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Alaska Airlines announces elite status challenge for California-based flyers

Dec. 02, 2022
4 min read
alaska mileage plan promo
Alaska Airlines announces elite status challenge for California-based flyers
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As the end of the year inches nearer, Alaska Airlines is the latest carrier to announce a limited-time status promotion for California-based flyers. For those hailing from the Golden State, the carrier is currently offering the opportunity to earn elite status through 2023 by taking two qualifying round-trip, coast-to-coast flights.

Flights taken between Jan. 1 and March 23, 2023, from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Diego International Airport (SAN) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to specific East Coast destinations qualify for this promo. You'll need to fly two round-trip qualifying flights to earn Mileage Plan MVP or four round-trip flights to earn MVP Gold — Alaska's first and second elite status tiers, respectively.

ALASKA AIRLINES

To participate in the status challenge, you must be based in California and fly at least two round-trip flights on the below routes:

  • LAX to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Dulles International Airport (IAD) or Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
  • SAN to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Orlando International Airport (MCO), FLL or EWR.
  • SFO to Tampa International Airport (TPA), BOS, JFK, EWR, MCO, IAD or DCA.

Alaska frequent flyers should register online by entering their Mileage Plan number and email address. If you are not currently an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan member, you can also use the registration link to sign up for an account to participate in this challenge.

ALASKA AIRLINES

This offer is only valid for qualifying flights credited to the member's Mileage Plan account and is not valid on award or free travel. Participants can expect their status levels to reflect the challenge about four to six weeks after the qualifying activity is posted to their account. Their status will be valid through Dec. 31, 2023.

Flying two round-trip flights for a total of four qualifying flights to earn MVP status for 2023 will give you several key benefits. To start, you'll receive a 50% bonus on miles earned for all Alaska and Oneworld partner flights you take. Additionally, you'll enjoy priority check-in and boarding, potential upgrades to premium or first-class seats 48 hours before departure, two free checked bags, preferred seat selection and a $100 discount on an Alaska Lounge membership.

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Normally, flyers receive MVP status by earning 20,000 elite-qualifying miles on Alaska or partner flights, or by flying 30 qualifying segments.

Flying four round-trip qualifying flights (eight flights total) will give you MVP Gold, which comes with a 100% bonus on miles earned on Alaska and partner flights. It also provides an upgrade opportunity for both you and a companion to premium or first-class seats 72 hours before departure, a complimentary premium beverage in Main Cabin seats, free same-day flight changes, priority check-in and boarding, two free checked bags, preferred seat selection, express security at select airports, the aforementioned $100 discount on an Alaska Lounge membership and a dedicated phone support line.

Flyers regularly earn MVP Gold by flying 40,000 elite-qualifying miles on Alaska or partner flights, or via 60 qualifying segments with Alaska or its partners.

Bottom line

Though this promo is limited to California-based flyers on specific cross-country routes that don't pass through Alaska's West Coast hubs, this is a quick way for non-Alaska status holders to earn status for next year.

If you are not based in California, you can also temporarily earn Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan status via its existing status match challenge program, which is outlined here. With this program, Alaska will match your existing airline status on select U.S. and Canadian airlines with its respective MVP tier for 90 days. After this, you can extend your status by earning a set number of elite-qualifying miles or segments.

Featured image by SOPA IMAGES/CONTRIBUTOR/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees