Alaska Mileage Plan Offering Bonuses Of Up To 50% On Purchased Miles

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If you have an Alaska Mileage Plan account you may have been targeted for a healthy 50% bonus on any miles you purchase before 5 October. Generally I’m pretty negative about buying miles from airlines but, when it comes to Alaska Miles, I’m a little more positive.

Alaska Mileage Plan Bonus Miles Offer

As with previous Mileage Plan “buy miles” bonus offers the specific offer differs from person to person. The best offer is for a 50% bonus but there are lower offers floating around too.

You can check what offer you were targeted for via this link 

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The Headline T&Cs & Important Info

  • The promotion is valid through 5 October 2017
  • Your Mileage Plan account must have been open for at least 10 days in order for it to be eligible for this promotion – if you don’t yet have a Mileage Plan account you still have time to open one, wait 10 days, and then buy any miles you need.
  • Although you can only purchase a maximum of 60,000 miles per transaction, Mileage Plan doesn’t impose any yearly limits so you can put through as many separate transactions as you like.
  • All Mileage Plan Miles purchases are processed by so there are no credit card category bonuses to be had with this deal – you should use whichever credit card offers you the best return on your spend.
  • Miles must be purchased in increments of 1,000.

The Numbers

If you’ve been targeted for the maximum 50% bonus this is most likely the offer you’ll see:

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

So, if you were to purchase 60,000 miles (enough to get the 50% bonus) it would cost you $1,773.75 and you would net 90,000 Alaska Miles:

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You would therefore be buying miles at almost exactly 1.97 cents each.

Note: you can buy any number of miles between 40,000 and 60,000 and you’ll still only pay 1.97 cents each.

If you were offered a bonus of 35% or 40% (common bonuses from what I’ve seen – I was only targeted for a 35% bonus) you would be buying miles at between 2.11 cents and 2.19 cents each.

Right now the math should be telling you that unless you were targeted for the 50% bonus you should probably be giving this promotion a miss.

Having said that, Alaska Miles at 1.97 each can be an excellent deal.

When Can Alaska Miles At 1.97 Cents Each Be An Excellent Deal?

The first thing to remember is that, as I mentioned earlier, Alaska Mileage Plan doesn’t impose a limit on how many miles you can purchase in a single promotion or in a calendar year – this means you can buy as many miles as you need for an award (or multiple awards).

Here are the costs of some of my favourite Mileage Plan Redemptions – all numbers are for roundtrip travel:

American Airlines

  • USA to Europe Business Class: 100,000 miles = $1,970 in this promotion

Cathay Pacific

  • USA to Asia Business Class: 100,000 miles = $1,970
  • Europe to Asia Business Class: 85,000 miles = $1,675
  • USA to Asia First Class: 140,000 miles = $2,758
  • Europe to Asia First Class: 120,000 miles = $2,364 

a person pouring champagne into a glassCathay Pacific First Class – It has to be tried!


  • USA to the Middle East Business Class: 165,000 miles = $3,251

Korean Air

  • USA to Asia Business Class: 105,000 – 120,000 miles(depends on the country in Asia) = $2,069 – $2,216


  • USA to Australia Business Class: 110,000 miles = $2,167

While the American Airlines fares may look enticing it’s worth remembering that award availability is noting short of terrible on American Airlines these days so don’t go buying miles unless you’re 100% sure there’s something for you to book.

Bottom Line

If you were targeted for a 50% bonus (as Joanna was) you’re in luck because, if you’re able to find awards, you’re unlikely to be able to find Cathay Pacific Business Class or First Class cash fares (for example) as low as they effectively are if you buy miles and book and award.

Paying $2,364 to fly from Europe to Hong Kong in Cathay Pacific First Class is nothing short of fantastic value and getting down to Australia with Qantas Business Class for $2,167 is very good value too.

In reality I may also have been a little hard when I said that if you were targeted for a 40% bonus you should stay away from this offer. In some cases it may make sense to buy miles and book an award…but you have to be very sure of your math.

You can check your offer and buy Alaska Mileage Plan Miles via this link.


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