The Best Frequent Flyer Program for Infrequent and Non-Loyal Travelers

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We often receive emails and tweets from our readers asking where they should bank their miles if they have no particular loyalty to any one airline, or travel infrequently. Our response is to collect miles with Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines MileagePlan program is unique in the following ways:

  • Earn 1 mile for every mile flown with Alaska and Virgin America flights
    • American, Delta, United, Southwest and jetBlue earn based on how much you spend.
  • Diverse set of partners from both Oneworld, SkyTeam and non-aligned airlines. For example, you can earn miles for flying Korean Air and use them for an award with Emirates.
    • We do mean diverse, Alaska has partners like Condor, Icelandair, Hainan in addition to well known airlines like American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Japan Airlines, KLM, Korean and many others
  • Allow stopovers even on one-ways. For example, you can use 50,000 miles for an one way award ticket with Cathay Pacific Business Class to say Bangkok and receive a free stopover in Hong Kong.
  • Miles expire every 24 months if there’s no activity (this is middle of the road – American and United is 18 months, Delta and jetBlue never expires).

If you have seen our Icelandair and Condor deal posts, you would’ve noticed that we have been recommending that you should bank the miles with Alaska.

The quickest way to earning Alaska Air miles is the sign-up bonuses from its credit cards from Bank of America.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card

  • $75 annual fee
  • Earn 3x miles on direct purchases with Alaska Airlines and Virgin America; 1x miles on all other purchases
  • Get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22) on Alaska and Virgin America flights booked on with no blackout dates
  • Free checked bag on Alaska and Virgin America flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation



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1 Comment

  • Gareth 7 years ago Reply

    Might be worth updating to note that Delta is no longer a contributing partner in terms of miles.

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