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This is a limited time promotion which is only available through September 29, 2016.
The bonuses are targeted, and specific to individual accounts. My account was targeted for a 40% bonus, for example, while my dad was targeted for a 50% bonus. All the accounts I’ve checked were eligible for at least a 35% bonus.
To see your bonus offer, follow this link, and then enter the details of your Mileage Plan account. Your “mystery bonus” should generate on the next page.
Is this a deal?
When Alaska sells miles they typically offer a 35-40% bonus, so even the 40% bonus is typically as good as it gets. But if you were targeted for a 50% bonus, that’s a heck of a deal.
In all instances the bonuses are tiered, where you get a larger bonus the more miles you buy. The tiers for the 50% bonus are as follows:
- Buy 10,000-19,000 miles, get a 20% bonus
- Buy 20,000-39,000 miles, get a 35% bonus
- Buy 40,000-60,000 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. If you maxed out the promo, you would receive 90,000 miles for $1,773.75.
If you were targeted for a 40% bonus the best you could do is ~2.11 cents per mile, while if you were targeted for a 35% bonus the best you could do is ~2.19 cents per mile.
All of those are attractive rates at which to rack up Alaska miles, given how valuable the miles are.
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.
Wait, but didn’t Alaska devalue this Spring?
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 thenchanged 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 explained at the time, 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.
Who 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:
- 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 60,000 miles pre-bonus per transaction, but can make as many transactions as you’d like)
- Alaska has some unique airline partners, like Fiji Airways, Hainan Airlines, Icelandair, etc.
- Alaska miles are especially useful for travel in Cathay Pacific business class, wherethere 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
- Now that American greatly devalued first class redemptions on partner airlines, redeeming Alaska miles for Cathay Pacific first class is the best way to book that award
- Redemption rates in Emirates business class are still reasonable, which is a great way to get to many regions, including India, Africa, Asia, etc.
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 from the US to Asia for 70,000 miles
- Cathay Pacific business class from the US to Australia for 60,000 miles
- LAN business class from the US to South America for 45,000 miles
- Hainan business class from the US to Asia for 50,000 miles
- Fiji Airways business class from the US to Australia/New Zealand for 55,000 miles
- Icelandair business class from the US to Europe for 55,000 miles
- Korean Air business class from the US to Southeast Asia for 60,000 miles (roundtrip required)
Alaska miles are the best way to redeem for Cathay Pacific first class
Who can buy Alaska miles?
As long as you’ve been a member of Alaska Mileage Plan for at least 10 days, you can purchase miles during this promotion.
Given the promotion runs through late September, I’d recommend joining Mileage Plan today, and then you have time to think about whether or not to make a purchase.
Buying Alaska miles can be a particularly good deal for Australians, so it’s worth looking at the redemption options and seeing if they make sense with your travel plans.
Which credit card should I use?
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 first use a card where you’re meeting minimum spend, and then use a card which maximizes your return on everyday, non-bonused spend.
Redeem Alaska miles for Hainan Airlines business class
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 overstate 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.
If you were targeted for a 40-50% bonus, I’d seriously consider buying some Alaska miles.
How big of a bonus were you targeted for, and do you plan on buying miles through this promotion?