Limited Time: Alaska Is Allowing Elite Members To Transfer Miles For Free

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?


  1. lucky how come boardingarea and OMAT are not mentioning the JetBlue sweepstakes which started today? Are bloggers trying to hoard for themselves. Or do the typical “Did you get in” post after the fact.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I’m a Gold 75K and my wife is a gifted MVP, so I think she’ll be giving me 40K miles for Christmas!

  3. I’m losing elite status in a couple of weeks, so for me, it’s all about being able to make the accounts of my family members a bit more useful for future awards

  4. I echo you in that Alaska is such a generous airline! One of the perks with 75K is that you can nominate someone for MVP status, but since my boyfriend was already MVP they bent the rules and let me nominate him for MVP gold instead. With this transferring mileage offer, I’m a little stingy with my miles and would rather book for a friend or family member using my account than transfer my miles to theirs. It might not make a real difference, but that’s just me.

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