Score incredible awards by purchasing Alaska miles with best-ever 50% bonus

3d ago

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Alaska Mileage Plan miles are some of the highest-valued airline miles in TPG’s valuations. And that’s not just because of the sweet spots you can get on Alaska flights. Alaska also has partnerships with several highly-useful international airlines and features great award rates on many, with free stopovers – even on one-way flights. This means smart mileage redeemers can score some incredible deals.

The trouble is there aren’t many great ways of racking up Alaska miles. You can score a best-ever 40,000-mile bonus — plus the “Famous Companion Fare” from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) — by applying for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card and making $2,000 in purchases within 90 days.

Or, you can transfer Marriott points to Alaska at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-mile bonus for transferring 60,000 Marriott points. That means you can get 25,000 Alaska miles for transferring increments of 60,000 Marriott points.

But, there’s another easy way to rack up miles for cheap if you’ve tapped out the above options: Alaska Mileage Plan periodically puts its miles on sale, allowing you to top up or stock up. And one of those sales just popped up. For just a few days, you can buy Alaska miles with a 50% bonus. The sale started today and lasts through Dec. 23.

Buy Alaska miles with a 50% bonus here

Through this promotion, you have the chance to buy miles at just 1.97 cents per mile, with the following bonus levels:

Buy or Gift Bonus
1,000 — 9,000 miles No bonus or discount
10,000 — 19,000 miles 20% bonus
20,000 — 39,000 miles 35% bonus
40,000 — 60,000 miles 50% bonus

Even though TPG values Alaska miles at 1.8 cents apiece — and this bonus brings the effective cost down to no less than 1.97 cents per mile — taking advantage of this promotion could still be a great deal in some cases. A combination of Alaska’s excellent business/first-class award rates and this modest purchase price means this is a deal worth considering if you’re a premium-cabin traveler.

Let’s take a look at what you can do with this bonus offer.

One-way to Asia in Cathay Pacific’s top-notch business class for 50,000 miles
Cost: $985 at the maximized 1.97 cents per mile rate

One-way to Japan in American Airlines’ retrofitted 777-200 business class for 60,000 miles
Cost: $1,182 at the maximized 1.97 cents per mile rate

One-way to South Korea in American Airlines’ 787-9 business class for 60,000 miles
Cost: $1,182 at the maximized 1.97 cents per mile rate

One-way to Asia in Cathay Pacific first class for 70,000 miles
Cost: $1,379 at the maximized 1.97 cents per mile rate

Cathay First Class on a 777-300ER. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)
Cathay First Class on a 777-300ER. (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy.)

One-way to Asia in Japan Airlines first class for 70,000 miles
Cost: $1,379 at the maximized 1.97 cents per mile rate

Those are some incredible options at rates that are just fractions of the revenue cost for these flights — both Cathay Pacific and JAL first class can easily go for more than $10,000 round-trip. Even better, Alaska awards allow a free stopover on a one-way booking, so you can use these redemptions to see a few different destinations as part of one award.

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For example, I flew business class on Cathay Pacific’s Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Hong Kong (HKG) flight with Alaska miles. The 16-hour, nonstop flight costs just 50,000 miles one-way in business class. Then, after stopping over in Hong Kong for two weeks, I continued onto Singapore (SIN) in business class on Cathay Pacific for no extra cost to catch the world’s longest flight home.

Alaska Mileage Plan hasn’t historically had a cap on the number of Alaska miles you can buy per year. However, there’s now a new cap of 150,000 purchased miles per calendar year for Alaska non-elites. MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K Mileage Plan member accounts will continue to have no annual limit on the number of miles purchased or gifted.

If you want to take advantage of this deal, make sure to do so by Dec. 23.

Your purchase will be processed by — not Alaska. So, you won’t earn bonus rewards for using a card with airline spending as a bonus category. While purchases on the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card have previously earned 3x points (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary), recent purchases have only earned 1 point per dollar.

Buy Alaska miles with a 50% bonus here

That means you should use a card that offers a solid return on non-bonus spend, such as:

This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about Alaska Airlines’ “buy miles” promotions, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for the latest offer. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older deals below.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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