ENDING SUNDAY: Buy Alaska Miles With A 30% Discount

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Alaska’s Mileage Plan miles are amongst the most valuable airline miles available, and you have a little under two days to make the most of the current 30% discount the airline is offering which prices up the miles at one of the best rates we see.

Headline Terms & Conditions

  • Transactions must be completed by 11:59 PM PST June 30, 2019 to be eligible for the discount.
  • 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 Points.com 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 Points.com.
  • Offer is subject to change and all terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan Program apply.

Link to the sale page with full terms and conditions

The Offer & The Math

  • Buy 1,000 – 19,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles with no discount
  • Buy 20,000+ Alaska Mileage Plan miles and get a 30% discount

Buying 60,000 miles would cost $1,241.63…

… which works out to a cost/mile of  ~2.07 cents.

2.07 cents/mile is a better price than we see when Alaska offers a 40% bonus on miles purchases….and we think those deals are good!

When Mileage Plan Shines

Alaska Airlines may not be part of any big airline alliance but it does have an impressive set of airline partners with whom you can use Mileage Plan Miles. It also has some flyer-friendly rules which offer good mileage redemption opportunities.

Here are the main ones:

  1. Mileage Plan allows one free stopover on award tickets – even when booking one-way awards.
  2. There are no charges for canceling an award and re-depositing the miles, regardless of your status, as long as you’re more than 60 days away from departure.
  3. Mileage Plan allows elite members to buy as many miles as they need – there are no restrictions on the number of miles that elite members can buy in a calendar year. The maximum purchase per transaction may be 60,000 miles but there’s no limit to the number of transactions you can make.
JAL 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class

Here are some of my favorite Mileage Plan redemptions:

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

  • Cathay Pacific: USA – Asia costs 100,000 miles (~$2,070)
  • Cathay Pacific: Europe – Hong Kong costs 85,000 miles (~$1,760)
  • JAL: USA – Asia costs from 120,000 miles (~$2,484)
  • Korean Air: USA – Asia costs from 105,000 miles (~$2,174)
  • LAN: USA – South American costs 90,000 miles (~$1,863)
  • Qantas: USA – Australia costs 110,000 miles (~$2,277)

Note: Taxes and surcharges will need to be factored in.

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

  • Cathay Pacific: USA – Asia costs 140,000 miles (~$2,898)
  • Cathay Pacific: Europe – Hong Kong costs 140,000 miles (~$2,898)
  • JAL: USA – Asia costs from 140,000 miles (~$2,898)
  • Qantas: USA – Australia costs 140,000 miles (~$2,898)

Note: Taxes and surcharges will need to be factored in.

Alaska’s Mileage Plan program doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on any of the award tickets listed out above and that’s a significant reason behind why these redemptions are very attractive indeed.

Cathay Pacific 777 First Class

Note: For the sake of completeness I should mention that American Airlines is also an Alaska Mileage Plan partner and, technically, a very good option if you’re looking to use Alaska Miles (e.g. Europe – Hawaii roundtrip Business Class for just 115,000 miles). Sadly American Airlines Business Class saver awards are so scarce nowadays that I can’t justify including them in the list above.

Should You Buy Miles?

Because Mileage Plan allows elite members to buy as many miles as they want (in batches of 60,000 at a time), this promotion allows elite flyers to buy as many miles as they need at a cost of around 2.07 cents each.

Even non-elite flyers can snag great deals with the 150,000 miles each account can purchase.

This means that there can be some great value to be had if you select the right redemption options – like Cathay Pacific in Business or First Class between Europe and Asia (not a hard award to find), LAN Business Class from the US to South America and Korean Air Business Class between the US and Asia.

If you find an American Airlines international Business or First Class saver award then they can be a great deal too but find such awards can be incredibly tough.

Qantas 787 Business Class

Bottom Line

All the example awards I’ve provided in this post would allow you to fly in premium cabins for considerably less than the cash price of that cabin…and that’s what this hobby is all about.

It’s worth bearing in mind that Alaska Mileage Plan occasionally offers sales where miles are offered at ~1.97 cents each so this isn’t the cheapest rate you’ll find miles (although it’s still a very good rate).

Have a think about what works best for you, do the math to see if the miles are worth it and only then should you dive in and buy.

Link to Alaska Mileage Plan Buy Miles Promotion