Buy Alaska miles with up to a 60% bonus: How you can save thousands on flights

Occasionally, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan offers discounts on purchasing miles, which can be a valuable opportunity for frequent flyers. These miles can be difficult to earn through regular travel, so buying them during these sales can help top off your account and save on future redemptions. From now until Feb. 24, Alaska is offering a bonus of up to 60% when you purchase miles, with prices as low as 1.72 cents per mile. While the valuation of Alaska miles is typically 1.4 cents each, buying miles slightly above this value can still be worthwhile if you have a specific redemption in mind.

This sale is particularly beneficial if you’re ready to book a high-value award flight and have already found available award space, especially considering the upcoming changes to the Mileage Plan award chart in March 2024. Let’s take a closer look at this offer and explore some of the best ways to redeem Alaska miles.

Buying Alaska Miles with up to a 60% Bonus

The current sale offers a bonus of up to 60% when purchasing Alaska miles. The bonus is tiered based on the number of miles purchased, as shown below:

– 3,000 to 19,000 miles: 40% bonus, price per mile 1.96 cents
– 20,000 to 39,000 miles: 50% bonus, price per mile 1.83 cents
– 40,000 to 100,000 miles: 60% bonus, price per mile 1.72 cents

Purchasing miles with the 60% bonus decreases the cost to 1.72 cents per mile, but you must purchase at least 40,000 miles to qualify for the highest bonus. While this is not the highest bonus ever offered for Alaska miles, it is still a great opportunity to top off your account at a discounted rate.

How Many Alaska Miles Can I Purchase?

The number of Alaska miles you can purchase depends on your elite status within the Mileage Plan program. If you hold MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, or MVP Gold 100K elite status, there is no annual limit on how many Alaska miles you can buy or receive as a gift. However, if you don’t hold elite status, you can only buy or be gifted up to 150,000 miles per calendar year.

It’s worth noting that the calendar year limit for non-elite members does not include bonus miles. So, if you’re targeted for a 60% bonus and haven’t purchased or received any Alaska miles as a gift this year, you could buy 150,000 miles through this sale and receive 90,000 bonus miles for a total of 240,000 miles deposited into your account. Keep in mind that you would need to purchase your miles in two transactions since the website only supports buying up to 100,000 miles per transaction.

How Should I Redeem Alaska Miles?

Alaska Airlines partners with many great airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and Fiji Airways. You can redeem Alaska miles for first- and business-class travel on these international airline partners, providing excellent value for your miles.

With the current bonus promotion, here are a few examples of great redemptions using Alaska miles:

1. Stopover in Fiji on the way to the South Pacific in business class: You can fly from the continental U.S., Alaska, or Canada to Fiji in Fiji Airways’ business class starting at 55,000 Alaska miles. With the current bonus promotion, you could purchase 37,000 miles with a 50% bonus, giving you 55,500 total miles. This would cost you $1,017.50, which equates to a purchase rate of 1.83 cents per mile. This redemption offers significant savings compared to purchasing a business-class ticket outright with cash.

2. Fly from the U.S. to South America in LATAM business class: You can book a one-way award from the continental U.S., Alaska, or Canada to South America in LATAM business class starting at 45,000 Alaska miles. During this sale, 45,000 (30,000 miles plus a 15,000-mile bonus) Alaska miles would cost about $825 if you can buy the miles at a rate of 1.83 cents each.

3. Head to Asia in Cathay Pacific first class: You can use your Alaska miles to fly in Cathay Pacific’s first-class product to Hong Kong and beyond for just 70,000 Alaska miles one-way with minimal taxes and fees. During this sale, 70,000 Alaska miles would cost about $1,210 — 44,000 Alaska miles plus 26,400 bonus miles. However, ensure you find first-class award availability before buying the miles, as it can be limited.

It’s important to note that Alaska Airlines will undergo major Mileage Plan award chart changes in March 2024, which may lead to some increases in award prices. So, if you’re thinking of redeeming miles down the line, it’s crucial to plan accordingly.

Using Credit Cards to Pay for Alaska Miles

When purchasing Alaska miles during this promotion, keep in mind that, not Alaska, will process your purchase. Therefore, you won’t earn bonus rewards for using a card with airline spending as a bonus category. Instead, consider using a credit card that offers a solid return on everyday purchases to earn the most rewards for your purchase.

For example, some cards that offer bonus earnings on all purchases include the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, and the American Express® Gold Card.

In Conclusion

While we don’t recommend buying points or miles speculatively, purchasing Alaska miles during a sale can be a great opportunity if you have a specific redemption in mind. This current sale offers up to a 60% bonus, with prices as low as 1.72 cents per mile. If you have an upcoming trip and have found award availability, this sale may allow you to earn Alaska miles at a reasonable rate.

However, if you don’t need the miles immediately and are starting to plan a trip, it may be more beneficial to sign up for an Alaska Airlines credit card and earn miles through its sign-up bonus and bonus categories. The Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card, for example, currently offers a sign-up bonus of 70,000 bonus miles plus a companion fare when you meet the spending requirements.

In the end, the choice to purchase miles or earn them through credit card sign-ups depends on your travel plans and preferences.

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