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Alaska Mileage Plan miles are one of the highest-valued airline miles in TPG‘s valuations. And, that’s not just because of the incredible sweet spots you can get on Alaska flights. Alaska has partnerships with valuable international partners, showing reasonable award rates on many and allowing free stopovers even on one-way flights. This can score smart mileage collectors some incredible redemptions.
The trouble is, there’s not many great ways of racking up Alaska miles. You can score a 30,000-mile bonus — plus a companion fare — for signing up for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card. But, besides that, your only other main method is to transfer over valuable Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints.
Thankfully, Alaska Mileage Plan will put its miles on sale periodically to allow you to top up — or stock up — on Alaska miles. Now through April 9 (midnight Pacific Time), you’ll get up to a 40% bonus when buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles:
|Buy or Gift||Bonus|
|Buy 10,000 — 19,000 miles||20% bonus miles|
|Buy 20,000 — 39,000 miles||30% bonus miles|
|Buy 40,000 — 60,000 miles||40% bonus miles|
Even better is there’s no cap on the number of Alaska miles you can buy per year. So, even if you are starting from a zero-mile balance, you can buy up to some amazing experiences. Let’s take a look at what you can do with this 40% bonus:
One-way to Asia in Cathay Pacific’s top-notch business class for 50,000 miles that cost $1,153 (with 700 miles left over):
One-way to Japan in American Airlines’ retrofitted 777-200 business class for 60,000 miles that cost $1,271 (with 200 miles left over):
One-way to Korea in American Airlines’ 787-9 business class for 60,000 miles that cost $1,271 (with 200 miles left over)
One-way to Asia in Cathay Pacific first class for 70,000 miles that cost $1,478:
One-way to Asia in Japan Airlines first class for 70,000 miles that cost $1,478:
One-way to Australia or New Zealand in Qantas first class for 70,000 miles that cost $1,478:
Those are some incredible options at rates that are just fractions of the revenue cost for these flights. Even better, Alaska awards allow a free stopover on a one-way booking. You can use this to see a few different destinations as part of one award.
For example, I recently booked business class on Cathay Pacific’s new Washington DC (IAD) to Hong Kong (HKG) flight with Alaska miles. While just 50,000 miles for the 16-hour one-way flight in business class, I elected to stopover in HKG for two weeks before continuing on to Dubai (DXB) for a total of 62,500 Alaska miles in business class. That’s another 10-hour flight in business class for just 12,500 more miles. Even better, if I’d connected to an intra-Asia destination, it would’ve cost just 50,000 miles for the one-way business class award — even with a stopover in HKG.
So, while TPG values Alaska miles at 1.9 cents apiece in his latest valuations and this promotion brings the cost down to roughly 2.11 cents per mile with the maximum bonus, you can see that taking advantage of this promotion is still a great deal in some cases. A combination of Alaska’s excellent business/first class award rates and this modest purchase price means that this is a deal definitely worth considering if you’re a premium-cabin traveler.
Your purchase will be processed by Points.com — not Alaska. So, you won’t earn bonus rewards for using a card with airline spending as a bonus category. That means you should use a card that offers a solid return on non-bonus spend, such as Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express, Chase Freedom Unlimited Card or the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express / Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express.
- Get rewarded for business as usual. Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
- 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
- Enjoy the flexibility to put more purchases on the Card and earn rewards when you buy above your credit limit*.
- More buying power for your business* means more opportunities to earn points. That's everyday business with the new Blue Business Plus Card.
- *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
- 0.0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
- No Annual Fee
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees