|⚠️ Important update: Alaska Mileage Plan has devalued Japan Airlines awards without notice, increasing the price of a one-way Singapore to Japan award from 25,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Needless to say, this will have a big impact on your decision whether to buy miles. Read the full details here.
Alaska Mileage Plan has launched a new flash sale, which offers up to a 50% bonus on miles purchases.
When Alaska unveiled its new unified partner award chart at the end of 2022, existing sweet spots for partners like Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines were maintained. However, the award chart’s ambiguous language did leave the door open for potentially higher pricing in the future, without any notice.
If you plan to buy miles during this sale, be sure to burn them as soon as possible!
Buy Alaska Mileage Plan miles with up to 50% bonus
|Check your Mileage Plan offer
From now till 16 March 2023, 3.59 p.m SGT, Alaska Mileage Plan members can buy miles with a bonus. Bonuses are targeted, so you’ll need to sign-in to your account via this link to check what yours is.
Here’s how my bonus tiers:
- Buy 3,000-9,000 miles: 30% bonus (2.27 US cents/mile)
- Buy 10,000-19,000 miles: 40% bonus (2.11 US cents/mile)
- Buy 20,000-100,000 miles: 50% bonus (1.97 US cents/mile)
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 purchase cap.
However, since Mileage Plan tickets can be redeemed for anyone, there’s nothing stopping a family member from opening another account, buying miles and redeeming them on your behalf.
Is it worth buying Alaska Mileage Plan miles?
The key thing to note is that pricing above reflects the “starting at” amount, which means awards could possibly cost more than this, depending on dates and partner airline. In other words, what you see above is the lowest cost potentially available on any partner airline- not necessarily the one you want.
Unfortunately, Alaska has not published an award chart for point to point travel outside the US and Canada, such as Singapore to Tokyo. You’ll need to run a manual search to view pricing. The lack of an award chart is particularly concerning here, because it means that prices could change at any time without notice.
But for the moment, existing sweet spots on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines have been left untouched.
|⚠️ Important update: Alaska Mileage Plan has devalued Japan Airlines awards without notice, increasing the price of a one-way Singapore to Japan award from 25,000 miles to 50,000 miles. The figures below no longer apply.
Japan has now fully reopened to visitors, and the opportunity to redeem 25,000 miles for a one-way Business Class ticket to Japan is very good value indeed. If you’re having difficulty finding awards from Singapore to Tokyo, a simple trick is to search for award space to places like KIX, ITM, or CTS instead. That will bring up options that transit through NRT/HND, and whether or not you take the final leg is up to you.
You can read more about this in the article below.
Other sweet spots include 65,000/75,000 miles for a one-way Business/First Class award between Singapore and the USA.
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.
Cathay Pacific has improved its connectivity to Singapore ever since Hong Kong’s full reopening, which presents more connection opportunities. What’s more, you can now book awards online (it was previously necessary to call up customer service).
Alaska Mileage Plan has a wide variety of redemption partners, some of which may be useful for flying point to point outside of Singapore:
|✈️ Alaska Mileage Plan Partners
Other sweet spots you can consider include:
- 55,000/70,000 miles for a one-way Business/First Class award between Australia and the USA on Qantas
- 70,000 miles for a one-way Business Class award between Europe and the USA on Finnair
- 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.
What are Mileage Plan’s change fees?
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?
Alaska 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:
|Cap of S$1K per s. month
|UOB Visa Signature
|Min S$1K, max S$2K FCY spend per s. month
|SCB Visa Infinite
|Min spend S$2K per s. month
|UOB PRVI Miles
|S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month
I generally don’t advise using the DBS Woman’s World Card for Points.com purchases, as past data points have indicated issues with getting the bonus points credited.
|Check your Mileage Plan offer
Alaska’s latest Mileage Plan sale offers up to a 50% bonus, and if you were targeted for one of the larger offers, now’s a great time to buy and burn.
My advice would be the same as always: if you plan to buy Alaska Mileage Plan miles during one of their frequent sales, always check pricing and availability beforehand, and redeem them straight away. Holding on to miles or buying them speculatively can leave you vulnerable to stealth devaluations, which are all the easier now that the award chart (where it exists) only states the minimum possible price.