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In terms of the value per point, the single mileage currency I value most is Alaska Mileage Plan. Since late August, Alaska has been offering up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of Mileage Plan miles. This post is a reminder that this promotion is only valid through tomorrow, Tuesday, October 6, 2015. So this is your last chance to buy Alaska miles with a 40% bonus.
Through this promotion 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 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 (which is a good price).
Why you should buy Alaska miles
A while back I wrote a post entitled “6 Reasons Buying Alaska Miles Is A Good Deal.” Check out that post for full details, though just to summarize, here’s what makes Mileage Plan so unique:
- You’re allowed a free stopover, even on a one-way award
- Mileage Plan has generous change & cancellation policies (up until 60 days before departure you can change and redeposit your award for free, and within that timeframe the cost is $125 per person)
- There’s no limit to how many miles you can buy per promotion, so this is great for people just getting started in the hobby (you can buy up to 40,000 miles per transaction, but can make as many transactions as you’d like)
- Alaska has some unique airline partners, like Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Fiji Airways, etc.
- Alaska miles are especially useful for travel in Cathay Pacific business class, where there are often five business class seats available per flight; the ability to do a “free” stopover in Hong Kong enroute to elsewhere is awesome as well
- Alaska miles are probably the single best currency to redeem for Emirates first class, which is one of my favorite products out there
Which credit card should you buy miles with?
Alaska mileage purchases are processed by points.com, so wouldn’t count as airfare for the purposes of credit card spend. Therefore you’ll want to use a credit card which maximizes your return on everyday spend, like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express.
Historically Alaska offers a bonus on the purchase of miles four times per year — typically they offer a 35% bonus twice per year and then a 40% bonus twice per year. So it could very well be another six (or so) months before Alaska offers another 40% bonus on the purchase of miles.
While ~2.1 cents per mile might not sound that cheap, Alaska Mileage Plan is such a unique and lucrative program that I consider it to be a very good deal.
If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the 40% bonus on the purchase of Alaska miles, this is your last chance to do so.