It’s back: Score incredible awards by purchasing Alaska miles with up to a 40% bonus

Mar 20, 2020

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Editor’s note: The team at The Points Guy loves to travel, but now is not the time for unnecessary trips. Health officials note that the fastest way to return to normalcy is to stop coming in contact with others. That includes ceasing travel. We are publishing travel deals because we should all use this time to think about and plan our next adventures. TPG doesn’t advise booking trips for travel until the late spring or early summer — and even then be mindful of cancellation policies.

Alaska Mileage Plan periodically puts its miles on sale, allowing you to top up or stock up for amazing redemptions, including Japan Airlines’ first class or Cathay Pacific first. But if you want to score an incredible redemption, this is a good time to consider purchasing Alaska Airlines miles. Right now, you can buy Alaska miles with up to a 40% bonus — but only through March 25.

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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. For a limited time, you can earn a 40,000-mile bonus and $100 statement credit — 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 of account opening.

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.

Buy Alaska miles with up to a 40% bonus here

Through this promotion, you have the chance to buy miles for as little as 2.11 cents per mile, with the following bonus levels:

Buy or Gift Bonus
1,000 — 19,000 miles No bonus or discount
20,000 miles — 100,000 miles 40% bonus

Even though TPG values Alaska miles at 1.8 cents apiece — and this bonus brings the effective cost down to no less than 2.11 cents per mile — taking advantage of this promotion could still be a great deal in some cases. A combination of Alaska’s excellent business- and 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: $1,055 at the maximized 2.11 cents per mile rate

(Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.)

One-way to Japan in American Airlines’ retrofitted 777-200 business class for 60,000 miles
Cost: $1,266 at the maximized 2.11 cents per mile rate

(Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy.)

One-way to South Korea in American Airlines’ 787-9 business class for 60,000 miles
Cost: $1,266 at the maximized 2.11 cents per mile rate

(Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy.)

One-way to Asia in Cathay Pacific first class for 70,000 miles
Cost: $1,477 at the maximized 2.11 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: $1,477 at the maximized 2.11 cents per mile rate

(Photo by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy.)

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.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

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 or gifted 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.

Related: What is Alaska Airlines elite status worth?

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.

Buy Alaska miles with a 40% bonus here

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

The information for the Venture Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

Finally, remember that time is running out to take advantage of this offer, so make sure you buy before March 25.

Victoria Walker contributed to this post.

Featured photo by Samantha Rosen/The Points Guy.

Updated on 3/20/20

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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