Buy Alaska Miles For 30% Off (Last Chance)

Filed Under: Alaska, Great Deals
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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of my favorite programs to buy miles from, both thanks to the frequency with which they sell miles, and what a good deal their redemptions can be.

About a week ago Alaska Mileage Plan launched their latest promotion on purchased points. This promotion isn’t valid as long as usual, and it’s worth noting that the promotion expires today. So if you’ve been considering buying miles but haven’t done so yet, this is your last chance.

What is the best price for buying Alaska miles?

Rather than offering a bonus on purchased miles, Alaska Mileage Plan is offering up to a 30% discount on the purchase of miles. This promotion is valid through today, June 30, 2019.

With this promotion you get no discount if you purchase up to 19,000 miles in one transaction, while if you purchase 20,000+ miles you’ll get a 30% discount.

I can’t guarantee this is the promotion that will be available to everyone, as you do have to log into your Mileage Plan account to see the offer. However, that’s the offer for all the accounts I manage, so I’m guessing that’s just the standard offer. Feel free to check the offer on your own account, and please report back if it’s different.

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

Historically Alaska Mileage Plan seems to offer anywhere between 35% and 50% bonuses on purchased miles. When they offer that deal, the price per purchased mile ranges from ~1.97 cents per mile with a 50% bonus, to ~2.19 cents per mile.

So in this case they’re instead offering up to a 30% discount. If you buy miles with a 30% discount you’ll end up paying ~2.07 cents per mile.

The maximum number of miles you can purchase per transaction is 60,000 pre-bonus, and you can purchase a total of up to 150,000 miles per calendar year. However, if you’re an Alaska elite member there’s no limit to how many miles you can buy.

Who should buy Alaska miles for 30% off?

In general, you always want to think about how you’ll use these miles, and the potential value for converting your cash to points before you make any purchases.

Why buying Alaska miles is a good deal

There are several unique elements to the Mileage Plan program, which means buying miles with Alaska can be a very good deal. I wouldn’t purchase miles for domestic economy flights in most cases, as the best values are typically for their international awards — make sure to check out my guide on the best uses of Alaska Airlines miles for more details and some examples of great values to be had.

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 Singapore via Hong Kong? You can stop in Hong Kong for a few days (for no additional miles).

Hyatt-Regency-Hong-Kong-27

Flying from Dallas to Dubai to the Maldives? You can stop in Dubai (again, for no additional miles).

Dubai-4

Flying from Los Angeles to Auckland via Fiji? You can stop in Fiji and have two vacations in one.

I can’t think of another lucrative frequent flyer program that 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.

Generous limits on how many miles you can buy

There are lots of people who frequently take advantage of these promotions, and one thing that has long made Alaska Mileage Plan unique is that they’ve had no limit on how many miles you can purchase. So while there was a limit on how many miles you could buy per transaction, you could make as many transactions as you’d like.

Alaska Mileage Plan now limits non-elite members to buying 150,000 miles per calendar year. Meanwhile elite Mileage Plan members (MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K) continue to not have a limit on how many miles they can buy.

Here’s how Alaska describes the terms for buying miles:

Your Mileage Plan account may be credited up to a maximum total of 150,000 miles acquired through Points.com in a calendar year, whether purchased by you or gifted to you. MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K

So, why would Mileage Plan add a limit on how many miles you can buy? In reality they were probably making money on a vast majority of transactions, because even when you’re buying miles for the purposes of redeeming in first and business class on partner airlines, Alaska is only paying a fraction of the normal costs for these tickets.

My guess is that this limit was added due to the number of mileage brokers out there buying and selling miles. Airlines do everything they can to stop these people for a variety of reasons, and I’m guessing they found most people buying miles in big quantities were doing that. Of course this won’t be a foolproof solution, since those people can also get status.

I’d be curious to know to what extent this impacts the total number of miles they sell, but it shouldn’t impact most “regular” buyers.

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, Fiji Airways, IcelandAir, and Hainan (which has excellent award availability).

How many Alaska miles do I need for one of these fancy flights?

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


Alaska miles are the best way to redeem for Cathay Pacific first class

In some cases, Alaska doesn’t have access to some partner award seats.

