Last Chance To Buy Discounted Alaska Miles

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As I first wrote about a couple of weeks ago, Alaska is offering up to a 35% bonus on the purchase of Mileage Plan miles through August 9, 2015This is a great promotion, and you only have a couple more days to take advantage of the offer, which is why I’m writing about it again.


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

  • 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 35% Bonus

The best part is that many with Alaska’s co-branded credit cards have reported getting even higher targeted bonuses through the offer page, in some cases as high as 50%. Alaska typically offers bonuses on the purchase of miles an average of four times per year, and the published bonuses typically vary between 35% and 40%.

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 35% bonus, for a grand total of 54,000 Mileage Plan miles. At a cost of $1,182.50 including tax, that comes out to ~2.19 cents per mile. If you were targeted for a better promotion, the cent per mile value would be even better.


As I’ve explained before, 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. 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 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, though some outside North America have reported luck buying miles, especially when using Paypal

Anyway, there are all kinds of great uses of Alaska Mileage Plan miles, given their unique set of partners and that they allow stopovers on one-way awards. For great redemptions using Mileage Plan miles, see my last post about this promotion, as well as my posts about redeeming Alaska miles for Emirates first class, and redeeming Alaska miles for Cathay Pacific business class.


Bottom line

Should everyone buy Alaska miles with a 35% bonus? No. That being said, there are many circumstances under which it could make sense to buy Alaska miles, given that:

  • There’s no limit to how many miles you can buy, so this is a great way to generate a ton of miles from “scratch”
  • Stopovers on one-way awards are a huge benefit, especially given Alaska’s generous routing rules
  • Alaska has some really unique partners, like Emirates, which are otherwise difficult to redeem on

Have you/do you plan on buying Alaska miles through this promotion?


  1. @Ben – Based on Alaska’s history of offering bonuses on miles purchases, September should bring a 40% bonus on the max purchase, it’s highest bonus. This seems to happen every march and september. I’m surprised you didn’t mention that.

  2. It would be also great to mention that this promotion is only for US, Canada and Mexico residents, correct?
    Pls don’t forget that also people from other places read your blog 🙂

  3. i posted this info in one of the other AS promo posts but worth repeating: some transactions through post instantly, others can take up to 72 hours. also be aware that has little to no customer service. mileage plan customer service basically just tells you to be cool and wait.

    that said, i found awesome EK F availability and took advantage.

  4. Please correct me if I am wrong. This is an excellent opportunity to buy miles in bulk with minimum effort. However it is much much cheaper to buy gift/debit cards from Simon mall if you can buy directly from them without shipping charges and of course you can afford all the time, patience and effort to liquidate them via Serve/Target. Did I get it right?

  5. @igor81j : You can do whatever you want regardless of where you live. You can have US credit cards, bank accounts, US tax ID, absolutely anything. Is it more complicated for non-US persons? Yes, but you can get them if you want. As I’ve said before you can even get US issued American Express, credit cards from Citi, Chase, Capital One, BofA, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, UBS, etc. you don’t even need a SSN or a US address.

    Do you want to purchase Alaska miles? Rent a physical address in the US for a few dollars a month and voila, you’re good to go. Do you need a US credit / debit card? Ask your local Citi or HSBC to open one for you. If you’re not a high-roller then they won’t but even then you can open an account in the US if you’re willing to travel there.

    It’s that simple.

  6. I saw this post a few days back and got excited. I didn’t have an Alaska account, so I signed up and tried to buy the miles, only to find out that you must wait 10 days after creating your Alaska account to purchase miles. This was 3 days ago. So it looks like I am going to miss out on the promo. Anyone know of a way around this?

  7. Lucky,
    In the past you can easily find Korean Air award space in Alaska award search, but that seems no longer the case (Korean Air award does not show up!). Where can I find Korean Air awards for using Alaska Mileage Plan miles?


  8. Lucky.

    We are based in Australia, with our billing address in Australia.

    We have just purchased additional Alaskan mileage points, and didn’t use Paypal.


  9. I could be wrong here, but I’ve read elsewhere that Alaska briefly closed the deal off to anyone outside North America and then backtracked and opened it back up again to all. They even announced it on their Twitter.

  10. @31583 – Come on, that is pretty disingenuous post as the average person can’t do this if not living or working in the US and you know that.

  11. @Stephan: You’re totally wrong. Just travel to the US, lets for holiday and you can open a bank account in person in any bank. Once you have your account in the States then you can get a secured credit card with any bank and do not get confused because a few banks offers a dedicated secured credit card like the BofA but in fact you can ask the bank to issue any credit card in this way so it will be a secured card. It’s available for anyone.

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