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5 ways the TPG staff would redeem 70,000 Alaska miles

Sept. 13, 2022
8 min read
Cathay Pacific A350-900 business class
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It’s no secret that Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles are the most valuable airline currency in TPG’s monthly valuations. The program has great redemption rates on many of the travel world's most desirable first- and business-class products, including Cathay Pacific first class.

Right now, the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card has its best-ever signup bonus of 70,000 miles and a companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after you spend $4,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. This bonus is worth a whopping $1,260 based on TPG's Alaska miles valuation of 1.8 cents per point, but it's possible to get even more value if you know how to redeem your miles.

Need some inspiration on how to spend your 70,000 Alaska miles? Let's look at how five TPG staffers would spend their bonus to kickstart your imagination.

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Ehsan Haque, points and miles reporter

You can book a one-way, Cathay Pacific business-class ticket for 50,000 miles. JAMES D. MORGAN/GETTY IMAGES

When redeeming airline miles, I try to make the most out of them with premium redemptions.

A one-way, business-class flight from the U.S. to Asia on Cathay Pacific is only 50,000 miles in business class or 70,000 miles in first class. Cathay Pacific's first class is considered one of the best first-class products in the sky, with stellar inflight service and a seat that makes the long U.S. to Asia flight far more comfortable.

Even better, Alaska Airlines offers the option to add a stopover on your travels for free. So, you could stop in Hong Kong before continuing to Johannesburg for no additional miles. Unfortunately, the Hong Kong to Johannesburg flight doesn’t have a first class, so you will only be able to fly in business. Still, it's amazing that you can get a stopover in Hong Kong and then travel on to South Africa on one award ticket priced at 70,000 Alaska miles.

Just note that Hong Kong still requires quarantine on arrival, so might have to wait to book a stopover in the city.

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Related: Maximizing stopovers and open jaws on award tickets

Matt Moffitt, senior credit cards editor

I applied for this card in late August 2022 and am excited to meet the minimum spending requirement and put my 70,000 bonus miles to use.

As an Australian based in Austin, Texas, I travel Down Under once a year to visit family and friends. It's a long way — more than 19 hours in each direction — and over the years, I've made the journey in all four cabin classes (economy, premium economy, business and first class). A lie-flat seat in business or first class for this long trip is ideal. The problem? Finding premium cabin award availability to Australia is difficult.

I plan to keep a close eye on award availability on Qantas and Fiji Airways, which partner with Mileage Plan. If I find a seat that pops up, I will use 55,000 miles to book a one-way, business-class redemption. If it's on Fiji Airways, I may add in a free stopover in Nadi, given that I've never been there and it seems like a nice opportunity to combine two trips into one.

A free stopover in Fiji? Don't mind if I do. MARRIOTT

The holy grail for me would be to find an open seat in Qantas first class, which I've flown before and which costs only 70,000 miles one-way to Australia. I loved eating the airline's infamous salt and pepper squid at the Qantas International First Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Then I would enjoy my spacious pod in the sky, with some of the comfiest bedding I've slept on 35,000 feet in the air.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Plush bedding in Qantas first class. NICK ELLIS/THE POINTS GUY

Ryan Smith, credit cards writer

Since I'm hoping to visit Bhutan — the small mountain kingdom between Nepal, China and India — when it reopens soon, that visit would pair well with Alaska's award chart and its partnership with Cathay Pacific. Flying first class on Cathay Pacific is considered one of the best experiences in the sky. It also costs 70,000 Alaska miles for a first-class flight between the U.S. mainland or Alaska and Asia.

Cathay Pacific first class on a Boeing 777-300ER. JT GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

With Cathay Pacific, you'll fly via the airline's hub in Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and then onward to other points in Asia. I could fly to New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) or Kathmandu, Nepal's Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), as these are the two most common gateways for flights into Bhutan.

Given the fact Alaska's MilegePlan allows for free stopovers, I could add a stop in Hong Kong during my itinerary as well. I've never flown on Cathay Pacific, so this would be a great way to experience the airline for a stylish ride to a destination I want to visit.

Related: 5 things to know about Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Katie Genter, senior points and miles writer

I'd likely redeem my 70,000 Alaska miles for a Cathay Pacific business-class or first-class ticket to Asia or Africa with a stopover in Hong Kong. But, as other writers have already discussed redeeming Alaska miles for Cathay Pacific flights, I looked at Alaska's easy-to-use award charts to find a different Alaska Airlines sweet spot to propose for you.

I've been dreaming of a trip to the South Pacific, so Alaska's award chart for Fiji Airways between the U.S. and South Pacific is appealing. Based on Alaska's award charts, you can fly one-way on Fiji Airways from the U.S. to the South Pacific, with a stopover in Fiji, for 40,000 miles in economy or 55,000 miles in business class. For example, consider this potential itinerary to Tarawa, Kiribati:

ALASKAAIR.COM

If I used 40,000 miles for a one-way economy award, I'd still have 30,000 miles left. I could use these remaining miles for up to six Alaska flights of 700 miles or less, as these "hop" flights start at just 5,000 miles each.

Related: 5 vacation-worthy flights you can book with just 5,000 Alaska miles

Kyle Olsen, points and miles reporter

Q Suites are one of the best business-class products in the sky. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Ever since I flew Q Suite earlier this year, I've been anxious to travel with Qatar Airways again. Despite the Q Suite having limited award space — especially on U.S. routes — award space is sometimes released a few days before departure.

Since the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card earns 3 miles per $1 on Alaska purchases, I would aim to spend $5,000 on the card on Alaska purchases within the first 90 days of card membership. That way, I would meet the $4,000 spending requirement to receive the 70,000 bonus points and have earned 15,000 miles on the card on Alaska purchases.

With 85,000 miles, I would head to India on the Q Suite. On the way, I would stop in Doha, Qatar, for a few days, which, as my colleagues mentioned above, can be done without any extra miles.

ALASKAAIR.COM

Since Mileage Plan charges 85,000 miles for a one-way flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Doha's Hamad International Airport (DOH), the onward flight to Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) is effectively "free."

Related: Best sweet spots with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Bottom line

There is a lot of value to be found in Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. From crossing the world in Cathay Pacific first class to exploring the South Pacific with Fiji Airways, 70,000 miles can go a long way toward getting you where you want to go.

Interested in any of these redemptions? Consider applying for the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card while it still has its current welcome bonus of 70,000 miles and a companion fare from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) after you spend $4,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. This best-ever offer makes it easier to build up a stash of Alaska miles and redeem them for an incredible trip.

Additional reporting by Matt Moffitt, Katie Genter, Ryan Smith, Kyle Olsen and Ehsan Haque.

Featured image by Bloomberg via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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