Rundown of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan for Canadians (updated January 12, 2017)

If you live in the west coast of Canada, Alaska Airlines is a must to have in your portfolio. You can make it work in the rest of Canada if you can leverage its codeshare partners. Today, I am updating Alaska Airlines’ loyalty program, Mileage Plan for Canadians.

Expiry Policy

One of the most important factor that concerns most people is the expiry policy. Alaska Airlines has a fairly generous policy where you need to keep your account active once every 2 years to prevent your miles from expiring.

Codeshare Partners

Keep in mind that Alaska Airlines is not a member of any airline alliance, but they do have several very valuable co-share partners:

  • Aero Mexico
  • Air France
  • American Airlines
  • Britsh Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta
  • Emirates
  • Fiji Airways
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Iceland Air
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • PenAir
  • Qantas
  • Ravn Alaska

Earn Miles Through Car Rentals

Below is a list of car rental companies that have partnered up with Alaska Airlines to earn miles directly:

  • Alamo – earn 50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
  • Avis – earn 50 miles per rental day on rentals 1 – 4 days or 500 miles per rental on rentals of 5 days or more
  • Budget – earn 50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
  • Dollar – earn 50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
  • Hertz – earn 50 miles per rental day on rentals of 1 to 4 days, or 500 miles per rental on rentals of 5 or more days
  • National – earn 50 miles per day on qualifying rentals
  • Thrifty – earn 50 miles per day or 250 bonus miles for 3 qualifying parking stays

Earn Miles Through Hotel Stays

Personally, I actually rather earn hotel points, because I value elite status with hotels. But if you do not use a certain hotel chain very often, you are better off juts banking those points directly to an airline partner such as Mileage Plan. This is actually a very easy way to also help keep your account active:

  • Best Western –  earn 250 miles per stay on qualifying rates
  • Choice Hotels – earn 250 total miles per eligible stay
  • Coast Hotels and Resorts – earn 500 miles per qualifying stay
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts – earn 500 miles per qualifying stay
  • Hilton – earn 1 miles per eligible $1 USD spent (maximum 10,000 miles per stay; maximum 100 per stay at Home2 Suites)
  • IHG Rewards Club – earn 2 miles per $1 USD or local currency equivalent paid on eligible charges at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean and at all Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express hotels worldwide
  • IHG Rewards Club – earn 1 mile per $1 USD or local currency equivalent paid on eligible charges at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites
  • IHG Rewards Club – earn 500 miles per qualifying stay at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts outside of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean and at all InterContinental Alliance Resorts worldwide
  • La Quinta Inns & Suites – earn 250 miles per stay
  • Marriott – earn 2 miles per US$ spend on all qualifying charges at JW Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club
  • Marriott – earn 2 miles per US$ spend on room rate at The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION, Gaylord Hotels
  • Marriott – earn 1 mile per US$ spent on room rate nly at Courtyard by Marriott, AC Hotels by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott®, Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Starwood Preferred Guest – earn 2 miles per $1 (USD) spent on all eligible charges
  • Westmark Hotels – earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on accommodations at a qualified rate and earn 1 mile for $1 dollar on food and beverage purchases (excluding alcohol)
  • Wyndham Hotel Group – earn 500 miles per qualifying stay

Earn Miles Through a Credit Card

The MNBA World Elite Alaska Airlines MasterCard continues to be the only remaining co-branded Canadian credit card that is affiliated with a U.S. based airline. Even though it is the only one remaining, it is also a strong credit card with the following highlights:

  • $75 annual fee
  • Earn 25,000 sign up bonus points upon approval
  • Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, cargo purchases, in-flight purchases and vacation packages
  • Earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 1 annual coach Companion Fare from $121 (USD) ($99 base fare, plus taxes and fees from $22)

You can actually get a $60 rebate by going through the GreatCanadianRebates website, which makes the $75 annual fee very affordable.

Earning 3 miles for every $1 spent on Alaska Airline purchases is one of the highest earning ratios out there. So if you fly Alaska Airlines even just a few times a year, this is a must-have in your wallet.

Lastly, what makes this credit card worthwhile to retain year after year (justifying the annual fee) is the annual Companion Fare. Note that this Companion certificate can only be used for a coach class seat on an Alaska Airlines operated flight with the purchase of another ticket on the same Alaska Airlines flight within or between the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Hawaii or Mexico.

Earn Miles with E-Rewards

When you convert your E-Reward dollars you can convert them to Alaska Airline Mileage Plan miles with the following increments.

  • $25 = 500 miles
  • $55 = 1,000 miles
  • $100 = 2,000 miles

There is a 30 day waiting period before you can transfer again. So in one year, you can earn up to 24,000 miles, which is also a great way of keeping your account active.

List of Destinations Departing from Canadian Airports

Below is an updated the list of destinations from last time departing from Canadian based airports (changes are in brackets):

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

  • Alaska Airlines: Seattle/Tacoma
  • Horizon Air: Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma
  • SkyWest Airlines (Seasonal): Seattle/Tacoma

Calgary International Airport (YYC)

  • Alaska Airlines: Seattle/Tacoma
  • Horizon Air: Seattle/Tacoma

Edmonton International Airport (YEG)

  • Horizon Air (Seasonal): Seattle/Tacoma
  • SkyWest Airlines: Seattle/Tacoma

Victoria International Airport (YYJ)

  • Horizon Air: Seattle/Tacoma

Kelowna International Airport (YLW)

  • Horizon Air: Seattle/Tacoma

Going Forward

I would love to see an expansion of service across Canada, especially because of the purchase of Virgin America, who is expected to merge into a single entity with Alaska Airlines by 2018. These are exciting times for Alaska Airlines. Hopefully we may see some new flights to California, but more importantly, let’s see some expansion to central and especially eastern Canada.

Otherwise, I already believe that Alaska Airlines has a decent presence in Canada, along with its co-branded credit card in Canada. So more importantly, I just hope they continue this consistent product!


  1. I have had an Alaska Air account for some years, and I just got the MNBA card. I had expected at some point in the process to be able to link the card to my existing account, but I don’t see it. Do you happen to know anything about how this works? Thanks!

      1. I don’t typically enjoy calling Canadian bank service services, so I just waited a while and the miles were deposited in my Air Alaska account. I wonder how they felt confident “identifying” me.

  2. Mileage Plan has become my favourite program being based in Vancouver. I just booked LAX-HKG-DEL on Cathay in first and business for 70,000 miles and was easily able to add a positioning flight on Alaska metal from Bellingham. I also booked Delhi to Tokyo in business and Tokyo to Jakarta in first on Japan Airlines – both for 30,000 miles! That kind of value just doesn’t exist in other programs these days.

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