Alaska Airlines often puts its miles on sale, but the current 50% bonus is one of the best ever. Typical offers are 30% (and sometimes 40%). Because Alaska miles can be so valuable, and because it’s relatively difficult to get Alaska miles by transferring them from other programs, purchasing them may be a good choice if you don’t normally earn them by flying with Alaska.
The email I received claimed this was a targeted offer, but I was also able to access it by going through a different link. If you didn’t receive an email, you can still try logging in with your Mileage Plan number to see if you are eligible.
Through July 1, 2017, you can get a 20%, 35%, or 50% bonus depending on the number of miles you purchase. Note that if you buy less than 10,000 miles you’ll get no bonus at all.
- 1,000 – 9,000: 0% bonus; 3.0 cents per mile
- 10,000 – 19,000: 20% bonus; 2.5 cents per mile
- 20,000 – 49,000: 35% bonus; 2.2 cents per mile
- 50,000 – 60,000: 50% bonus; 2.0 cents per mile
If you buy 50,000 miles, you actually receive 75,000 miles including the 50% bonus. That means for a total price of $1,478.13 you’ll get 75,000 miles, for a final price of 1.97084 cents per mile. (Yeah, I rounded up earlier.)
Sometimes you can buy miles on the Alaska Airlines website for a similar price of about 2 cents each, but you’re limited to 10,000 miles at a time and must be purchasing an Alaska Airlines ticket. If you aren’t planning to fly on Alaska but want to use their loyalty program, or if you need more miles quickly, then this sale is still a good deal.
I think Alaska Mileage Plan is a great program for a variety of reasons. One is that the award chart is relatively inexpensive. I was just having coffee with a friend this morning who had booked a ticket to Kuala Lumpur using American AAdvantage miles. He settled for business class because he didn’t have enough miles for first, but a first class award using Alaska miles is actually the same price: 70,000 miles.
Buying 75,000 Alaska miles in the example above is enough to purchase a one-way first class award, including a free stopover, and still have 5,000 miles left over to book one of Alaska’s short domestic awards here in the U.S. I consider that a great value for ~$1,500.