This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. What is written in the article is the editor's opinion.
- Alaska MileagePlan: The Last Good Loyalty Program? (Alaska Vs. American by the Numbers)
- Taking another look at Alaska Airline’s MileagePlan program
The beginning of the year is an excellent time to set new travel goals.
Especially when you’re looking at this:
I already broke down the numbers of qualifying for top-tier status on American and Alaska, and found that Alaska MVP Gold 75K status is easier to earn with less flying. And you end up with more miles than AAdvantage Executive Platinum status when you start from zero and hit the top tier – 36,250 miles to be exact.
And now it’s even more attractive in light of American’s upcoming devalued award chart.
In This Post
But… what about Dallas?
Yup, soon enough I’ll be in DFW AKA… American Airlines’ main hub. So… what gives?
It seems logical to give up the ghost and go after American Airlines status if I live in their backyard. But then I thought, yeah, just like everyone else.
Realistically, even with top-tier status, what are my chances of an upgrade on pretty much any flight out of DFW? Especially between DFW and LGA (which will remain my top destination)? Forget it.
While others zig, I’m gonna zag.
I will miss the systemwide upgrades with American.
But I won’t miss the devalued award chart.
At least, until Alaska devalues theirs, then it’ll be a free-for-all.
And, I don’t expect Alaska to make big changes to their program in 2016.
Although, reciprocal upgrades with American would be a nice addition. Not holding my breath for that one.
Win some partners, lose some partners
As options, I’ll miss American’s partnerships with:
- Air Tahiti Nui
But I’ll gain Alaska partnerships with:
- Air France
- Korean Air
And, should I happen to find myself on a Delta flight, I can still bank Alaska miles. That’s a huge selling point – being able to credit 2 out of 3 legacy carriers to 1 program and earn valuable miles.
Plain ol’ curious
Given I probably won’t get upgraded on an American plane out of DFW, I don’t have much to lose by exploring a new program. And, I’ve been very curious about Alaska MileagePlan for a while.
Now that the meters have reset to zero, now is a perfect time to make a switch.
I hope the Bank of America Alaska card goes above a 25K sign-up bonus soon. That would be the icing on my curiosity cake!
Weaning off American
But, American has me on lock-down for 2 more round-trip flights.
I’ll be flying to Dallas next week and doing something I have done in years: checking luggage.
Thanks to my Citi AAdvantage card, me and Jay can both check a bag and save $50 each way – not a bad deal. But I’ll have to credit to American to take advantage of the perk. So I’ll forgo the Alaska credit on this flight to save $100.
And the flight to Barcelona this month. That’s because American is giving 25,000 bonus AAdvantage miles on round-trip Business Class trans-Atlantic flights. I want those 25,000 miles – it’s simply too good to pass up. That’s a free round-trip domestic coach award flight!
But after that, it’ll be full steam ahead with Alaska.
I might not earn top-tier status
I don’t pay for a lot of flights anyway. So all of this might be a moot point. Even still, I’ll look forward to doing what I can and seeing what happens.
Most of my flights are award flights these days, but when I have a paid ticket, I’ll credit to Alaska in 2016 (after the 2 mentioned above).
And who knows, maybe I’ll earn Alaska MVP Gold 75K status. It’ll be fun to try, and I’ll get to explore a new program. And besides, nothing’s ever really lost.
In light of American’s upcoming award chart devalution, I’m gonna zag over to Alaska to see how it goes this year.
I’ll look forward to new partner airline options, increased mileage earning, and a new program to get into.
The beginning of the year is a great time to set new travel goals, and set the tone for the upcoming year.
I want 2016 to be about creativity, exploration, and travel. And I wanna try something new by switching to Alaska MileagePlan this year. Maybe I’ll even hit MVP Gold 75K, their top elite status level. I’ll post with updates as it goes along.
Is anyone else thinking of switching their loyalty since the reset to zero on January 1st?
BEST Current Credit Card Deals
- Chase Sapphire Reserve - 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points - My review of this card.
- Discover it® Cashback Match™ Card - $50 after 1st purchase within 3 months of account opening - Why I love this card!
- Hilton Surpass Amex - 85,000 Hilton points - Why I picked up this card.
- Chase Hyatt card - 40,000 Hyatt points and a free night at a Category 1 through 4 hotel each year on your cardmember anniversary - Here are 5 great hotels to redeem your free night!