Alaska Is Offering Their Biggest Ever Bonus On Purchased Miles

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At the moment Alaska Mileage Plan is offering their best ever bonus on purchased miles, as you can buy miles with up to a 50% bonus. Initially I thought this was a non-targeted bonus that everyone was eligible for, as all the accounts I manage showed the bonus. However, as it turns out, unfortunately it’s targeted, and not all accounts are eligible. However, this seems to be a more widely targeted promotion than past ones, at least. You’ll want to log into your Mileage Plan account here to see if you’re eligible.

Alaska-Bonus-Miles

Alaska’s latest bonus on purchased miles is valid through July 1, 2017. Through this promotion the bonus on purchased miles is tiered, as follows (at least this is what my account shows):

  • 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

What’s the cost to purchase miles through this promo?

When Alaska sells miles they typically offer a 35-40% bonus, so I’ve never before seen a bonus of over 50%. If you buy miles with a 50% bonus you’ll end up paying ~1.97 cents per mile. If you maxed out the promo, you would receive 90,000 miles for $1,773.75.

Alaska-Bonus

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.

Who should buy Alaska miles with a 50% bonus?

Last year 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-a380-26
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):

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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 is valid for a few weeks, 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.

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Redeem Alaska miles for Japan Airlines first class

Which credit card should you 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, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®Citi® Double Cash Card, etc.

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Redeem Alaska miles for Hainan Airlines business class

Bottom line

We’ve never seen a bigger bonus on purchased Alaska miles than this, so if you’re eligible for the 50% bonus, I’d seriously consider taking advantage of it.

While I wouldn’t buy miles without a use in mind, there are so many great uses of Alaska miles. I really can’t overstate how valuable the stopovers on one way award are, not to mention some of the unique airline partners that 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 purchased Alaska miles, and if so, do you plan on buying miles?

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Comments

  1. Lucky, have you noticed the recent discrepancies with Qantas awards (mainly first and business)? For example I see several dates in December with availability LAX-MEL on both Qantas website and BA. But it doesn’t show up on Alaska, nor could the phone agent see it when you call

  2. @Jonathan For almost all Alaska awards, travel must start or end in North America – that’s why it doesnt show up on Alaska’s website nor can the phone agent see it. Only their awards for travel on Cathay Pacific need not start or end in NA.

  3. Avianca is currently offering a bonus of 125% on purchases of 101K-200K miles. Not as lucrative as some of their past offers though.

  4. @Ethan – me too. I figured it was just us poor Canadians getting the short end of the stick again.

  5. @David that’s not entirely accurate. Alaska allows travel between regions other than NA. I routinely see JAL awards for regions that do not involve a NA part on the Alaska website.

  6. Sorry about that, guys, I’ve updated the post to reflect that not everyone is seeing the 50% bonus. All the accounts I manage were showing a 50% bonus, and on top of that the way it was explained to me suggested that this was a bonus for everyone and not a mystery bonus. Post updated now, and my apologies again.

  7. @David W,
    I know that, and the LAX-MEL example I provided does indeed start in the US, however Alaska can’t see those availabilities. Also many DFW-SYD, LAX-SYD aren’t showing up either

  8. I am targeted for 50%, and I’m very tempted. 2017 trips are all booked (including a CX flight in F using Alaska miles) with no vacation time left, so if I pull the trigger it will be for 2018 vacation

  9. I got the 50% offer but have a nice stash of Alaska Miles for me to burn on CX flights. Pure speculation, but anyone think the CX awards chart will be devalued soon?

  10. Just logged in and I am eligible for a 50% bonus starting at just 40k miles!

    That brings the cost down to $1,182.50 to get 80k miles, more than enough for a one way in Cathay first. That’s a hell of a deal if you ask me.

  11. I have the 50% but I don’t have any particular trips in mind for 2017. Should I make the purchase if the miles will be used in 2018?

  12. I’m seeing the 50%.

    What’s the best way to use Alaska miles to get to continental Europe EXCLUDING Iceland Air?

  13. @Anthony American & AirFrance/KLM are stingy with premium cabin awards. BA has good availability but high surcharges. Emirates operates JFK-MXP and EWR-ATH but requires more miles than other partner airlines to Europe.

  14. I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but CX has been very stingy opening up award space as of late. But buy miles thinking you can easily redeem for CX F or J.

  15. There was an article years ago about the gift card industry worth billions of dollars. I imagine carriers make millions of dollar through these transactions.. Eventually most miles will be used on a later date but this is after the carrier already made profit from the “small loan” you gave them.

  16. I’m seeing 50% and I have 0 miles on Alaska and I have never flown Alaska and I’ve never bought Alaska miles before!

  17. @Luis, I just recently booked an award on CX using AS miles in J (YVR-JFK). From what I noticed J opens 5 weeks out and 1-2 weeks in first. I can’t tell if they do the same on other routes.

  18. Qantas used to have seats in all classes available far in advance but looking all the way out to April I don’t see ANY seats on LAX-SYD or LAX-MEL! But of course, if you want to spend more miles to fly with Emirates, LAX-MEL is available for 225,000 miles in First, one way…

    I have never seen a single seat available on Air France or KLM no matter what time of year I check for any departure city to any European city. American to Europe (or AU/NZ)? Sometimes, and only in Economy. I refuse to fly with British Airways anymore with their substandard and dirty planes (and the nerve of having a surcharge, even to pick your seats in Business!).

    Asia has better availability with JAL and Korean.

    So buyer beware!

  19. My family has 3 accounts with Alaska. 2 accounts with no elite status is seeing 40%. The one account with some status and their co-branded card is showing 50%.

  20. Got the 50% bonus in an email this morning Will buy 270 k like I did the past 2 years. 3 business RT from Alaska to Philippines with a stopover In Singapore

  21. Correct me if im wrong, but lets say I spend 3K on miles, but use those miles to redeem business class seats on Emirates that cost 8K roundtrip. Would I be able to buy those seats with the miles I only paid 3K for? If so, incredible deal! Thats how it works right?

  22. For people who got 50% bonus does it start at 40k or 50k points bought? I got it at 40k but my friend got 50% bonus starting at 50k.

  23. I would get 50%.

    Isn’t it risky to buy miles if your planned trip is at least a year away? Alaska might change its rules for using miles like many other airlines did ….

  24. for those with the 50% bonus at 50K and above, the rate is ~1.83 cents/mile for those purchases between 50-~60 K. then the cost is 1.97 cents/mile at the 60K purchase.

  25. I got 50% extra from 40,000 miles too. (While my current balance in Alaska account is 0 from the 1st day.)

  26. Is it possible to redeem Alaska Miles for the flights between two non-US cities? E.g. LHR-DXB?

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