Alaska Offering Biggest Bonus On Purchased Miles

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

Alaska has just launched their latest promotion on the purchase of Mileage Plan miles.

Alaska is offering up to a 50% bonus on purchased miles through June 13, 2016. You have to log-into your account through this link to access the offer, which suggests that different accounts are targeted for different offers. However, all the accounts I have access to seem to be eligible for the 50% bonus.

Alaska-Bonus-Miles-1

Through this offer the bonus is tiered, as follows:

  • Buy 10,000-19,000 miles, get a 20% bonus
  • Buy 20,000-49,000 miles, get a 35% bonus
  • Buy 50,000-60,000 miles, get a 50% bonus

If you buy miles with a 50% bonus you’ll end up paying ~1.97 cents per mile, which is pretty darn good. For example, 75,000 miles will cost you $1,478.13.

Alaska-Bonus-Miles-2

While the maximum number of miles you can purchase per transaction is 60,000 pre-bonus, you can buy as many sets of miles as you’d like. So you could buy a million miles if you wanted to, for example.

Alaska mileage purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as airfare spend for the purposes of your credit card. If you buy miles you’ll want to use a card which maximizes your return on everyday, non-bonused spend, like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit CardChase Freedom Unlimited Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, etc.

Hainan-Airlines-Business-Class-787 - 79
Redeem Alaska miles for Hainan Airlines business class

Wait, but didn’t Alaska just devalue?

Now I know the first thing you’re thinking — “wait a minute, didn’t Alaska just devalue Emirates first class redemptions without notice?” They sure did, and it pissed me off. I wasn’t pissed at the fact that they devalued as such, but rather that they did so without notice, and then turned around and blamed their members for the devaluation… and then changed which of their members they were blaming.

However, I’m confident they’ve learned their lesson (as a countless number of other programs have in the past after making a devaluation without notice), and I suspect we’ll get notice of devaluations in the future.

As I recently explained, Emirates first class was only one of the excellent uses of Alaska Mileage Plan miles, and there are still plenty of other great ones out there. On a per mile basis, I still value Mileage Plan miles more than any other mileage currency. They have so many great partners, and some great routing, stopover, and change policies.

Why you should buy Alaska miles for under two cents each

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 are some of the things which make Mileage Plan miles so valuable:

Emirates-Business-Class
Redeeming Alaska miles for Emirates A380 business class is still a great value

To give a few examples of some of the great uses of Mileage Plan miles (all of which allow stopovers on one way awards):

Cathay-Pacific-First-Class-777 - 27
Alaska miles are the best way to redeem for Cathay Pacific first class

Bottom line

While I’m of course not happy about the Mileage Plan Emirates devaluation, Alaska miles are still extremely valuable. I’ve never seen a targeted bonus on Mileage Plan miles which is better than this (last year we saw a comparable offer, which was narrowly targeted), so if you’re in the market for Alaska miles and are targeted, this is a great opportunity.

I really can’t undersell how valuable the stopovers on one way award are, not to mention some of the unique airline partners which Alaska has.

So while I wouldn’t completely speculatively buy miles through this offer, with a redemption in mind, I think it’s an excellent deal.

Were you targeted for a 50% bonus on the purchase of Alaska miles?

(Tip of the hat to CharterBox)

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. This is what I got…”Reach your next award trip even faster with up to 40% bonus miles on your purchase from now through June 13, 2016.”

  2. fool me once…

    dont you think CX will be the next devalue? I bot last time and booked immediately, two for CX biz. I hesitate to do anything else. even though i want to “buy up” into CX if available with miles…

  3. Interesting, my offer were 20%, 30% and a maximum of 40% bonus. Definitely not 50%. I what logic was used. Any chance I could ask for the 50%? Who would I ask? Alaska or points.com?

  4. I only received a 35% bonus offer. Maybe because virtually all of my Alaska miles have come via prior purchase?
    It’s definitely not a “buy” at that level for me.

  5. @ Tri N — Absolutely, I’m sure there will be a devaluation eventually, but I think they’ll give notice. That’s why I’d buy and redeem Alaska miles soon, so you can still book at the old rates. I wouldn’t buy them if you plan on redeeming in 6+ months.

  6. @ Craig — Interesting. All the accounts I manage (except mine) only include miles earned through credit cards and buying them outright, and they were targeted.

  7. Hold on Alaska did not blame their customer they and rightfully so blamed the bloggers it was never about MP members. The bloggers of the world have brought on many of these program changes. In defense it is the system but still

  8. Checking out the T&Cs now: https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/use-miles/award-charts.aspx?lid=nav%3amileage-charts&INT-_AS_NAV_-prodID%3aMileagePlan

    Are these blackout dates applicable to all award flights using Alaska Airline miles?

