Alaska Airlines Offering Some Credit Card Customers Ability To Earn Elite Status From Spend All Year

A few months into the pandemic Alaska Airlines started running promotions offering elite qualifying miles for credit card spend. That’s a trick they repeated. And they’ve brought it back for the rest of 2022.

  • 1000 qualifying miles for every $5000 spend
  • March 1 – December 31, 2022
  • Targeted, but available on both consumer and business cards

Alaska, like every other airline, is going to have to make elite status accommodations in 2022 because business travel largely isn’t back. They won’t have to go as far as a global airline like United whose Pacific business is currently non-existent, since they’re largely a domestic carrier, but they do need to make status easier to earn.

The Seattle-based carrier doesn’t go as far as their oneworld partner American is making card spend focal in earning status. This year with the start of Loyalty Points American doubled the number of points needed for top status and counted every dollar of spend as a qualifying point. Put another way that’s closer to awarding 2500 qualifying miles for every $5000 spend if this were Alaska, so offering far more lucrative an incentive to shift wallet share to their co-brand than Alaska’s doing.

The fact that this is targeted tells me this isn’t the only move they’ll make to accelerate status-earning this year. However it’s an indication that they’re looking at data on how consumers respond, and it could be something featured in the program more prominently moving forward.

(HT: Thomas W.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. AA is going to end-up with a plane load of elites, I mean passengers with status, few of whom will actually fly AA.

    So nice to see the goal is to encourage people to spend on a branded credit card, not actually fly on the airline.

  2. @ 1KBrad Probably because they realized that fewer and fewer people want to fly on their airline if given a better alternative. Instead of improving AA so that people want to earn elite status by flying them, look at other ways to get elites.

  3. To get 1K status with Alaska will require more spending that what Delta requires for its Diamond status on its two Reserve cards.

  4. The story here isn’t so much that it’s offered, but rather that it targets select customers. I have the Alaska Visa and I’m 75k (for now), but this promotion wasn’t offered to me. I guess some elites are more appreciated (or wanted) than others.

  5. Will a million dollars in spending get me 100 k status lol
    Hope I get targeted 😉

  6. My husband and I are each 100k, having earned the status independently last year. It is NOT worth it. AS is a lot of talk, IMHO. How AS has fallen.

  7. I have to book another flight ( we cancelled our BYGO to Canada when it was frigid cold.) Hopefully my status will get looked at.

  8. For the people saying that status isn’t worth it, I’d say that is true most of the time, until it isn’t. This weekend, I was on a flight where water was pouring out of the back at the gate. That plane was going nowhere quickly. After the mechanic left without fixing it, it was obvious that my connection was blown. As a top tier status flyer, the virtual agent found a basic economy flyer who hadn’t checked in yet on an alternate route, and gave me their seat. It turned out that someone else took a different flight as well, so everyone was able to get on, except the rest of the people on my original flight. IRROPS is the primary benefit of high status.

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