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Since mid-November, Alaska Mileage Plan has been offering a “mystery bonus” on the purchase of points. Through this promotion, different Mileage Plan accounts are targeted for different bonuses — some 35%, some 40%, and some 50%.
As I posted a reminder of a few days ago, this promotion expires today, so this is your last chance to buy miles with up to a 50% bonus. Typically when Alaska offers a bonus on the purchase of miles it’s a maximum of either 35% or 40%, so if you were targeted for a 50% bonus that’s much higher than usual.
As of a few days ago I was still trying to decide how many Mileage Plan miles to buy. I have 225,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles in my account, and couldn’t decide whether to buy more. What went into making the decision?
- Alaska miles are extremely valuable, though I also don’t like to buy miles too speculatively, since there could always be a devaluation (hopefully with a good amount of advance notice)
- Short term my focus is on redeeming AAdvantage miles before they’re devalued, so I asked myself how soon I’d be able to redeem Alaska miles
- At the same time, a 50% bonus on the purchase of Alaska miles is an even bigger bonus than usual, so I didn’t want to “miss out” on it
So did I end up buying Alaska miles? Yes… but not for my account. My dad’s account was targeted for a 50% bonus, and he had 22,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles in his account before today.
That’s not really a useful mileage balance, and at the same time his account was the one in the family which was targeted with a 50% bonus. So I ended up buying a total of 78,000 miles for his account — that’s 52,000 miles plus a 50% bonus.
The cost of that, including taxes, was $1,537.25. I used the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, which earned me 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent (since Alaska mileage purchases are processed by points.com, the purchase wouldn’t have counted as airfare spend).
With that, my dad’s account now has 100,000+ Alaska Mileage Plan miles, which is enough for a one-way Emirates first class award ticket between the US and Africa, Asia, or Europe (via Dubai, of course). And long time readers will know how my dad feels about Emirates first class. 😉
The Emirates A380 shower spa, possibly my favorite part of any plane
While Alaska miles for under two cents each are a fantastic deal, I wasn’t going to load up on them too much. My short term aspirations for Alaska miles are redeeming them for travel on Fiji Airways to New Zealand, and then hopefully soon enough I’ll book another Emirates first class award, given how much my loved ones enjoy Emirates.
In this case I thought topping off my dad’s account was the right move, given that he was targeted for the 50% bonus and I could get his account to a “round” and useful balance.
Did you buy Alaska miles through the promotion which expires today?