Alaska Airlines is offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles. In previous offer periods, the bonus has usually been 30 or 35%, so this is the highest tier of bonuses when selling miles during these promotions. The last time they offered a 40% bonus was back in March.
Buy Alaska Miles Promotion
The bonuses are based on the amounts of miles you purchase:
- 5,000 – 19,000 miles, get a 20% Bonus
- 20,000 – 34,000 miles, get a 30% Bonus
- 35,000 – 40,000 miles, get a 40% Bonus
It makes most sense to purchase a larger amount of miles, as for a top up usually I’d recommend transferring miles from Starwood.
Alaska normally sells miles at 2.75 cents each, so this means that purchasing 56,000 miles will cost you $1182.50, inclusive of all taxes on the miles and purchase costs. This will mean miles cost 2.11 cents each at the 40% bonus level.
Note that Canadian residents are charged GST/HST, although you can always “move” to the US. As well, only credit cards with billing addresses in North America will be able to purchase miles. Again, your best bet is to find a North American friend and borrow their credit card if you live abroad and don’t have access to Canadian/American credit cards of your own. Points.com processes the purchase in USD, so no category bonuses will apply. If you use a Canadian credit card also make sure you use a non-forex credit card.
The bonus on purchased miles will run until October 14. If you do need miles, purchasing Alaska miles are one of the easiest ways to unlock cheaper international business and first class tickets. Alaska miles are one of the most valuable airline miles out there, because of the variety of aspirational partners, reasonable award chart levels, and no fuel surcharges (except on British Airways).
You are able to make multiple purchases (of 40k + bonus chunks of miles), so you can buy Alaska miles to fly basically anything on their award chart. One of my favourite redemptions is Emirates First Class to Asia for 100,000 miles, with a free stopover in Dubai. For example, this means you can fly Hong Kong – Dubai (Stopover) – Los Angeles (23 hour layover) – Vancouver, which goes at retail cost over $15000 one-way assuming there’s award availability.
Award availability is a bit tight but if you’re flexible there is space available close-in or 10-11 months out for their other North American gateways such as SEA, DFW, SFO, JFK, IAH, or ORD. Alternatively, if you can find award space, Qantas and Cathay Pacific First Class which are also good deals.
As with most miles purchases, I would purchase miles only with a specific purpose in mind, and not speculatively. These mileage promotions allow you do purchase tickets for not more than what an economy ticket would cost, so there is definite value if you enjoy business/first class.
Earning Alaska Miles through Credit Cards
Canadians can also apply for the MBNA Alaska Airlines credit card to earn Alaska Airlines MileagePlan miles. If you are purchasing miles at 2.11 cents, this means the signup bonus is worth over $500.
Even if not, it does make sense to apply for this credit card as it gives 25,000 miles just for signing up and getting approved. Americans also have access to a similar co-branded Alaska Airlines card. You can also transfer SPG miles to Alaska miles at a 1:1 ratio.
You can buy Alaska Miles through this link.