Alaska Airlines Offering 5,000 Bonus Miles to New Members
One of the last truly valuable airline frequent flyer programs is Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan. Unlike most other airlines, which have switched to revenue-based earning systems, Alaska's Mileage Plan lets you earn miles based on how far you fly, not how much you spend on the ticket. The program has a reasonable distance-based redemption chart for flights on Alaska and some incredibly valuable partners. To top it all off, Alaska Airlines itself is one of the best overall operations in the country, having taken first place in The Points Guy's Best and Worst Airlines report this year.
So if you're not already a member of Mileage Plan, you should be. Fortunately, now's a terrific time to join because for a limited time Alaska is offering 5,000 bonus miles for new members who sign up by July 31 and take an Alaska or Virgin America flight by September 30, 2017.
To earn the bonus miles, there are a few steps you'll need to follow. First, sign up for the Mileage Plan program by the July 31 deadline. While the terms and conditions don't specifically state that you need to sign up before booking your ticket, it probably doesn't hurt to do so (though if you've already booked an Alaska or Virgin America ticket, you should still be eligible for the bonus miles if you sign up for Mileage Plan before you fly).
Fly on an Alaska Airlines or Virgin America flight between your enrollment date and September 30, 2017, and make sure it's a flight actually on an Alaska or Virgin America plane because codeshares do not count for this promotion. The flight doesn't need to be a round-trip — one way flights should count. Finally, credit the flight to your new Mileage Plan account by adding your Mileage Plan number to your reservation.
It's rare to see a program offer so many bonus miles for new members, and in this case, the miles are particularly valuable. TPG values Mileage Plan miles at 1.9 cents each, so these 5,000 bonus miles are worth $95. That's a fantastic sign-up offer for a free mileage program with only one flight required to earn the bonus.
For those of us who are already Mileage Plan members, unfortunately we're not eligible for this promotion — only new members can get the bonus miles and multiple separate Mileage Plan accounts won't count. But Alaska has been making a real effort to keep its flyers happy, so we won't be surprised if we see more great offers like this from Alaska going forward.