Last Chance: Buy Alaska Miles With A 50% Bonus

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Alaska Mileage Plan is one of my favorite programs to buy miles from, and since early November they’ve been offering one of their best bonuses on purchased miles. If you’ve been considering taking advantage of the offer but haven’t yet pulled the trigger, you have just a couple of days left to do so.

Specifically, Alaska is offering a bonus of up to 50% on purchased miles through December 21, 2018. The bonus seems to be tiered, so you get a bigger bonus the more miles you buy, 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

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, so this is as good as these offers get. If you buy miles with a 50% bonus you’ll end up paying ~1.97 cents per mile. If you maxed out the promo, you would receive 90,000 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 50% bonus?

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.

In the past 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 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):

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

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 that maximizes your return on everyday, non-bonused spend.

Redeem Alaska miles for Hainan Airlines business class

Bottom line

A 50% bonus is as good as you’ll see on the purchase of Alaska miles. 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 award are, not to mention some of the unique airline partners that Alaska has.

If you’ve been holding off on buying Alaska miles but are interested, this is your last chance.

Do you plan on buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles with a 50% bonus?


  1. Just a heads up, I took advantage of the last time they had the sale and purchased Alaska miles with my chase ink business preferred. It earned 3x points instead of 1 that I earned using my chase sapphire reserve the year before.

  2. Alaska is going the LifeMiles way. Selling miles more aggressively while making it nearly impossible to redeem at sweet spots like CX by artificially restricting availability.

  3. Also note Alaska has added more restrictions to one way award stopovers on Cathay. For instance cannot stop over to SIN enroute to BKK via HKG. Previously you could.

  4. Sadly I have to agree with echino Alaskan miles are rapidly losing their luster…they used to be not so..Emirates FC is way over priced, American gone, Qantas impossible…Cathay disappearing..even JAL FC is getting harder and harder to find.. we are pretty much left with Korean biz or BA and crazy fee’s…I wont be buying anymore.

  5. I can’t imagine a more disappointing American airline on this Veterans Day. The lounge at JFK refused to honor a First Class ticket, Priority Club, or 100% disabled veteran. As a result this veteran family is taking our 400k in miles and we’ll use them on Emirates. And if they do the same in the future we’ll just drive our Tesla!

  6. Sorry to all the other posters, but I have found AS miles to be very valuable — JAL in F for me and a friend this past March and just used another 140K for two friends to fly JAL in F next summer. Also just booked BA in F for next May LHR to LAS for only 10K more than Biz. I’m happy with them. But, as with everything else in the points and miles game, YMMV!

  7. Nope. I only got 20-30-40 rather than 20-35-50. I only needed 12000 miles anyway, bought 10000 and got 2000 bonus.
    Lucky, you should look into this, JAL Intra-Asia stopover flights, especially HKG-HND-CAN (valid Chinese visa required) or SIN-HND-KUL or the other way around, since those flights are technically counted as one-way flights with stopover in Japan, they’re charged one-way price, 25K for business, even though those city pairs are not far from each other (nearly-return flight for one-way price? What a steal)

  8. Anyone else having trouble purchasing the miles? I last got some in November, and then tried on purchase some now, and ran into problem, saying I am not a Mileage Plan member, even though I clearly am. Not sure if anything changed…

  9. @Echino+1 & @Robin+1
    Anyone looked for CX bud awards lately? If you did you will have noticed they are few & far between. My suggestion is to ignore Lucky’s pitch to buy AS miles.

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