Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Occasionally, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan offers discounts on purchasing miles. Since these miles can be difficult to earn, buying them during these sales can help top off your account to 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. Simply log in and buy miles through the Alaska Airlines website.
TPG’s valuations peg Alaska miles at 1.4 cents each. However, buying miles slightly above this value can still be worthwhile if you have a specific redemption in mind. This sale is especially beneficial if you’re ready to book a high-value award flight and have already found available award space, especially given the upcoming changes to the Mileage Plan award chart in March 2024.
Now, let’s take a closer look at this offer.
Buying Alaska Miles with up to a 60% bonus
This is a targeted offer, and some TPG staffers received a 60% bonus for certain purchases on their accounts.
Here is an outline of what we’ve seen with the 60% bonus offer:
|Price per mile
|3,000 to 19,000 miles
|20,000 to 39,000 miles
|40,000 to 100,000 miles
Purchasing miles with the 60% bonus decreases the cost to 1.72 cents per mile as long as you purchase at least 40,000 miles.
This is one of the highest bonuses we’ve seen for Alaska miles, though not as good as the 70% bonus we’ve seen in the past.
You can occasionally get more than our valuation of 1.4 cents from your miles. You can redeem Alaska miles for first- and business-class travel on one of Alaska’s many international airline partners like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Fiji Airways.
How many Alaska miles can I purchase?
If you hold MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K or MVP Gold 100K elite status in the Mileage Plan program, there’s no annual limit on how many Alaska miles you can buy or receive as a gift. If you don’t hold elite status with Alaska, you can only buy or be gifted up to 150,000 miles per calendar year.
Know, though, that the calendar year limit for non-elite members doesn’t include bonus miles. 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.
However, keep in mind that you’d 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?
Best of all, you can add a free stopover on many Alaska Mileage Plan awards.
Alaska Airlines will undergo major Mileage Plan award chart changes in March 2024, moving to a new distance-based structure and dividing into three region-based charts. This overhaul will lead to some increases in award prices, so it’s important to note if you’re thinking of redeeming miles down the line.
Stopover in Fiji on the way to the South Pacific in business class
With its pristine beaches, Fiji is a bucket-list destination for many travelers. Before its partner award charts change in March 2024, you can fly from the continental U.S., Alaska or Canada to Fiji in Fiji Airways’ business class. Flights start at 55,000 Alaska miles, making it one of the best redemption values for the airline.
For example, if you want to fly nonstop from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Nadi International Airport (NAN) in Fiji in business class, you would need 55,000 Alaska miles to book this flight. 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 will give you a purchase rate of 1.83 cents per mile.
While this rate is still higher than TPG’s valuation of Alaska miles at 1.4 cents, it is a great redemption if you don’t have Alaska miles and want to pay with points instead of purchasing a business-class ticket. If you were to purchase the nonstop business-class flight from San Francisco to Fiji, it would cost you $8,308. Therefore, you can save about $7,291 if you purchase miles instead of buying a ticket outright with cash.
Plus, you can use Alaska’s free stopover to continue to New Zealand, Australia or another South Pacific destination for no additional miles.
Fly from the US to South America in LATAM business class
LATAM is the largest airline in South America, with hubs in Santiago, Chile; Lima, Peru; and other major cities. 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.
Head to Asia in Cathay Pacific first class
Cathay Pacific flies from several different U.S. gateways to its hub in Hong Kong. You can use your Alaska miles to fly in Cathay Pacific’s swanky first-class product to Hong Kong and beyond for just 70,000 Alaska miles one-way with minimal taxes and fees. Considering these tickets often cost more than $5,000 one-way, purchasing miles is an excellent deal for this award.
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. Fair warning: It can be hard to come by.
Use 1 of these credit cards to pay for Alaska miles
Points.com — not Alaska — will process your purchase if you use this promotion. Because Alaska isn’t processing the purchase, you won’t earn bonus rewards for using a card with airline spending as a bonus category.
Pay with a credit card that offers a solid return on everyday purchases to earn the most rewards for your purchase. For example, consider using the following cards that offer bonus earnings on all purchases:
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase
- Citi Double Cash® Card (see rates and fees): Earn 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay).
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Earn 2 points per dollar on eligible purchases the first $50,000 spent on purchases per calendar year.
We don’t recommend buying points or miles speculatively. However, if you have an upcoming trip that you want to book with Alaska miles and you’ve found award availability, this sale may let you earn Alaska miles at a reasonable rate.
If you don’t need the miles immediately and are instead starting to plan a trip, you may prefer to sign up for an Alaska Airlines credit card and earn miles through its sign-up bonus and bonus categories. For example, the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 70,000 bonus miles plus a companion fare from $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) when you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.