Revealed: Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold 100K Perks

Revealed: Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold 100K Perks

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At the beginning of 2021, Alaska Airlines announced that it would introduce a new elite tier in its Mileage Plan program. This announcement came around the same time that Alaska Airlines joined the oneworld alliance, which was a major development for the Seattle-based airline.

The details of Alaska’s new top tier elite status have now been revealed.

Alaska MVP Gold 100K status details

Alaska Mileage Plan’s new top tier status will be called MVP Gold 100K, and it will be introduced as of January 2022. With this new elite tier being added, Alaska Airlines will have four elite levels — MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K. Let’s go over the details of this new status.

Alaska MVP Gold 100K qualification requirements

The new Alaska MVP Gold 100K elite tier will require either 100,000 elite qualifying miles or 140 segments, plus at least 24 segments on Alaska Airlines.

Here’s a chart comparing elite requirements for all four tiers:

There’s nothing terribly surprising here, though it is worth noting just how many segments are required on Alaska Airlines. It’s clear that Alaska wants its new top tier status to be for people who actually fly Alaska frequently, rather than members who primarily earn status through flying partner airlines. It’s also impressive to see Alaska continue to not have a revenue requirement for status.

Alaska’s new elite tier requires lots of flying on Alaska

Alaska MVP Gold 100K status benefits

It’s probably most interesting to look at the new Alaska MVP Gold 100K status benefits by comparing them to Alaska MVP Gold 75K benefits. What’s different between the two status levels?

  • MVP Gold 100K members will receive a 150% mileage bonus (rather than a 125% mileage bonus)
  • MVP Gold 100K members will receive upgrades 120 hours out with the highest priority (MVP Gold 75K members also start getting upgrades 120 hours out, but with lower priority)
  • MVP Gold 100K members will receive two American Airlines international upgrade certificates annually (MVP Gold 75K members will receive one); these should be very similar to American Airlines systemwide upgrades
  • MVP Gold 100K members will receive a complimentary alcoholic beverage and snack when in economy (MVP Gold 75K members just receive a free drink)

All the other perks are the same as MVP Gold 75K status, including oneworld Emerald status, priority check-in and boarding, four Alaska upgrade vouchers per year, four Alaska Lounge passes annually, 50,000 bonus miles annually, etc. Ultimately I’d say these perks are exactly what I was expecting — MVP Gold 100K members will get higher upgrade priority, which could make a significant difference.

MVP Gold 100K members get the highest upgrade priority

Why is Alaska introducing a new elite tier?

Alaska Mileage Plan introducing a new elite tier has little to do with the airline joining the oneworld alliance, and a lot more to do with Alaska Airlines’ new strategic partnership with American Airlines, which goes way beyond the two airlines both belonging to oneworld.

American Airlines is turning Seattle into an international gateway, with plans to offer flights to Bangalore, London, and Shanghai, with more to come. As part of this new cooperation, Alaska and American have introduced reciprocal upgrades for elite members, as the airlines want to create as much metal neutrality as possible. If this partnership is going to work, American AAdvantage elite members have to be treated well on Alaska Airlines, and vice versa.

In terms of upgrade prioritization, it makes a lot of sense for elite tiers to be aligned, so that members can be treated roughly equally on both airlines. With Alaska Airlines introducing a new elite tier at 100K miles, Alaska and American finally have aligned elite tiers.

This is significant, because it makes it easy to prioritize upgrades between airlines — you can expect that Alaska MVP Gold 100K and American Executive Platinum members will have roughly the same upgrade priority, Alaska MVP Gold 75K and American Platinum Pro members will have roughly the same upgrade priority, etc.

So more than anything this is an attempt to align elite tiers between the two airlines. And frankly as an American Executive Platinum I’m thrilled to see the new MVP Gold 100K elite tier introduced, since my upgrade priority on Alaska is about to get even better, as I’d imagine Executive Platinum members will start to clear ahead of MVP Gold 75K members once the new perk is rolled out.

