Great Deal: Up To 50% Bonus On Purchased Alaska Miles

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Alaska Mileage Plan is offering a mystery bonus on the purchase of miles, whereby you can earn between 35% and 50% bonus miles when you buy Alaska miles.

This is a limited time promotion which is only available through September 29, 2016.


The bonuses are targeted, and specific to individual accounts. My account was targeted for a 40% bonus, for example, while my dad was targeted for a 50% bonus. All the accounts I’ve checked were eligible for at least a 35% bonus.

To see your bonus offer, follow this link, and then enter the details of your Mileage Plan account. Your “mystery bonus” should generate on the next page.

Is this a deal?

When Alaska sells miles they typically offer a 35-40% bonus, so even the 40% bonus is typically as good as it gets. But if you were targeted for a 50% bonus, that’s a heck of a deal.


In all instances the bonuses are tiered, where you get a larger bonus the more miles you buy. The tiers for the 50% bonus are as follows:

  • Buy 10,000-19,000 miles, get a 20% bonus
  • Buy 20,000-39,000 miles, get a 35% bonus
  • Buy 40,000-60,000 miles, get a 50% bonus

If you buy miles with a 50% bonus you’ll end up paying ~1.97 cents per mile, which is pretty darn good. If you maxed out the promo, you would receive 90,000 miles for $1,773.75.


If you were targeted for a 40% bonus the best you could do is ~2.11 cents per mile, while if you were targeted for a 35% bonus the best you could do is ~2.19 cents per mile.

All of those are attractive rates at which to rack up Alaska miles, given how valuable the miles are.

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.

Wait, but didn’t Alaska devalue this Spring?

Now I know the first thing you’re thinking — “wait a minute, didn’t Alaska just devalue Emirates first class redemptions without notice?” They sure did, and it pissed me off. I wasn’t pissed at the fact that they devalued as such, but rather that they did so without notice, and then turned around and blamed their members for the devaluation… and thenchanged which of their members they were blaming.

However, I’m confident they’ve learned their lesson (as a countless number of other programs have in the past after making a devaluation without notice), and I suspect we’ll get notice of devaluations in the future.

As I explained at the time, Emirates first class was only one of the excellent uses of Alaska Mileage Plan miles, and there are still plenty of other great ones out there. On a per mile basis, I still value Mileage Plan miles more than any other mileage currency. They have so many great partners, and some great routing, stopover, and change policies.

Who should buy Alaska miles for under two cents each

A while back 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 runs through late September, 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.

Which credit card should I 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.

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

Bottom line

Alaska miles are still extremely valuable. I’ve never seen a targeted bonus on Mileage Plan miles which is better than this (last year we saw a comparable offer, which was narrowly targeted), so if you’re in the market for Alaska miles and are targeted, this is a great opportunity.

I really can’t overstate how valuable the stopovers on one way award are, not to mention some of the unique airline partners which 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.

If you were targeted for a 40-50% bonus, I’d seriously consider buying some Alaska miles.

How big of a bonus were you targeted for, and do you plan on buying miles through this promotion?


  1. I’m still waiting on the JAL-Alaska redemption rates since I have a trip planned there next year and would love to try JAL F. C’mon, Alaska!

  2. Any tips for booking CX or JL through Alaska? Trying to book NYC-HKG or TYO-MNL but the only ones that come through are Emirates and Korean.

  3. Not familiar with Alaska MP. I see CX redemption to Europe is only available from/to HKG. Can one not go to or originate from DPS Bali? How about USA-Bali?

  4. Following up this deal being particular interesting for Australians, does anyone know if they relaxed their Credit Card policy? I remember about a year ago they banned non-US credit cards from buying miles.

  5. @ Colin — You have to search space ahead of time (using British Airways site generally), and then call. Not all carriers show online.

  6. @ Louis — It prices as two awards, but is allowed. Cathay is one of the few partners that allows awards other than those touching North America.

  7. “I really can’t undersell how valuable the stopovers on one way award are, not to mention some of the unique airline partners which Alaska has.”

    This should be oversell not undersell.

  8. I just purchased miles (USA based, have purchased before, MVP Gold status) and the miles still have not posted (1 hour later). Email confirmation from says miles could take 2-5 days to post. Have been instant in the past. What is going on? Going to go ballistic if my desired award is gone and I purchased for no reason.

  9. @ Geo King — Hmm, they’ve always been instant for me too. I might call over to and see if there are any processing issues with your credit card or anything like that slowing things down. Good luck!

  10. @ Mosh — You can’t redeem an award for travel solely between Hong Kong and Johannesburg. If you are traveling from Europe, Australia, or North America to Johannesburg, you can stopover in Hong Kong.

  11. As Lucky mentioned, the ability to make a free stopover in DBX, for example, is really valuable. I sometimes originate in Hawaii, so one can go on Alaska from OGG-SFO, then EY (on a 380) to DBX, then on to BKK or HKG. That’s a lot of traveling for a small amount of money.

    I’m not sure if one can stop over on the US mainland, and then again in DBX.

  12. I got 40%. No status and I bought a lot of miles last time with the 50% bonus. I will probably hold off this time.

  13. @ Winston — They don’t, provided you have account activity every 18 months. I wouldn’t purchase miles if you’re not going to use them in the next 11 months, however. There will always be another sale, and it doesn’t make sense to give Alaska an interest-free loan.

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