This is especially common on Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and Qantas. It is something to be aware of, so I’d recommend looking into this before buying any miles.

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.


Redeem Alaska miles for Japan Airlines first class

Other ways to earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles

Of course, you don’t have to buy miles to take advantage of these deals — Alaska also offers two credit cards that can help you rack up points quickly:

Both offer welcome bonuses after completing a moderate minimum spend, along with Alaska’s famous Companion Fare, which lets you “buy one, get one for cheap” for economy flights on Alaska. This is one of the easiest companion tickets to use, and the main reason I keep the cards year after year.

Which credit card should you use?

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

Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach a minimum spend, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spend, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Citi® Double Cash Card (the best credit cards for buying points and miles).


Redeem Alaska miles for LATAM business class

Bottom line

Buying Alaska miles can be a great value, and a 30% discount on purchased miles is pretty average in terms of the cost per purchased mile during a promotion. This can be an incredible value for redemptions in first class on Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qantas (if you can find availability), etc.

While I wouldn’t buy miles without a use in mind, there are so many great ways to redeem Alaska miles. I really can’t overstate how valuable the stopovers on one way awards are, not to mention some of the unique airline partners that Alaska has, all of which you can learn more about in my guide to the best uses of Alaska Airlines miles.

If you haven’t yet purchased miles but are considering it, this is your last chance to do so.

Do you plan on buying Alaska Mileage Plan for 30% off?

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Comments
  1. I feel very smart. I just received the Alaska Airlines credit card with 40,000 miles.
    With this promo I’d have to pay $770 + tax for $827.75.
    I only paid $75 for those 40,000 miles. That’s a good deal. I feel very smart.
    Thanks for the article Lucky.

    Michael Matthews

  2. I recently booked 2 First Class tickets from LAX-SYD for 140,000 Alaska miles. Simply because I follow your site and jumped on it immediately……….then you did a post about the new Fiji flights 910 and 810 SYD-NAN-LAX on their new A350 and I grabbed 2 of those for 110,000 Alaska miles so I can certainly vouch that Alaska miles are worthy! Geez though Lucky I’m now looking for SFO-CDG First Class and I just can’t figure it out!

  3. In Alaska’s golden days of yore it was possible to pick up the odd Qantas F flight from Australia to the US and v.v. occasionally, provided you had maximum flexibility. Even this is now over with no F seats showing up at all. It seems that Qantas, long the Queen of Mean, now won’t even throw the scraps Alaska’s way! Plenty of Y seats up for grabs if you’re up for a spot of torture, and willing to waste miles though.

  4. Did JAL just withdraw a whole bunch of F award space upon the launch of the AS flash sale? Availability was showing for most of Apr 2020 yesterday but most of it disappeared overnight.

  5. Alaska offering bonuses yet they don’t want people using the points! Their fraud department needs to chill before they sell point bonuses. I had booked a flight and it wasn’t until I got to the gate that I was told I couldn’t board. I had to wait 3 days for them to figure it out ):-(

  6. Have used AS miles to fly to Japan 2x and for F on Qantas next year. So pleased with the value. Gonna buy some more points to stock up for Australia return next year. Thanks for posting. // Paul

  7. @Paul Lanyi~ have you checked out QF F availability lately? You may be in for a nasty shock. Even business is so difficult if you come across anything you think it’s an error fare!

  8. My account offers no discount below a 10,000 mile purchase, and a full 30% discount on any purchase of 10,000 or more miles. I recently reactivated my account, and purchased miles during their last sale.

  9. Under this new type of offer you would end up having less miles to redeem and hit the non-elite cap of 150,000 miles per annum much sooner. This slight of hand would affect anyone building up a miles stash starting from zero this calendar year, with no carry-over from previous year(s).
    Compare a 60,000 purchase with 50% bonus miles (90,000 miles), with a straight-out 90,000 miles purchase. The first scenario bites just 40% of your annual allowance, the second scenario takes 60%; but you are ending up with the same number of miles to redeem.
    Just as well decent redemptions of the type Lucky regularly recycles here are as plentiful as unicorns.
    Just sayin’…..

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