I received an email in my account alerting me to a Mileageplan bonus mile sale that runs till 28 December.
Let’s leave aside the fact that a “bonus miles icon” sounds like something the marketing team drafted at 3am and focus on the math. Under this promotion, you earn a tiered bonus of up to 40% depending how many miles you buy.
If you max out the promotion, you’re buying miles at a rate of 2.11 US cents each. In the past we’ve seen sales of up to a 50% bonus (or 1.97 US cents each) so we know this isn’t the best price ever. However, given that this sale runs till 28 December it’s safe to say it’ll be the last Mileageplan sale we’ll see this year.
Mileageplan does not impose a limit on the number of miles you can buy a year (there is a cap of 60,000 miles (pre-bonus) per transaction, but you can do as many transactions as you want). You do need to have been a member for at least 10 days before you can purchase miles, so if you’re on the fence it makes sense to join today and decide later.
Mileageplan recently became a partner of Krisflyer which opens up the possibility of earning Mileageplan miles by crediting SQ flights to Mileageplan. Although SQ offers some interesting value for redeeming Krisflyer miles on Mileageplan, the real highlight for me is the ability to redeem great value Mileageplan awards on the following carriers
- Cathay Pacific First Class (70,000 miles one way from Asia to USA)
- Cathay Pacific Business Class (50,000 miles one way from Asia to USA)
- Japan Airlines Business Class (25,000 miles one way within Asia…or two ways if you know what you’re doing)
In terms of what card to use, mileage purchases are processed by Points.com and not Alaska per se (unlike Lifemiles transactions) so you should use a card that earns an online transaction bonus (eg DBS Woman’s World card) or one where you’re trying to hit a minimum spend for a bonus. I understand from the crowdsourced Google Doc that it’s been reported that Citibank Rewards also earns 10X with Points.com, but wouldn’t take the risk unnecessarily if I didn’t have to.