Alaska Mileage Plan offering up to 60% bonus on miles purchases

Expired

From now till 22 August, buy Alaska Mileage Plan miles with up to a 60% bonus, or 1.85 US cents each.

From now till 22 August 2022, 3.59 p.m SGT, Alaska Mileage Plan is offering up to a 60% bonus on miles purchases. Different accounts may be targeted for different bonuses, so you need to login to check what yours is. 

Check your Mileage Plan offer

My 60% bonus was tiered like this:

  • Buy 3,000-19,000 miles: 40% bonus (2.11 US cents/mile)
  • Buy 20,000-39,000 miles: 50% bonus (1.97 US cents/mile)
  • Buy 40,000-100,000 miles: 60% bonus (1.85 US cents/mile)

Buying miles with a 60% bonus represents a price of 1.85 US cents each, the lowest rate we ever see them go on sale. 

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 redeem them on your behalf.

Is it worth buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles?

You can redeem Qatar Airways flights with Mileage Plan miles…but it’s not the best use of them!

Alaska Airlines joined oneworld on 1 March 2021, but has been slow to roll out award redemptions on partner airlines.

While the legacy sweet spots for Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines have been preserved so far, we’ve also seen very poor rates published for new partners like Qatar Airways, Iberia, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian and Malaysia Airlines. SriLankan Airlines offers somewhat better value (40,000 miles in Business Class from Singapore to Colombo with no fuel surcharges), but it’s the exception rather than the rule.

Here’s some ideas for redeeming Alaska miles. 

Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines B77W Business Class

With Japan hopefully reopening to free and easy travel in the next few months, there’ll finally be an opportunity to redeem Alaska miles for Japan Airlines tickets once again. 

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.

I personally have one of these redeemed for March 2023, though hopefully we won’t have to wait that long for the full reopening!

Other sweet spots include 65,000/75,000 miles for a one-way Business/First Class award between Singapore and the USA.

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. 

The bigger issue is that Cathay Pacific has very limited connectivity to Singapore at the moment, with only 3X flights scheduled for the whole of June. This improves to 3X weekly from July onwards, but still a far cry from the nine daily flights they operated to Singapore prior to COVID. 

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. 

Others

Alaska Mileage Plan has a wide variety of redemption partners, some of which may be useful for flying point to point outside of Singapore: 

  • Aer Lingus
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Condor
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Ravn Alaska
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Singapore Airlines
  • SriLankan 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
  • 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.

One great thing about Alaska Mileage Plan is it no longer has any change or cancellation fees for award tickets, which gives you the option to lock in speculative awards, and change them as needed.

Should you need to cancel, you’ll get the full amount paid back, less a US$12.50 partner award booking fee (charged each way, i.e. US$25 for a round-trip booking).

When do Mileage Plan miles expire?

Mileage Plan miles do not expire.

However accounts which have been inactive for more than two years will be automatically locked. Should that happen, you’ll need to contact Guest Care to verify your identity, following which the account will be reactivated with all miles intact.

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 airline transactions). Here’s the best cards to maximize the miles earned on your purchase:

CardEarn RateRemarks
Citi Rewards
Apply
4 mpdCap of S$1K per s. month 
UOB Visa Signature
Apply
4 mpdMin S$1K Max S$2K FCY spend per s. month
SCB Visa Infinite
Apply
3 mpdMin spend S$2K per s. month
UOB PRVI Miles
Apply
2.4 mpdNo cap 
S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month

Remember, you can always pair the Citi Rewards Card with the Instarem Amaze Card to earn 4 mpd on Points.com purchases, without foreign currency transaction fees. 

I generally don’t advise you to use the DBS Woman’s World Card for Points.com purchases, as past data points have indicated there are issues with getting the bonus points credited. 

Conclusion

Alaska’s latest Mileage Plan sale offers up to a 60% bonus, which is the biggest bonus we ever see. 

This could be a good opportunity to pick up some miles, especially if you believe Japan is going to reopen soon (by which I mean a proper reopening, not this controlled tour group nonsense). That said, it’s never a good idea to buy miles speculatively, so make sure award space is available on the dates you’re eyeing before pulling the trigger.

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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Stacy

not connected with this post, but thanks for the tip about crediting SQ biz flights to AS — i got a whopping almost 20K miles JFK-SIN while SQ would have just given 12K-something

Mark

Using the Japan example, still not such a great deal. Buying the 25,000 required miles costs USD$487, approx SGD$682. Add the $33 taxes and total is $715. The alternative is British Airways – requiring 38,250 Avios +SGD$250. As you can transfer Avios to the British Airways from Citibank, and you can buy the miles from Citibank for $8/1000 the cost this way becomes 38.25*8=$306+$250=$556. What a pity you can’t transfer miles from any credit card to Alaska. THEN, it would be outstanding value. As it is, the total cost of the Japan trip is still cheaper via Citibank/British Airways than… Read more »

Matt

I checked British Air quickly and it said 62,000 Avios for one way on JAL business class. I may be missing something as I checked quickly. How would I get 38,250?

Mark

You are correct. Apology. Actually I was pricing BKK-HND which is 38,250, and made the wrong assumption that SIN-HND would be the same (you would expect so), but actually it is not.

Well in my case when I ticket BKK-HND it is certainly still cheaper with Citibank/BA. Ex-SIN looks like buying the Alaska miles is marginally cheaper. Interesting.

Matt

Got it. Good to know about the BKK-HND choice as well though. Thanks.

Edm

i only got 40%….

student8080

yeh same. How do you guys get 60% ? make a small purchase first ?

Trvssg

Mileage plan miles don’t expire. Only account will be locked if inactive for 2 years but can be easily reactivated.

Source:
https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/frequently-asked-questions/faq-benefits

kevin

Avianca’s current promotion is USD1.44 cent/mile

James

I bought Alaska miles and it got successfully charged and posted to my credit charge statement. My miles transaction then got cancelled and reversed with no explanation or even a notification from Alaska. Has this happened to anyone before or anyone know why? Thanks

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