Bank of America is offering 40,000 Mileage Plan miles upon approval of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Signature Visa credit card through July 30, 2011. In addition you get two Board Room passes and a $99 companion certificate, which is incredibly useful, given that it’s even valid for first class tickets. An Alaska Airlines employee in this FlyerTalk thread suggests it’s a targeted offer, though I don’t see that in the terms and conditions.
Alaska Airlines miles can be some of the most valuable out there, assuming you’re looking for certain types of awards. They partner with so many different airlines across all three alliances, giving lots of flexibility. The frustration is that they don’t let you mix and match partners, which makes it tough to book certain types of awards. In other words, you can’t mix American and Cathay Pacific on the same award, or Delta and Air France, etc.
One of the best redemptions is for Cathay Pacific first class to Asia, which costs 140,000 miles, and they even allow a free stopover. While you can’t add an award flight on another airline partner to get to the Cathay Pacific gateway (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Vancouver on the west coast), you can include a flight on Alaska Airlines as part of the award ticket.
If you’re really into getting the most flying “bang for the buck” it’s also only 140,000 miles to fly Cathay Pacific first class from the US to South Africa… via Hong Kong! That’s a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong, and then another 15 hour flight from Hong Kong to Johannesburg. So that’s nearly 60 hours of international first class flying for 140,000 miles, with the option to stopover in Hong Kong on your way to South Africa.
It might just be time to apply for this credit card (assuming it’s not targeted), fly Alaska Airlines to Hawaii, and transfer some points from Starwood to have enough miles for a first class award to Asia or South Africa.