This new elite tier is largely about upgrade reciprocity

Bottom line

Alaska Airlines has now revealed the full details of its new elite tier, which will be called MVP Gold 100K. The new status will be introduced in early 2022, and as the name suggests, it will require earning 100,000 elite miles, and flying at least 24 segments on Alaska Airlines.

Most significantly, MVP Gold 100K members will receive 150% bonus miles, and will have top priority for upgrades, which is more or less what I was expecting.

The introduction of this tier seems to be largely about aligning tiers between Alaska Mileage Plan and American AAdvantage, which makes sense when you consider the close cooperation between the two airlines.

What do you make of the new Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold 100K tier?

Conversations (16)
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  1. Curtis

    I'm unclear on the timing "End of January 2022". If I earn 100K in 2021 will I then have status as of January 2022? Or is it start earning in 2022 for 2023 status?

    I will easily requalify for 75K in 2021, but it wouldn't be hard, especially with the credit card elite miles, to hit 100k. Since I haven't hit 100k yet, I guess I'm not getting an email directly from Alaska on the subject.

  2. Sam

    Lucky, really curious how you think about the math between Alaska and American. In my case pre-COVID I had top tier status on both airlines (prob 275k miles on AA but too much cheap travel to hit CK, and 100k Alaska) and I was going to basically bifurcate my spend (credit high price tickets on AA, credit low price tickets on AS) to improve odds of CK and still maintain meaningful status with both. Curious...

    Lucky, really curious how you think about the math between Alaska and American. In my case pre-COVID I had top tier status on both airlines (prob 275k miles on AA but too much cheap travel to hit CK, and 100k Alaska) and I was going to basically bifurcate my spend (credit high price tickets on AA, credit low price tickets on AS) to improve odds of CK and still maintain meaningful status with both. Curious how you see the value of doubling down on either program on a comparative basis.

    1. Jef

      Wouldn't AA EXP/CK and BA Gold be the better pairing here? That'd give you better lounge access domestically while retaining the same upgrade benefits/status.

  3. Adrian

    Honestly I am very disappointed at the so-called "perks" offered at this 100K threshold. If you are going to make me doing a 24 segment run on Alaska/Horizon, I really expect better perks. As of now, the only benefit is the 25% more bonus miles, which is not much. Frankly I expect 200% bonus miles, rather than the meager 150% bonus miles.

    For upgrade, I expect upgrades to be clear at 100 hours mark...

    Honestly I am very disappointed at the so-called "perks" offered at this 100K threshold. If you are going to make me doing a 24 segment run on Alaska/Horizon, I really expect better perks. As of now, the only benefit is the 25% more bonus miles, which is not much. Frankly I expect 200% bonus miles, rather than the meager 150% bonus miles.

    For upgrade, I expect upgrades to be clear at 100 hours mark like most US airlines' top tier program. Better upgrade priority makes no sense and at least it should be different from MVP Gold 75K. It will be confusing and you will hear people complaining that 75K getting upgrades clear ahead of 100K soon. It is just asking for troubles. Even if you don't want to do 100 hours, how about 84 hours - at least one more day than MVP Gold 75K?

    In terms of baggage allowance, I don't see giving four pieces of free checked bags will break the airline. Let's be honest. Most FF travelers don't check bags. It looks good on paper.

    About those upgrade coupons, those American Airlines systemwide are nearly useless and let me be very honest about it. AA has made it so difficult to use so one more coupon for MVPG 100K makes no sense. For Alaska Airlines itself, giving MVPG 100K two coupons will not hurt anyone and for the lounge coupons, giving MVPG 100K two more won't hurt either. The differentiation between 75K and 100K is just not good enough. I have some hopes in the beginning but now I think I will just stick with 75K for 2023. I hope Alaska Airlines will work on better and "real" perks soon.

    1. Adrian

      Sorry that I mix up the upgrade window... This new tier will get 120 hours upgrade clearance time slot, not the same as 75K.

  4. World_Wide_787_guy

    You seriously think Alaska would offer AA EXP’s upgrades over AS75K members?? Are you kidding me? That would be similar to AA saying AS75K gets upgraded over AA Golds.

    NOT GONNA HAPPEN DUDE! If you want the highest priority upgrades, get status with that airline and book directly.

