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As I wrote about last week, Alaska Airlines has a really interesting, independent frequent flyer program. They aren’t a member of any alliance, so they’ve created relationships with numerous carriers from dinky Alaskan regional airlines to British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Delta. Alaska miles are valuable because they have so many varied partners and their award chart is reasonable. Note: you cannot mix partners on Alaska and they don’t have one-way awards, but they are the only US airline to have a partnership with Iceland Air, which I find useful because Iceland is on my shortlist of future trips.
They are offering 500 free miles for new members, so you might as well sign up. Alaska is also a transfer partner of several hotel chains, including a 1:1 partner of Starwood (and you get a 5,000 point bonus when transferring 20,000 Starwood points to Alaska).
And if you actually have plans to fly Alaska, make sure to sign up for their double miles promotion between select city pairs:
Earn Double Miles between Seattle or Portland and Select Destinations
Earn Double Miles on nonstop flights between the following Alaska Airlines destinations:
- Seattle and Austin
- Seattle and Houston
- Seattle and Oakland
- Portland and Orange County
- Portland and Phoenix
To earn Double Miles, simply register your Mileage Plan number prior to your first qualifying flight, and travel between March 15, 2011, and May 15, 2011 With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.