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You can now redeem Alaska miles on El Al, business-class awards start at 85,000 miles

Dec. 07, 2022
6 min read
the side of an El Al plane with a ramp to the boarding door
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If you're dreaming of traveling to the Middle East or love using your miles to fly on airlines you've never experienced before, we have good news for you. It's now possible to redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for flights on El Al, Israel's national airline.

Unlike many of Alaska Airlines' partners, El Al isn't part of the Oneworld alliance — nor any other alliance. With a growing list of international flights, you can now use your Alaska miles to fly with El Al to numerous destinations.

Related: Best sweet spots with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Let's take a closer look at this new partner redemption option to see whether redeeming your Alaska miles for flights on El Al is a good use of your miles.

Redeeming Alaska miles for El Al flights

While Alaska publishes unique award charts for each of its airline partners (which you can view here), the award chart for El Al hasn't been published yet, as first noticed by AwardWallet. Until there's an official award chart, you'll need to hunt for award availability to see what pricing is in effect on the day you want to fly.

Business-class seats on El Al's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

That being said, there are trends we can note:

  • Award rates in early 2023 are cheaper than those in late 2023 when flying from the U.S. to Tel Aviv, Israel's Ben Gurion Airport (TLV), with mileage requirements increasing 17% to 25% on average. Those increases start as early as July on some routes but not until September or October 2023 on other routes. This means you'll get a better value for your miles if you fly in the first half of 2023 when using your Alaska miles to fly to Israel with El Al.
  • Business-class awards start at 85,000 miles from the U.S. to Israel but are prone to the same increases noted above.
  • Redeeming Qantas points for El Al flights might be a better option, depending on your class of travel and routing. Redemption rates aren't always better, but amassing Qantas points is much easier.
  • Finding redemptions for connecting flights may not be live yet, as we couldn't find any redemptions from the U.S. through Tel Aviv and onward to other destinations like Rome, Dubai or Vienna. Plus, Alaska's website says redemptions are only possible to the Middle East and Europe, which excludes destinations in Asia and Africa.

Related: Inside El Al’s spiffy 787 Dreamliner with overhauled cabins

Redemption rates for early 2023

El Al flies from its base in Tel Aviv to U.S. destinations like Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark and New York. Depending on your route, you can expect the following price ranges on nonstop flights between TLV and the U.S.:

  • Economy: 40,000 to 45,000 miles per person, each way.
  • Premium economy: 60,000 to 70,000 miles per person, each way.
  • Business class: 85,000 miles per person, each way.
Redemption rates for using Alaska miles to fly to Tel Aviv on El Al. ALASKAAIR.COM

Redemption rates for later in 2023

However, award redemption rates increase by as much as 25% later in 2023. This change in the middle of next year echoes other negatives we've seen with Alaska Airlines award redemptions recently, such as dynamic pricing on its own flights and some very bad partner award charts.

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Here's what you can expect to pay when redeeming Alaska miles for El Al flights between Israel and the U.S. in the second half of 2023:

  • Economy: 45,000 to 50,000 miles per person, each way.
  • Premium economy: 80,000 miles per person, each way.
  • Business class: 100,000 miles per person, each way.
Redemption rates for October 2023 if using Alaska miles on El Al flights to Israel from the U.S. ALASKAAIR.COM

Other redemption options for El Al flights

Prior to October 2020, you could transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to El Al and make redemptions that way. However, the transfer rates and redemption options were quite bad. The best option for redeeming points and miles for El Al flights has been using the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, and you may prefer to continue using this redemption instead of the new option with Alaska miles.

Depending on routing, you may need more or fewer points. However, the rates are not significantly different from those offered by Alaska Airlines on El Al flights. Qantas offers the following pricing on the same LAX to TLV flight previously shown:

  • Economy: 50,300 points.
  • Premium economy: 93,500 points.
  • Business class: 119,200 points.
Qantas points redemption rates for flights on El Al from LAX to TLV. QANTAS.COM

Related: Sweet Spot Sunday: Book El Al flights to Israel with Qantas points

The advantage is that you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One, Citi ThankYou Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account. By comparison, the only transfer partner to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is from Marriott Bonvoy, in addition to a personal and a business credit card, both issued by Bank of America in the U.S. This makes earning Qantas points much easier.

Bottom line

If you're interested in flying on El Al, it's now possible to redeem Alaska miles for flights on the airline.

This comes after the two airlines formed a partnership in early 2019, allowing you to earn miles with one airline for paid flights on the other. After a long wait, you can finally redeem Alaska miles for award flights on El Al, though the rates are not overly compelling — especially after they seemingly go up later in 2023. That being said, having additional options for how to use your points and miles is a net positive.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/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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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