Great Deal: 40% Bonus On Purchase Of Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

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Through April 3, 2015, Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of Mileage Plan miles

Alaska-Buy-Miles

The bonuses are tiered, meaning the more miles you buy, the bigger the bonus you get, as follows:

  • Buy 5,000 – 9,000 miles: get a 10% Bonus
  • Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles: get a 20% Bonus
  • Buy 20,000 – 39,000 miles: get a 30% Bonus
  • Buy 40,000 miles: get a 40% bonus

You can purchase up to 40,000 miles in one transaction, so if you purchase the maximum allowed 40,000 miles you’d get a 40% bonus, for a grand total of 56,000 Mileage Plan miles. At a cost of $1,182.50 including tax, that comes out to ~2.11 cents per mile.

Alaska-Buy-Miles-Bonus-1

Alaska seems to offer a similar promotion roughly four times per year. Just to compare this promotion to others they’ve offered, here are the most recent ones they’ve run:

Generally speaking the 40% bonus promotion is as good as it gets, so if you’re in the market to buy Alaska miles, this is a great opportunity.

What’s cool about Alaska is that they don’t limit the number of miles you can purchase per account per calendar year or per promotion, so you can more or less purchase as many miles as you’d like. As I explained a while back, there are only a few restrictions:

  • You can purchase a maximum of 40,000 miles per transaction, though can make as many transactions as you’d like
  • You can use the same credit card for at most four points.com transactions per 30 day period (they process Alaska mileage purchases)
  • Alaska now limits the purchase of Mileage Plan miles to members using credit cards with billing addresses in North America

Alaska made their miles even more valuable a couple of years ago by adding Emirates as a redemption partner, and by not only allowing one-way redemptions at half the cost of a roundtrip, but also allowing stopovers on one-way awards, making them one of the only airlines with such a generous policy. I wrote a post last March highlighting what I consider to be the best uses of Alaska Mileage Plan miles.

For example, you can redeem 70,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles for one-way travel in Cathay Pacific first class from the US to Africa, India, the Middle East, and all of Asia. That means you can fly to any of those destinations with a stopover in Hong Kong for as long as you’d like. Being able to purchase enough miles to book that for less than $1,500 is a bargain, in my opinion.

Cathay-Pacific-First-Class-07
Redeem Alaska miles for Cathay Pacific first class

One of the other best uses of Alaska miles has been for travel on Emirates. For example, you can redeem 100,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles for one-way travel in Emirates first class from the US to Europe, Asia, or Africa. Again, you could have a stopover in Dubai for as long as you’d like. That means you can potentially book two Emirates A380 first class flights for that price, like Los Angeles to Dubai and Dubai to Bangkok. Purchasing enough miles for something like that for  less than $2,200 is also a bargain.

The catch, unfortunately, is that Alaska doesn’t have access to Emirates first class award space for travel after March 28, 2015. Long term I hope that will change, though in the meantime it is still possible to redeem Alaska miles for Emirates first class.

Emirates-F
Redeem Alaska miles for Emirates A380 first class

Or the redemption that fascinates me more than any other right now is redeeming 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles for one-way travel in Fiji Airways business class between the US and New Zealand. I’ve always wanted to visit Fiji, so that’s a great way to do it on a stopover.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that since mileage purchases are processed through points.com, the purchase of miles wouldn’t count as airfare for the purposes of credit card spend.

Bottom line

This is a heck of a promotion, especially since there’s no limit to the number of miles you can purchase. If you’re someone that doesn’t have a sizable mileage balance but wants to fly international premium cabins on the cheap, this is a fantastic promotion.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this notification. Just a question – are there any beneficial partners that would use these miles to go to London, Paris or Venice? Also post 3/28 would Emirates business class still work and would that be cheaper?
    Thanks so much

  2. Hi lucky

    How about is from Shanghai-Dubai via emirates? How many miles is for around trip business cabin? I can not find it on Alaska airline web.

