Buy Alaska Miles With A 40% Bonus Through 17 March 2019

Qantas 787 Business Class

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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles are one of my favorite airline currencies to have in abundance but, as I can’t remember the last time I flew with Alaska and as I credit my American Airlines flights to BA (I like having oneworld Emerald status), I’m left with little option but to hope for a good mileage sale….like this one.

Alaska airlines is running a flash sale of sorts right now (is a sale that lasts a week actually a ‘flash sale’?) and in it the airline is offering a bonus 40% to Mileage Plan members who purchase a minimum of 20,000 miles.

Alaska miles may not be an obvious currency for most people to collect but they can be extremely useful if you’re trying to book premium cabin awards on airlines like Cathay Pacific, Korean Air or even LAN.

The flexibility and value that Alaska Miles offer are the main reasons why it’s one of the few currencies that I still find myself tempted to purchase every time there’s a reasonably good bonus on offer.

Note: Mileage Plan isn’t a program that only works for US-based flyers – it can be very useful to those based in Europe too – follow this link to find out why.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Sale – Headline T&Cs’s

  • Transactions must be completed by 11:59 PM PST March 17, 2019 to be eligible for bonus miles.
  • Miles are purchased from Inc. for a cost of $27.50 per 1,000 miles, plus a 7.5% Federal Excise Tax, and GST/HST for Canadian residents.
  • Miles are non-refundable and do not count toward MVP and MVP/Gold status.
  • You may purchase and gift Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles in increments of 1,000 miles to a maximum of 60,000 miles per transaction.
  • 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 Mileage Plan member accounts have no annual limit on the number of miles which may be purchased or gifted through
  • Offer is subject to change and all terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan Program apply.
  • Inc. is collecting Federal Excise Tax on behalf of Alaska Airlines Inc.
  • Alaska Airlines Inc. has the obligation to collect Federal Excise Tax and remit the tax to the appropriate government agency.
  • Mileage Plan accounts need to have been active for at least 10 days to participate in this promotion so if you’re not a member you’re out of luck this time….but sign up for an account now so you don’t miss out next time.

Link to the Alaska Mileage sale

You can enjoy great dining in Cathay Pacific First Class courtesy on Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

The Promotion & The Math

  • Buy 1,000 – 19,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles and earn no bonus
  • Buy 20,000+ Alaska Mileage Plan miles and earn a 40% bonus

If you were to purchase the full 60,000 miles you would net 84,000 miles (after adding in the bonus) for a total cost of $1,773.75:

84,000 miles at a cost of $1,773.75 works out to ~2.11 cents per mile.

This may not look like a particularly exiting offer but it’s still an offer you should take very seriously – used correctly it can help you buy great premium cabin flights for a lot less than their cash value.

Why Alaska Mileage Plan (and its miles) Can Be Great Value

1. Alaska Airlines is not be part of any big airline alliance (oneworld, stat alliance or SkyTeam) but it does have a good set of airline partners with whom Mileage Plan Miles can be used.

2. Alaska’s Mileage Plan has some of the most flyer-friendly rules around and these can be used to great effect.

Here are ones which may be of interest:

  1. Mileage Plan allows one free stopover on award tickets – even when booking one-way awards.
  2. There are no charges if you cancel an award and re-deposit the miles as long as you’re more than 60 days away from departure. Status doesn’t come into play here so this rule applies to anyone who books an Alaska Mileage Plan award.
  3. Mileage Plan allows elites to buy as many miles as they need – there are no restrictions on the number of miles that can be bought in one promotion or even in a calendar year.

A Look At The Better Awards You Can Book

Roundtrip Business Class Awards (and the cost to buy the miles needed in this sale)

Qantas 787 Business Class
Qantas 787 Business Class
  • Cathay Pacific: USA – Asia costs 100,000 miles ($2,110)
  • Cathay Pacific: Europe – Hong Kong costs 85,000 miles ($1,794)
  • JAL: USA – Asia costs from 120,000 miles ($2,532)
  • Korean Air: USA – Asia costs from 105,000 miles ($2,216)
  • LAN: USA – South American costs 90,000 miles ($1,899)
  • Qantas: USA – Australia costs 110,000 miles ($2,321)

Note: Taxes and surcharges will need to be factored in but, in most cases, they’re not significant.

Roundtrip First Class Awards (and the cost to buy the miles needed in this sale)

JAL 777 First Class
  • Cathay Pacific: USA – Asia costs 140,000 miles ($2,954)
  • Cathay Pacific: Europe – Hong Kong costs 140,000 miles ($2,954)
  • JAL: USA – Asia costs from 140,000 miles ($2,954)
  • Qantas: USA – Australia costs 140,000 miles ($2,954)

Note: Taxes and surcharges will need to be factored in but, in most cases, they’re not significant.

Importantly, Alaska Mileage Plan doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on award tickets and that’s part of what makes these redemptions very attractive indeed.

As usual I’ll point out that American Airlines is also an Alaska Mileage Plan partner and, technically, can be a very good option on routes like Europe – Hawaii (115,000 miles for roundtrip Business Class)…..but award availability is a real issue.

I’ve said this a lot of times in the past but it’s worth saying again – American Airlines Business Class saver awards are so scarce nowadays that I can’t justify including them in the list above. I suspect that most people will struggle to find any saver award availability unless they’re very flexible with dates and also very lucky.

Should You Buy Miles In This Sale?

Because Mileage Plan allows elites to buy as many miles as they want (in batches of 60,000 at a time excluding bonuses) this sale allows them to buy as many miles as they need for a trip without having to have an existing mileage balance to get started.

Even if, like me, you don’t have Alaska Airline status and are limited to buying 150,000 miles per year there can be some great deals to be had.

Selecting the right redemption options is key… Cathay Pacific in Business or First Class between Europe and Asia (a reasonably easy award to find), LAN Business Class from the US to South America and Korean Air Business Class between the US and Asia.

Bottom Line

All the examples I’ve provided above would allow you to fly in First & Business Class cabins for considerably less than the cash price of that cabin and that’s part of what makes Mileage Plan Miles such an attractive proposition.

It’s worth remembering that Alaska Mileage Plan occasionally offers bonuses of up to 50% so it may be possible to purchase miles for slightly less than the 2.11 cents they’re being sold for in this sale (probably during the Black Friday sale in November)….but 50% bonuses don’t come around very often and, when they do, they’re often targeted offers.

This promotion may “only” offer a 40% bonus on miles purchases but, at 2.11 cents/mile, you can still get great value out of it and, as long as you check that the awards you’re hoping to book are actually available (never stockpile miles), you can’t go too far wrong.

Link to Alaska Mileage Plan Miles Sale


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