Alaska Airlines offering up to 40% bonus on purchase of Mileage Plan miles

Through April 15, 2012, Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of Mileage Plan miles, with the following bonuses:

Alaska miles ordinarily cost 2.75 cents each plus a 7.5% federal excise tax, for a total of ~2.96 cents each. You can purchase up to 40,000 miles per transaction, so through this promotion you’re looking at a maximum of 56,000 miles (40,000 purchased miles plus 16,000 bonus miles) for $1,100, plus the federal excise tax, for a total of $1,182.50 .When you crunch the numbers on that, it comes out to ~2.1 cents per mile.

It’s not necessarily a price at which I’d stock up just for giggles, though this is about as good of a bonus as I’ve seen.

Alaska has some absolute gems on their award chart, including 140,000 miles for Cathay Pacific first class from the US to Asia, South Africa, India, and the Middle East (that’s up to four longhaul flights in first class on a single award). So if purchasing miles would put you over the top for one of those awards, I’d certainly consider taking advantage of this promotion.

(Tip of the hat to Gary)


  1. My wife and I were booked in F using old BA miles for a trip in April from JNB-HKG-LAX (with a stopover in HKG) on CX. We received a notification that the JNB-HKG flight no longer had First Class. So they rebooked us in Business with no compensation offered. So while the 140k miles for Cathay Pacific to South Africa is still a good deal, two of the segments will no longer be in First.

  2. Does Alaska cap mileage purchases at 40k? I thought they allowed you to buy as many miles as you wanted, just in 40k increments. So if you wanted to buy 120k miles, you had to do it in 3 transactions.

  3. @ Jeff — I think it depends when you’re traveling. While the 777 operating the route is now the configuration without first class, during high season they operate a 747 featuring first class.

    @ Calvin — They don’t, with the exception of British Airways redemptions.

    @ Steve Otero — I think you’re right, it might be limited by transaction.

  4. @Steve Otero

    I can tell you that in 2009, I purchased 200,000 miles from AS, but haven’t needed to look into it recently, so don’t know if it’s changed. The one limit AS does have is that you’re capped to 4 transactions per credit card.

  5. I didn’t see any T&C. I wonder if the bonus is capped. Otherwise a sub $3,000 F ticket on Cathay is very appealing and I may want to buy enough for 3 tickets while they still have an F cabin out of SFO and LAX.

  6. @ Robert — I believe the account has to be open a minimum number of days to be eligible to purchase miles, though can’t seem to find that restriction right now. Trying to find the restriction now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *