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As I originally posted about a couple of weeks ago, Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles through today, April 3, 2015.
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
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.
There’s no limit to how many miles you can buy
In my opinion, this is one of the things that makes Alaska’s promotions on purchased miles especially compelling. There’s no limit to how many points you can purchase, meaning you could literally buy a million miles if you wanted.
There are only two limitations:
- You can purchase a maximum of 40,000 miles per transaction, though you 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)
A vast majority of airline loyalty programs limit how many points you can purchase per calendar year, so Alaska really is quite unique in not having such a limit.
Cathay Pacific and Emirates — oh my!
Keep in mind that Alaska Mileage Plan allows stopovers on one-way award tickets. Nowadays many airlines don’t even allow stopovers on roundtrip award tickets, let alone on one-ways.
Alaska Mileage Plan also has among the most lucrative redemption rates of any program, which means buying miles can be a reasonable option for securing business class travel. $2,000-2,600 for roundtrip business class to the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Australia, etc. is tough to beat!
Beyond that, you can use Alaska miles to redeem for first class on Cathay Pacific and Emirates. These awards are tougher to come by than in the past, but are still a spectacular value.
Cathay Pacific first class meal service
Emirates first class redemptions are back!
While I mentioned it above, I think it’s explicitly worth pointing out once again that Emirates first class redemptions using Alaska miles are finally back. For the past several months, Alaska Mileage Plan hasn’t had access to much Emirates first class award space. That finally changed again as of yesterday.
Seriously, if you’re a premium product nerd and haven’t yet showered on an airplane, you sorta haven’t lived yet. 😉
Emirates A380 first class shower spa
I purchased 56,000 miles yesterday (40,000 + 16,000 bonus miles), which is basically like paying $2,100 for Emirates first class from Los Angeles to Dubai to Hong Kong, all in A380 first class.
Is this the most lucrative way to accrue miles right now? No.
But if you have a small mileage portfolio, can’t open credit cards in the US, really want to fly Emirates first class, or are looking to easily book business class for a group, the possibilities here are fantastic.
The fact that Alaska lets you buy as many miles as you’d like and also allows stopovers on one-way awards is really the icing on the cake.
So if you’ve been waiting to buy Alaska miles, now is the time to pull the trigger.