Airlines

Alaska Airlines offering 40% bonus on Mileage Plan miles purchases

Expired
Sale until 9 April; good chance to get business and first class tickets at a significant discount.

Mileage Plan is the frequent flyer program of Alaska Airlines, and a very powerful tool to get discounted business/first class flights if you know how to use it properly.

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Wild for up to 24,000 bonus miles.

From now till 9 April 2018, Mileage Plan is running a sale which allows you to pick up miles at up to a 40% discount to the usual price.

  • Buy 10,000-19,000 miles: 20% bonus (2.46 US cents each including tax)
  • Buy 20,000-29,000 miles: 30% bonus (2.27 US cents each including tax)
  • Buy 30,000 miles or more: 40% bonus (2.11 US cents each including tax)

Buy Mileage Plan miles at up to a 40% discount here

The maximum miles you can buy in a single transaction is 84,000 (60,000 base + 24,000 bonus). However, there is no limit on the number of miles you can buy in a year, so you’re free to make multiple transactions.

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Should I buy Mileage Plan miles at a 40% discount?

40% is the highest publicly available offer that Mileage Plan miles go on sale. Occasionally, some people are targeted for 50% discounts but that has yet to happen to me. As with all mile sales, my advice is not to buy speculatively, but to first identify that the award space that you want is available, then buy and book.

Just yesterday I wrote that you could buy SPG Points and convert them to Mileage Plan miles, and assuming you did them in blocks of 20,000 you’d be buying Mileage Plan miles at the equivalent of 1.82 US cents per mile (because every 20,000 SPG points= 25,000 Mileage Plan miles).

However, you’re limited to buying 30,000 SPG Points in a year, so when you’ve exhausted that avenue, buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles outright is your next best option (you could also credit your SQ flights to Mileage Plan, but won’t work if you’re trying to requalify for elite status with Krisflyer)

What do I do with them?

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Mileage Plan’s key strength is the sheer variety of options you have for premium cabin redemptions.

Remember that for a mere 25,000 Mileage Plan Miles you can do a “round trip” journey from Singapore to Tokyo in business class, which works out to US$528 if you buy miles at 2.11 US cents each. There’ll be a further ~US$60 of taxes on top of that, but you’re still looking at a sub US$600 “round trip” business class journey, which is excellent value in my books.

Japan Airlines B772 Business Class, the type you might get from SIN-HND

You can also redeem great value Cathay Pacific awards at 50,000/70,000 Mileage Plan miles each way for business/first class from Singapore to the USA. Or you could do Singapore to Europe at 42,500/70,000 miles each way for business/first class (edit: some people have pointed out the Mileage Plan says this applies from Hong Kong, so you might want to check first if this can be booked).

Note that you cannot book Cathay Pacific awards online and will need to call up Mileage Plan customer service to get this done. You should be able to use the British Airways award search engine to check what space is available on CX business and first before calling up Mileage Plan- have a read of that tutorial here.

Image result for cathay pacific first class
Cathay Pacific B77W First Class

You could redeem Hainan Airlines business class awards to the USA at 50,000 Mileage Plan miles in business class (but you’d need to position yourself to Bangkok first because they don’t serve Singapore).

Image result for hainan airlines business class
Hainan Airlines Business Class
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You could redeem Korean Airlines business class awards from Singapore to the USA at 120,000 miles round trip (one-ways are not allowed)

Korean Airlines B747-8 Business Class

Other important things to note

Mileage Plan awards can be changed/cancelled for free regardless of which carrier you book up till 60 days before departure. Beyond that, there’s a US$125 fee for changes/cancellations.

Some people have reported issues with purchasing miles if their Mileage Plan account is new. These usually get sorted out with an email to customer service, but occasionally the transaction fails and your credit card is not charged. I really don’t know what causes this, but for what it’s worth I haven’t had any issues.

Alaska Mileage Plan purchases are processed by Points.com, so you should use the UOB Visa Signature assuming you spend at least $1,000 of foreign currency transactions in the current statement period, or the Citibank Rewards card (either Visa or Mastercard will work).

If you’ve found this article useful, please consider using this link to purchase which helps to support the site.

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CT
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CT

‘”Singapore to Europe at 42,500/70,000 miles” – I’m assuming it’s on Cathay – Is that possible to do SIN-HKG / HKG-LHR in a single reward itinerary?

