Alaska Is Offering A 40% Bonus On Purchased Miles

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Through February 8, 2017, Alaska Mileage Plan is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles.


In the past you’d typically need to buy a lot of miles to get a 40% bonus, though in this case the system is simpler:

  • Buy 1,000-14,000 miles, get a 0% bonus
  • Buy 15,000 miles or more, get a 40% bonus

This bonus seems to be the same for all members, while last year Alaska offered several mystery targeted offers, where different accounts were targeted for different bonuses.

What’s the cost to purchase miles through this promo?

When Alaska sells miles they typically offer a 35-40% bonus, so the 40% bonus is typically as good as it gets. Alaska last offered a bonus on purchased miles late last year, which also maxed out with a 40% bonus.

If you buy miles with a 40% bonus you’ll end up paying ~2.11 cents per mile. If you maxed out the promo, you would receive 84,000 miles for $1,773.75.


While the maximum number of miles you can purchase per transaction is 60,000 pre-bonus, you can buy as many sets of miles as you’d like. So you could buy a million miles if you wanted to, for example.

Who should buy Alaska miles with a 40% bonus?

Last year I wrote a post entitled “6 Reasons Buying Alaska Miles Is A Good Deal.” Check out that post for full details, though just to summarize, here are some of the things which make Mileage Plan miles so valuable:

Redeeming Alaska miles for Emirates A380 business class is still a great value

To give a few examples of some of the great uses of Mileage Plan miles (all of which allow stopovers on one way awards):

Cathay-Pacific-First-Class-777 - 27
Alaska miles are the best way to redeem for Cathay Pacific first class

Who can buy Alaska miles?

As long as you’ve been a member of Alaska Mileage Plan for at least 10 days, you can purchase miles during this promotion.

Given the promotion is valid for a few weeks, I’d recommend joining Mileage Plan today, and then you have time to think about whether or not to make a purchase.

Buying Alaska miles can be a particularly good deal for Australians, so it’s worth looking at the redemption options and seeing if they make sense with your travel plans.

Redeem Alaska miles for Japan Airlines first class

Which credit card should you use?

Alaska mileage purchases are processed by, meaning they don’t count as airfare spend for the purposes of your credit card.

If you buy miles you’ll want to first use a card where you’re meeting minimum spend, and then use a card which maximizes your return on everyday, non-bonused spend:

Cards For Everyday Spend

Hainan-Airlines-Business-Class-787 - 79
Redeem Alaska miles for Hainan Airlines business class

Bottom line

While we’ve seen some narrowly targeted bonuses in the past that were higher, a 40% bonus on the purchase of Alaska miles is typically as good as it gets. While Alaska Mileage Plan redemptions for Emirates first class were devalued early last year, there are still tons of other great values to be had, and the recent introduction of Japan Airlines as a partner adds a lot of value to Alaska miles, in my opinion.

While I wouldn’t buy miles without a use in mind, there are so many great uses of Alaska miles. I really can’t overstate how valuable the stopovers on one way award are, not to mention some of the unique airline partners that Alaska has.

So while I wouldn’t completely speculatively buy miles through this offer, with a redemption in mind, I think it’s an excellent deal.

Do you plan on buying Alaska miles with a 40% bonus?

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  1. The 15k minimum for 40% is nice – seems like typically the 35-50% requires at least a 40k purchase. Can top up a little bit and still take advantage without as big a cash outlay

  2. Ben, can you follow up with Alaska? I’m member for 6 months now and the bonus is not showing in my options. I think is only for a few customers.

  3. Not showing for me either. Have been a member since June 3, 2016, but website shows no bonus; only regular cost.

  4. I joined in December to take advantage of the last 40% promotion and bought enough miles to get me to the 85,000 for Cathay business class return London – HK – Tokyo. Cost me the equivalent of $1800 which gives great value for 4 business class flights.

    I also got the email yesterday with the 2017 40% promotion

  5. Hi Ben, I am one of your fans from Hong Kong.
    I travel two to three times per year (usually 2 short and 1 long distance trips).
    I prefer airlines like CX, ANA, Singapore Airlines etc.
    Do you think Alaska Mileage Plan suits me if I am gonna use the points to redeem flights on CX, JAL (round-trips depart from HK) or should I ask, Can I use the points to redeem points depart from HK?
    Thanks so much.
    Please keep posting great deals like this to us but I am not invited to have 40% off offer:(

  6. My account is old, but unfortunately bonus not showing up here either. Any idea if it’s possible to request the offer?

    Or how to possibly trigger the offer? Like if I bought some points now, might I get the email offer to buy more miles with the 40% bonus since it doesn’t end until Feb.8? Cheers.

  7. This is an offer that is set out to a select group of our Mileage Plan members. Just confirmed with Alaska.

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