As Tiffany first wrote about in late August, Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on the purchase of Mileage Plan miles through October 6, 2015.
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 40% bonus
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 40% bonus, for a grand total of 56,000 Mileage Plan miles.
At a cost of $1,182.50 including tax, that comes out to ~2.11 cents per mile (which is a good price).
Do keep in mind that mileage purchases are processed by points.com, so wouldn’t count as airfare for the purposes of credit card spend. Therefore you’ll want to use a credit card which maximizes your return on everyday spend, like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express.
You have less than two weeks left to take advantage of this offer, so I figured I’d share six reasons why you should consider buying Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles.
Stopovers on one-way awards
This is something which makes Mileage Plan really unique, as Alaska allows stopovers even on one-way award tickets.
Flying from New York to Hong Kong to Singapore? You can stop in Hong Kong.
Flying from Dallas to Dubai to Hong Kong? You can stop in Dubai.
Flying from Los Angeles to Fiji to Auckland? You can stop in Fiji.
I can’t think of another lucrative frequent flyer program which offers complimentary stopovers on one-way awards booked on partner airlines.
Keep in mind this also means that if you’re flying roundtrip and booking as two one-ways, you can actually do two stopovers — one in each direction.
Reasonable change & cancellation policies
It’s amazing how much some airlines charge in change and cancellation fees nowadays. Want to make a minor change to a Delta SkyMiles award ticket 10 months out? It’ll cost you $150 per person.
Want to cancel the United MileagePlus award you booked for your family of four to Europe, and have the miles redeposited? That’ll cost you $200 per person, or $800 total.
Perhaps aside from Korean Air SkyPass (which doesn’t charge any change or cancellation fees on awards, though has a bunch of ridiculous rules), Alaska has the most reasonable change & cancellation fees.
With Alaska, there are no fees if you cancel or change your award at least 60 days before departure. So you can make as many changes as you want prior to the 60 day mark, and can even redeposit the miles for free. Changes within 60 days of departure will trigger a $125 change or mileage redeposit fee, though.
No limit to how many miles you can buy
A lot of loyalty programs will sell miles, though most of them will cap how many you can buy per account per calendar year. Alaska Mileage Plan doesn’t — you can buy as many miles as you want. The major restrictions are simply:
- 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 points.com transactions per 30 day period (they process Alaska mileage purchases)
But other than that you can buy basically as many miles as you’d like. That’s fantastic because buying miles can be a great way to basically get premium cabin tickets at a discount. So when you can buy enough miles for the entire family at once, that’s pretty awesome.
Unique airline partners
Alaska doesn’t belong to any of the “big three” alliances, though they partner with some airlines which belong to both oneworld and SkyTeam, as some other unique, non-alliance carriers. For example, Alaska partners with Emirates and Fiji Airways, and award redemptions on Hainan and Icelandair should be available soon as well.
~$2,200 business class tickets to Asia for the whole family
While Cathay Pacific has become considerably stingier when it comes to releasing first class award seats in advance, they’re still amazing about making business class award seats available in advance. For example, planning in advance, Cathay Pacific regularly makes five business class award seats available on most flights between the US and Hong Kong:
And Cathay Pacific has an excellent business class product, featuring reverse herringbone seats.
Alaska charges just 50,000 miles each way for Cathay Pacific business class between the US and Asia, and you can do a stopover on that.
At a rate of ~2.1 cents per mile, you can acquire 100,000 Alaska miles for ~$2,100. That means for less than ~$2,200 including taxes and fees you can get a roundtrip business class ticket to Asia with a stopover in each direction. That’s an incredible value.
While lots would of course rather leverage miles & points they earned through credit cards, for those who don’t want to (or can’t) apply for credit cards, or who are new to the hobby and just want a reasonable price on business class, this is a value which is fantastic.
How else can you fly your whole family to Asia in business class for under $2,200 per person roundtrip on a top airline, with a stopover?
EMIRATES FIRST CLASS!!!
Emirates first class is possibly my favorite first class product in the world. It’s just so fun, from the onboard bar, to the onboard shower, to the wifi, to the amazing menu, to the alcohol selection, to… well, everything!
Emirates doesn’t have very many airline partners, though one of the very best ways to redeem for them is through Alaska Mileage Plan.
As a reminder, Alaska’s redemption rates for Emirates first class are as follows:
- First class between North America and Middle East/India: 90,000 miles one-way
- First class between North America and Africa: 100,000 miles one-way
- First class between North America and Asia: 100,000 miles one-way
- First class between North America and Europe: 100,000 miles one-way
While not quite as cheap, that’s still a heck of a deal, especially given how much these awards can be maximized, with up to four A380 first class segments.
Best of all, Emirates first class award availability is generally quite good. As long as you’re willing to plan in advance or close to departure, and are willing to fly out of the right gateway city, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding award space.
You have less than two weeks remaining to buy Alaska miles with a 40% bonus. This is generally the lowest publicly available price we see on the purchase of miles.
Should everyone buy Alaska miles? Nope. But I do think it’s the single most useful mileage currency to buy, and even as someone who consistently has millions of miles across all my accounts, I still find myself buying Alaska miles quite often.
If you’re new to the hobby and looking for a great deal on a business class ticket to Asia, or if you really want to shower at 35,000 feet, buying Alaska miles is probably the best way to accomplish that.
Do you plan on buying Alaska miles with a 40% bonus?