Bails from Aus
Guest
Bails from Aus

Whenever I’ve tried that I have had to position to Hkg as a separate redemption. As far as I know its only redemptions to North America that allow a single redemption from Sin on Cathay Pacific.

zw
Guest
zw

I recall they also have blackout periods right? might be worth a mention also

KW
Guest
KW

Hi Aaron, Happy to confirm that the JAL hack still works. Bought 40,000 + 16,000 bonus = 56,000 miles, the minimum number to get the 40%. Could have obtained the 50,000 necessary miles with the 35% bonus but that saved only a few dollars, so what the heck. Points posted instantly. Ticketed 2x KUL-NRT-SIN for a two week trip in January 2019 with both AS and JL PNRs. Managed to select seats on both legs on JAL’s site. Total cost = US$1,297.10 (S$1,753.27 converted by Citi) for two pax, with 6,000 leftover AS miles. (Noted on the 24 month account… Read more »

Beginner
Guest
Beginner

Can we see the seats selection available on the JAL flight before redemption of the tickets? That is to say i’m trying to avoid the situation whereby i end up with 2 seats that are separated.

KW
Guest
KW

@Beginner. Very likely to find two seats together. These flights hardly go out full in J. And if it’s almost full, JAL won’t be giving out award seats anyway. However, if you absolutely, utterly, unconditionally need to double confirm plus chop that you and your missus can sit together, there are two ways to find out. First, on the Alaska site, search for, and confirm availability on, the flights that you want. Take note of the flight numbers. Either: (1) Go to the JAL website. Proceed to make a revenue (i.e. paid) booking using the same flight numbers. Before it… Read more »

JW
Guest
JW

Could I know when was the booking made? As far as I know such advance redemptions are consistently met with the 1620 error for flights to USA. I am wondering if anyone has encountered what I faced. Frustrating when you have gathered the miles only to be told you are not able to ticket it.

I finally gave up by settling for CX F instead for less miles.

KW
Guest
KW

Hi JW. You’re replying under my post, so I’m assuming you are asking me? Mine is a JAL J one-way redemption KUL-NRT-SIN with a long stopover in NRT. The itinerary doesn’t go anywhere near the USA. And the hack doesn’t work for CX. So I’m not sure how my experience would help you understand what went wrong with your redemption. But anyway I made the booking today at 2:30pm.

byang
Guest

I also encounter the problem as well with the whole itinerary, when I changed to one-way the JAL F confirmed and ticketed. Resorted to CX F the other way too.

TheBlend
Guest
TheBlend

This hack doesn’t work for >2 seats.

Kenneth
Guest
Kenneth

It didnt work for for 2 pax. Any idea what went wrong?

Vinay
Guest
Vinay

I’m intending to buy 3 tickets too. Anyone managed to get it done?

Brandon Wong
Guest
Brandon Wong

Im also looking for SIN-NRT-KUL for 3 pax. anyone was successful?

WilliamLee
Member
WilliamLee

i did. 6 months in advance and ive not taken the flight yet

James Ng
Guest
James Ng

Hi Aaron… I was doing some math to exchange the Mileage Plan (40% off) & SPG (35% off) points for 2 pieces of CX Business return tickets from HKG to FRA and I’m hoping that you can see whether it makes sense: Total CX Miles Required: 170,000 (85,000 roundtrip each) Total Mileage Plan Miles Purchase: 145,600 (US$3,074.50) Total SPG Points Convert: 25,000 (20,000 + 5,000 Bonus) (US$455) Total Cost: US$3,529.50 (~S$4655) or S$2,327.50 Cost of CX Business Ticket: S$5,700 each From my amateur calculation, it seems I’m only paying half for the business class ticket if I pay mileage plan… Read more »

Lawrence
Guest
Lawrence

Hi Aaron, and other readers of Milelion,

I managed to get 4 seats (SIN-HND-NRT-KUL) this October. Just wanted to check if there’s a way to select the flights in advance? Under both Alaska Airlines booking page and JAL website I was unable to select seats.

Are there other ways to select seats? Such as call in customer service or email? Appreciate any tips.

ZW
Guest
ZW

Hi Lawrence,
I just did (10mins ago) several seat selection on JAL website for my bookings on Mileage Plan.
(HKG-HND-HND-PEK, PEK-HND-HND-SIN)

I ever did select SIN-NRT-NRT-KUL before in Dec17.

Just to be sure, did you use the JAL confirmation number listed on your Mileage Plan confirmation slip? Also when was your booking made and what error did you encounter please? (JAL had a changed in their online system back in Nov17, and bookings prior that will have a changed of confirmation number)

Lawrence
Guest
Lawrence

Hi ZW, Thanks for your reply. I did my booking via Mileage Plan on 10 April. During the booking, I can’t remember if there was an error, although I recall a message saying seats cannot be selected on partner airline. Under JAL’s website, using JAL’s confirmation number, I am able to view my booking for 4 seats. However, there is 1 warning (at the top of the booking detail page), stating: “Some functions are not available since this reservation was created by other airlines or travel agencies. Please contact the airline or travel agency where you have created your reservation… Read more »

John
Guest
John

I am having difficulties trying to call their reservation desk.. does anyone know the actual toll free number to call from the hp? I tried all sorts of combination to dial this number on their website 001-800-25275200 but it doesnt work.

John
Guest
John

Update… i fb msg them and was told to call 00-800-25275200 which doesnt work as well. Help.. anyone?