    1. CDKing

      Yes they will. AS75k is already on upgrade list between Plat pro and Plat. So it's only matter of time before AS100k will be ahead of plat pro on AA upgrade list.

    2. Giri

      AS75Ks already get upgraded ahead of AA Gold.

      AA and AS have already announced they plan to have a fully reciprocal upgrade chart. Their own program members get priority within the elite group, but that's it.

  5. Highgamma

    I actually thought that 100k status would get more companion upgrades to premium class (up to 3 or 4). Or maybe some type of premium upgrade certificates, just to make it a bit easier when, a few times per year, you’re traveling with family.

    I also hope we are still able to nominate someone for MVP.

  6. Matthew

    This will reward Alaska Flyers who have organically earned the status into a new status that can't be "matched" into. The 24 segment requirement is awesome as it prioritizes actual flying on AS. The upgrade priority will be great since it will reward true AS road warriors (I have 188K EQMs on AS and 224K EQM including partners so far). The 2 certs are nice, and the 150% mileage bonus over 125% is a small...

    This will reward Alaska Flyers who have organically earned the status into a new status that can't be "matched" into. The 24 segment requirement is awesome as it prioritizes actual flying on AS. The upgrade priority will be great since it will reward true AS road warriors (I have 188K EQMs on AS and 224K EQM including partners so far). The 2 certs are nice, and the 150% mileage bonus over 125% is a small plus. THIS WAS THEIR OPENING OFFER AND THERE WILL BE FURTHER BENEFITS ANNOUNCED IN 2022. (I think they will offer a choice of free AS Lounge OR 4 Additional GGU's. Overall this rewards people who have actually been flying on AS. Bravo

  7. Angelo

    This is a bit disappointing. I already hit the 100K threshold but quite frankly the upside is not there. They should recognize this level with additional bonus miles and companion certificates.

    Or I guess we can keep opening more Bank of America Alaska credit cards. That seems to be valued more than flying their metal.

  8. ORDPilot

    Alaska also sent out e-mails today to people who have hit 100k this year.

    It's not too exciting for the Alaska benefits alone, but the higher upgrade priority and upgrade certificates on AA are very attractive to me. I think you're spot on about trying to make things metal neutral and this goes a long way to doing that for me. I wish the mileage earning on AA flights was better, but I feel like as a 100k I will have much better upgrade success on AA.

  9. Greg

    What a deval slap in the face to loyal MVP 75K fliers

  10. Steve

    Minimal benefits increase from 75K…just an extra percentage earning increase and higher upgrade priority? Why not go the Delta route and offer up two choice benefits? I.E. 50K miles, complementary lounge access, four systemwide instant upgrades, etc?

  11. Sammy

    I agree with Jack - not much to get excited about over a 75K Gold level.

    O/T - been flying more DL out of Seattle for past 6 months - almost always same price or cheaper than AS, always upgraded except once, usually light pax loads. Glad AS is doing well, but its been a much better experience on DL - sans the lack of food on DL TPASEA.

  12. Jack

    The benefits are pretty weak compared to 75K. Flying all those segments on AS doesn't seem worth it unless you're hitting it naturally.

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Jef

Wouldn't AA EXP/CK and BA Gold be the better pairing here? That'd give you better lounge access domestically while retaining the same upgrade benefits/status.

Curtis

I'm unclear on the timing "End of January 2022". If I earn 100K in 2021 will I then have status as of January 2022? Or is it start earning in 2022 for 2023 status? I will easily requalify for 75K in 2021, but it wouldn't be hard, especially with the credit card elite miles, to hit 100k. Since I haven't hit 100k yet, I guess I'm not getting an email directly from Alaska on the subject.

Sam

Lucky, really curious how you think about the math between Alaska and American. In my case pre-COVID I had top tier status on both airlines (prob 275k miles on AA but too much cheap travel to hit CK, and 100k Alaska) and I was going to basically bifurcate my spend (credit high price tickets on AA, credit low price tickets on AS) to improve odds of CK and still maintain meaningful status with both. Curious how you see the value of doubling down on either program on a comparative basis.

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