Alaska Airlines has one of my favourite airline programs, as MileagePlan miles are incredibly valuable.
Earning Alaska Miles
Since Alaska miles are incredibly valuable, it’s not a surprise that both cards available to Canadians are one of the best.
The MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard comes with a signup bonus of 25,000 miles with first purchase, as well as a $121 companion fare for any Alaska Airlines route. You earn one point per Canadian dollar spent, which is a stronger earning ability than the equivalent US card. I value Alaska Airline Miles at 1.75 cents, so this card best card for everyday non-AMEX spend.
SPG points are also transferrable to Alaska, with the Starwood American Express currently offering 20,000 points after meeting $1,000 in minimum spend within the first three months. SPG transfers at a 1:1.25 ratio at increments of 20,000 points, so you’re earning 1.25 Alaska miles per dollar spent with this card.
As well, Starwood is selling SPG miles for up to 50% off, making the cost of each Alaska Mile at 1.4 cents if you’re targeted for the highest discount. This is an incredibly cheap way to top up for a First Class redemption.
Redeeming Alaska Miles on Japan Airlines
Earlier this year, Alaska Airlines announced a partnership with Japan Airlines, where you could earn and redeem Alaska miles for Japan Airlines flights. The earnings chart was revealed then, but the award chart at that point was unknown.
Alaska Airlines has finally released the award chart for Japan Airlines redemptions, and it’s fantastic.
Asia is classified as Japan, South Korea, and India, while Southest Asia includes Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, and Cambodia.
As you can see, First Class to Asia/Southeast Asia is only 70,000-75,000 Alaska Miles each way, which is fantastic. As well, there are no fuel surcharges.
Alaska Airlines permits a stopover generally at the airline’s hub for free, even as a one-way award, so one of the best values here is Jakarta to New York, with a stopover in Tokyo, for just 75,000 miles and $56.
Finally, one of the sweets spots that stands out is India, which falls in the award chart under Asia. For 60,000 miles in business class, this is the cheapest redemption from North America to India in Business Class.
Japan Airlines has great premium class products, so I’ll definitely be looking to redeem some Alaska Miles on JAL!
Here’s the thing – anyone can do it simply by picking up two credit cards and buying some Alaska points to top up.
- 25,000 Alaska Miles from the MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard
- 25,000 Alaska Miles from the Starwood American Express (including the transfer bonus)
- 25,000 Alaska Miles from topping up via a purchase of SPG points – $350
For under $600, you can get one-way ticket in First Class on Japan Airlines, with a retail value of $10,000+. That’s amazing!
Will you be redeeming your Alaska Miles on Japan Airlines?