Up To 40% Bonus On Purchased Alaska Miles

Through October 14, 2014, Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of Mileage Plan miles.


The bonuses are tiered, meaning the more miles you buy, the bigger the bonus you get, as follows:

  • Buy 5,000 – 19,000 miles: get a 20% Bonus
  • Buy 20,000 – 34,000 miles: get a 30% Bonus
  • Buy 35,000 – 40,000 miles: get a 40% Bonus

You can purchase up to 40,000 miles in one transaction, so if you purchase the maximum allowed 40,000 miles you’d get a 40% bonus, for a grand total of 56,000 Mileage Plan miles. At a cost of $1,182.50 including tax, that comes out to ~2.11 cents per mile.


Alaska seems to offer a similar promotion roughly four times per year. Just to compare this promotion to others they’ve offered, here are the most recent ones they’ve run:

Generally speaking the 40% bonus promotion is as good as it gets, so if you’re in the market to buy Alaska miles, this is a great opportunity.

What’s cool about Alaska is that they don’t limit the number of miles you can purchase per account per calendar year or per promotion, so you can more or less purchase as many miles as you’d like. As I explained in a recent post, there are only a few restrictions:

  • 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 points.com 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

Alaska made their miles even more valuable last year by adding Emirates as a redemption partner, and by not only allowing one-way redemptions at half the cost of a roundtrip, but also allowing a stopover on a one-way award, making them one of the only airlines with such a generous policy. I wrote a post in March highlighting what I consider to be the best uses of Alaska Mileage Plan miles.

For example, you can redeem 70,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles for one-way travel in Cathay Pacific first class from the US to Africa, India, the Middle East, and all of Asia. That means you can fly to any of those destinations with a stopover in Hong Kong for as long as you’d like. Being able to purchase enough miles to book that for less than $1,500 is a bargain, in my opinion.

Redeem Alaska miles for Cathay Pacific first class

Similarly, using their partner Emirates, you can redeem 100,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles for one-way travel in Emirates first class from the US to Europe, Asia, or Africa. Again, you could have a stopover in Dubai for as long as you’d like. That means you can potentially book two Emirates A380 first class flights for that price, like Los Angeles to Dubai (the longest A380 flight in the world) and Dubai to Bangkok. Purchasing enough miles for something like that for ~$2,200 is also a bargain.

Redeem Alaska miles for Emirates A380 first class

Lastly, it’s worth noting that since mileage purchases are processed through points.com, the purchase of miles wouldn’t count as airfare for the purposes of credit card spend.

Bottom line

This is a heck of a promotion, especially since there’s no limit to the number of miles you can purchase. If you’re someone that doesn’t have a sizable mileage balance but wants to fly international premium cabins on the cheap, this is a fantastic promotion. You also can’t beat that this promotion is available for about seven weeks, so there’s no rush in purchasing miles now.

(Tip of the hat to Jenny)


  1. Could you point out limitations on F travel to JNB via HKG? Not sure if that flight is still available in F or if it’s just seasonal. Bloggers tend to highlight that redemption as being the best value, without highlighting a key limitation.

  2. @ grandgourmand — Correct, for now that route no longer has first class, though even with just the transpacific flight from the US in first class, it’s still a great value.

  3. also, considering how hard it is to get to the maldives sometimes, this could be a decent value as well.

  4. You also need to mention how hard it is getting to use Alaska miles on Emirates. Yes, that is a very good use of miles but only if you can find first class award space?

  5. Seeing you are a recent Seattle alumni how easy do you rate the aspirational FC awards out of SEA using Alaska miles?

  6. With regards to the 70k one-way F itineraries, are any of the onwards legs from hong kong to africa/india/middle east actually in F? Thanks

  7. @ JustSaying — Well keep in mind as part of an Alaska award ticket you can go to any North American gateway city as part of your award, so it’s quite easy.

  8. @ Francisco C — Hmmm, at the moment it does look like none of the African, Indian, or Middle Eastern destinations have first class, unfortunately.

  9. @Ben, FC starts to India in March end of next year… for what its worth… they add back the 747 flight to the current 330 that has only J … and that’s how F comes back into play…

  10. Lucky,

    I could’t find the fuel charges post for Alaska. Are there any fuel charges with these award redemption?

  11. Lucky,
    do you know if it’s possible to use the points for Europe to dxb on emirates? the website makes it look like it’s only available ex n.america

  12. duh…..plus a layover……..just seems too easy with no fuel surcharges cept BA……..could be addictive…….

  13. @ Jim — You can only use Alaska miles for travel on Emirates to/from North America. You can redeem for Europe to Dubai to the US, but not just for Europe to Dubai.

  14. @Lucky how do you see awards for Cathay Pacific? they don’t seem to show it in any of the results

  15. @ CARLOS — They don’t show the space on their website, so I’d suggest using British Airways’ website to search, and then call to book.

  16. @lucky just created an account and tried to buy miles and it told me that my account wasn’t eligible. Is this a targeted promotion?

  17. @ Leon — I believe your account has to be open for something like 12 days in order to qualify, so if you hold off you should be eligible.

  18. Shame this is only open to people with a US credit card. Would like to try Emirates 1st and this seems like the easiest way.

  19. @Pat Butcher: You can just email me the cash and I’ll buy the miles for you. ……………I PROMISE.

  20. Hello Lucky,

    For instance, Can I book JFK-HKG with Cathay Pacific, then with Emirates from CAN-DXB-JFK? I won’t be able to book the HKG-CAN with Dragonair? Right?

  21. @ LRH — You could indeed booth that as two separate awards. You can do JFK-HKG on one award, and then CAN-DXB-JFK on a separate award. You can’t redeem Alaska miles for travel on Dragonair.

  22. @Lucky: if you add in the 3x miles earned for this “airfare purchase” using the AS branded cc, the net effective cpm = 1.99 cents, so under 2c! You’d earn a total of 59,547 miles if you maxed out the purchase!

  23. @ Kelly — Mileage purchases are processed by points.com, so wouldn’t qualify for triple miles, unfortunately.

  24. I need to go to Taipei next Jan/Feb. Using points and booking on Cathay am I able to go from here to TPE? If so, am I able to add another destination? Assuming one way ticket award.

  25. Lucky, is it possible to buy the miles for Mileage Plan account under my name and use them to buy tickets for somebody else?

  26. @ Benny — You can do a stopover in Hong Kong enroute to Taipei, but can’t add another destination on a single award.

  27. @Lucky – whoops – misread “wouldn’t” in your bold print for “would”. Wishful reading, I guess.

  28. Hello Lucky

    I have a question,

    When you say

    “You can use the same credit card for at most four points.com transactions per 30 day period (they process Alaska mileage purchases)”

    Are you referring that you are allowed to use the same credit card only for 4 transactions for Alaska Mileage purchase? Trying to buy like 400,000 miles, but it will be like 8 transactions.

  29. Hi Lucky, I accidentally made a 5th transaction using the same credit card. Now the miles for the 5th transaction does not show up in my account. Your advice would be much appreciated.

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