Buy Alaska Mileage Plan Miles With Up To 60% Bonus

Filed Under: Alaska, Alaska Mileage Plan
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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 the program sells miles, and what a good deal redemptions can be.

Alaska Airlines recently joined the oneworld alliance. While you can now earn Mileage Plan miles for travel on all oneworld airlines, the airline won’t fully roll out oneworld award redemptions until this summer, for better or worse.

Well, Alaska Mileage Plan has just introduced its latest promotion on purchased miles, which could prove to be worthwhile for anyone starting to plan upcoming travel.

What Is The Best Price For Buying Alaska Miles?

Through Saturday, May 22, 2021, Alaska Airlines is offering a mystery bonus on purchased miles. Different accounts will be targeted for different bonuses, so you’ll want to log into your account to see what you’re eligible for.

I was targeted for a tiered bonus of up to 60%, as follows:

  • Buy 3,000-39,000 miles, get a 40% bonus
  • Buy 40,000-100,000 miles, get a 60% bonus

Others may see a different bonus, so you’ll have to log into your Mileage Plan account to see what you’re eligible for. I would guess that 60% is as good as these offers get, though who knows.

What’s The Cost To Purchase Miles Through This Promo?

With a 60% bonus you could buy 160,000 miles for $2,956.25, which is a cost of ~1.85 cents per Mileage Plan mile.

The maximum number of miles you can purchase per transaction is 100,000 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.

Historically Alaska Mileage Plan seems to offer anywhere between 35% and 60% bonuses on purchased miles, so this bonus is as good as it gets.

Who Should Buy Alaska Miles With A 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.

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 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 that makes Mileage Plan unique, as Alaska allows stopovers even on most one-way award tickets.

Do note that the program has added restrictions to this, though, and Alaska no longer allows stopovers on awards within Asia (though Mileage Plan does allow stopovers on awards between Asia and other regions).

Flying from New York to Singapore via Hong Kong? You can stop in Hong Kong for a few days (for no additional miles).


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


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

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 the program has had no limit on how many miles you can purchase. While there was a limit on how many miles you could buy per transaction, you could make as many transactions as you wanted.

Alaska Mileage Plan 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 in a calendar year, whether purchased by you or gifted to you. MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K

Why would Mileage Plan add a limit on how many miles you can buy? In reality the program was 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 that Mileage Plan 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 Alaska sells, but it shouldn’t impact most “regular” buyers.

Unique Airline Partners

While Alaska Airlines now belongs to the oneworld alliance, the airline also partners with some airlines that belong to SkyTeam and Star Alliance, as well as other unique, non-alliance carriers.

For example, Alaska partners with Emirates, Fiji Airways, Icelandair, and Hainan.

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, 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 spending, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review), the Citi® Double Cash Card (review), or The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review).

See this post for more on the best credit cards for buying points.

Redeem Alaska miles for LATAM business class

Bottom Line

Alaska Mileage Plan is offering a new promotion on purchased miles. Different accounts will be targeted for different bonuses, but it appears that you can get a bonus of up to 60%. This is as good as promotions on purchased Alaska miles get, and this could be especially useful as people start to plan international travel again.

I really can’t overstate how valuable the stopovers on most 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.

Do you plan on purchasing Alaska Mileage Plan miles with this promotion? What kind of a bonus were you targeted for?

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.
  1. Ben, I keep reading your posts about using Alaska Airlines Miles to redeem Cathay Pacific flights. I went to the Alaska Air website and searched for flights from LAX to Jakarta. Cathay Pacific flights are not even listed. Only Japan Airlines flights and there are no first class awards available for redemption. Why isn’t Cathay Pacific listed as a carrier from LAX or SFO or SEA? Why do you continue to post that Alaska Air miles can be redeemed for Cathay Pacific flights when it is not true. And why do you show Japan Air first class seats in this post when there are no first class seats available?

  2. Your last transaction: May 31, 2019
    If there is no activity in your account for 2 years, your miles will be deleted and your account closed. Deleted miles can be reinstated up to a year after account closure, for a fee.

    I did not have any activity since May 31, 2019. Can you please advise how I can make my account active at lowest possible cost , without buying miles ? Can I just donate 10 miles to make the account active? Thank you very much.

  3. @ James G Lockery Jr
    You can’t find Cathay Pacific on Alaska Airlines Website. You still can get the redemptions.
    I find them on the BA website, then call into Alaska Air to redeem.
    I’d also search by segment, LAX to Hong Kong and Hong Kong to Jakarta.
    Alaska often has one fewer seat than with BA.
    Both not finding it on the Alaska Site and having fewer seats available may change now that Alaska is a One World member.

  4. @Matt —

    You can buy up to 100,000 points on this promo (unless you’re an Alaska Elite member). For the year, you can buy up to 150,000, so if you max out the promo, you can only buy another 50,000 miles for the rest of the year (again, unlimited if you’re elite). Good luck!

  5. 50% bonus miles offer here. I don’t fly them very frequently. Only earned MVP status on them once.

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