Alaska Mileage Plan offering 40-60% bonus miles sale

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From now till 24 August, buy Alaska Mileage Plan miles with up to a 60% bonus, or 1.85 US cents each.

From now till 24 August 2021, 3.59 p.m SGT, Alaska Mileage Plan is offering a 40-60% bonus on miles purchases. Each account will be targeted for a different bonus, so you need to login to check what yours is. 

Check your Mileage Plan offer here

The bonus structure also varies from person to person. If you were targeted for a 60% bonus, the tiers may look something like this:

  • Buy 3,000-39,000 miles: 40% bonus (2.11 US cents/mile)
  • Buy 40,000-100,000 miles: 60% bonus (1.85 US cents/mile)

Unfortunately, the 7.5% tax on mileage purchases has been brought back (it was temporarily suspended under the CARES act, which lapsed on 1 Jan 2021), which means that miles purchases this year will be slightly more expensive than those last year. 

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. MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K members have no such cap. 

However, since Mileage Plan tickets can be redeemed for anyone, there’s nothing stopping a family member from opening another account to buy miles and redeeming them on your behalf.

Is it worth buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles?

Alaska will unveil its oneworld award pricing later in 2021

The biggest bonus that Alaska Mileage Plan offers maxes out at 60%, so it’s always worth some thought if you were targeted for that offer.

On the other hand, Alaska Airlines just joined oneworld and it remains to be seen how this will affect their award chart. Alaska won’t roll out oneworld award redemptions until “later in 2021”, and have specifically mentioned that Qatar Airways awards will launch in August. That should give us some idea of how they plan to price intra-alliance awards. 

Mileage Plan adopts an activity-based expiry policy where earning or redeeming at least one mile will extend the life of your entire balance by 24 months. However, you’d need to buy a substantial number of miles to enjoy the maximum bonus, so it’s worth seeing if there are cheaper (and more fun) ways of clocking activity. 

All that said, during “normal” times, here’s the routings I’d recommend with Alaska Mileage Plan. 

For trips to Japan on JAL

Japan Airlines B77W Business Class

It’s no longer the amazing sweet spot that it was before, but all things considered, paying 25,000 miles for a one-way Business Class ticket to Japan is still good value.

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. 

Review: Cathay Pacific B77W First Class HKG-SFO

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
  • LATAM
  • 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 I showed in this 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 Points.com in USD (i.e. they won’t code as travel purchases). Here’s the best cards to maximize the miles earned on your purchase:

Card Earn Rate Remarks
Citi Rewards
Apply here
4 mpd Cap of S$1K per s. month 
UOB Visa Signature
Apply here
4 mpd Min S$1K Max S$2K FCY spend per s. month
SCB Visa Infinite
Apply here
3 mpd Min spend S$2K per s. month
UOB PRVI Miles
Apply here
2.4 mpd  
S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month

I personally don’t recommending the DBS Woman’s World Card for Points.com purchases, as many people have reported issues with getting the bonus points credited. 

Some people may run into issues using a Singapore-issued card with Points.com. I can’t quite explain why this happens, but 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 COVID-19 outbreak, Alaska Mileage Plan is waiving all change and cancellation fees for award tickets issued up till 30 April 2021, with travel up to 31 March 2022. However, there has been no extension for tickets issued beyond 30 April 2021, so you’ll have to pay 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.

Conclusion

Alaska’s latest Mileage Plan sale offers up to a 60% bonus, although the uncertainity surrounding Alaska’s oneworld award chart (and travel in general) gives good reason to take things slowly.

There are a ton of useful ways to redeem Alaska miles, but it all boils down to when travel resumes for us in Singapore. 

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

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Mayur Patel

Air Canada’s Aeroplan also has an attractive offer at the moment – Get a bonus of up to 80% when you buy or gift Aeroplan points!

350,000 + 280,000 bonus points for CAD 10,500

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

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