Easy Ways to Get Hard to Earn Points: Alaska Miles

This is part of DCTA’s new series where we break down all the easy ways to get hard to earn miles and points. As Canadians, we don’t have access to all the great credit cards or promotions that our American neighbours take for granted, so DCTA is always keeping an eye out for new offers. In this edition we look at earning extra Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles through their ongoing Alaska Airlines Hotels promotion, in partnership with Rocketmiles.

Although not the hardest currency to earn in Canada, with two Mastercards available including the Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard (currently offering a 30,000 mile welcome bonus) and the Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard (currently offering a 20,000 mile welcome bonus), earning Alaska Miles can still be more tricky that earning Aeroplan, Airmiles, or AMEX Membership Rewards. In our opinion at DCTA, Alaska miles are one of the most valuable point currencies on the Canadian market, with excellent business class flight redemptions and low fees to both Europe and Asia from major Canadian hubs.

Until June 30, 2019 Alaska is offering a bonus of 2,000 Alaska miles, on top of the up to 10,000 miles per night you can earn by booking your hotel stay through Alaska Airlines Hotels, in partnership with Rocketmiles. If you’re still organizing your summer vacation and planning to pay cash for a portion of your stays this is an excellent opportunity to grab some extra Alaska miles.

a screenshot of a hotel



To take advantage of the promotion, all you need to do is visit Alaska’s hotel webpage and then login into your Alaska account.

The verdict

While we wouldn’t go out of our way to book a hotel stay using this promotion, it could be good way to snag some extra Alaska miles if you are currently planning a trip, especially if you’ll be staying at a hotel or property for which you don’t have a loyal membership or that isn’t affiliated with any hotel chain.

For example, one of our DCTA members was recently travelling through the Slovenia capital of Ljubljana. A one night weekend stay in July at the historic Grand Hotel Union costs CAD 237 and will net you 3,000 Alaska miles, or 3,237 miles if you paid with you Alaska Mastercard.

a screenshot of a hotel

At a conservative valuation of 2.0 cents (Canadian) per mile that would give you a 27% return on your purchase!

Not too shabby in our opinion.

The legal stuff…

The promotion is offered by Alaska and powered by Rocketmiles and is subject to specific promotion terms and conditions as well as the Alaska Mileage Plan Program Rules and Rocketmiles Terms and Conditions.

Since this promotion is being offered through Rocketmiles you’ll only earn the miles offered by the promotion and not any additional miles even if you book a stay at an Alaska Mileage Plan partner hotel.

The T&Cs also say that you won’t benefit from your hotel loyalty program tier status, if you have it for the hotel you selected. But, in our experience, this is a situation of where Your Mileage May Vary, and once you arrive at your destination you should ask the hotel to add your hotel loyalty membership number as well.

If you pay with your Alaska Mastercard you’ll earn 1 mile per dollar spent and not the typical 3 miles per dollar you would receive when booking a flight or vacation package directly from Alaska Airlines.

About the Author: Jacob is a long time supporter of DCTA and new contributor. He got into miles and points while planning for an exchange in Southeast Asia and looking for ways to stretch his student dollars. When he isn’t travelling or helping people find creative ways to save money with miles and points he works as an international trade lawyer in Toronto.

Easy Ways to Get Hard to Earn Points: If you have ideas or suggestions about how the DCTA family can get hard to earn points, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!


  1. Can I redeem my Alaska miles while I’m tavelling in mainland China from one city to another, with whichever airline available?

    1. Alaska has a partnership with Hanain Airlines, which would allow you to book domestic flights within China using your Alaska miles.

  2. Redeeming for flights operated by JAL is a great option here, but I ll start with the one flight that dominates most points enthusiasts bucket lists: Emirates first class. After a no-notice devaluation of Alaska s partner award chart for Emirates, JAL emerged as the easy first choice program for booking Emirates awards. They ve since begun passing on fuel surcharges for Emirates awards, which can exceed $1,000 on certain routes, but you can minimize them by strategically picking your departure city.

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