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Buying points when they’re on sale can be one of the best ways to get a luxury vacation at a discount. I try to write about these opportunities when they’re available, and should point out that there are two great points sales ending this Saturday, December 31, 2016. So if you’ve been considering buying either of these points currencies, you’ll want to decide ASAP.
Here are the details:
Buy Alaska miles with up to a 40% bonus
Links: Previous Post / Link To Buy Miles
At the moment Alaska is selling miles with up to a 40% bonus, which is an opportunity to buy miles for as little as ~2.11 cents each.
The bonuses are tiered, based on how many miles you buy per transaction, as follows:
- Buy 10,000-19,000 miles, get a 20% bonus
- Buy 20,000-29,000 miles, get a 30% bonus
- Buy 30,000-60,000 miles, get a 40% bonus
There are many reasons that buying Alaska miles can be worthwhile, including the following:
- 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, 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
- 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 (though do note that Alaska may not have access to all Cathay Pacific seats)
- Alaska now partners with Japan Airlines, so redeeming Alaska miles for JAL first & business class is an exceptional value
- Redemption rates in Emirates business class are still reasonable, which is a great way to get to many regions, including India, Africa, Asia, etc.
Buy Starpoints with up to a 50% discount
Links: Previous Post / Link To Buy Points
Starwood is offering a mystery discount on purchased points, where different accounts will be targeted for different discounts, ranging from 25% to 50%. Starpoints ordinarily cost 3.5 cents each to purchase, so through this promotion you’d pay the following amounts depending on what you’re targeted for:
- 25% off — 2.625 cents per Starpoint
- 30% off — 2.45 cents per Starpoint
- 35% off — 2.275 cents per Starpoint
- 50% off — 1.75 cents per Starpoint
The 50% discount is the best deal we’ve ever seen on the purchase of Starpoints, though even the 35% discount is often as good as it gets. Perhaps the most compelling part of this offer is that Starpoints can be transferred to over two dozen airline partners, including the following:
|AeroMexico Club Premier||ANA Mileage Club||Emirates Skywards||Qatar Airways Privileges Club|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||American Airlines AAdvantage||Etihad Airways Guest||Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan|
|airberlin Top Bonus||Asiana Airlines Asiana Club||Gol Smiles||Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer|
|Air China Companion||British Airways Executive Club||Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus|
|Air France/KLM FlyingBlue||Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank||United Mileage Plus|
|Air New Zealand Air Points||China Eastern Airlines Eastern Club||Korean Air Skypass||Virgin America Elevate|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||China Southern Airlines' Sky Pearl Club||LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||Delta Air Lines SkyMiles||Lufthansa Miles & More||Virgin Australia Velocity|
Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to a vast majority of partners, and when you transfer points to them you receive a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer.
So if you are in fact targeted for a 50% discount, that means you can pick up 20,000 Starpoints for $350, which would get you 25,000 airline miles. That’s a rate of 1.4 cents per mile. For many mileage currencies, that’s a fantastic deal.
Also keep in mind that through January 6 you can convert Starpoints into Virgin America Elevate points, and then can convert those into Alaska miles at a 1:1.3 ratio. That means you can get a total of up to a 62.5% bonus when converting Starpoints into Alaska miles (indirectly), which is amazing.
Buying Starpoints right now represents the best value for actually accruing Alaska miles.
Lastly, Starpoints can also be converted into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, so this is an opportunity to pick up Marriott points at a discount as well.
Buying Starpoints or Alaska Mileage Plan miles right now represents a great deal, so it’s something I’d seriously consider. If you’re targeted for a 35-50% bonus on purchased Starpoints, it’s an especially compelling deal, since you can convert those into miles at a very nice ratio.
Regardless, this is your last chance to take advantage of either of these offers!