Last Chance To Buy Alaska Miles For ~2.11 Cents Each

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Since late February, Alaska Mileage Plan has been offering a bonus on purchased miles. I consider Alaska Mileage Plan miles to be one of the most valuable mileage currencies out there, so with a specific use in mind I think buying Alaska miles can be a great deal.

Anyway, if you’ve been considering buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles, the clock is ticking. Alaska’s current bonus on purchased miles ends tomorrow, Monday, April 9, 2018Alaska is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles, though it’s tiered, as follows:

  • Buy 10,000-19,000 miles, get a 20% bonus
  • Buy 20,000-39,000 miles, get a 30% bonus
  • Buy 40,000-60,000 miles, get a 40% bonus

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 right in the middle (the most recent promotion they had was in January, when they also offered up to 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?

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 that 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):

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.

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, like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressCiti® Double Cash Card, etc.

Redeem Alaska miles for Hainan Airlines business class

Bottom line

This is your last chance to buy Alaska miles with the current 40% bonus. While I wouldn’t recommend buying miles without a use in mind, this can represent an excellent deal if you have a partner airline premium cabin redemption in mind. There are so many great uses of Mileage Plan miles, especially if you can take advantage of doing a stopover on a one-way award, etc.

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  1. Does anyone know if I can book an award for my girlfriend with Alaska miles on JAL? I know on most Asian carriers you need to have the same last name, which we don’t. Is that an issue going through Alaska for JAL?

  2. Why wouldn’t you use your BOA Alaska VISA to purchase the miles since you get 3 AS miles/dollar? That’s worth a lot more than 1 SPG point/ dollar.

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

  4. This is NOT a good deal. If u buy a domestic ticket at any rate, you can purchase 10000 miles for $200. That is 2 cents mile.

  5. Buying SPG points at 35% off and transferring to Marriott for a travel package is the much, much better way to do this.

  6. Buy SPG points in family member accounts, transfer to their MR account, and then family pool for a $10 fee. Travel package easy.

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

  8. Totally new to Alaska’s program.

    On a partner award, say Hainan Airlines, if there is availability on Alaska, could I fly from ATL to SEA on Alaska, and then connect at SEA to China using Hainan, for the same 50,000 point rate? Or do I have to get to Seattle on my own?

  9. @ Anthony — The cost is $204.25 per 10,000 miles, so it is marginally cheaper. However, in the past they’ve cracked down on people who have booked and then refunded tickets to acquire miles in this method.

  10. How do I check that the miles will work? I really want to make use of this sale, but I’ve done a small amount of research and I can’t see any award tickets out of PER, my home airport. What do you guys do to use these miles? (Apologies as I am new to the game)

  11. 70000 miles for $1800 and you can fly Cathay first class to Hk and one more city. If you are not sitting on Alaska points, this is a nice enough deal! Not the best ever but its not bad at all.

  12. @Steve: Great idea with family pooling thing on SPG/MR accounts. I did take 120,000 SPG points and now am sitting on 120,000 Alaska Miles and 7 night category 8 stay at Marriott.

    Was thinking it would be a while before I could do that again but thanks to your tip, it will be sooner. Having said that, I’m planning a BOS-HKG-SYD for 4 so going to need to buy more Alaska miles to travel in J on CX.

  13. The (admittedly first world) problem with doing a stopover in Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific in First Class is that Cathay doesn’t fly a lot of First Class intra-Asia. So you arrive in First, do your stopover, and when you return to HKG airport to continue your journey you can’t use the First Class lounges, only business class. Whereas if you flew straight through, and had a layover where you didn’t leave the airport, you could take advantage of Cathay’s *wonderful* First Class lounges.

    Just a little point to consider if you’re really looking forward to living it up in the lounges.

  14. @Katy

    If you have a 23hr or less layover can you still leave the airport and get first class lounge? Or you lose it once you leave airport?

  15. Valid point Katy. But 15 hours in first class and then Biz ain’t too shabby! All for $1800 or so. Of course I would rather use sign up bonuses

  16. “Fly and Buy miles purchased with a ticket that is later refunded will be subject to additional fees at the standard rate of 2.75 cents per mile plus applicable taxes.”

  17. Wait a second…you can book redemption flights on partners for someone other than yourself using Alaska miles? That’s amazing, how did I not know about this!

  18. If you are buying the miles, how long does it take to post to your account? I bought a few hours ago to take advantage of the promotion, but don’t see the points in my account yet. Should I be worried that I won’t get the bonus points? my purchase receipt says “transaction is pending”…

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