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Alaska’s been struggling a bit on the partner front recently, particularly when it comes to Delta. The two airlines had some pretty fantastic reciprocal elite benefits for a while, but with Delta now competing directly on Alaska’s home turf, it wasn’t a surprise when those perks began to subside.

Now, even without the strong Delta partnership, Alaska has an extremely robust frequent flyer program. The airline has one of TPG’s favorite mileage currencies, due in no small part to fantastic Emirates redemptions, and in general, the status match perks cannot be beat. So it’s quite exciting that Alaska has announced it’ll be adding even more value to the program through a partnership with Icelandair.

Icelandair
Icelandair’s route map.

Through this latest deal, the two airlines will have a codeshare agreement as of November 1, allowing passengers to book one reservation with flights operated by both airlines. Even more exciting, though, is the fact that Icelandair passengers will be able to credit their revenue flights to Alaska Mileage Plan (also earning elite-qualifying miles), and it may even become possible to redeem Alaska miles, such as those earned with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card, for flights to Iceland.

Also, beginning October 1, Alaska MVP Gold and Gold 75K members will get free access to Icelandair’s Saga Lounge in Reykjavik, while Icelandair’s own Gold and Silver elites will get Alaska Board Room access in Seattle, Portland, Anchorage and Los Angeles. Finally, you’ll earn double Alaska miles on Icelandair flights from October 1 through December 15, 2015, which will help make up for the not-so-great earning rates, particularly with discounted economy fares.

With cheap fares from WOW Air, it may still make sense to opt for a budget carrier, even if that means forfeiting Alaska miles, though any way you look at it, an Icelandair flight will beat the next best frequent flyer option — obscenely expensive SkyMiles redemptions (55,000 for coach, 125,000 for business) on Delta.

H/T: One Mile at a Time

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska miles are extremely valuable because you can book awards on partners like Emirates, Icelandair, Korean Air and Japan Airlines. The current bonus of 40,000 miles can book you a roundtrip ticket on Alaska Airlines from Boston to San Diego or New York to Seattle, for example.

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More Things to Know
  • Now - 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
  • Get Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ every year! Each year on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com with no blackout dates.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don't expire on active accounts.
  • New! Enjoy 50% off day passes at the Alaska Lounge and 20% back on all Alaska Airlines inflight purchases when you pay with your new card.
  • Redeem miles with no blackout dates on any of Alaska's 1,200 daily flights or choose from over 900+ destinations with more than a dozen global airline partners. Plus, get exclusive access to discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays at over 400,000 properties using Alaska Airlines Hotels.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $75 annual fee.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24%-26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$75
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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