts at $23.
  • $23 * 4 = $92
Dedicated phone lines for reservations and customer service
  • $75
  • There is a $15 call center service charge for reservations. We estimate you use this benefit five times per year.
  • $15 * 5 = $75
Mileage Plan service charges and ticket change fees waivers
  • $125
  • Change fees range from $25 or $50 depending on the flight. We estimate you use this benefit five times per year.
  • $25 * 5 = $125
Other benefits, such as:
  • Partner lounge access on British Airways, Emirates, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair and Qantas
  • Access to preferred seating (aisle seats or seats closer to the front)
  • Priority check-in and Group A boarding
  • Express security line at select airports
  • Elite status leave for new parents
  • $400
  • These benefits are harder to calculate as the value will depend on how often and whether you leverage these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated these benefits to be worth $400.
TOTAL$5,337

The value of MVP Gold status is over three times higher than just MVP status. Compared with other mid-level status programs, Alaska's MVP Gold has a competitive miles-earning rate and top-notch, in-flight perks. Some other standout features of MVP Gold include unlimited first-class upgrades for you and a travel companion and four first-class guest upgrade passes each year.

The second highest elite status level on Alaska Airlines is MVP 75K status, and we value this tier's perks around $10,573. To reach these estimates, we've assumed that members fly the lowest number of miles to reach Gold MVP 75K status (75,000 miles) and the smallest number of flight segments (90 flights).

Alaska Airlines MVP Gold qualification requirements

To qualify for 2022 Alaska MVP status, you'll need to either:

  • Fly 75,000 eligible miles on Alaska Airlines and their partners, or
  • Fly 90 eligible segments on Alaska Airlines and their partners — and at least six segments must be on flights marketed and operated by Alaska.

Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K benefits

For travelers who fly more than 75,000 miles a year with Alaska, Gold 75K provides benefits that improve the quality of your flight experience or make it significantly easier to earn reward flights.

MVP Gold 75K benefits
Estimated value
125% bonus on base miles on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying airline partners
  • $1,406
  • If you fly 75,000 miles in one year, you'll earn 93,750 additional Alaska miles (168,750 miles total) with the 125% points bonus. We value each Alaska mile at approximately 1.5 cents each.
  • $0.015 * 93,750 = $1,406
50,000 bonus miles when you achieve status
  • $750
  • $0.015 * 50,000 = $750
Three free checked bags for you and companions on the same reservation
  • $3,150
  • Alaska charges $30 for your first checked bag, $40 for your second checked bag and $100 for your third checked bag. Between you and your travel companion(s), we assume that you bring two checked bags on 45 flights — half of your flights each year.
  • $70 * 45 = $3,150
Complimentary same-day standby and flight changes
  • $250
  • Each same-day confirmed change fee costs $50. We conservatively estimate that you use this benefit on five flights each year.
  • $5 * 50 = $250
Discounted Alaska Lounge membership
  • $100
  • You'll receive a $100 discount on an Alaska Lounge membership ($350 vs. $450).
Four complimentary Alaska Lounge day passes
  • $200
  • Each Alaska Lounge day pass costs $50 per person.
  • $50 * 4 = $200
Unlimited first class and premium upgrades for you and a companion
  • $1,810
  • Premium class upgrades start at $15, while first-class upgrades start at $23. Of your 90 flights each year, we assume that you get upgraded to first class 70 times and premium 20 times.
  • ($10 * 20) + ($23 * 70) = $1,810
1 one-way International upgrade certificate on American Airlines
  • $40
  • American Airlines charges $40 per 500-mile upgrade.
  • 1 * 40 = $40
Complimentary premium beverage in the main cabin
  • $360
  • Beverages start at $7.50 and can be as expensive as $8.50, averaging about $8 per drink. Of your 90 flights each year, we assume that you order a premium drink on 45 flights — half of your flights each year.
  • $8 * 45 = $360
Four first-class guest upgrades each year
  • $92
  • Each first-class upgrade starts at $23.
  • $23 * 4 = $92
Mileage Plan service charges and ticket change fees waivers
  • $150
  • There is a $15 call center service charge for reservations. We estimate you use this benefit ten times per year.
  • $15 * 10 = $150
Give MVP status to one person each year
  • $1,765
  • We based this estimate on our calculation of MVP status above.
Show All Rows

Gold 75K members get four complimentary Alaska Lounge day passes — worth $50 each. Besides, you'll earn a whopping 125% bonus miles and can even gift MVP status to a friend or family member.

The highest elite status level on Alaska Airlines is MVP 100K status. We value this tier's benefits to be around $11,077. To reach these estimates, we've assumed that members fly the lowest number of miles to reach Gold MVP 100K status (100,000 miles) and the smallest number of flight segments (140 flights).

MVP 100K is Alaska Airlines' newest status, and will officially launch by the end of January 2022.

Alaska Airlines MVP Gold qualification requirements

To qualify for 2022 Alaska MVP status, you'll need to either:

  • Fly 100,000 eligible miles on Alaska Airlines and their partners, or
  • Fly 140 eligible segments on Alaska Airlines and their partners — and at least 24 segments must be on flights marketed and operated by Alaska.

Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 100K benefits

For travelers who fly more than 100,000 miles a year with Alaska Airlines, Gold 100K benefits can completely upgrade your flight experience. You'll have access to nearly every benefit of the statuses below and will see an improvement on each of those benefits. Think things like three free checked bags instead of two, two international upgrade certificates on American Airlines and more.

