Buy Alaska Mileage Plan Miles with Up to a 60% Bonus. Alaska miles are best used for international partner awards, see below. If you're targeted for the 60% bonus, you're effectively buying miles for 1.7 cents per point. If you're targeted for the 50% bonus, you're buying miles at 1.83 cents per point.
- To buy Mileage Plan miles with the up to 60% bonus, go to the Alaska Buy Miles page, where you'll need to login with your Alaska Mileage Plan account.
- You must buy at least 30,000 miles to qualify for the up to 60% bonus miles. You may not be targeted for the highest bonus; my bonus was only 50%.
- You can buy a maximum of 100,000 miles and there's a maximum of 150,000 miles acquired through Points.com that may be credited to your Mileage Plan account in a calendar year.
- Elites (MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K Mileage Plan member accounts) are excluded from this limitation and may purchase/be gifted any number of miles.
- Deadline for the up to 60% bonus: May 31, 2020, by 11:59pm PST
- The transaction is processed by Points.com, so you don't earn any category bonuses on the transaction.
- All miles purchases are non-refundable
Pros of Alaska Mileage Plan Miles
There are several positive aspects of Alaska Mileage Plan miles:
- Attractive award chart for many partners: For example, Cathay Pacific First Class and JAL First Class between the U.S. and Asia is just 70,000 miles each way, and JAL Business Class between the U.S. and Asia is 60,000 miles each way.
- Free stopover on one way awards: Typically, frequent flyer programs only permit free stopovers (if at all) on round trip awards; Alaska Mileage Plan is unique in permitting a free stopover on a one way award.
- Many partner airlines: Alaska Mileage Plan, which is now part of Oneworld, also partners with some other non-Oneworld airlines such as Korean Air, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Icelandair, and others.
Cons of Alaska Mileage Plan Miles
Unfortunately, there are also some significant issues with Alaska miles that you should consider before buying or expending resources to acquire Alaska miles:
- Alaska Mileage Plan Award Calendar Opens Late: If you're focused on booking a Cathay Pacific First Class or Cathay Pacific Business Class, you should be aware that Alaska's award calendar opens up 330 days in advance, whereas American AAdvantage opens up 331 days in advance and British Airways Executive Club and Cathay Pacific opens up 354 and 360 days in advance, respectively. So when booking with Alaska miles, you're at a disadvantage vis-a-vis Cathay Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club, and even AAdvantage frequent flyer members, who may book the space you want before Alaska even opens its award calendar. It's a similar story with Japan Airlines First Class and JAL Business Class, since JAL Mileage Bank Awards are Now Bookable 360 Days in Advance, placing Mileage Bank, British Airways Executive Club and AAdvantage members ahead of Alaska Mileage Bank members when booking those awards.
- Alaska Mileage Plan Doesn't Have Access to All the Award Space that Oneworld Frequent Flyer Programs Do: It's happened several times, both with Award Booking Clients and for my own family's Cathay Pacific and JAL awards: I'm able to book space using Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, JAL Mileage Bank, British Airways Executive Club, and even AAdvantage, that isn't available using Alaska Miles. Also see AAdvantage Trumps Alaska Mileage Plan Again.
- Emirates Awards Expensive and/or Unavailable: While Emirates is still a Mileage Plan partner, most will not want to pay the high award rates to book Emirates First Class: 150,000 miles one way between NYC and Dubai, and the nonstop LAX-DXB is virtually never available as an Emirates First Class award.
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