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Through April 3, 2015, Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of Mileage Plan 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 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:
- In December of 2014 they offered up to a 35% bonus on the purchase of miles
- In September of 2014 they offered up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of miles
- In May of 2014 they offered up to a 35% bonus on the purchase of miles
- In March of 2014 they offered up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of miles
- In December of 2013 they offered up to a 35% bonus on the purchase of miles
- In September of 2013 they offered up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of miles
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.
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.
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.
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.