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Alaska Mileage Plan top-tier members get intriguing choice of perks for 2023

Oct. 07, 2022
7 min read
alaska airlines
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If you have top-tier elite status with Alaska Airlines or you're nearing it, there are some new benefits in the Mileage Plan program you’ll want to know about.

Starting this year for 2023 status, members who reach MVP Gold 100K top-tier Alaska status will have the opportunity to enjoy one additional benefit from a slate of choices. These choices could go a long way toward making air travel more enjoyable — or at least less expensive.

Of course, in order to tap into the new benefit, you’ll have to lock in your status by the end of 2022, so the clock is ticking.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

Choice of 4 benefits

On top of existing benefits Mileage Plan MVP Gold 100K members enjoy as part of their top-tier status with Alaska, members will also be able to choose one additional perk from a list of four potential options beginning in 2023.

Those choices include:

  • 50,000 bonus miles.
  • Nominating someone else for MVP Gold status for 2023.
  • An Alaska Lounge+ membership for 2023.
  • Complimentary inflight Wi-Fi for the whole year.

The slate of choices gives you the opportunity to earn enough Mileage Plan miles for a free flight, elevate the air travel experience of one of your frequent traveling companions, enjoy a bit more luxury at the airport, or offset the cost of accessing the internet while flying, allowing you to surf the web and get more work done while traveling.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

Choosing your benefit

Each of the benefits offers a significant improvement on what is already high-level elite status within the Mileage Plan program. Here’s something to consider with each of the four choices.

50,000 Mileage Plan bonus miles

When you go by straight value, 50,000 bonus miles within the Mileage Plan program may pack as much of a punch as any of the four benefits.

TPG values Alaska’s miles at 1.8 cents each, so 50,000 bonus miles are worth around $900.

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It’s often hard to get this large of a number of miles all at once without signing up for a travel credit card, so if you don’t have any plans of adding a card to your wallet in the near future, this is a way to replenish the miles in your Mileage Plan account. Keep in mind, you can use these miles on Alaska's partner airlines, too.

Nominating a companion for MVP Gold status

While those with Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 100K status can already improve the air travel experience for those within their traveling party, this could be an intriguing option to consider.

By nominating a companion for MVP Gold, they’ll be able to earn their own complimentary upgrades to first class or premium economy starting 72 hours before departure.

They’ll also get companion upgrades. So, if you have a spouse and two children you frequently travel with, you could nominate your spouse for MVP Gold status. Then, conceivably, each of you would be able to use a companion upgrade on an additional family member, depending on availability.

The newly nominated MVP Gold member would also save on air travel costs and get on a quicker path to future free trips with free checked bags and 100% bonus mileage earnings on flights with Alaska or its Oneworld Alliance partners, including American Airlines.

Alaska Lounge+ membership

While Alaska Lounge members can access the airline’s nine lounges, an Alaska Lounge+ membership also provides access to partner lounges worldwide.

Ordinarily, standard Alaska Lounge members pay $350, and Lounge+ members pay $500.

When you’re an elite status member, you get a $100 discount on lounge access, regardless of your status level or whether it's an Alaska Lounge or Alaska Lounge + membership.

This perk is a way to get your lounge membership for free, and also gain access to partner lounges at no cost. It will help ensure your wait in the airport or on a layover is a bit more comfortable.

Complimentary inflight Wi-Fi

How much savings this perk would get you depends on how often you’re paying to surf the internet while on board.

Like with Southwest Airlines, inflight Wi-Fi with Alaska comes in at a flat fee of $8 per flight; this is less than many other carriers.

Top-tier members, of course, fly with Alaska regularly, so if you pay for Wi-Fi on 100 flights per year, you’d be saving $800 by opting in to this perk.

At the same time, unlike the other three benefits you could choose from, this perk would not provide any carryover perks when flying with a Oneworld partner.

CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

MVP Gold 100K status tier taking shape

It’s worth noting that this new addition to Alaska’s MVP Gold 100K elite status comes as the airline solidifies the status level as part of its Mileage Plan program.

Alaska launched the status in 2022 as its new top-tier level, allowing its most loyal flyers to enjoy improved priority benefits.

With year one nearly in the books, it’s not too surprising to see the airline making some adjustments to the program for year two; in this case, it’s added benefits for members who qualify.

As a reminder, in order to meet Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold 100K status, you have to earn 100,000 elite qualifying miles with Alaska or its partners. Or, you must fly 140 qualifying segments, 24 of which must be on Alaska-operated flights.

Members enjoy a 150% bonus earning on Alaska and its partner flights — as well as complimentary upgrades to first class beginning 120 hours before departure — along with a host of other benefits.

Members get complimentary upgrades to first class on American Airlines, too. TPG managing editor for news Clint Henderson is an Alaska MVP Gold 100K member, and he has enjoyed upgrades on the vast majority of his flights on American in 2022. (MVP Gold 75K members get complimentary upgrades on American as well.)

MVP Gold 100K members also enjoy a host of other perks such as two international upgrade certificates for use on American Airlines, express security, and priority check-in and boarding.

Members at this status level are considered Oneworld Emerald, which is the designation given to American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members.

AARONP/BAUER-GRIFIN/GC IMAGES

Bottom line

From fueling future free travel to elevating (or saving money on) your air travel experience or that of your frequent travel companions, this new choice of perks is a hefty addition to the suite of perks Alaska offers to Mileage Plan MVP Gold 100K members.

If this is enough to entice you to go the extra mile to qualify or maintain your status before the Dec. 31 deadline, keep in mind there is a nice promotion on Alaska flights to and from California right now that could help you get there faster.

Featured image by SEAN CUDAHY/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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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
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    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

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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.

    740-850
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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