You can now earn credit toward American elite status on all Alaska flights
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
American Airlines and Alaska Airlines are moving quickly to embrace their new partnership, which was made official in mid-February 2020. The partnership will include domestic codeshares, reciprocal elite benefits and Alaska’s intention to join the Oneworld alliance in the summer of 2021.
On April 1, TPG broke the news that American and Alaska had launched full, reciprocal mileage-earning on domestic and international flights. AAdvantage members are now able to earn miles on all flights operated by Alaska Airlines, whether marketed by American or Alaska. Previously, AAdvantage members earned miles only when booked on an Alaska Airlines flight ticketed with an American flight number. Additionally, Alaska members are now able to earn Mileage Plan miles on all American-operated flights, as opposed to just international ones.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Per the original announcement, Alaska Mileage Plan members would earn elite-qualifying miles on all American Airlines flights, while American AAdvantage members would only earn elite-qualifying credit on Alaska-operated flights marketed by American (in other words, booked with an American flight number). However, as pointed out by a user on FlyerTalk, American has since updated its mileage accrual chart to indicate that all Alaska-operated flights now count toward AAdvantage elite status as well.
Here’s the updated mileage accrual chart for Alaska-operated flights when credited to your American AAdvantage account:
As a reminder, the earning rates for crediting American flights to Alaska Mileage Plan are as follows:
Note that although Alaska Saver fares (fare code X) — Alaska’s version of basic economy — are eligible for mileage accrual and elite credit with American AAdvantage, American Airlines’ basic economy fares (fare code B) are not eligible for any accrual with Alaska Mileage Plan.
Although it might be disappointing for Alaska Mileage Plan members that they will not be guaranteed at least 1 award mile per direct mile flown on American flights as they are on Alaska flights, American AAdvantage members should be pleased with their earnings on Alaska flights. Overall, the earning rates for American Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs), Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) and Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) are quite generous, especially for those traveling in Alaska first class.
Unlike American’s own flights, which typically award miles and EQDs based on the fare of your ticket, American calculates how much you’ll earn for Alaska flights based on the distance traveled. As a result, if you’re able to score a cheap Alaska ticket, you’ll likely earn more award miles and EQDs than if you flew that same route on American — though you may earn fewer EQMs. This is especially useful considering American Airlines slashed its Special Fare shortcut and cut elite status-earning potential from Barclays cards in late 2018.
The Points Guy does not recommend any nonessential travel at this time, but those chasing American and Alaska elite status have a lot to look forward to once the coronavirus pandemic passes. Those after American status may be able to earn it more economically from now on, while those with Alaska status will have new benefits to look forward to, such as Oneworld lounge access.
Even while you’re grounded during the pandemic, there are a number of ways you can earn Alaska miles and American miles for future trips, by using online shopping portals for your online purchases and dining rewards programs for your takeout orders. You can also consider adding a new credit card to your wallet to boost your account balance as you consider future travel plans. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, for instance, is currently offering a welcome bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 in your first three months of account opening and offers perks like 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, restaurants and gas stations; a free checked bag, and preferred boarding.
The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
For more on the American-Alaska partnership, see:
- American and Alaska launch full reciprocal mileage earning
- Alaska Airlines plans to join Oneworld, forms alliance with American
- American, Alaska and Oneworld partnership FAQs
Featured image by Katherine Fan/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees