Alaska Mileage Plan offering largest-ever bonus on miles purchases

Get up to a 60% bonus on Mileage Plan purchases, plus a tax waiver- pay just 1.72 US cents/mile.

Alaska Mileage Plan has just launched its largest-ever sale on miles, which runs from now till June 1, 2020, 2.59 p.m SGT. 

During this sale, Mileage Plan members can get up to a 60% bonus when they buy miles. Each account will be targeted for a different bonus, and you need to login to check yours. 

Check your Mileage Plan bonus offer here

Here’s the breakdown of how my bonus tiers:

  • Buy 10,000-19,000 miles: 20% bonus (2.29 US cents/mile)
  • Buy 20,000-39,000 miles: 40% bonus (1.96 US cents/mile)
  • Buy 40,000-100,000 miles: 60% bonus (1.72 US cents/mile)

My other account was targeted for a more sedate 40% bonus, which tiers like this:

  • Buy 3,000-14,000 miles: 20% bonus (2.29 US cents/mile)
  • Buy 15,000-100,000 miles= 40% bonus (1.96 US cents/mile)

Long-time Mileage Plan buyers may notice something strange about the figures above. Normally, a 40% bonus corresponds to a 2.11 US cents/mile price. Why is it now 1.96 cents? That’s because this time there’s no 7.5% tax on the purchase, for whatever reason. 

Mileage Plan members can buy a maximum of 100,000 miles (pre-bonus) per transaction, and a maximum of 150,000 miles (also pre-bonus) per year.

However, since Mileage Plan tickets can be redeemed 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. 

If you were targeted for a 60% bonus…

Historically, the largest sale we’ve ever seen on Alaska Mileage Plan miles was a 50% bonus, and even then, you had to pay 7.5% tax- this worked out to ~1.97 US cents per mile. 

This time round, you could get up to a 60% bonus, and with the tax waived, you’re paying just 1.72 US cents per mile. In spite of everything, I have to say I’m tempted to take the plunge and top-up my account for a few flights to Japan in 2021. 

Now, it’s always possible that Alaska runs an even bigger sale in the future, and with all that’s going on, now more than ever isn’t the time to buy miles speculatively. But if you’re willing to buy and redeem straight away for travel late this year/early next year, I think a 60% bonus is something to give serious thought. 

If you were targeted for a 40% bonus- don’t bother. We’ll definitely see those prices come back in the future. 

Is it worth buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles?

For trips to Japan on JAL

Japan Airlines B77W Business Class

It’s no longer the amazing sweet spot that it was before, but in the cold light of day, paying 25,000 miles for a one-way Business Class ticket to Japan is still good value. With the current price of 1.72 US cents per mile, a round-trip itinerary would cost ~S$1,350. 

Award space tends to be generous, and it’s not uncommon to find dates with 4+ Business Class seats available. 

For trips to the USA on Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific B77W First Class

 Alaska Mileage Plan charges just 50,000/70,000 miles for a one-way Business/First Class award between Singapore and the USA on Cathay Pacific. 

Alternatively, you can fly between Singapore and Tokyo for 22,500 miles on Cathay Pacific. Unlike the Japan Airlines option above, however, you’ll have to do a stopover in Hong Kong. 

Note that Cathay Pacific awards cannot be booked on the Mileage Plan site. You’ll have to call up customer service to get it processed. 

For trips elsewhere

Alaska Mileage Plan has a wide variety of partner airlines, 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
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines

Other sweet spots you can consider include:

  • 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)

There are no fuel surcharges on Mileage Plan awards, except on British Airways, Hainan Airlines and Icelandair. 

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?

Purchases of Alaska Mileage Plan miles are processed by in USD. Here’s the best cards to maximize the miles earned on your purchase:

  Earn Rate Remarks
Citi Rewards
Apply here
4 mpd Cap of S$1K per s. month 
UOB Visa Signature
Apply here
4 mpd Min FCY spend of S$1K per s. month, cap at S$2K per s. month
SCB X Card
Apply here
3 mpd Until 30 Jun 20. Min spend S$2K per c. month
SCB Visa Infinite
3 mpd Min spend S$2K per s. month
BOC Elite Miles 
3 mpd  
S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month

When it comes to 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

Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, Alaska Mileage Plan is waiving all change and cancellation fees for award tickets issued up to May 31 2020. This replaces the usual US$125 fee. 

Alaska Mileage Plan miles do not expire so long as you credit or redeem at least one mile every 24 months.


If you were targeted for a 60% bonus, you’ve got some thinking to do. However, given the uncertainty in the market, I definitely wouldn’t spring for a mere 40% bonus, as we’ll definitely see that return in the future. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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There is the real risk that Alaska may not survive Covid-19 in which case members will lose all their miles. Proceed with caution.

Cappy Hamper

But if you buy and redeem now for a 2021 trip to Japan, isn’t that similar to just buying and holding the miles? It would make no difference if Alaska is no longer operating then.


yes, agreed, do have a thorough plan before proceed and with cautiously..
FYI, today’s ST/CNA had already reported that Virgin Australia, which partly owned by SIA, collapses as coronavirus …


There are YQ or YR imposed on BA or HU awards.


@aaron, do you know if one can split the miles purchase over 2 transactions? this bonus promotion is not like a 1-time offer only right? i hope to spread the purchase over 2 cards.