We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Monkey Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Alaska Airlines has long maintained a wide variety of award redemptions specific to each partner airline. Some, like Cathay Pacific, have had incredible award rates, and others like Aer Lingus aren’t the most attractive. For instance you could redeem US to Asia on Cathay Pacific for just 70k miles. That’s incredible. Not long ago, they introduced dynamic awards that permitted the use of Alaska miles to redeem non-saver rates awards that are outrageously expensive, and was a bit of a warning sign that dynamic pricing could creep its way in to other awards as well. Now, they’ve eliminated the award charts of each partner and replaced it with a general chart that doesn’t include any rates that originate outside the US/Canada. This Is certainly toeing the line of devaluation In my opinion and one step closer to Alaska eliminating charts completely and going fully dynamic.H/T VFTW
The new universal Alaska Airlines award chart for international flights
Notice the language at the bottom of the chart that you’ll have to search to view points from outside the US. Prior to this new award chart every airline had specific pricing for those routes.
Note…the award rates START at these prices. Since part of the Alaska chart is dynamic…the sky is the limit on those awards.
Booking terms you should pay attention to:
The most important ones are award flights with an origin and destination outside the US must be booked 72 hours prior to departure. This was implemented a few years ago and can be tricky if you’re trying to book Cathay from Hong Kong to Paris for instance since often those award will open up the day before departure. Keep that in mind.
The other one to pay attention to, is new to me at least, and that is stopovers are no longer allowed intra-region. If you’re flying from Vietnam to Beijing you wouldn’t be able to stop in Hong Kong en route for a couple of days.
Award flights with both an origin and destination outside of the US and Canada must be booked at least 72 hours before the departure time.
The purchaser of an award ticket is responsible for all applicable taxes, fees, and checked baggage charges imposed by the transporting carrier(s) or U.S. or international authorities. For itineraries that include one or more partner award segments, a $12.50 (USD) nonrefundable fee will be collected per person, each way.
Stopovers are not available on award redemptions within international regions (e.g. intra-Asia or Intra-Europe)
Personally, I think this is a bit shady. “Hey, we have an award chart and we haven’t changed award prices.” That’s great and how they will spin it. But it also creates just enough cover for them to slowly devalue without us noticing since they are saying routes START at the prices listed. I still believe Alaska has a great program with some incredible redemption opportunities, but this makes me feel like the days are numbered on some of the sweeter deals.
Affiliate link via Card Ratings
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.