Earn Alaska Elite Status With Just 2 Round-Trip Flights

Mar 1, 2019

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.

Alaska Airlines is pretty generous when it comes to elite status. It requires fewer elite-qualifying miles to earn status than most other airlines, it’s one of the few airlines that still awards miles based on distance flown rather than money spent and is one of the few that grants full-on status matches to elites from other airlines without having to complete any challenges. Now, it’s going to be even easier for residents of certain states to earn elite status with the airline.

Alaska has introduced the Coast to Elite challenge, which lets Mileage Plan members earn MVP status after two transcontinental round trips (four one-way flights) or MVP Gold status after four round trips (eight one-way flights). While the promotion is not targeted, you must be a resident of California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia or the District of Columbia to be eligible. You must register for the promotion on Alaska’s site and have from Mar. 6 to May 31, 2019, to meet the requirements. If the requirements are met, you’ll get to keep the status through Dec. 31, 2019.

Here are the West Coast departures that qualify for this offer:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), Washington-Dulles (IAD) or Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • San Diego (SAN) to Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Newark (EWR) or Orlando (MCO)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia (PHL), Raleigh (RDU), Washington-Dulles (IAD) or Washington-Reagan (DCA)
  • San Jose (SJC) to New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR)

Here are the East Coast departures that qualify for this offer:

  • New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC)
  • Newark (EWR) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC)
  • Baltimore (BWI) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Boston (BOS) and Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Orlando (MCO) and San Diego (SAN) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Philadelphia (PHL) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington-Reagan (DCA) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO)

In our most recent elite-status analysis, TPG values MVP status at $765. With it, you’ll get perks like a 50% mileage bonus, free checked bags and upgrades to Premium Class (the airline’s extra-legroom economy product) and first class on Alaska-operated flights. Earning MVP status normally requires 20,000 elite-qualifying miles earned solely through Alaska or 25,000 miles or 30 elite-qualifying segments on a combination of Alaska and partner carriers.

TPG values Gold status at a whopping $2,965. It offers perks like a 100% mileage bonus, immediate upgrades to Premium Class on the majority of fares, more frequent upgrades to first class as well as lounge access when traveling on certain partners. Perhaps the most useful benefit of MVP Gold, however, is the ability to change or cancel tickets without penalties (excluding saver fares). Earning MVP Gold status normally requires 40,000 elite-qualifying miles on Alaska or 50,000 elite qualifying miles/60 elite-qualifying segments on Alaska and partner airlines.

This challenge is a great shortcut to Alaska status if you’re planning to take a few transcontinental trips in the next three months and many Alaska flyers should be eligible. Although Alaska is reducing pitch in first class, it’s also increasing the number of potential upgrades per flight, which is good news for elites.

For more information on the various airline elite match and challenge options available at many major airlines, check out our in-depth guide on “Airline Elite Status Match and Challenge Options for 2019.”

Featured image by Katherine Fan / The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • 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
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.