Last call: 40% bonus on Alaska Mileage Plan miles

Buy Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a discount and redeem premium cabin tickets for less.

Alaska Airlines has launched their first points sale for 2020, with a 40% bonus on miles purchases. This sale runs from now until February 17, 3.59 p.m SGT

Here’s the breakdown of how my bonus tiers (yours may be different): 

  • Buy 1,000-4,000 miles= no bonus
  • Buy 5,000-19,000 miles= 20% bonus
  • Buy 20,000-29,000 miles= 30% bonus 
  • Buy 30,000-60,000 miles= 40% bonus 

Check your Mileage Plan bonus offer here

Buying miles with a 40% bonus is the equivalent of paying 2.15 US cents per mile, after Alaska’s recent price increase

Advertising

Alaska now caps the maximum miles you can purchase in a year to 150,000. However, since you can redeem Mileage Plan tickets for anyone, there’s nothing stopping you from opening another account to buy more miles. MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K Mileage Plan members have no such cap. 

Is it worth buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles?

For trips to Japan

Japan Airlines Business Class

Most Mileage Plan members in Singapore were probably buying miles for JAL awards to Japan, and why not? Before “The Snap“, a pseudo round-trip Business Class flight from Singapore->Tokyo->Kuala Lumpur would have cost ~S$718 (assuming miles were purchased at a 40% bonus). Sure, you’d have to factor in the price of a positioning flight, but it was still phenomenal value. 

Advertising

Now that the loophole has been closed, the effective cost has doubled to ~S$1.4K. That’s still good (compared to paying full-price for Business Class), but obviously nowhere as good as before. 

It’s simply a decision that each individual will have to make for him/herself. 

For trips elsewhere

With the JAL one-way trick gone, here’s what I see as the remaining sweet spots in Mileage Plan: 

  • 50,000/70,000 miles for a one-way Business/First Class award between Singapore and the USA on Cathay Pacific 
  • 22,500 miles for a one-way Business Class award between Singapore and Tokyo on Cathay Pacific 
  • 50,000 miles for a one-way Business Class award between Bangkok and the USA on Hainan Airlines
  • 65,000/75,000 miles for a one-way Business/First Class award between Singapore and the USA on JAL
  • 120,000 miles for a round-trip Business Class award between Singapore and Hawaii on Korean Air (one-way redemptions not allowed)

It’s also worth keeping in mind that Alaska Mileage Plan miles can be redeemed on numerous other carriers, some of which may be useful for flying point to point outside of Singapore: 

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Condor
  • Emirates
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
Cathay Pacific and LATAM awards do not appear on the Mileage Plan website. You’ll need to call up customer service to book them

Remember that Mileage Plan does not pass on fuel surcharges, so that’s another plus point.

Singapore Airlines was recently added as a Mileage Plan redemption partner, but as we showed in our analysis, it really doesn’t make sense to buy Mileage Plan miles for Singapore Airlines travel. You’d be much better acquiring KrisFlyer miles for cheap, then redeeming them for flights. 

What card should I use?

If you decide to purchase Alaska Mileage Plan miles, these purchases are processed by Points.com in USD. Here’s the best cards to maximize the miles earned on your purchase:

 Earn RateCapRemarks
OCBC 90N Card
Apply here
4 mpdNoneUntil 29 Feb 2020
Citi Rewards Visa
Apply here
4 mpdS$1,000 per statement period 
UOB Visa Signature
Apply here
4 mpdS$2,000 per statement periodMin FCY spend of S$1,000 per statement period
DBS Woman’s World Card
Apply here
4 mpdS$2,000 per calendar monthUse caution- some people report not getting the bonus 2.8 mpd, only the base 1.2 mpd
SCB Visa Infinite
Apply here
3 mpdNoneMin spend S$2,000 per statement period
BOC Elite Miles 
Apply here
3 mpdNone 

When it comes to Points.com purchases, some people may run into issues using a Singapore-issued card. I can’t quite explain why this happens, because some don’t encounter any issues, and others never seem to be able to get their transactions through. Your best bet is to use an Alaska Mileage Plan account that is at least 10 days old, and try a different card if your transaction doesn’t go through the first time.

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 one mile every 24 months.

You should not be buying Mileage Plan miles (or any other miles and points currency for that matter) speculatively- always have a confirmed use for them in mind before purchasing. 

Conclusion

A 40% bonus isn’t the highest that Alaska offers, and if you’re prepared to wait a few months, we’ll almost certainly see a 50% bonus offered down the road. 

If you’ve been primarily earning Mileage Plan miles by crediting Singapore Airlines Business Class fares to Mileage Plan, then this could be a good way to top off your account for an award redemption. Otherwise, you’ll have to examine your alternatives carefully and decide if buying Mileage Plan miles still makes sense for you in this new landscape. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

Similar Articles

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
freedom

We have the same price displayed. I saw from other blogs, the price was the same as previously, lower than ours…

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

Featured Deals

Advertisment

Follow us

5,783FansLike
2,641FollowersFollow

RECENT COMMENTS

TAGS