Last Day For 40% Bonus On Alaska Miles

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As I originally posted about a couple of weeks ago, Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles through today, April 3, 2015.


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

  • Buy 5,000 – 9,000 miles: get a 10% Bonus
  • Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles: get a 20% Bonus
  • Buy 20,000 – 39,000 miles: get a 30% Bonus
  • Buy 40,000 miles: get a 40% bonus

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.

There’s no limit to how many miles you can buy

In my opinion, this is one of the things that makes Alaska’s promotions on purchased miles especially compelling. There’s no limit to how many points you can purchase, meaning you could literally buy a million miles if you wanted.

There are only two limitations:

  • You can purchase a maximum of 40,000 miles per transaction, though you 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)

A vast majority of airline loyalty programs limit how many points you can purchase per calendar year, so Alaska really is quite unique in not having such a limit.

Cathay Pacific and Emirates — oh my!

Keep in mind that Alaska Mileage Plan allows stopovers on one-way award tickets. Nowadays many airlines don’t even allow stopovers on roundtrip award tickets, let alone on one-ways.

Alaska Mileage Plan also has among the most lucrative redemption rates of any program, which means buying miles can be a reasonable option for securing business class travel. $2,000-2,600 for roundtrip business class to the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Australia, etc. is tough to beat!

Beyond that, you can use Alaska miles to redeem for first class on Cathay Pacific and Emirates. These awards are tougher to come by than in the past, but are still a spectacular value.

Cathay Pacific first class meal service

Emirates first class redemptions are back!

While I mentioned it above, I think it’s explicitly worth pointing out once again that Emirates first class redemptions using Alaska miles are finally back. For the past several months, Alaska Mileage Plan hasn’t had access to much Emirates first class award space. That finally changed again as of yesterday.

Seriously, if you’re a premium product nerd and haven’t yet showered on an airplane, you sorta haven’t lived yet. 😉

Emirates A380 first class shower spa

I purchased 56,000 miles yesterday (40,000 + 16,000 bonus miles), which is basically like paying $2,100 for Emirates first class from Los Angeles to Dubai to Hong Kong, all in A380 first class.

Bottom line

Is this the most lucrative way to accrue miles right now? No.

But if you have a small mileage portfolio, can’t open credit cards in the US, really want to fly Emirates first class, or are looking to easily book business class for a group, the possibilities here are fantastic.

The fact that Alaska lets you buy as many miles as you’d like and also allows stopovers on one-way awards is really the icing on the cake.

So if you’ve been waiting to buy Alaska miles, now is the time to pull the trigger.


  1. How long does your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account need to be open before you can buy points on this offer? I created the account this morning and I get an error on saying that my account is not eligible.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Lucky! I’ve purchased 56000*5 and plan to use them for EK Suites. As CX usually releases business seats several days before departure, I am wondering whether EK has a similar tradition or not? Thanks!

  3. Hey Tiffany:

    Do you know if you can book award ticket say on cathay for someone else with alaska miles? Or you can only book the ticket under the name of the account holder? I did some research and couldn’t find any info on it….thanks!


  4. Knowing what I know about using points, programs and being a AA ExPlat for years, I think I already know my answer but I’ll ask the question anyway. Can these miles be combined with say AAdvantage miles to redeem an award? I have way more miles in my AAdvantage account but this 40% bonus offer combined with what I earn at AA and their periodic bonus offers, it would be nice if miles could be combined/transferred between programs.

    Any chance?

  5. @ Pang — You can (with moderation). When I took my mom on Emirates last month those flights were booked out of my husband’s account.

  6. @ SFOFlyGuy — You can do a one-way award with each program, but no way to combine them.

  7. @SFOFlyGuy – AA is having a sale on their miles right now at an even better price, so if you want AA miles, just buy AA miles.

  8. @Tiffany…good to know. I’m new to the AS program.

    @Luis…thanks for the reminder. I forgot about the AA sale. I actually thought it had ended.

  9. Thanks for the reminder! Just got 112,000 miles for $2365, and there are quite a few F seats ex LAX or DFW to DXB, BKK or HKG on my preferred dates of travel. The AS site isn’t set up to do the stopovers, however. What’s the best way to handle that?

    Will EY do car and driver to/from DXB and BKK on award tickets? How about free overnight accommodations?

    BTW AA 137 is showing available DFW-HKG for only 62.5K miles in F on certain dates. What a deal! 🙂

    NB on Maui

  10. Re booking award travel on AS, the agent was able to handle everything, such as arranging the stopover, over the phone for a small additional fee. The total fees were $19 for the award redemption, $15 for phone service, $12.50 to EK, so about $52 with taxes. Not bad. The agent got immediate confirmation and record locator numbers from EK, which seems quicker than when booking EY awards using AA miles.

    I may eventually change the outbound to be from DFW instead of LAX, but it’s A380 service, too.

  11. @ Nicholas Bedworth — Glad you got it squared away! For future (and for others), you can usually book stopovers online using the multi-city feature on Alaska’s site.

  12. I have a VERY strong feeling that AS is shortly going to announce major changes to its program. Most notably, I’m 99.9% sure that they’re going to disallow stopovers on one-way awards. That’s just way out of line with the industry standard and they know it. (It’s not like they’re finding this out now through my comment or Lucky’s posts — they’re not idiots.)

    I REALLY would only buy miles if you’re going to turn around and immediately book an award that you already know is available on your desired dates. I have a feeling something’s going to give very, very soon. This situation reminds me of BMI. How many of you have actually set foot on an AS flight?

  13. Ahhhhh!!! – I just ready the post about account being open for 10 days. Is there a way around this? Or am I stuck? I was going to purchase 80K Alaska MP (plus the bonus 32K) and it says my “Account is not eligible.” Any suggestions?

  14. I nearly pulled the trigger… but the cheapa** inside of me said that I should be content with JL/CX/AA F with 67.5K miles each way and buy a nice gift with the remaining $mileage saved.

    Oh well – maybe next time

  15. @Tiffany… thanks for the tip on booking the stopovers on AS. Given the shortness of time (the free F seats on Emirates were showing available…) and my lack of familiarity with the AS Web site, my instinct was to call AS. As it turned out, the agent (“Merlin”, in Boise) was a delightful fellow, and put everything together in short order. Much more enjoyable than struggling to fill out a Web form. Of course, this isn’t always the case. 🙂

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