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

From now till 24 May 2024, buy Alaska Mileage Plan miles with up to a 60% bonus, or 1.85 US cents per mile. Look for sub-1,500 mile sweet spots.

Alaska Mileage Plan has launched a new sale which offers up to a 60% bonus on miles purchases, lowering the cost per mile to 1.85 US cents each.

In the not-too-distant past, a 60% bonus would be exciting news, but the catch is that Mileage Plan’s new award pricing has come into effect, and many of the historical sweet spots are no more. There’s still pockets of value to be found, especially in the sub-1,500 miles bracket, but it’s really a whole new landscape. 

Buy Alaska Mileage Plan miles with up to 60% bonus

Check your Mileage Plan offer

Alaska Mileage Plan offers are targeted, so you’ll need to sign-in to your account via this link and check what your offer is.

I was targeted for a 60% bonus, so from now till 24 May 2024, 3 p.m SGT I can buy miles at the following rates:

  • 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+ miles: 60% bonus (1.85 US cents/mile)

Alaska seems to be teasing that those who buy miles this time round will be eligible for a 70% bonus in the future, but there’s no further details in the T&Cs regarding that.

Mileage Plan members can buy a maximum of 100,000 miles (pre-bonus) per transaction, and a maximum of 150,000 miles (pre-bonus) per year. MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K members have no purchase cap, but it’s unlikely that anyone based in Singapore holds that status.

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?

Qatar Airways and other oneworld partners can be redeemed via Alaska | Photo: TPG

Alaska Mileage Plan now uses three distance-based award charts.

  • The Americas (covers travel from the USA to the Americas, and within the Americas)

  • Europe, Middle East, Africa (includes travel from the USA to EMEA and within EMEA)

  • Asia Pacific (includes travel from the USA to Asia Pacific, within Asia Pacific, and between Asia Pacific and EMEA)

Thanks to these new charts, the existing sweet spots for Singapore-based members have changed dramatically:

  Current From March 2024
STARLUX: Taipei to North Asia (Business) 15,000 miles 15,000 miles
Japan Airlines: Singapore to Japan
50,000 miles 60,000 miles
Cathay Pacific: Singapore to Japan
22,500 miles 50,000 miles
Cathay Pacific: Singapore to USA
50,000 miles 85,000-130,000 miles
Cathay Pacific: Singapore to USA
70,000 miles 130,000-195,000 miles
Korean Air: Singapore to USA (Business RT) 120,000 miles 170,000-260,000 miles
Finnair: Singapore to Europe (Business) 60,000 miles 75,000 miles
All award pricing is one-way unless otherwise stated

With the exception of STARLUX Business Class awards between Taipei and North Asia (which remain excellent value at 15,000 miles), everything else has gone up in price.

For what it’s worth, even though prices are quoted as “starting at”, these are the actual prices you’ll pay if there is saver level award availability. Moreover, all partners, whether oneworld or otherwise, will have the same pricing assuming saver award availability. 

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

So what sweet spots are left?

Cathay Pacific A350-900 Business Class | Photo: TPG

Alaska Mileage Plan’s revised award charts for Asia and Europe have a significant jump in award rates between the lowest distance band of <1,500 miles and the subsequent 1,501-3,000 miles band.

So to the extent you’re able to find awards on the upper end of the <1,500 miles boundary, snagging them for 7,500/15,000 miles in Economy/Business could represent good value. 

Here’s some examples of itineraries that would fall into this category:

  • Cathay Pacific’s daily fifth freedom flight between SIN and BKK
  • STARLUX Business Class awards between Taipei and North Asia, such as TPE to NRT/DAD/HAN
  • Domestic Japan flights with JAL, as well as shorter international flights such as TYO to ICN on JAL and Korean Air
  • Domestic Australia flights with Qantas, such as SYD-MEL and PER-ADL
  • Finnair flights between HEL and LHR- be sure to pick the flight operated by the Airbus A350-900, which comes with the highly-rated AirLounge Business Class seat

A special shout out for Cathay Pacific’s fifth freedom flight between Singapore and Bangkok, because Alaska Mileage Plan offers the lowest cost routing for Economy and Business Class, beating Qatar Privilege Club (9,000/16,500), Asia Miles (10,000/28,000) and British Airways Executive Club (12,000/30,000), to name a few.

Of course, you need to factor in the reality that it’s much easier to earn miles with these programmes in Singapore than Alaska, which requires an explicit out-of-pocket cost to purchase miles. Also, Cathay Pacific Business Class space remains elusive on Alaska Mileage Plan. While I can find Economy Class seats on the SIN-BKK route, Business Class seats are a different matter. 

As always, make sure award space is available on the route you want before buying Alaska miles. Do not purchase miles in anticipation of award space appearing!

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 in USD as MCC 7399 (i.e. they won’t code as airline transactions).

Here’s the best cards to maximize the miles earned on your purchase:

Card Earn Rate Remarks
Citi Rewards Card
4 mpd Cap of S$1K per s. month 
UOB Visa Signature
4 mpd Min S$1K, max S$2K FCY spend per s. month
SCB Visa Infinite
3 mpd Min S$2K per s. month
Maybank Horizon
2.8 mpd Min. S$800 per c. month
HSBC TravelOne Card
2.4 mpd No cap
2.4 mpd No cap 
S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month

Remember, you can always pair the Citi Rewards Card with the Amaze Card to earn 4 mpd on purchases, enjoying lower foreign currency transaction fees compared to banks.

I generally don’t advise using the DBS Woman’s World Card for purchases, as past data points have indicated issues with getting the bonus points credited for MCC 7399.


Check your Mileage Plan offer

Alaska’s latest Mileage Plan sale offers up to a 60% bonus, but with the new award pricing now in place, you need to rethink your approach towards this programme.

If you ask me, the value now lies in short-haul awards, those which fall below the 1,500 miles barrier (about 3.5 hours at max). If you can find flights at the upper end of this band, then 7,500/15,000 miles for Economy/Business Class can be great value, working out to US$139/278 plus taxes.

Golden rule with Alaska miles: Buy and burn, not buy and hold.

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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Hi Aaron,

i cant seem to find SIN-BKK award space. I can only see Malaysia Airline


I would say need lots of luck finding Cathay space on Alaska.
MH is easy.


Also to add, I dont find SIN-BKK on economy is of good value.
I feel its no longer make sense if you buy miles even at USD0.0185/mile, so return ticket on Cathay economy space is 15k+approx USD126 on taxes. Thus total will cost you approx USD400 for an economy return ticket SIN-BKK-SIN.
In my opinion it’s poor value (unless during super peak season where SQ/TG hits SGD700 level) as there are cheaper options available.

MG business class on their 737-800… not so great too I guess…

Just my opinion though….


USD1.85c/mile is still exceedingly expensive.