How Many Alaska Miles Can You Buy Per Year?

One of the most lucrative mileage currencies to purchase are Alaska Mileage Plan miles. While they’re not on sale at the moment, they do seem to have sales a few times per year, whereby miles can be purchased for a bit over two cents each. For example, in May they offered up to a 35% bonus on purchased miles, which lowered the cost to ~2.19 cents per acquired mile.


What makes purchasing Alaska Mileage Plan miles so lucrative is that:

Redeem Alaska miles for Emirates A380 first class

So if there’s no limit to the number of miles you can purchase, why will Alaska’s website only let you purchase 40,000 miles?

I guess when I say you can purchase an unlimited number of Alaska miles, there are a few things I should clarify. The actual restrictions when it comes to purchasing Alaska miles are as follows:

  • You can purchase a maximum of 40,000 miles per transaction, though can make as many transactions as you’d like
  • You can use the same credit card for at most four transactions per 30 day period (they process Alaska mileage purchases)
  • Alaska now limits the purchase of Mileage Plan miles to members using credit cards with billing addresses in North America

That’s the extent of the terms. If you can live with the above, you can purchase as many Mileage Plan miles as your heart desires during their next promotion.

For context, Alaska seems to offer a bonus on purchased miles about once a quarter, so I expect we’ll see another promotion in the next month or so. For example, most recently they offered bonuses in September 2013, December 2013, March 2014, and May 2014. My money is on a promo by September 1 at the latest.

Hopefully that clears things up for those of you consider purchasing Alaska miles in the future.


  1. Hey Lucky,

    Are you able to redeem Alaska miles for Emirates F when expert flyer shows only 1 seat available? Flyertalk seems to suggest asking for a manual sell but tried doing so a few times and had no luck. Wondering if you have any other tips. Thanks!

  2. You forgot to mention that every time you book an Alaska Airlines flight they allow you to purchase up to 10,000 points for only 2 cents per mile. This is actually a better deal than the bonus promotions (especially if you book several Alaska Airlines flights in a year).

  3. @ acs — It depends. Sometimes they have access to the last seat, sometimes they don’t. Haven’t had much luck with a manual sell either.

  4. @ Jay — No, they’re not cheaper. LifeMiles are 1.5 cents, or 1.65 cents if purchased after September, when on sale.

  5. I hope you are right Lucky about a sale by Sept 1st. I’m in need of some points for a trip in Oct and really need to buy some! Only one week left…

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