Alaska Mileage Plan is my favorite frequent flyer program in the US. The program offers generous elite perks, has great airline partners, continues to award miles based on distance flown, has a generous status match program, etc.
Alaska Mileage Plan has just announced a holiday promotion for their elite members that I find especially interesting, even though it’s questionable how valuable it is. Specifically, Alaska Mileage Plan is allowing elite members (MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K members) to transfer miles to friends or family at no charge through December 28, 2017. Each member can transfer miles to up to three different accounts, and can transfer a total of 40,000 miles.
Here are the full terms and conditions:
Members of Alaska Mileage Plan™ with a status of MVP® or above, can transfer up to a total of 40,000 Mileage Plan Miles by 12/28/17, and we will waive the normal transfer costs ($10.00 per 1,000 miles, plus a fee of $25.00 per transfer). A maximum of three transfer transactions are allowed during the promotional period; transfers of less than 1,000 Mileage Plan Miles are not permitted. Other terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan and the Transfer Miles programs apply.
I love how creative this is, as I don’t recall another program offering a similar limited time promotion (then again, programs like Hilton Honors allow points transfers between accounts year-round with much higher limits, but that’s also much more common with hotel programs than airline programs).
However, in reality I’m not sure how useful this will be. Don’t get me wrong, there’s value in consolidating miles between accounts. In other words, it’s better to have 70,000 miles in one account than to have 35,000 miles in two accounts, since you have access to more awards with the former.
However, ideally you want the miles to be in the elite account, rather than transferred out of an elite account. That’s because MVP Gold members and above get waived change and cancelation fees on award tickets. Personally I’d find this promotion to be a lot more valuable if they allowed people to transfer points into the accounts of elite members, rather than the other way around.
So this could still potentially be worthwhile if you’re looking to consolidate mileage balances. It could also be worthwhile if you’re an MVP member, for example (MVP members don’t get waived change and cancelation fees) and you have a friend or family member who is an MVP Gold member or above (who does get waived fees).
If you’re an Alaska elite member, do you plan on taking advantage of this promotion?