Alaska Airlines MVP status: What each tier offers

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With Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan program, your rewards depend on which MVP tier you’re in — but perks could include free checked bags, premium and first-class upgrades when you book, upgrades for your companions and much more.

At a glance: Alaska Airlines MVP levels

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program is free to join for a basic membership. But if you fly regularly, you could qualify for one of three MVP elite status levels. Let’s see how they compare.

Elite bonus miles50%100%125%
Bonus miles when you qualify0050,000
Premium and first-class upgradesyesyesyes
Priority check-in and boardingyesyesyes
Free checked bag223

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP status

What does MVP status get you?

Alaska MVP is the lowest status tier in the program. While you don’t get many of the perks offered at the higher levels, Alaska MVP status still provides some solid benefits. And Alaska MileagePlus MVP members get 50% more miles when they book Alaska Airlines flights.

On top of that, you’ll get various benefits that enrich your flying experience. One of the most exciting perks at the MVP level may be the first-class and premium-class upgrades. These upgrades can occur automatically when you book your flight, but there may be restrictions.

Another excellent feature that you get with all MVP levels is Elite Leave for new parents. If you’re pregnant or a new parent and are putting travel on hold, you can apply to get your status extended for another year.

How do I qualify for MVP status?

To qualify for Alaska MVP status, you need to earn at least 20,000 eligible miles or fly at least 30 segments on Alaska Airlines or its oneworld® Alliance and global partners in a calendar year. Two of those flights must be marketed and operated by Alaska.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold status

What does MVP Gold status get you?

For more serious Alaska Airlines loyalists, MVP Gold status ups the ante, especially when it comes to upgrades. With Alaska MVP Gold status, your bonus miles increase to 100% on cash tickets. This status level also provides more opportunities for upgrades to first class or premium class. What sets it apart from MVP status, though, is that you can also get an upgrade for your companion or even for a family member or friend who isn’t traveling with you. 

You’ll also get a complimentary premium beverage if you’re in the main cabin, complimentary same-day flight changes and access to the standby and waitlist for full flights.

How do I qualify for MVP Gold status?

Like MVP status, Alaska Airlines MVP Gold eligibility is based on how many miles you earn or segments you fly with Alaska or one of its partners. The requirement is twice that of MVP status: 40,000 miles and 60 segments. And at least four of your flights must be marketed and operated by Alaska.

Also, if you fly 1 million miles on Alaska, you’ll get MVP Gold benefits for life.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K status

What does MVP Gold 75K status get you?

Alaska reserves the best benefits and perks for its most loyal customers who earn Alaska MVP Gold 75K. With this program’s highest elite status tier, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles just for qualifying and 125% bonus miles when you book. You’ll also get everything the other two levels offer, plus even more opportunities for upgrades (only Saver fares are excluded).

If you fly out of an airport with an Alaska Lounge, you’ll enjoy four complimentary day passes, and you can even share them with others. Finally, Alaska allows its MVP Gold 75K elite members to nominate someone else to receive MVP status.

How do I qualify for MVP Gold 75K status?

You can earn the airline’s highest elite status level by flying 75,000 miles or 90 segments with Alaska or one of its partners. Six of those flights must be marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines.

Which Alaska MVP level is right for me?

If you’re loyal to Alaska, you may be able to benefit from some of the features of its MVP program offers. But because of the requirements to earn status, you may be wondering which one is right for you.

Ultimately, it boils down to how often you fly. Even if you use Alaska Airlines or one of its partners every time you fly, the minimum requirements to achieve status aren’t necessarily easy to meet.

That said, here are a few ways to determine which level to shoot for.

If you regularly check bags

Alaska Airlines charges $30 for your first checked bag and $40 for your second one. If you fly often and check a bag, earning Alaska MVP status would save you some money every time you travel.

If you fly with a plus one

Getting upgrades for yourself to first class or premium class is an excellent way to elevate your own flight experience. But if you typically fly with a companion, you may feel bad leaving them in the main cabin.

If you qualify for Alaska MVP Gold status, though, you can get upgrades for both you and the person you’re flying with. You can also gift upgrades to someone even if they’re not flying with you.

If you want lounge access

Among the other great perks that Alaska MVP Gold 75K status provides, one is the chance to enjoy the Alaska Lounge up to four times per year. These lounges come with a number of amenities, including complimentary food and snacks, beverages and cocktails, WiFi access, concierge service and more.

Alaska Airlines credit cards

Unlike with some other airlines, you won’t get on the fast track to MVP status with an Alaska Airlines credit card. But using one of these cards can still give you the chance to earn award flights with the frequent flyer program and take advantage of the airline’s valuable companion fare:

About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.