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Alaska offers discounts and bonuses on purchased miles quite often, and they just launched their latest such sale, which is a bit different than their usual ones.
Through Alaska’s latest flash sale on purchased miles, they’re offering a 30% discount when you buy 15,000 miles. The promotion is limited to the first 2,000 buyers, and when they’re sold out they’re sold out. If it doesn’t sell out, the promotion expires on October 23, 2017.
Typically Alaska gives you a bigger bonus the more miles you buy, while this time around they’re giving a set bonus for buying exactly 15,000 miles, and no other amounts are bonused. Through this promotion you can purchase 15,000 miles for $310.41, which is a cost of ~2.06 cents per Mileage Plan mile.
I don’t see anything in the terms limiting how many of these mileage packages you can purchase, so it seems like you could buy as many as you’d like, though you’ll have to do so in separate transactions.
In the past Alaska miles have been for sale for marginally less, though you had to buy a lot more miles to achieve that price. For example, during their last promotion they offered a targeted 50% bonus (rather than a 30% discount), which was an opportunity to buy miles for ~1.97 cents each. That was otherwise the best bonus they offered.
However, the catch was that you needed to buy at least 40,000 miles (pre-bonus) at a cost of ~$1,200 to receive that bonus. So this promotion is a lot more useful if you’re just looking to top off an account for a redemption.
To recap my usual advice when it comes to buying Alaska miles:
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:
- 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.
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 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.
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.
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 Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Citi® Double Cash Card, etc.
Redeem Alaska miles for Hainan Airlines business class
Alaska Mileage Plan miles are incredibly valuable, so if you’re interested in buying some, this is a solid deal. Not only is this pretty close to the lowest cost you’ll find on purchased Alaska miles, but this is also ideal if you’re just looking to top off an account and buy a small quantity of miles while getting a good deal (which isn’t possible during their usual promos).
Do you plan on buying 15,000 Alaska miles for 30% off?