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Through August 9, 2015, Alaska is offering up to a 35% 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 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 35% 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 35% bonus, for a grand total of 54,000 Mileage Plan miles. At a cost of $1,182.50 including tax, that comes out to ~2.19 cents per mile.
Just to compare this promotion to others they’ve offered, here are the most recent ones they’ve run:
- In March of 2015 they offered up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of miles
- 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
As you can see, Alaska typically offers a bonus on purchased miles once per quarter, and the bonus is almost always between 35% and 40%.
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 last August, 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
Why you might want to buy Alaska miles
Alaska made their miles even more valuable in 2013 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 a stopover on a one-way award, 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. It is worth noting that in many cases there’s not a first class cabin on flights to Hong Kong from those destinations, though. But you can fly to any of those destinations with a stopover in Hong Kong for as long as you’d like, then continue on in business class.
Being able to purchase enough miles to book that for ~$1,500 is a bargain, in my opinion.
Redeem Alaska miles for Cathay Pacific first class
Nowadays Cathay Pacific isn’t so great about releasing first class award space in advance anymore, though they’re still quite good about releasing business class award space in advance. That’s why buying Alaska miles is a great way to inexpensively book Cathay Pacific business class tickets.
Similarly, Alaska miles are the best mileage currency to use for redemptions on Emirates.
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 ~$2,200 is also a bargain.
Redeem Alaska miles for Emirates A380 first class
Or if you really want to stretch it, you could actually redeem 100,000 Alaska miles for four Emirates A380 first class flights, thanks to some of their “one stop” services. Four shower suite experiences for that amount is a bargain!
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 won’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, I’d absolutely consider buying miles under this promotion.
It is worth noting that this promotion is only around for about two weeks, which is substantially shorter than Alaska usually runs these promotions. If I were a betting man, I’d guess that we’ll see a promotion with a 40% bonus in a few months, but the cost difference between those promotions isn’t huge (2.19 cents vs. 2.11 cents).
Do you plan on buying Alaska miles with this 35% bonus offer?