Alaska Airlines has announced a new bonus for Mileage Plan miles purchases. From now through December 28, you can earn up to a 40% mileage bonus when you purchase Alaska Mileage Plan miles.
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Promotion Offer Details
The bonuses for this promotion are tiered, with the bonus percentage depending on how many miles you purchase.
- 10,000-19,000 = 20% bonus
- 20,000-39,000 = 30% bonus
- 40,000-60,000 = 40% bonus
Miles must be purchased in increments of 1,000 and are limited to 60,000 per transaction. You are allowed to make more than 1 purchase if you need to buy more than 84,000 (60,000 + 24,000 bonus); just be sure to split your transactions so you earn the maximum bonus possible on each.
This offer might be targeted, as the terms say you can only purchase at these bonus rates if you received an email about the promotion. It is easy to see if you are targeted though — simply log in to your account and see whether the offer comes up.
It is possible that there are different bonus levels for different targeted offers, but we have not heard of anyone receiving an offer that differs from what we have detailed above.
How Much Do These Alaska Miles Cost?
Depending on which tier of bonus you qualify for, the cost per mile will differ slightly. Miles are purchased directly from Points.com. They cost $27.50 per 1,000 miles, plus a 7.5% Federal Excise Tax.
Let’s take a look at the cost per mile for a purchase in each bonus tier of the promo.
For a purchase of 10,000 miles, you would receive an extra 2,000 bonus miles (20%). Including the taxes, your total cost would be $295.63. That works out to a cost of 2.46 cents per mile.
For a purchase of 30,000 miles, you would receive an extra 10,500 bonus miles (30%). Including the taxes, your total cost would be $886.88. That works out to a cost of 2.19 cents per mile.
For a purchase of 60,000 miles, you would receive an extra 24,000 bonus miles (40%). Including the taxes, your total cost would be $1773.75. That works out to a cost of 2.11 cents per mile.
NEED MORE ALASKA MILES? Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints® by signing up for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. Then, transfer those points directly to Alaska Airlines for a total of 30,000 Alaska Miles. (For every 5k Starpoints® that you transfer, you’ll receive a bonus 5k points!)
Where Can You Go?
Perhaps rather than looking at how much each mile will cost you, your time would be better spent looking at a few of the awesome flight products you can try for a fraction of their normal cost when using your purchased Alaska miles.
Some of Alaska’s more interesting partners include Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and Fiji Airways. Let’s take a look at a flight we can get on each of those airlines, using our newly acquired Alaska Mileage Bank miles.
US to Asia in Cathay Pacific First Class
For just 70,000 Alaska miles, you can fly one way to Hong Kong from New York City in Cathay Pacific First Class. This is consistently one of the best products in the sky and an amazing experience.
If you are paying cash though, it comes at a high price. The connecting flight will run you $11,385 and if you want to fly nonstop, it goes up to an incredible $18,618 for a one-way flight.
Buying the 70,000 miles (50,000 + 20,000 bonus) you need to redeem for the nonstop flight during this promo will cost you just $1478.13 including taxes. That’s a whole lot less and brings this flight into realistic reach for a lot more people.
Hot Tip: Read our step-by-step guide on how you can book Cathay Pacific First Class using points!
United States to India in Emirates Business Class
If you want to visit India, you can fly Emirates Business Class from Chicago to Mumbai for just 82,500 Alaska miles one way. With a comfortable bed and a bar to entertain you on the A380, you are sure to have a great flight.
Cash price for this one way connecting flight is $6309. You would have a layover of a little under 2 hours in Dubai.
For just $1744.19 including taxes, you can buy the 82,500 miles (59,000 + 23,600 bonus) that you need to redeem for these flights. That’s less than one-third of the cash cost.
As an added bonus, when you redeem miles, you can add a stopover. Spend a few days in Dubai and you will end up getting two destinations for the price of one.
Los Angeles to Australia in Fiji Airways Business Class
Sydney is a dream destination for many Americans. Well, for just 55,000 Alaska miles, you can get there on Fiji Airways, flying in Business Class.
Buying that ticket can cost you $3782 for the one-way flights, and you would have a short layover in Fiji.
If that seems too expensive to you though, you can buy the 55,000 miles (40,000 + 16,000 bonus) you need for the award ticket for just $1182.50 including taxes. Again, this is less than one-third of the cash price of the ticket.
Of course, if visiting Australia isn’t enough for you, you can always add a stopover of a few days in Fiji on to this award too. You can never have enough beach time.
When Buying Miles Makes Sense
In all honesty, most of us wouldn’t be paying the outrageous asking prices for business and first class flights in the above examples. However, the cost of those same flights when you buy the miles during this promotion becomes quite reasonable.
First Class on Cathay Pacific to Southeast Asia for less than $1500 out of pocket? All of a sudden buying miles is starting to make a lot of sense. Just check to find award availability for the flights you want and then you will be on your way to luxury in the sky.
However, buying miles is only a good idea in certain situations. Although we have shown you some amazing examples of how to use your purchased Mileage Plan miles, you really shouldn’t buy miles unless you have a picked a specific redemption to aim for.
Even when there is a bonus promotion like this one and the cost per mile is cheaper, it is always a good idea to have a plan in place to use your purchased miles.
You never know when an airline mileage program will devalue their miles by changing redemption levels or rules with no notice. There is nothing worse than buying a whole bunch of miles and finding out when you go to use them later that they are worth less than what you paid!
If you have a plan, however, bonuses like this one can be a great way to reach your goals. Yes, it may cost you $1,700+ to buy enough miles for the first class redemption you want, but it may also mean the difference between having enough miles for 1 ticket or being able to book 2.
Buying miles, in that case, is certainly cheaper than buying the first class ticket would be. It all comes down to how long you are willing to wait or how much you are willing to pay to take that dream vacation.
If you need some inspiration to come up with a plan for your miles, take a look at a few further examples of the best ways to redeem Mileage Plan Miles for maximum value. The head over and buy the miles you need to book your trip.