MVP Gold 75K benefits
Estimated value
150% bonus on base miles on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and elite-qualifying airline partners
  • $2,250
  • If you fly 100,000 miles in one year, you'll earn 150,000 additional Alaska miles (250,000 miles total) with the 150% points bonus. We value each Alaska mile at approximately 1.5 cents each.
  • $0.015 * 150,000 = $2,250
Three free checked bags for you and companions on the same reservation
  • $3,150
  • Alaska charges $30 for your first checked bag, $40 for your second checked bag and $100 for your third checked bag. Between you and your travel companion(s), we assume that you bring two checked bags on 45 flights — half of your flights each year.
  • $70 * 45 = $3,150
Complimentary same-day standby and flight changes
  • $250
  • Each same-day confirmed change fee costs $50. We conservatively estimate that you use this benefit on five flights each year.
  • $5 * 50 = $250
Discounted Alaska Lounge membership
  • $100
  • You'll receive a $100 discount on an Alaska Lounge membership ($350 vs. $450).
Four complimentary Alaska Lounge day passes
  • $200
  • Each Alaska Lounge day pass costs $50 per person.
  • $50 * 4 = $200
Unlimited first-class and premium upgrades for you and a companion
  • $1,810
  • Premium class upgrades start at $15, while first-class upgrades start at $23. Of your 90 flights each year, we assume that you get upgraded to first class 70 times and premium 20 times.
  • ($10 * 20) + ($23 * 70) = $1,810
Complimentary premium beverage and snack in main cabin
  • $630
  • Beverages start at $7.50 and can be as expensive as $8.50, averaging about $8 per drink. Snacks range from $2 to $9.50, averaging about $6 per snack. Of your 90 flights each year, we assume that you order a premium drink and snack on 45 flights — half of your flights each year.
  • ($8 + $6) * 45 = $630
Two one-way International upgrade certificates on American Airlines
  • $80
  • American Airlines charges $40 per 500-mile upgrade.
  • 2 * $40 = $80
Four first-class guest upgrades each year
  • $92
  • Each first-class upgrade starts at $23.
  • $23 * 4 = $92
Mileage Plan service charges and ticket change fees waivers
  • $150
  • There is a $15 call center service charge for reservations. We estimate you use this benefit 10 times per year.
  • $15 * 10 = $150
Give MVP status to one person each year
  • $1,765
  • We based this estimate on our calculation of MVP status above.
Other benefits, such as:
  • Partner lounge access on British Airways, Emirates, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair and Qantas
  • Access to preferred seating (aisle seats or seats closer to the front)
  • Priority check-in and Group A boarding
  • Express security line at select airports
  • Dedicated phone lines for reservations and customer service
  • Elite status leave for new parents
  • $600
  • These benefits are harder to calculate as the value will depend on how often and whether you leverage these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated these benefits to be worth $500.
Show All Rows

What is elite parental leave on Alaska Airlines?

Alaska's elite parental leave policy — a benefit offered by no other competing airline — allows new parents to suspend their status during their time off work after having a baby or adopting. When you're on elite parental leave, your elite status is extended until the end of the next calendar year, giving you time to requalify for status when you resume your travel schedule.

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Alaska Airlines Million Miler status

For ultra-Alaska loyalists, flyers who reach a million miles will enjoy elite status privileges for life. You'll enjoy MVP Gold status automatically each year, as well as the ability to receive a complimentary meal or snack pack when available on main cabin flights.

And after flying two million miles, you'll receive MVP Gold 75K status for life. Reaching either milestone is an accomplishment that will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.

Alaska Airlines' credit card benefits

Alaska Airlines currently offers one personal and one business credit card. If chasing elite status is out of reach for you, you can apply for either card to earn comparable rewards rates and benefits, such as an exclusive companion pass and free checked bags. Unfortunately, you won't earn any elite-qualifying miles through either credit card.

Annual fee$75$50 for the company and $25 per card
Sign-up bonus40,000 bonus miles with this online offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.Get 60,000 Bonus miles when you make at least $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
Rewards rateEarn 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

On either card, you'll earn one Alaska's Famous Companion Fare for just $121. You can book an additional ticket for a companion on any Alaska flights with no blackout dates. For a complete list of other credit cards that offer companion tickets, visit our guide to companion fares.

How to become an Alaska Airlines member

It's easy and completely free to join the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. Simply head to their website and sign up by filling out their quick online form. From there, you'll start earning miles every time you fly with Alaska Airlines or their partnering airlines.

Methodology

Because we estimate Alaska Airlines miles to be worth between 1 to 3 cents per mile when redeeming for flights with partner airlines, but can reach as high as 8 cents per mile depending on the redemption, we've conservatively used 1.5 cents per mile to establish our valuations.

From there, we were able to determine Alaska Airlines elite status to be worth between $1,765 to $11,077 depending on the status level. To arrive at these conclusions, we have assumed the following:

  • For each level, members have flown the lowest possible amount of miles or flown the smallest amount of flight segments in order to achieve status.

To reach our estimates, we tallied up our determined value for each benefit included in every status level to come up with an overall value per status level.

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FAQs about Alaska Airlines elite status

How do you get Alaska Airlines elite status?

Earning Alaska Airlines elite status is relatively straightforward compared with other airline loyalty programs. You'll need to fly a certain number of miles or a defined number of segments in one calendar year. Once you reach these thresholds, you'll earn elite status for the next calendar year.

Does Alaska Airlines offer elite status match?

Yes. If you hold elite status on another eligible airline, Alaska Airlines will match the equivalent status for 90 days. You'll receive a challenge requirement that you must complete within 90 days to extend your Alaska status. For more information, click here.

Do credit card miles count toward elite status on Alaska Airlines?

No. All miles earned through the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card and the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card can be used to book award travel. To earn elite-qualifying miles, you will need to fly on Alaska Airlines directly.

The information related to Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card and Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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