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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 a number of highly useful international airlines and features reasonable award rates on many, with free stopovers even on one-way flights. This means smart mileage collectors can score some incredible redemptions.
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 signing up for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card and making $2,000 in purchases within the first 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.
But, there’s a much easier way to rack up miles for cheap: Alaska Mileage Plan periodically puts its miles on sale, allowing you to top up your account — or stock up if you know that you’ll be able to get good value out of a future redemption. And one of these promotions is currently ongoing for select members.
Now through July 21, targeted Alaska flyers can get 15% bonus miles when buying Alaska points through Points.com. To see if you’re eligible for the bonus, click on this link and enter your account information. If the purchase page as this banner at the top — as it did for me — you’ve been targeted for the offer.
If there’s no mention of the 15% bonus, than you aren’t eligible this time around.
Now if this new promotion doesn’t sound especially impressive, you’re right. This offer falls far short of Alaska’s typical buy miles promotions that offer up to a 50% bonus or a 30% discount. The 15% bonus only drops the effective purchase price to 2.57 cents per mile. That’s far higher than TPG’s valuation of 1.8 cents per Alaska mile, so this is not a time where you should speculatively buy miles.
That said, this promotion can be good for those needing to just barely top off their account. The better promotions often require a sizable purchase of miles to get the best rate. With this promotion, every purchase — from 1,000 miles to 60,000 miles (the maximum per transaction) — will get the 15% bonus.
|Buy or Gift||Bonus or Discount|
|Buy 1,000 — 60,000 miles||15% bonus|
Even at 2.57 cents per mile, this promotion could be worth taking advantage of if you have an especially good redemption. For example, if you find Cathay Pacific first class award availability, it could be worth buying 70,000 miles for around $1,800 to try out one of the world’s best first class products.
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.
For example, I flew business class on Cathay Pacific’s Washington-Dulles (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 in order to catch the world’s longest flight home.
You can only purchase 60,000 miles per transaction (excluding the bonus), though Alaska Mileage Plan hasn’t historically limited 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.
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. While Points.com 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 1x point per dollar.
That means that you should use a card that offers a solid return on non-bonus spend, such as The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, the Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
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.
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Alaska miles are extremely valuable because you can book awards on partners like Emirates, Icelandair, Korean Air and Japan Airlines. The current bonus of 40,000 miles can book you a roundtrip ticket on Alaska Airlines from Boston to San Diego or New York to Seattle, for example.
- Now - 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
- Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
- Save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
- Get Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ every year! Each year on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com with no blackout dates.
- Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don't expire on active accounts.
- New! Enjoy 50% off day passes at the Alaska Lounge and 20% back on all Alaska Airlines inflight purchases when you pay with your new card.
- Redeem miles with no blackout dates on any of Alaska's 1,200 daily flights or choose from over 900+ destinations with more than a dozen global airline partners. Plus, get exclusive access to discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays at over 400,000 properties using Alaska Airlines Hotels.
- Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $75 annual fee.