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Alaska makes it easier to requalify for elite status, announces 100K status tier qualification

Sept. 16, 2021
5 min read
Alaska Airlines 737-900ER at San Jose airport
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with additional details.

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In an email to Alaska Airlines elite members today, Andrew Harrison — Chief Commercial Officer at Alaska Airlines — extended the airline's popular Fast Track to Status promotion and announced plans to help Alaska elites requalify for status. The email also teased more details of the airline's upcoming MVP Gold 100K status tier.

Let's take a closer look.

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Alaska makes it easier to requalify

It will be easier to requalify for Alaska Airlines elite status. (Photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)

The Fast Track to Status promotion awards 50% bonus elite qualifying miles on all Alaska Airlines-operated flights. This promotion was set to end on Sept. 30, 2021, although Alaska had extended it numerous times since it initially launched in June 2020. Now, the promotion will end on Dec. 31, 2021.

Both current elites and non-elite members are eligible for this promotion and no registration is required. The 50% bonus does not apply to partner flights, even if they're booked on an Alaska ticket.

Further, the email also states that Alaska will extend elite status for those who don't requalify by the end of the year. Details are scarce, but the email states that Alaska will extend status through Apr. 30, 2022. Then, elites can fly a "minimum number of miles January through April" to maintain their status.

The email doesn't say how much elites who don't requalify by the end of 2021 will need to fly in early 2022 to maintain their status. But we expect it to be a significantly lower amount when compared to standard qualification requirements. According to the email, more information will come.

Related: The best sweet spots with Alaska Mileage Plan

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MVP Gold 100K qualification info

Alaska will introduce a new MVP Gold 100K status tier. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines)

Harrison also reiterated that an MVP Gold 100K elite status tier is in the works for next year. Alaska has previously discussed this without going into detail. This email notes that elites "earning more than 100,000 elite-qualifying miles, with a minimum of 24 segments on Alaska in 2021" will be eligible for MVP Gold 100K status.

This is huge news for current Alaska elites who have hit (or will hit) these metrics by the end of the year. While benefits are still unknown, we expect the MVP Gold 100K status tier to be similar to American's Executive Platinum status or Delta's Diamond Medallion status, with top-tier benefits for Alaska's most frequent flyers. As always, we'll let you know when we have more information.

Finally, the email notes that a full suite of Oneworld redemptions are coming in 2022. Currently, Alaska members can earn miles on all Oneworld partners but only redeem on a select few. For example, you cannot redeem Alaska miles on S7 Airlines or Iberia, despite both airlines being Oneworld members.

Related: Your complete guide to Alaska Airlines partners

Spend your way to status

Alaska will also make it easier to earn status if you hold the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. The airline is extending a promotion that ran earlier this year, but that was set to expire Sept. 30.

In an email to elite members, Alaska CCO Harrison said:

"Using your Alaska Airlines Visa® card, now you can earn up to 20,000 elite-qualifying miles. For every $2,500 you spend on purchases with your credit card, you can earn 2,500 elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) up to 20,000 EQMs**. Valid on purchases starting Septem‌ber 16, through Novem‌ber 15, 202‌1."

That could make putting spend on the Bank of America Alaska card worth another look.

Related: A review of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

(Screenshot courtesy Alaska Airlines)

Bottom line

It's great to see Alaska make positive changes for elite members who are traveling less during the coronavirus pandemic. While not an outright extension, it does give elites an easier path to requalification, which should settle the nerves of some elites who haven't yet requalified.

Likewise, knowing exact qualifying metrics for MVP Gold 100K is helpful for current elites who are on the road. This is exciting news, and we're looking forward to learning about all the benefits that come along with this new top-tier elite status.

Feature photo by Markus Mainka/Shutterstock.com.

Featured image by (Photo by Markus Mainka/Shutterstock.com)
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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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
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023