Buy Alaska Miles with a 40 Percent Bonus

Buy Alaska Miles with a 40% Bonus


Alaska Airlines again is offering a 40% bonus when buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles. Alaska recently was offering a 40% bonus, and I'm still hoping for a return of a 50% bonus, similar to the targeted bonus last year. Still, since we don't know if the 50% bonus offer will return, if you think you'll need to redeem Alaska miles in the next 6 months, it's a good opportunity to buy. It can also be good for Canadians who don't have access to U.S. credit card bonuses, since Alaska miles provide access to awards with additional airline partners at often better award rates than AMEX Canada Membership Rewards, which currently only transfers 1:1 to Aeroplan and British Airways Executive Club.

Here are the offer details:

  • Buy Alaska miles with an up to 50% bonus (targeted) through 8:59pm PT on April 6, 2017
  • Login with your Alaska Mileage Plan number to see your bonus offer
  • Miles are not refundable and do not count towards elite status
  • 7.5% federal excise tax applies for U.S. purchases; GST/HST apply for Canadian residents
  • Purchase is procesed by, so there is no category bonus for airlines or travel
Tiered Bonuses
The 40% bonus applies starting at 40,000 miles:
10,000 – 19,000 miles = 20% Bonus
20,000 – 39,000 miles = 35% Bonus
40,000 – 60,000 miles = 50% Bonus

Because of the tiered nature of the bonus, I'd only buy if you'll be buying at least 40,000 miles.


Equates to Buying Miles at 2.1 Cents per Mile

With the 40% bonus and taking into account taxes, you'd be buying Alaska miles at the cost of 2.11 cents per mile.


Other Ways to Earn Alaska Miles

The main other way to earn Alaska miles, apart from crediting Alaska Airlines or Mileage Plan airline partners‘ flights (such as British Airways, AA, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, etc.) to Alaska, is with the Alaska Visa. Currently there's only a 30,000 miles signup bonus, however, and there is a $75 annual fee that's not waived the first year. 

Alternatively, you can top up your Alaska Mileage Plan account with Starpoints transfers from Starwood Preferred Guest. SPG points transfer 1:1 to Alaska and for each 20K SPG points you transfer, you receive 25,000 Alaska miles.


Goodbye Emirates First Class, Hello JAL First Class

With the Alaska Mileage Plan – Emirates Award Chart Devaluation last year, Emirates First Class awards to the Middle East, India and the Maldives increased to 150,000 miles each way, a 67% increase, while First Class awards to Africa via Dubai increased to 200,000 miles each way. 

Instead, I recommend looking at JAL First Class or Cathay Pacific First Class to Asia, which is just 70,000 miles each way. Or if flying to Africa, try to redeem for Cathay Pacific Business Class to Africa via Hong Kong. This is 62,500 Alaska miles vs. 140K AAdvantage miles (70K + 70K, since this counts as 2 separate AAdvantage awards when flying via the Pacific).


Alaska Mileage Plan Allows Stopovers on One Way Awards
One of the great things about Alaska Mileage Plan is that you can have a stopover even on a one way award. This is perfect for spending time in Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific award, in Tokyo on a JAL award, Seoul on a Korean Airlines award, etc. This contrasts with AAdvantage awards, which don't permit any stopovers over 24 hours, even on a roundtrip award. 


Alaska Miles: Good as Backup Award Flights or When Plans are Uncertain

Alaska Mileage Plan miles are also convenient when you need a backup award to the ideal award you're still trying to book or when there's a chance you may have to cancel or change your award but will know at least 60 days before your departure. Cancellations and changes made online are free if they're made over 60 days prior to departure. See Best Frequent Flyer Programs for Award Changes. If you do have to make changes or cancel 60 days or fewer before departure, any change or cancellation incurs a $125 change/cancellation fee. Keep in mind that even when changing or cancelling more than 60 days before departure, the $25 partner booking fee is non-refundable, and the $15 call center fee if you make a booking by phone is also non-refundable. 

Do you plan to buy Alaska miles with a 40% bonus?

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