Airlines

48 hours left: Alaska Mileage Plan offering 40% bonus sale until 23 Feb 2019

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Buy Mileage Plan miles at 2.11 US cents each and redeem great value premium cabin tickets.

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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Mileage Plan runs regular sales throughout the year which give you a bonus when you buy miles- perfect if you’ve got travel plans and want to buy premium cabin tickets for less. The bonus normally maxes out at 40%, although people are very occasionally targeted for 50%.

Alaska has just announced its first sale for 2019, and from now till 23 Feb 2019 4 p.m SGT you can buy Mileage Plan miles at up to a 40% bonus.

Get on board with 40% more miles.

Here’s the breakdown of how the bonus tiers:

  • Buy 1,000- 19,000 miles, no bonus
  • Buy 20,000 miles or more- get a 40% bonus (2.11 US cents each including tax)

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

Do note some accounts may have a 30,000 minimum purchase amount to unlock the 40% bonus.

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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(Update: Alaska has just announced an annual purchase cap of 150,000 miles (including bonuses)

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

As long as you’re not buying miles speculatively, buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a 40% bonus is a good price.

Mileage Plan is one of my favourite FFPs because you can…

  • Get a free stopover, even on one-way awards (which allows you to fly “almost” round-trip Business Class to Japan for just under US$600)
  • Get access to unique partners that you wouldn’t normally be able to access in Singapore, like Hainan Airlines, Icelandair and Fiji Airways
  • Get great value first and business class award redemptions out of Singapore with certain airlines

What do I do with them?

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 under US$530 if you buy miles at 2.11 US cents each. Even after you factor in the ~US$60 of taxes and the one-way ticket to or from KUL, you’re still looking at an extremely cheap “round trip” business class journey.

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

You’re not limited to just flying to Tokyo- as we explain during Alternative Frequent Flyer programs, you can even do a destination/origin open jaw as shown below for 25,000 miles in business class.

Use the multi-city option with the “use miles” box checked to book this
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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 Hong Kong to Europe at 42,500/70,000 miles each way for business/first class (you can’t start from Singapore if you’re flying to Europe)

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

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 | Photo Credit: The Design Air

What card should I use?

Alaska Mileage Plan purchases are processed by Points.com in USD, so here’s the cards I’d use

  • UOB Visa Signature- 4.0 mpd, min S$1K max S$2K of foreign currency spending in a statement period
  • Citibank Rewards Visa or Citibank Rewards Mastercard- 4.0 mpd, max S$1K a month
  • DBS Woman’s World Card- 4.0 mpd, but requires that you write in to DBS to get the bonus 7X credited (3X, or 1.2 mpd will be awarded as base points)
  • BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard- 3.0 mpd, no cap
  • Standard Chartered Visa Infinite– 3.0 mpd, minimum S$2K spending a statement period

Other important things to note

Alaska charges a US$125 fee for changes or cancellations, regardless of how far away you are from departure. Alaska Mileage Plan miles do not expire so long as you credit or redeem at least 1 mile every 24 months.

Some people have reported issues with purchasing miles if their Mileage Plan account is new. It used to be that your account had to be at least 10 days old to buy miles, but I get irregular reports as to whether this rule is actually enforced. An email to customer service may sort out the problem, but if the transaction fails you won’t get charged anyway.

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BK
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BK

Thanks Aaron for the article. May I ask, what the reason is for not being able to do SIN- Europe on Cathay with Mileage plan miles?

Cheers!

Tom
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Tom

Stopover is only available for route from US to Asia or vice versa.

Anthony
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Anthony

Hi, I just read that Alaska MileagePlan has just imposed a 150K miles per year limit for non-MVP Gold members, so it’s no longer no limits…

ES
Guest
ES

Hi,

What are the transactions on the DBS Woman’s World Card that would require writing in to request for the 7X, please?

Otto
Guest
Otto

Seems like to use the “round-trip” JAL trick we can only book Tokyo as a destination. Plenty of tickets for tokyo. Searched for SIN-KIX-KUL but couldn’t find any award flights.

Was really trying to do SIN-KIX, CTS-KUL destination/origin open jaw (like you show in the diagram above), but couldn’t find any availability. Aaron can check if this trick is really doable?

Cappy Hamper
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Cappy Hamper

Essentially you are redeeming a 1 way flight between SIN & KUL (say) with a stopover in Tokyo. The round trip trick only works for direct flights. Since JAL doesn’t serve SINKIX or CTSKUL directly, the trick will not work.

Hector
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Hector

Hi all, any idea how long will the points appear in the account after purchase? Thank you.

Kev
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Kev

Tried searching on BA’s Avios directly using SIN – JFK route but i dont see any flights planned on the selected dates, am i searching it wrongly?

Estee
Guest
Estee

I still have not been able to buy miles at all! 4 SG credit card failures, and now US card failure too (asked a friend to buy on behalf) and my account is 10 days old already. Going to call their customer care later. 🙁

Glam
Guest
Glam

Let me know if calling resolves the issue. 4 of us (3 friends and I) had been trying to buy miles with different SG credit cards but all our attempts failed.

Anthony
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Anthony

Personally if you’re not in a hurry I suggest you wait for the 50% sale

CS
Guest
CS

Same situation here, please let us know how it goes! 🙁

L
Guest
L

Can share which credit card did you use? I tried with DBS and UOB successfully. However, for my friend’s account just created, the points were only updated after 2 days.

Glam
Guest
Glam

Just an update that I was finally successful on my 3rd try, miles were posted after I reduced the amount of miles bought. I did not get the 40% bonus in the end but good enough for one trip. However, some friends tried it and some are successful some are not, so far I think UOB and DBS cards worked.

KK
Guest
KK

Would it be possible to purchase this miles and qualify as Online spend (for e.g HSBC Revolution Card?)

Oh Oh
Guest
Oh Oh

Hi Aaron,

I’m considering to purchase miles from Alaska Air for the first time.

Any idea if i could purchase say 50,400 miles x 2 separate transactions during this sale = 100,800 miles in total by 23rd Feb?

I understand that the t&c does not allow one account/member to purchase more than 150,000 miles in a year.