You Can Buy Alaska Mileage Plan Miles with a 50% Bonus, if targeted (other bonuses are 35% or 40%). Taking into account the taxes, with the 50% bonus you're paying 1.97 cents per Alaska mile.
- Go to the points.com Buy Alaska Miles site and enter your credentials to see if you're targeted for the 35% bonus, 40% bonus or 50% bonus
- Note that the bonus is tiered, depending on how many miles you purchase. You'll need to purchase at least 40,000 miles to earn the 50% bonus, if targeted for it.
- Offer period is until 11:59pm PST October 4, 2018
- Miles purchases are subject to a 7.5% Federal Excise Tax and GST/HST for Canadian residents
- Miles are non-refundable once purchased and do not count toward MVP frequent flyer status
Best Uses of Alaska Mileage Plan Miles
Some of the best uses of Alaska Mileage Plan miles, if you can find award availability, are awards such as:
- Cathay Pacific First Class between the U.S. and Asia for 70,000 miles each way
- Cathay Pacific First Class U.S. to HKG and Cathay Business Class HKG to New Zealand for 80,000 miles each way
- Qantas First Class between the U.S. and Australia for 70,000 miles each way
- Cathay Pacific Business Class to New Zealand via HKG for 60,000 miles each way
- Cathay Pacific Business Class between the U.S and Asia for 50,000 miles each way
- Qantas Business Class between the U.S. and Australia for 55,000 miles each way
- JAL First Class between the U.S. and Southeast Asia for 75,000 miles each way
- JAL First Class between the U.S. and Japan/North Asia for 70,000 miles each way
- JAL Sky Suite Business Class between the U.S. and Southeast Asia for 65,000 miles each way
Why Buying Alaska Miles Even with the 50% Bonus May Not Be Worth It
The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Award Chart looks great, thanks to less expensive mileage amounts for many partner awards than other frequent flyer programs. And Alaska Mileage Plan also has many attractive partners, such as JAL, Cathay Pacifc, Emirates, Qantas, Finnair, etc. But there are several reasons I've taken a hiatus from earning Alaska miles, as I described in 3 Reasons Alaska Miles Aren't Worth Earning.
The most important one is that Alaska's award availability doesn't match American AAdvantage award availability for many Cathay Pacific First Class, Cathay Pacific Business Class, JAL First Class and JAL Business Class awards. So just because you can find these awards via American AAdvantage or British Airways Avios, it doesn't mean you can book them using Alaska miles.
Another reason to be less enthusiastic about Alaska miles is that Alaska is the last to open its award chart, compared to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, British Airways Avios and American AAdvantage. If your goal is a Cathay Pacific First Class award, it's very possible someone else will have already booked it with one of these three programs by the time the Alaska award calendar opens.
Finally, if your goal is Emirates First Class, your best bet isn't Alaska Mileage Plan, since these awards are ridiculously expensive after Alaska Mileage Plan award prices increased to 150,000 miles each way from 90,000 miles each way in 2016. You're better off using JAL Mileage Bank or Korean SkyPass miles to book Emirates for lower award rates, or Emirates Skywards miles in order to get better access to award availability. Another detractor is that if you book Emirates First Class or Business Class using Alaska (or other partner) miles, you don't get access to Emirates Chauffeur Drive; only awards booked through Emirates' own Skywards frequent flyer program enjoy Emirates Chauffeur Drive.
The Best Credit Card to Use for Buying Miles
Alaska miles transactions are processed by Points.com, so you won't earn any kind of airline or travel category bonus on these transactions. Instead, use either a credit card you're working on minimum spend for, or a card such as the AMEX Blue Business Plus that earns 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases.
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