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Just a quick reminder that Alaska Airlines’ latest “buy points with a bonus” offer ends today (29 September) so, if you were fortunate enough to be targeted for the 50% bonus offer, you only have a few hours left to make the most of the promotion.
European readers may also benefit from my post on why UK & European travelers should have an Alaska Mileage Plan account.
I ran the full details of the promotion back when the promotion launched in August but here are the highlights anyway:
Alaska’s Mileage Promotion
- Mileage Plan accounts must have been active for at least 10 days to participate in this promotion.
- Promotion runs until 29 September 2016
- The bonuses available range from 35% to 50% depending on what individuals were targeted for.
- All purchases of Mileage Plan Miles are processed by Points.com so there are no credit card category bonuses to be had with this deal.
- Miles must be purchased in increments of 1,000.
- There is no limit to how many miles you can buy in Alaska Mileage Plan promotions
- Buy 0 – 9,000 Mileage Plan Miles – Get a 0% Bonus
- Buy 10,000 – 19,000 Mileage Plan Miles – Get a 25% Bonus
- Buy 20,000 – 39,000 Mileage Plan Miles – Get a 35% Bonus
- Buy 40,000 – 60,000 Mileage Plan Miles – Get a 50% Bonus
And this is what those number look like when translated into cost per mile:
- Buy 0 – 9,000 Mileage Plan Miles – 2.96 cents per mile
- Buy 10,000 – 19,000 Mileage Plan Miles – 2.37 cents per mile
- Buy 20,000 – 39,000 Mileage Plan Miles – 2.19 cents per mile
- Buy 40,000 – 60,000 Mileage Plan Miles – 1.97 cents per mile
Should You Buy Alaska Miles?
If you were fortunate enough to get the 50% bonus offer (I wasn’t) then you can essentially buy as many miles as you like at 1.97 cents each, With that pricing this is how much some of the better Alaska Airlines round trip awards would cost (excluding taxes & fees):
Business Class Award Costs
- American Airlines: USA – Europe = $1,970
- Cathay Pacific: USA – Asia = $1,970
- Cathay Pacific: Europe – Asia = $1,675
- Emirates: USA – Middle East = $3,251
- Korean Air: USA – Asia = $2,069 – $2,364
- Qantas: USA – Australia = $2,167
And here are the better First Class Awards (excluding taxes and fees):
Cathay Pacific: USA – Asia = $2,758
Cathay Pacific: Europe – Asia = $2,364
If you got the 50% bonus offer from Alaska then you can do very well from buying miles in this promotion….but don’t buy them speculatively.
No one knows what award availability is going to be like going forward and no one knows when Alaska Airlines will next devalue their chart or, worse, change their rewards program altogether….so don’t hoard miles.
If you can see award availability online or if you, a the very least, have a short-term plan for the miles then go for it, this is a good deal, but otherwise you’d be better off staying away.