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Today is the last day to buy Alaska miles with a bonus of up to 40% if you were lucky enough to have been targeted in the latest sale.
Alaska Mileage Plan miles are one of the last airline currencies that I genuinely consider buying every time a decent sale comes around and that’s down to how much value I know I can get out of them. Alaska miles can be very useful (and a big money saver) if you’re thinking of booking Business Class or First Class awards on airlines like Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and even LAN and, importantly, you don’t have to be US-based to make the most of these miles (I discus this more in the post linked here)
Alaska Mileage Plan has been running a targeted promotion since the middle of last month in which members can earn a bonus of up to 40% when buying miles through today – 7 February 2017.
Buying Alaska Miles – Headline T&Cs’s
- Mileage Plan accounts need to have been active for at least 10 days to participate in this promotion (if you don’t currently have an account you should make sure you sign up for one so you’re eligible the next time a good offer comes around).
- The promotion runs until 11:59pm PAT today – 7 February 2018
- All purchases of Alaska Miles are processed by Points.com so you won’t earn a credit card category bonuses with a miles purchase.
- 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.
The Alaska Miles Offer & The Math
It’s a very simple offer this time around: Buy 20,000 – 60,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles and earn a 40% bonus
Buying 60,000 miles will net you 84,000 miles (after accounting for the bonus) at a total cost of $1,773.75:
That brings the cost/point to approximately 2.11 cents per mile.
While this certainly isn’t a fantastic deal (and you should bear in mind that we do occasionally see targeted 50% bonuses) there’s definitely still good value to be had here.
Why I Like Alaska Mileage Plan Redemptions?
- Alaska Airlines doesn’t belong to a major worldwide alliance but it has built up a good range of airline partners with whom you can use Alaska Miles.
- Mileage Plan has some very flyer-friendly rules which offer good mileage redemption opportunities.
Here are the main flyer-friendly rules:
- Mileage Plan allows one free stopover on award tickets – even when booking one-way awards.
- There are no charges for cancelling an award and re-depositing the miles as long as you’re more than 60 days away from departure.
- Mileage Plan allows members to purchase as many miles as they need – there are no restrictions on the number of miles that can be bought in a calendar year. You may only buy 60,000 miles (plus the bonus) in one transaction but there’s no limit to the number of transactions you can make.
Here are some of my favorite Mileage Plan redemptions:
Roundtrip Business Class Awards (And The Cost To Book With Miles From This Sale)
- 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 added to these costs but, certainly for departures from the US, they shouldn’t be too bad at all.
Qantas 787 Dreamliner Business Class
Roundtrip First Class Awards (And The Cost To Book With Miles From This Sale)
- 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.
Cathay Pacific 777-300ER First Class Dining
Alaska doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on the award tickets mentioned above and that makes these redemptions very attractive indeed.
American Airlines is also an Alaska Mileage Plan partner and, technically, a good option if you’re looking to use Alaska Miles (e.g. Europe – Hawaii roundtrip Business Class for just 115,000 miles). Unfortunately American Airlines Business Class saver awards are so scarce nowadays that I can’t justify including them in the list above.
Should You Buy Alaska Miles?
Because Mileage Plan allows you to buy as many miles as you want (in batches of 60,000 at a time excluding bonuses), this promotion allows you to buy as many miles as you need for an award at around 2.11 cents each.
At 2.11 cents/mile there’s definitely good value to be had out of booking Cathay Pacific in Business or First Class between Europe and Asia (quite an easy award to find), LAN Business Class from the US to South American and Korean Air Business Class between the US and Asia.
All the examples I’ve provided would allow you to fly in great premium cabins for considerably less than the cash price of that cabin…and that’s what this hobby is all about.
Alaska Mileage Plan has been known offer bonuses of up to 50% (Joanna was targeted for this a few months back) so, if you’re not sure if you should be buying miles now (i.e there aren’t any awards available right now), you may want to hold on to see what Alaska offers later in the year.
Having said that, you can still get some great value with the promotion as it stands and, as long as you check that the awards you’re looking to book are actually available (never stockpile miles), you can’t go too far wrong.
Featured image courtesy of Alaska Airlines