HomeAirline LoyaltyAlaska Mileage PlanChanges to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan elite status for 2024

Changes to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan elite status for 2024

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In late 2023, Alaska Airlines announced several changes to its loyalty program that would take effect this year so, as we’re now just five days into the new elite qualification year, here’s a quick look at what changes have been made (and what further changes are coming) to Mileage Plan elite status in 2024 and beyond.

Note: Big changes have also been announced to Mileage Plan award charts which are coming in March 2024, these have been covered here

One way of earning elite status has been eliminated

If you’re someone who usually earns their Alaska Airlines elite status based on Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM), your targets haven’t changed from 2023.

  • MVP status requires a flyer to earn 20,000 EQM
  • MVP Gold status requires a flyer to earn 40,000 EQM
  • MVP Gold 75K status requires a flyer to earn 75,000 EQM
  • MVP Gold 100K status requires a flyer to earn 100,000 EQM

If, however, you have been used to earning elite status through the number of segments that you fly in a qualification year (30/60/90/140), life is going to look very different in 2024 because Mileage Plan no longer allows members to earn elite status based on segments flown.

The only way to now earn Mileage Plan elite status is to hit the EQM targets set out above.

Minimum Alaska Airlines segment requirement dropped

Historically, you couldn’t earn Alaska Airlines elite status without flying a set number of segments on flights marketed by and operated by Alaska Airlines (2, 6, 12, or 24 depending on what status level you were going for).

From 2024 onwards, that minimum segment requirement has been dropped so it’s now possible to earn Alaska Airlines elite status without ever setting foot on an Alaska Airlines aircraft (i.e. you fly on partner airlines and credit your flights to Mileage Plan).

Credit card spending now counts towards elite status qualification (up to a point)

Holders of an Alaska Airlines co-branded credit card can now boost their path to elite status by spending on that credit card.

Specifically, Mileage Plan will award a co-branded cardholder 4,000 EQM for every $10,000 (net) of eligible spending that they put on their card.

Sadly (for big spenders), you can’t earn any status higher than MVP through credit card spending alone as Mileage Plan has capped the number of EQM that can be earned in this way at just 20,000 (this equates to $50,000 of net eligible spending).

One year only – some excess elite miles are being rolled over

For 2024 and only 2024, Mileage Plan is rolling over any extra Elite Qualifying Miles that MVP 100K members eared and these will count towards a member’s elite targeted for 2024.

In practice, this means that a Mileage Plan member who earned 120,000 EQM in 2023 (for example), will start 2024 with MVP Gold 100K status and will have a head start on requalification thanks to the 20,000 EQM that have been rolled over and are now sitting in their account.

What’s coming later in the year and in 2025

At some point in 2024 we’re told that Alaska Airlines will be introducing more elite benefits in the form of ‘Milestone Rewards’. This is a concept that we’ve already seen adopted by several other airlines including Alaska’s closest partner airline American Airlines, but at the time of writing, we have no real idea what these rewards will look like.

Alaska has suggested that these Milestone Rewards could include things like status accelerators, bonus miles, and perks on the day of travel, but until a formal announcement is made, all we have are rumors, hints, and speculation.

Looking into 2025 is where we see the first really negative change that Alaska’s Mileage Plan is introducing for its elite status holders as that’s when the airline will lower the number of bonus miles that it awards to most of its elite flyers.

  • MVP elites will earn 25% bonus miles (down from 50%)
  • MVP Gold elites will earn 50% bonus miles (down from 100%)
  • MVP Gold 75K elites will earn 100% bonus miles (down from 125%)

MVP 100K elites are the only ones avoiding this devaluation as they will, for now, continue to earn 150% bonus miles when crediting their flights to Mileage Plan.

Bottom line

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan looks a little different from an elite status point of view in 2024 and more changes are on the way.

Already in place is the rule that elite status can now only be earned through Elite Qualifying Miles (the option to earn status though segments flown has been removed) and already in place is the rule that allows holders of Alaska Airlines co-branded credit cards to earn up to 20,000 EQM per year through spending on their cards.

Gone is the requirement for members to book and fly a minimum number of segments with Alaska Airlines if they want to enjoy Mileage Plan status, and on the way is a new Milestone Rewards program that should see elite flyers given the option of more benefits.

Lastly, starting in 2025, most Mileage Plan elites will see their bonus miles earnings cut (by up to 50%) as Alaska Airlines claws back some of the benefits that it will have just given away (though the new Milestone Rewards).

Featured image courtesy of Alaska Airlines

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