    Hoping to get your help

  3. @Abdel

    Yeah that’s true but CX F from JFK is hard to get lately and Alaska now only has a access to a small fraction of awards that AF and KL release to their own members…. Hardly any seats at all.

  4. @ Jaku — You can only redeem Alaska miles for travel on Emirates that either originates or terminates in the US. So you could book PVG-DXB-USA for 100K miles in first class and then drop the second segment, but that’s it.

  5. @ Andy — Business class on Emirates is 75,000 miles one-way to Europe, so that is an option, since they’re not blocking most business space on Emirates. Otherwise Air France and KLM are useful partners for travel to Europe.

  6. I know travel has to be on the same airline, but does it have to be in the same class of service? For example, I don’t think CX flies first class to India, only business, so could I book a flight NYC-HKG in First and then add on HKG-DEL in Business all on one 70k mile ticket?

  7. Oh, Lucky, do the Fiji trip! I’ve been eyeing that as part of a trip to NZ and trying to decide where I want the stopover.

  8. @Chris,
    It doesn’t have to be on the same class of service, but they will charge miles for the highest class of service. So yes, you’ll get charged 70,000 miles. India is fascinating country!

  9. I am so intrigued by the Fiji trip idea also. I am a very loyal Alaska Airlines traveler and want to make the most out of my miles this next Christmas with my wife. I just looked at the NZ option but it doesnt seem to show any options during the holiday. Any suggestions on a route to take so I can book a trip around Christmas/ New Years?

    -Ryan

  10. “..like Los Angeles to Dubai (the longest A380 flight in the world)”

    …..if you ignore the QF A380 on SYD-DFW

  11. @ Ben,

    How do you search for award availability with Alaska? I am trying to get an award from Australia to USA. Thank you.

  12. I thought HKG-JNB is now operated by the 77W with no first class on them? 70K for 1F+1J VS. 62.5K for 2J, I would probably still go with the 70K for USA-HKG in F and then take the J to JNB.

  13. @ Jason — That’s correct. But as you point out, marginally worth it to spend an extra 7,500 miles for first class on one longhaul, in my opinion.

  14. Does CX fly an F cabin anywhere in the Middle East or Africa?

    Go to Fiji! My family owns and operates a resort on the northern island of Vanua Levu, if you feel like trying something different than the chain hotels: http://www.korosunresort.com. All the chains on Denarau Island give you a pretty generic experience anyway.

    Fiji Airways business is nothing special with their angle seats, but it’s not horrible either.

  15. @ Lincoln — Not at the moment, as far as I know. That being said, they do sometimes have aircraft swaps, whereby seasonally they fly four cabin planes to the region.

  16. Hi Ben just some advice about purchasing miles; I am currently living in the UK but it would seem that this is not open for me to purchase. Am I right to believe that this is only open to the US? if not, is there a way I can purchase some miles?

    Many thanks

  17. Can I get a one way award from Korean Air through Alaska at half the award miles for round trip? From reading Alaska’s site, it looks like it’s not possible. Or am I reading it incorrectly?

  18. @ Marcus — Correct, Alaska doesn’t allow one way redemptions on Korean for half the cost of a roundtrip.

  19. Earlier today I joined Alaskan miles and tried purchasing some points via your link. I’m getting this error message.. Please correct the following errors:
    “The Mileage Plan account you specified is not eligible to purchase miles”
    any ideas how to correct this ?

    Thanks Ben

  20. @ RK — Is your address registered in the US? If so, I believe the account may have to be open for something like two weeks before it’s eligible to purchase miles. Not sure exactly.

  21. Hi Lucky.. how long does it take for miles to be posted? I’m using a Canadian issued credit card with billing address. Account address is also Canadian. It is my first time purchasing miles on Alaskan.

  22. @lucky so far no response from Alaska Air or Points.com. Account balance is still 0. And it has been more than 48 hours.. Should I follow up with them?

  23. @lucky Just an update. They have rejected me. I suspect that it is because I’m not using a North American IP. Which I will try again now. Just a data point for your readers

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