Many travelers like to redeem Alaska Airlines miles, as they are among the most valuable travel rewards for domestic and international flights. The loyalty program has a distance-based award chart that has the same mileage requirements for Alaska-operated and partner flights. And they recently became a transfer partner of the Bilt rewards program. 

5 Ways to Redeem Alaska Airline Miles

1. Award Flights to Hawaii

One-way flights from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii start as low as 15,000 miles (plus fees and taxes). It’s a competitive price and more affordable than the legacy airlines which typically start at 20,000 miles in the main cabin.

You will want to review the award calendar as the mileage requirements fluctuate by travel day. For example, there are several days in May 2024 only requiring 15,000 miles, but the price jumps up to 25,000 or 30,000 miles if you fly out one day sooner or later from Los Angeles.

To be clear, having flexible travel dates is essential to finding cheap flights with any airline.

Award flights to Hawaii from Chicago start at 17,500 miles due to the longer distance. Typically, flying directly from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii is the cheapest option and prices can also vary by airport and flight date.

As this can be a long route, springing for first-class seats can be worth it. If so, one-way flights start at 40,000 miles each way.

Related: Bilt Rewards Welcomes Alaska Airlines As Additional Partner

2. Free International Stopovers

If you have the time and desire to explore, Alaska Airlines offers free international stopovers. Enjoy a complimentary stopover per one-way international fare. Simply book a multi-city international itinerary to review your travel options.

There are a few terms and conditions, such as flying on only one partner airline and the stopover being at one of their airport hubs. So, not all international award flights will qualify but this is a valuable way to visit Latin America, Asia, or Europe with fewer miles.

For example, I found a one-way stopover through British Airways for 55,000 miles. The first leg is from New York to London for a four-day visit there before jetting to Paris. A premium cabin fare costs 75,000 miles and offers better seat selection and other small perks that can be worth the upgrade for a long-haul flight.

There are many flight options as you can redeem your Alaska Airlines miles with oneworld alliance partners. But you will need to play with your travel dates and destinations as flight availability is more limited.

Related: The Best Credit Cards For International Travel In 2024

3. Starlux Airlines Business Class

Business class on certain airlines provides a luxurious way to use your miles for maximum value while traveling in comfort. Flying on Starlux Airlines in business class from San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) to Taipei (TPE) for 75,000 miles is one of your best options.

Anticipate paying $3,787 or more for a one-way seat if you pay with money instead of miles.

This relatively new airline hosts these flights on an Airbus A350. Enjoy full-flat seats, a double-lined blanket, and a 15-inch personal entertainment screen.

It’s possible to explore other international destinations with other partner business class fares. Another Alaska Airlines award chart sweet spot is from the U.S. northeast (Boston, New York, Washington D.C.) to Doha on Qatar Airways from 70,000 miles.

The key is finding flights near the top of their mileage band as you can usually get a better redemption value. That’s not always practical, yet it’s something to keep in mind as you compare destinations and travel routes.

Related: The Best Travel Credit Cards in 2024 (Worth It?)

4. Long-Haul South America Flights

You can also save a few miles by using Alaska Airlines miles to fly on partner carriers, including Latam Airlines and American Airlines. For instance, you can fly from New York-JFK to Buenos Aires for 25,000 miles in the main cabin or 50,000 in business class on Latam.

This rate can be a tad lower than American Airlines, which could charge 30,000 miles and 60,000 miles, respectively, for a similar flight and cabin class.

Short-haul flights within South America can be more affordable. If you plan on visiting several cities during your trip, remember to consider the free international stopover on your long-haul flight. That can still be the better option and your stopover can last several days.

Related: 10 Best Reasons to Fly Alaska Airlines

5. Domestic Short-Haul Award Flights

Instead of paying cash for short-haul domestic flights, you may find bargain-priced award flights within the Americas on Alaska and partner airlines. Flight distances between 701 and 1,400 miles start as low as 7,500 miles.

Economy flights shorter than 700 miles start at 4,500 miles. This is also a good deal, but you should compare the cash value to the redemption value unless you’re trying to keep your out-of-pocket costs low or use up your mileage balance.

I can find a main cabin flight from Houston to Chicago for 7,500 miles on American Airlines. However, the cash ticket price is only $90, making each point worth 1.2 cents. That’s a competitive redemption rate for this flight distance but international flights and premium cabin fares typically give you more mileage.

Since these redemption values apply to “the Americas,” you can use this broad definition to your advantage. That means flying on partner airlines, including American Airlines, to the Caribbean.

Related: The Best Credit Cards for Domestic Travel in 2024

Transferring Miles to Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is an exclusive loyalty program and you usually need to earn miles from purchases through Alaska and its travel partners.

Thankfully, it has one credit card transfer partner. So, you can transfer Bilt Points to Alaska at a 1:1 ratio that you earn with the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® or by being a Bilt Alliance member. Other perks include paying rent fee-free to earn 1x points, plus a 25% travel redemption bonus which can be more advantageous than mile transfers at times.

Further, Bilt point transfers become more valuable starting in June 2024 when American Airlines breaks its transfer partnership with the rent rewards program. As a result, you can still book American Airlines partner flights through Alaska at competitive rates.

The following hotel loyalty programs also let you transfer hotel points:

Unfortunately, the transfer ratio for most hotel programs is 3:1, meaning 3,000 hotel points only make 1,000 airline miles. This reduces your potential redemption value, although it can still be worth it when you just need a few more miles to book an award flight to a dream destination.

Related: 5 Reasons Why The Bilt Card Is Worth It

Summary of Redeeming Alaska Airlines Miles

Alaska Airlines is a popular discount airline for travelers traditionally departing from the U.S. West Coast to nearby and long-distance destinations. The distance-based award chart and oneworld alliance make it easier to redeem Alaska Airlines miles for many itineraries.

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