Everybody wants to know the “best use” of their miles, which is sort of like wanting to know the “best use” of their money. There is no best use. But there are some better deals than others.

Most travels blogs will tell you to use your miles for first- and business-class tickets, since those provide the most $/mile “value,” but they also require hundreds of thousands of miles and lots of time searching for availability. If you’re planning a crazy honeymoon splurge, save your miles for premium seats. If you’re a normal human, use them for economy fares.

You’ve got scads of good options for using your Alaska miles out of Seattle. To keep things simple, here are 3 of ’em. 

1. Take a trip to both San Francisco and Portland for 10,000 Miles + $12

What you’re technically doing here is booking a flight to San Francisco with a (free) stopover in Portland, which can be as long as you want. Your multi-city search will look something like this:

So you can visit two of the West Coast’s finest (other) cities for a pittance — 10,000 miles are worth about $150.

2. Take a trip to Missoula, Montana and Portland for 12,500 miles + $11

Another version of the same idea, except better. Am I biased because I grew up in Missoula? Yes. Is it an overlooked destination in the Pacific Northwest? Absolutely. Though you should eat at the Old Post, not the Missoula Club (pictured above).

12,500 miles are worth about $187, which is less than a typical roundtrip flight to Missoula on its own.

3. Fly to Santiago, Chile on American for 40,000 miles + $82

Most Seattleites have one goal when traveling: Sun.

You can “hack” Earth’s tilted rotational axis and fly to the Southern Hemisphere during the winter. Sound complicated? It isn’t.

Flights to Chile are generally expensive (~$1,000 from Seattle) but you can use relatively few Alaska miles (~$600 worth + $82) to fly on their partner, American Airlines. You can also

 

If you’re looking for fancier / more complicated options, check these out:

17 Best Ways To Redeem Alaska Mileage Plan Miles for Max Value [2017]

7 Awesome Alaska Awards w/Free Stopovers & How to Book Them

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