Alaska Is Offering Up To A 50% Bonus On Purchased Miles

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Alaska is back with their latest bonus on purchased miles, which seems to be targeted. Different accounts are eligible for different offers, so you’ll want to log into your Alaska Mileage Plan account through this link to see what kind of an offer you’re eligible for — the current offer is available through October 5, 2017.

On the high end it looks like Alaska is offering up to a 50% bonus on purchased miles, which is as good as Mileage Plan bonus offers get. They offered a very similar promotion that ended on July 1, so this is the first time in nearly two months that they’ve had a promotion.

Assuming you’re targeted for the 50% bonus, the thresholds for earning bonus miles 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

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%. However, it seems like 50% bonuses are becoming more common than before. 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):

Cathay-Pacific-First-Class-777 - 27
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.

Japan-Airlines-First-Class-40
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 ExpressBarclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®Citi® Double Cash Card, etc.

Hainan-Airlines-Business-Class-787 - 79
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. However, it is worth noting that the 50% bonus on purchased miles is becoming more the norm than the exception nowadays.

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?

(Tip of the hat to Points Miles and Bling)

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Comments

  1. Targeted for 50%. Gonna take advantage, was able to get CX F for 2, BKK-SIN-HKG-JFK, a couple months ago from the last mileage promotion.

  2. Got 50% here. London based, any good redemptions for ex-Europe? I’m the big 40 at the beginning of December! so thinking of a week/10 days away to celebrate/drown my sorrows 🙂 Any suggestions fellow travellers?

  3. Alaska does not allow positioning flight in the same award ticket. It had to be tacked on for extra miles.

  4. @Soloflyer1977 – you can do Europe to Asia on CX F for 70k each direction. Probably your best option with AS

  5. For Europe to Asia in CX First, you are not allowed a connecting flight. I recently tried booking ZRH-HKG-SGN and was told it’s not possible. After several attempts and calls to MileagePlan, I ended up booking ZRH-HKG.

  6. When you fly Alaska they offer you to buy miles (highest amount is 10,000 for $190), it’s better to buy at check-in than this promo I believe

  7. Ok sounds like a good deal.
    -Roundtrip CX in F from US to SE Asia, what is the estimate total taxes & fees?
    -Do you I have to call in to book CX?
    -BuyMiles post instantly? (Can I hold the booking before buy the miles?)

    Thank you,

    Alex

  8. I forgot to ask, can you do HKG to LAX on CX (stop over in LAX) then LAX to JFK on AA all in F for 70k oneway?

    Thanks you,

    Alex

  9. I bought few months ago ( also at 50%) – 50K + 25K bonus for First class Japan Airlines – JFK to Tokyo-Beijing (75K) …amazing experience. i was the only one in 1st Class on that day.
    I will buy more miles today. you get practialy round trip to Asia in Business class for $1800. – great deal in my book

  10. Leo says: “When you fly Alaska they offer you to buy miles (highest amount is 10,000 for $190), it’s better to buy at check-in than this promo I believe”

    The bonus for purchasing miles along with a ticket is only 40% and there is a smaller maximum on miles allowed to be purchased

  11. Lucky,

    Hi, i tried to purchase but could not get the 50% bonus and instead my account shows
    Buy 40,000 – 60,000 miles and get a 35% bonus

    How do i get the 50% bonus on the purchased miles.

    Thanks

  12. Alaska MP is also great value for Japan Airlines on Asia to Asia (quasi-roundtrip) routes… 25k business or 30k first, with stopover in Japan itself.

  13. @Teh Chin Poh

    If you don’t get it, basically you can’t. You’ll have to try a different account or the next promotion.

  14. And I will step in with a counterpoint regarding Alaska miles and why I am choosing to get rid of mine on a trip for next year and stop collecting them:

    1. Whilst it is true you can redeem for Cathay Pacific award seats, they are restricting redemptions for Alaska Mileage Plan members but not for AAdvantage or Avios members, and there is no consistent way that they are doing the restrictions, so you have to hunt and peck your way to getting an award seat, so deciding whether to buy points or not is a crapshoot.
    2. All Emirates points redemptions must include an itinerary that touches North America. Which is about 20% of its network. Award costs are appalling (it costs about twice as much to fly North America-Europe than itins with other loyalty charts) and it is cheaper to fly North America-Middle East than North America-Europe, even on the Athens and Milan flights.
    3. Alaska is no longer useful for those who fly a combination of Delta and American and allows one to pool points together.
    4. The only intra-Europe itin one can redeem points for is one which involves flying Air France-KLM.
    5. Many flights that would be available on other airline charts as redemption options are not available on Alaska. Most of these are for itins that don’t touch North America but one itin I wasn’t able to redeem for is Europe-Middle East (which doesn’t include a North America segment).

    There is still value in Mileage Plan, it’s just it’s become so restrictive that I feel it isn’t worth it anymore for me.

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