Alaska MVP Gold Benefits Guide [2020]

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Alaska MVP Gold offers a nice upgrade in benefits from the lower MVP level. You’ll get much better upgrade perks along with a better discount on lounge access among other perks. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the Alaska MVP Gold benefits.

What is Alaska MVP Gold?

Alaska MVP is the middle-level elite status offered by Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

How to earn Alaska MVP Gold

You can obtain Alaska MVP Gold by flying 40,000 miles on Alaska or 50,000 miles on partners or by flying 60 qualifying segments. Here is a breakdown of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan elite levels:

Elite LevelAlaska MilesPartner MilesSegments
Alaska MVP20,000 miles25,000 miles30
MVP Gold40,000 miles50,000 miles60
MVP Gold 75K75,000 miles90,000 miles90
Alaska elite status level requirements.

Members who fly 1,000,000 on Alaska are granted MVP Gold status for life.

On Alaska Airlines, you earn one mile per mile flown. Those are your base points but on many flights you will also earn bonus points.

For example, if you are flying in main economy in Y or S, you will earn an additional 50% bonus on your miles.

In order to earn qualifying miles, flights must be:

  • Marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines, or marketed by Alaska Airlines and operated by the airlines noted below
  • Flight numbers must be in the range of eligible flight numbers listed below

Here are the qualifying partners and flight numbers:

  • 1-1999 (Alaska)
  • 2000-2999 (operated by Horizon Air)
  • 3300-3499 (operated by SkyWest)
  • 4000-4799, 6000-6999, 8001 – 8100 (operated by American Airlines)
  • 5000-5499 (operated by Qantas)

Travel on regional partners PenAir and Ravn does not count toward elite status qualification.

Flights shorter than 500 miles, will always earn a minimum of 500 miles.

You can read more about the earning requirements here.

Alaska MVP Gold status match

You can also earn Alaska MVP Gold status through a status match.

Here are all of the different elite levels that you can match to MVP Gold:

  • Aeromexico Platinum
  • Air Canada Altitude 50K
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum
  • Delta Gold Medallion
  • Frontier Elite 50K
  • Hawaiian Pualani Platinum
  • Southwest A-List Preferred
  • United Premier Gold

In order to qualify for a status match, you will have to show proof that you earned elite status through the published requirements and not through alternative means such as through a promotion.

To process the status match, visit the online status match page and submit a screenshot of your online account showing your name, status, and your miles flown.

You will also need to provide your Mileage Plan number.

If your status match is approved, you will receive a confirmation email and your new status will be good for 90 days.

You can keep your status match by flying 10,000 miles during those 90 days.

If you start your status match by the end of June, you will keep your status through the end of the calendar year. But if you start your status match between July and December, you will keep the status through the end of next year.

Tip: A member may only receive one status match for the lifetime of their account.

Alaska MVP Gold benefits

  • 100% bonus on base miles 
  • Priority check-in, security, and boarding
  • Two free checked bags
  • Discounted Alaska Lounge membership
  • Access to preferred seating
  • Standby and waitlist for full flights
  • First Class upgrades (companion as well)
  • Four guest first class upgrades
  • Premium Class upgrades (companion as well)
  • Premium beverage for free when flying economy
  • Free same-day flight changes
  • Waived ticket change fees
  • Dedicated phone lines
  • Elite Leave for new parents

100% bonus on base miles

As an MVP Gold member, you will receive a 100% bonus on base miles.

For example, if you fly 1,000 miles you will earn 1,000 base miles plus 1,000 bonus miles. Note that bonus flight miles do not count towards the future elite status qualification.

If you want to earn even more Alaska miles, keep in mind that you can earn 3X Alaska miles on all your Alaska purchases with the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card.

Tip: If you’re looking for the best ways to use your Alaska miles be sure to check out our 20 best uses of Alaska Airline Miles article.

Priority check-in, security, and boarding

You can save time by enjoying priority check-in and security lines and also be among the first to board with priority boarding.

As an MVP Gold member you will get to board with “Group A” which boards just after first class.

Here’s a look at the Alaska Airlines boarding order:

  • Pre-boarding (Military, disabilities, unaccompanied minors, etc.)
  • First class
  • Group A (MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K)
  • Group B (MVP members and guests in Premium Class seats)
  • Group C (Main cabin in the back)
  • Group D (Main cabin in the front)
  • Group E (Saver)

Two free checked bags

As you would expect from a middle level elite status, you will get two free checked bags. Checked baggage would normally cost you $30 for your first bag and $40 for your second bag.

So you have some nice savings potential here especially because you can also get free checked bags for companions in the same reservation!

Discounted Alaska Lounge membership

The annual price for an Alaska Lounge membership is $450. But as an MVP Gold member, you can get a $100 discount on the membership. Here’s a look at the discounts for elite members:

Elite LevelPriceSavings
MVP$400$50
MVP Gold$350$100
MVP Gold 75K$300$150
Alaska Lounges elite membership prices.

First Class upgrades

With MVP Gold status, you will be eligible for First Class upgrades at the time of booking.

You can obtain these instant upgrades by booking the following fares: Y, S, B, M or Z.

These are some of the more expensive fares that don’t require you to pay a cancellation fee if you need to make changes.

It’s very easy to find eligible fares for instant upgrades. When you were at the main booking page, simply look for the drop-down menu on the right hand side under “upgrade type.”

Website search tool showing upgrade selection
It is easy to find eligible upgrade fares on Alaska’s website.

Then select your elite status which in this case would be MVP Gold and you will then be able to see the available fares for instant upgrades.

If you purchase a fare that does not qualify for instant upgrades the process works differently.

In that case, you will be placed in a queue until your upgrade window begins. For MVP Gold members, your upgrade window will not open until 72 hours prior to departure.

At that point, the upgrades will clear in the order of fare class booked. If there are no upgrades available for your flight, you will be placed on the upgrade waitlist in order of fare class booked.

The fare class order for MVP Gold is the following: H, Q, L, V, N, K, G, T, R, W.

Once your upgrade window opens, if there is an upgrade available on your flight you’ll be upgraded immediately. But if there currently are no upgrades available, you will simply remain on the waitlist.

Once check-in begins, the waitlist is available to view either via the mobile app, the gate information display, or on alaskaair.com.

The waitlist will only display those passengers who have already checked in. So if you checked in before other passengers that were higher up on the waitlist, it’s possible that when they check-in you will move down on the list.

Alaska will continue to look for available upgrades and process them until about one hour prior to departure.

Saver fares (booked in X class of service) are not eligible for elite upgrades.

Companion upgrades to First Class

As an MVP Gold member, you will be able to upgrade one companion that is traveling with you on the same flight, on the same reservation, and in the same class.

The key thing to note here is that if your reservation includes more than one companion, it will not be eligible for a complimentary upgrade.

Four one-way First Class guest upgrades

One of the coolest benefits of obtaining MVP Gold is that you will be issued four first class guest upgrades.

These are electronic codes that you can use to upgrade friends or family members who are not traveling with you or for your own use when you don’t purchase an instant qualifying fare.

After you reach Gold status, your upgrade codes should be automatically deposited into your account profile.

To use these upgrades make your reservation online and select the link next to your confirmation code that says “MVP Gold guest upgrade.” If your flight is eligible you should be able to enter the upgrade code.

Be sure to choose MVP Gold guest upgrade from the upgrade type filter when searching for flights. After that you should be able to select “I want to apply an MVP® Gold guest upgrade code to one or more of my flights” during booking.

Premium Class upgrades

Premium class seating will get you a little bit of extra legroom (about 4 inches), complimentary drinks (where beverage service is normally served), and priority boarding.

These are seats in the front row (bulkhead) of the main cabin section and also in the emergency exit rows.

You can get instantly upgraded to a premium class ticket if you purchase one of the following fares: Y, S, B, M, H, Q, L, V, N, K, or Z.

These fares can be located the same way that the first class upgrade fairs can be found.

If you book an eligible fare for a premium class upgrade but there are no upgrades available, you will be put on a waitlist.

MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members receive upgrades for two passengers – themselves, plus one companion.

If you purchased an eligible discounted fare that does not qualify for an immediate upgrade, you will be placed on the upgrade waitlist at the upgrade window which is 72 hours for MVP Gold.

Upgrades will then be processed by fare class and then order of purchase. The order of the fare class processing is: G, T, R, or W fares.

Saver fares (booked in X class of service) are not eligible for complimentary upgrades.

When premium class is not available, you may just be offered a seat with more legroom. Seats with more legroom are complimentary for Alaska Mileage Plan elite members.

Companion upgrades to premium class

Just like with the first class upgrades, you will get an upgrade eligible for one companion.

But if you are flying with more than one companion, you will not be eligible for the upgrades.

Complimentary premium beverage in Main Cabin

As an MVP Gold member, you’ll be given a complimentary premium beverage when flying in economy. These beverages may cost anywhere from $7 to $16 so that’s about what your savings will be per flight. Keep in mind that this benefit is only for your first beverage.

Complimentary same day flight changes

As an MVP Gold member, you will receive free same day flight changes. These same-day changes would normally cost $50 so it’s a great way to save on these fees. Read more about how these work here.

Waived ticket change fees

As an MVP Gold member, you can also get ticket change fees waived. Change and cancellation fees would normally cost you $125 per change, so this is yet another great opportunity for savings.

Alaska MVP Gold FAQ

What are the Alaska MVP Gold benefits?

  • 100% bonus on base miles 
  • Priority check-in, security, and boarding
  • Two free checked bags
  • Discounted Alaska Lounge membership
  • Access to preferred seating
  • Standby and waitlist for full flights
  • First Class upgrades (companion as well)
  • Four guest first class upgrades
  • Premium Class upgrades (companion as well)
  • Premium beverage for free when flying economy
  • Free same-day flight changes
  • Waived ticket change fees
  • Dedicated phone lines
  • Elite Leave for new parents

Do MVP Gold members get upgrades for companions?

Yes, MVP Gold members will get an upgrade for one companion for first class upgrades and premium class upgrades. In addition, each year you will be issued four guest first class upgrades that could be used for companions.

Do MVP Gold members get free checked baggage?

Yes, you will be allowed two free checked bags.

Do MVP Gold members get priority boarding?

Yes, MVP Gold members get to board in “Group A” which is the first boarding group following first class.

Do MVP Gold members get lounge access?

MVP Gold members do not get automatic lounge access but they do receive a $100 discount on annual memberships.

Do MVP Gold members get waived fees?

Yes, you can get waived fees for ticket changes and cancellations as well as same day flight changes.

What bonus rate do MVP Gold members get?

MVP Gold members receive a 100% bonus on their base miles.

Final word

Alaska MVP gold has some great benefits to offer. It is a lot easier to get upgrades and you can use upgrade codes for yourself or others each year which is pretty cool.

Cover Photo: Tomás Del Coro via Flickr.

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