    “Excludes Hong Kong. The following blackout dates apply for travel between North America and Asia in 2016: Jan 1 – 3, Feb 5 – 11, Feb 27 – Mar 1, May 5 – 8, May 13 – Jun 30, Jul 22 – Aug 21, Sep 13 – 19, Sep 30 – Oct 3, Dec 9 – 25, and Dec 31”

  9. I know you’re big on the foreign airlines but I just used my Alaska miles to get an award flight on American to Buenos Aires in First Class. 62,500 pp one way versus 85,000 on American. That’s 45,000 few miles for the two of us – and I can cancel without penalty!

  10. Targeted for 50% but my wife’s account maxes out at 40%. Not a buyer either way as I have no immediate use for them. Even if I did I kinda want to not buy them, period, just because of their last stunt, so screw them. I’ll spend other miles instead.

  11. Got 50% (and have received and purchased at 50% in the past). However I have to buy at least 50k to qualify for 50%, can’t do 40k (perhaps because last time I bought 2x 40k)

  12. @ Chris — I believe those are just blackout dates for Korean Air. The T&Cs at the bottom of the page are so poorly written since they gave the site a new look.

  13. @ ghostrider5408 — You mean the bloggers who promoted buying miles, causing them to have a $34 million year over year increase in the sale of miles?

    And they didn’t blame members??? Here’s what they said:

    — “Alaska’s premium Emirates awards have long been known as an exceptionally good deal. With the rise of “travel-hacking,” intended to exploit Mileage Plan’s award routing rules, coupled with below-market award levels, our previous award levels were unsustainable. The new award levels enable Alaska to continue to offer Emirates Business Class and First Class as a redemption option.”
    — “Both Alaska Airlines and Emirates have been dealing with issues of “travel hacking” or the selling of award tickets for a profit by individuals and brokers in direct violation of our policy and Emirates policy.”

    Please help me understand where they’re talking about bloggers?

  14. Lucky – Is it possible to do SJC-PEK-BKK on HU? What’s the best way to search for availability? Thanks!

  15. @ Pegasus — Sure can, and should be searchable/bookable directly on Alaska’s site.

  16. Why would you believe they will give notice if they devalue any other internationals? They didn’t for Emirates…that’s enough evidence to assume they WON’T give notice

  17. Got 50%, like last time.

    I’m wondering why you don’t include in the disclaimer (about referral fees for credit cards) you have on most posts that you earn referrals for most miles purchases on points.com. It’s not in the advertising post either. Thanks for clarification.

  18. As a Visa Signature® consumer cardholder you can reach your next award trip even faster with up to 50% bonus miles on your purchase from now through June 13, 2016.

    Interesting. I am in Canada and actually have a Canadian MBNA Alaska MasterCard, not a Visa Signature.

    Another question – can I redeem Alaska miles for Korean Air first class?

  19. @ Jared — I had the same message, but also had a reader forward me the 50% bonus who didn’t have the card, and it didn’t have the verbiage about being an Alaska Visa cardmember either.

  20. @ D Flyer — Because there was a lot of backlash. In many cases the airlines which made the mistake of having changes without notice are the ones which are now best at giving notice, because they realize the backlash. American AAdvantage and Avianca LifeMiles are just two examples.

  21. Ben,

    Only received the 40% bonus. If i were to purchase now, what are your thoughts on availability to redeem CX SFO-HKG(stopover)-SYD at 60k miles each for 2 people.

  22. I was only targeted for 35% bonus as well…I buy Alaska revenue tix (couple times/year) & have only purchased points once prior.

  23. @ Erik — If you’re booking in advance I think you have great odds at finding space, and that would also represent a good value.

  24. I received the 50% bonus but it started at 40k miles, not 50k (which is even better).

  25. Can someone please help me.
    Sydney to tashkent using qf, aa and as points.
    I bet no one can.
    October this year in business
    Thanks

  26. @Utah saints

    You can use QF miles to book Emirates or Qantas SYD-DXB, then use AA miles for DXB-OVB-TAS on S7 airlines, a oneworld partner. AS miles are mostly for itineraries that begin or end in North America. Do you have any Chase UR points that you can transfer to Korean Air? You could then fly KE SYD-ICN-TAS. If you have any United or Aeroplan miles, you can fly Asiana one stop via ICN as well.

  27. Wow, how quick so many people who were calling for a boycott flip the script. I’ll sit this one out, although it looks like I’m the only one.

  28. I was targeted at 50%, starting at 40k miles. I have applied some revenue miles on partner carriers, have a Canadian-issued Alaska Airlines mastercard and have purchased some points from them in the past. I haven’t flown on Alaska metal in quite a while.

  29. @JJ, not the only one. Sitting this one out as well. I didn’t fall for last stunt, but I’m not letting them have this one, even if I needed the miles. I’d rather fly coach revenue ticket.

