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Alaska Airlines extends elite status, companion certificate validity due to coronavirus

April 07, 2020
3 min read
Alaska Airlines extends elite status, companion certificate validity due to coronavirus
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Airlines around the world are scrambling to adapt to the new reality of the coronavirus outbreak. While much of this attention has been focused on cutting capacity and additional cleaning measures for flights that are operating, frequent flyers have been wondering about their elite status. Delta, United and several other carriers have already announced major updates for 2020, and today, another airline is joining the group: Alaska Airlines.

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Here's how Alaska is adjusting its elite status program for this year.

Alaska Airlines has announced that it is extending all Mileage Plan elite status through December 2021. If you qualified based on your 2019 flying activity, you're all set through the end of next year. This will include all tier benefits with the exception of the 50,000 bonus miles normally awarded to MVP Gold 75K members. This is especially noteworthy given the carrier's planned entrance into the Oneworld alliance next summer, as you should enjoy added perks across all Oneworld carriers at that time, regardless of how much (or little) you fly in 2020.

In an email to elite members, Alaska has also announced that all elite-qualifying miles earned between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2020 will rollover to 2021. If you were able to take advantage of the carrier's previously-announced bonus offer — now extended through May 31, 2020 — this could give you a big head start on qualifying (or requalifying) in 2021.

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In addition, any member who enrolled in the carrier's status challenge program between Dec. 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 will have their trial status extending through Dec. 31, 2021 as well. This is an incredibly fortunate turn of events for anyone who was hoping to take a shortcut to Alaska elite status in 2020, as you're essentially getting two years of "free" elite status.

If you have an outstanding companion fare benefit from the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, you're also in luck. All certificates set to expire in 2020 will now be extended until Dec. 31, 2020, allowing you to purchase travel through Nov. 26, 2021.

Finally, the carrier is not announcing any adjustments to elite status qualification criteria at this point, but they do plan to add additional opportunities to earn elite-qualifying miles later in the year.

All in all, this is a great announcement by Alaska and should put existing Mileage Plan elite members at ease. Regardless of how much you do (or don't) travel in 2020, your Alaska elite status will remain through the end of 2021. Here's hoping that additional airlines continue to announce similar updates in the days and weeks to come.

Updated on 5/3/22.

Featured image by An Alaska A321neo at New York JFK. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
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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Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

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10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
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    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

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  • 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.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees