Why changes at Alaska Airlines have me switching my flying and credit card spending

Sep 19, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post was updated with additional details.

Big news from Alaska Airlines as the airline announced an easier path to status, a new elite top-tier level and the extension of a way to boost status with credit card spending.

Alaska Airlines said they are extending a lucrative “fast track to status” promotion, in addition to announcing plans to help Alaska elites requalify. The airlines also released final details on its upcoming MVP Gold 100K status tier.

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The biggest news for me personally, at least in the short term, is the ability to earn EQMs for credit card spend for the next few months. Somehow I had missed that news when Alaska first revealed the promotion back in June. Note, this is a targeted promotion.

In This Post

(Screenshot courtesy Alaska Airlines)
(Screenshot courtesy Alaska Airlines)

Switching my spending

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

That means I will temporarily switch my spending from my Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card to my Alaska Airlines card.

For every $2,500 you spend on your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card or the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card, you’ll get 2,500 EQMs towards Alaska Airlines elite status. You can earn up to 20,000 in EQMs without ever getting on a plane this way.

In other words, if I put $20,000 in spend on my Bank of America Alaska Airlines card between now and Nov. 15, I would get 20,000 in EQMs. That’s great since the previous offer was only up to 10,000 EQMs.

This offer is targeted. Language in the emails about the promotion suggests it “is limited to customers receiving this email.”

Indeed, when I reached out to Alaska for clarification, they confirmed it is a targeted offer.

Also note that if you qualify for MVP Gold 75K via card spend, you will not receive the 50,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles that members get for qualifying for top tier status each year.

Related: The best sweet spots with Alaska Mileage Plan

With my current EQM balance of over 74,000 Alaska Mileage Plan EQMs, that’s almost enough to take me over the top to the new 100K tier on Alaska Airlines. I’m not sure I’ll be able to spend that much on the Alaska card in the next few months, but I should be able to get a fairly healthy boost.

Switching my flying

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The new 100K tier for Mileage Plan will also propel me to fly many more Alaska Airlines flights this year than I was planning, so I can qualify for the new highest tier.

Related: Alaska making it easier to requalify

According to an email sent to elites last week, “earning more than 100,000 elite-qualifying miles, with a minimum of 24 segments on Alaska in 2021” means I will be eligible for MVP Gold 100K status for 2022.

I had been flying Delta again since I already earned top-tier Alaska Gold 75K status this year and Delta flies from Butte Montana’s Bert Mooney Airport (BTM). Now that there will be a new higher tier, I will definitely be flying more on Alaska.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

More reasons to fly Alaska airlines

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Right now, Alaska has also been offering several great deals including a current buy one, get one free promotion in coach or 10% off first-class flights.

Related: A review of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

I also really love earning double EQMs on all my flights this year. Alaska has extended the promotion several times this year and it now runs through Jan. 31, 2021.

The “fast track to status promotion” gives you 50% bonus elite qualifying miles on all Alaska Airlines-operated flights.

Bottom line

With a spend promotion to earn status by using my Alaska Airlines Visa, and bonus EQMs for Alaska flights, I should easily be able to qualify for the new top tier Alaska 100K status for 2022. It’s rekindled my love for Alaska and makes me glad I didn’t close that card after getting the initial sign-up bonus.

Also, a reminder, if you use your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card or the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card, you’ll earn 3x on eligible purchases with Alaska.  

Featured photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy.

Updated on 4/27/22.

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