  30. I logged in and got the 50% bonus (buy 50,000+ and get 50% bonus) – however I’m not biting after the devaluation and how damn hard it is to find CX J or F availability.

  31. Will give this a pass after being burned. btw, Cathay Pacific first class is virtually non existent.

  32. Hi,

    Being new to the game, I was wonderring if anyone could advise.

    Can I buy Alaska miles to go from Cebu-Mactan (CEB) to Sydney Kingsford Smith (SYD) return business or first?

    Also there will be 2 adults and 2 lap children.

    How can i find out if I can do this on Alaska’s milage plans? Thank you.

  33. I never bought any miles but due to what they did, I am not touching this with a 10 foot pole. I dont trust Alaska airline at all.

  34. My wife and I have separate accounts with MBNA Mastercard in Canada and we both got the 50% offer.
    I am excited to be travelling on EK First class YYZ-DXB next week that was booked earlier at the lower level.

  35. huh, I got 40% too. Perhaps you have to have the credit card to be targeted for the 50…..

  36. “Redemption rates in Emirates business class are still reasonable, which is a great way to get to many regions, including India, Africa, Asia, etc.”

    I just checked several itineraries and found it costs 240,000 miles RT in Emerites business class from California to JNB with at best spotty availability even 11 months out. That doesn’t seem competitive with Star Alliance where 160,000 miles will get you business class on South African Airways or Lufthansa.

  37. 50% from 40K onwards. Last time I only got 35% so I am very pleased with this and will probably buy. I never took an Alaska flight, only used this account for buying and redeeming miles.

  38. I’m getting 40% bonus. Not bad for me.

    And I’m wondering if I could route as pek-bos-san, on HU and AS? Is there any mpm or so?

    Thanks Ben!

  39. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to let your readers know that you make a commission off of them buying miles through your link? Possibly this could explain to certain readers who don’t quite seem to understand why you are back on the Alaska Miles bandwagon after blasting them a few weeks ago? Seems like it’s only fair you let people know when your selling them something that is a good opportunity for you as well…

  40. DAVID W
    thank you for that
    It certainly helps looking at the itinerary as you have indicated.
    Thank you very much

  41. There’s something not right. The intra-Asia awards for CX are as follows. It’s probably an error, but I am under the impression that changes to this award chart are inevitable.
    Coach 12,500 25,000
    PEY 15,000 70,000
    Business 50,000 100,000
    First 70,000 140,000

  42. @Tony: Yes, I just noticed this too, on the new Alaska website. CX intra-Asia has gone to 50k one way in biz and 70k one way in first (it used to be 27.5k one way in first).

    @Lucky: Josh posted this on your previous post on Mileage Plan redesigning their award charts:

    ‘Lucky, I think you need to write another piece about how many of these awards have changed with the update of this page. Cathay Pacific now requires the same amount of miles for an intra-asia flight that it does from Asia to the states in Business and First. Either a massive error on their part or they are trying to pull a fast one, with significant changes, on everyone with the update to the page.’

    Could you please help us investigate this? Thanks!

  43. Is it possible to redeem Alaska miles on Dragonair flights, say, Xi’an -> Hong Kong (Dragonair) -> Los Angeles? Or only “real” Cathay flights are allowed?

  44. @ Eduardo — Alaska miles can’t be redeemed on Dragonair, just Cathay Pacific, unfortunately.

  45. @Christopher – yes intra-Asia awards increased massively. Looks like a hidden award chart change.

    @lucky – do you have any information on the increase of intra-Asia awards on CX?

    Lifemiles is blocking Air China awards and now Alaska screwed the good redemption rates intra-Asia. Definitely not a buy.

  46. @lucky – can you please check with Alaska if intra-Asia CX awards really increased? Looks like a typo to me as now intra-Asia business is more expensive than Europe/ Australia to Asia and the same price as North-America-Asia which makes zero sense.

  47. I wonder if Cathay US-Asia devaluation is next. My guess will be Business will increase from 50K to 80K and First from 70K to 120K. Exciting times…..

  48. Sent a tweet to AlaskaAir re: CX intra Asia award changes and they confirmed it’s not a typo. I guess these days, we should be happy they even have an award chart. Smh.

  49. Is it possible to use Alaskan miles to redeem CX business class from Singapore to Milan?

  50. @Lucky – Do you think redeeming Alaska miles for British Airways flights will be devalued / reduce the number of seats available?

    I travel from Dubai to the USA few times a year, and my favourite airline is British Airways in First.

    Basically, DXB-LHR-JFK/LAX and vice versa with a stopover in London for few days.

  51. Deborah: yes but you need to make two bookings: SIN-HKG f0r 22,500 and HKG-MXP for 42,500 (one way)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *