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Big news: Alaska Mileage Plan publishes new partner award chart

Dec. 28, 2022
4 min read
Alaska Airlines A320
Big news: Alaska Mileage Plan publishes new partner award chart
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In September, we learned that Alaska Mileage Plan would change how it displayed award charts later in the year. Alaska added the following note to its website back in September:

"Starting late December, the way you view award charts online is changing. We’ll have a simplified award chart to show you where award levels start based on which regions you’re traveling from and to. With this change, similar to awards on Alaska, partner award levels may vary depending on multiple factors including route, distance, or demand. You’ll continue to be able to enjoy great value for your miles. As always, the best way to view pricing and availability for the routes you’re interested in flying is to search for your specific travel dates and destinations."

Now with just a few days left in 2022, the new award charts are live. Here's the North American award chart currently visible on the Alaska Mileage Plan award chart page:

ALASKAAIR.COM

The contiguous U.S., Alaska and Canada starting rates aren't higher than what we'd previously seen for Alaska-operated awards (see the chart in our article about Alaska Airlines' first-class award changes in early 2022). And Alaska had already started pricing American-operated awards based on distance.

There isn't a maximum price listed. So, the award rates you'll see when doing live award searches should start at the rates listed and expand from there.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

As a frequent award traveler, I'm worried more about the international award chart. Alaska's award charts previously let you input an origin and destination region before showing you the rates (listed as starting rates for some carriers). Rates varied by operating airline, with some charging much lower rates than others for travel between the same regions.

Now, the award chart listed online is much less useful. Here's the international award chart:

ALASKAAIR.COM

Yes, that's it. Now Alaska's award chart page only lists starting award rates for flights originating in the U.S. or Canada. If you want to originate elsewhere, the website says, "For award levels to and from points outside of the US and Canada, search for your desired destination and dates to view pricing."

According to the terms under the new award chart, the "‘starting at’ amount represents the estimated minimum award prices on one or more of our partner airlines." The terms also state you can't stopover on awards "within international regions (e.g. intra-Asia or Intra-Europe)."

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On the bright side, the starting rates for some of the best Alaska Mileage Plan sweet spots seem unaffected. I'm hopeful that Alaska grew tired of adding new partners to its award charts and that we won't suddenly start seeing higher award pricing for some of our favorite partners.

In some quick award searches, I found you can still fly business class on Cathay Pacific from New York to Hong Kong for 50,000 miles.

ALASKAAIR.COM

You can still fly business class on Fiji Airways from the U.S. to Australia for 55,000 miles.

ALASKAAIR.COM

And you can still book business class on LATAM from Miami to Buenos Aires for 45,000 miles.

ALASKAAIR.COM

Maybe these award rates will remain and Alaska Mileage Plan just changed how it displays its award charts, but there's no guarantee.

Regardless, these changes mean Alaska Mileage Plan has unlocked the ability to charge higher award pricing for partner awards that used to have a set award rate. And that's likely not good for award travelers. If you have a stash of Alaska miles, consider redeeming them soon to lock in some of the program's best award tickets.

Featured image 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 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

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4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    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.

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  • 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