Buy Alaska Miles with a 70% Bonus


Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is a popular program for its great deals on redemptions and frequent mileage sales.

With the current sale on Alaska miles, you can earn up to 70% bonus miles on your purchase, which is the best deal we’ve seen for a while.

This sale ends at 11:59pm Pacific Time on March 15, 2024, so be sure to capitalize on the offer before then if you’re interested.

Buy Alaska Miles with a 70% Bonus

Normally, Alaska Airlines sells miles for 2.75 US cents per mile, plus a 7.5% tax recovery fee, for a total of 2.96 US cents per mile. Luckily, Alaska frequently offers discounts on purchasing miles.

This time around, you can get up to a 70% bonus on purchased miles, although you may have a lower offer available in your account.

The current best-available offer is structured as follows:

  • 70% bonus when you buy 30,000+ miles
  • 55% bonus when you buy 15,000–29,000 miles
  • 40% bonus when you buy 3,000–14,000 miles

Log in to your Mileage Plan account to see the exact breakdown of your bonus, as not all members are given the best-available offer.

With a 70% bonus, you could buy 170,000 Alaska miles for $2,956.25 (USD) including tax, at a cost of 1.74 US cents per mile.

Screen Shot 2024 03 08 at 7.36.47 AM

At our current valuation of 1.8 US cents per mile, that price is just below our target value, and could represent a great deal if you have a specific use in mind.

Historically, Alaska tends to offer bonuses in the 35% to 60% range, and we’ve seen rare offers as high as 70%. This offer is on par with the best bonuses we’ve seen recently, so if you have your sights set on an aspirational redemption, be sure to take advantage of it if you stand to benefit.

Keep in mind that Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is making sweeping changes to the program, which are set to take effect at some point in March 2024. If you have an immediate use for purchased miles, this could be a great deal; however, buying miles speculatively can be particularly risky at this point, given that the program is about to change significantly.

How many miles can you buy?

Unless you have elite status with Alaska, each Mileage Plan member is limited to receiving 150,000 miles per calendar year from mileage purchases (excluding bonuses), whether buying for yourself or being gifted from someone else.

There’s also a limit of 100,000 miles purchased per transaction (excluding bonuses). If you split your purchase up into multiple transactions, you could buy up to 255,000 miles including the 70% bonus, assuming you haven’t already bought or been gifted Alaska miles this year.

Which credit card should you use to buy Alaska miles?

Mileage Plan sells miles through Points.com. As you aren’t buying directly from Alaska Airlines, you won’t earn any bonus points for using an Alaska Airlines credit card.

The purchase won’t code as travel for the category accelerator either. Instead, you could consider any card with a high base earn rate, or one where you’re working towards meeting the minimum spend requirement.

The purchase will be charged in US dollars. To avoid extra costs, you should use a US credit card.

If you use a card with a Canadian billing address, you’ll be charged GST/HST on top of the Tax Recovery Fee, so even if you have a Canadian card with no foreign transaction fees, use it only as a last resort.

Screen Shot 2024 03 08 at 7.41.25 AM

Who Should Buy Alaska Miles?

Buying miles can be a good way to top up your account if you’re keen to make a redemption soon.

Booking an Expensive Aspirational Flight

In late 2023, Alaska Airlines changed its award charts, moving from separate pricing for each airline to having two charts: one for North American redemptions, and one for international redemptions. While the pricing for most of the program’s sweet spots hasn’t changed, it has become less transparent, since the charts all list “starting from” prices instead of fixed prices.

Last year, Alaska devalued Japan Airlines First Class awards without notice, increasing the price point from 70,000 miles to 85,000–100,000 miles for a one-way First Class flight between North America and Japan. 

Japan Airlines First Class 52
Japan Airlines First Class

On the other hand, the program is set to see major changes in March 2024. You’ll want to check the new “starting at” award prices to see if it’s in your best interest to book now, or to wait until later.

It’s best that you’ve lined up your award seats before pulling the trigger on a points purchase. You should also confirm that the seats are indeed available to be booked, and not just “phantom” award space.

Quick Top-Up for an Upcoming Redemption

If you’ve identified a good opportunity to redeem your Alaska miles at a value you like, but your account is just shy of the amount you need, you may find it palatable to pay above baseline value to make up the difference.

As long as you’re redeeming above the 1.74 US cents per mile cost of buying with this promotion, you’ll come out ahead.

Even if you redeem for less, it may still be worth it. After all, your miles are useless if you don’t have enough to make the bookings you desire. If the bulk of your miles were acquired at a very low cost, you can still get good value on the average cost of your miles, even with a slight premium for the instant gratification of a modest mileage purchase.

Cathay Pacific First Class 7 2
Cathay Pacific First Class

Other Ways to Earn Alaska Miles

Before rushing to buy miles at a promotional rate, it’s best to first look to other sources to acquire Alaska miles at lower costs, if you don’t need the miles immediately to make a booking.

US Credit Cards by Bank of America

If you have a social security number or ITIN, you can apply for Bank of America’s co-branded cards.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature currently has a welcome bonus of 70,000 miles after spending $3,000 (USD) in the first three months. 

Meanwhile, the Alaska Airlines Visa Business offer is at 50,000 miles upon spending $3,000 (USD) in the first three months, plus a $100 statement credit.

Both cards have frequent credits equivalent to a first-year fee rebate and occasional elevated points offers. Otherwise, at an annual fee of $95 or $70, respectively, the cost of acquiring points is 0.14 US cents per mile for both the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature and the Alaska Airlines Visa Business.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-mile bonus when transferred in chunks of 60,000 Bonvoy points.

At our present valuation of 0.6 US cents per point, 60,000 Bonvoy points are worth $360 (USD). When transferred to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, this is equivalent to buying 25,000 miles at 1.44 US cents per mile.

This is still lower than the baseline Alaska redemption value of 1.8 US cents per mile, and cheaper than the promotional cost to buy miles outright. Depending on your Bonvoy balance and hotel redemption goals, you’ll have to weigh whether this is a better choice than paying cash for Alaska miles.

Mileage Plan Shopping

You can also turn to the Mileage Plan Shopping portal for bonuses on online purchases at many popular worldwide retailers ranging from technology to sportswear companies. High bonuses can often be found around big shopping days like Black Friday or Boxing Day.

In my experience, miles usually arrive within two weeks, although many stores have restrictions for purchases outside of the US.

Previous Promotions

As you weigh whether this promotion is a good opportunity for you to meet your travel goals, here’s a snapshot of Alaska Mileage Plan’s previous offers on mileage sales, covering all promotions during the past year:

Up to 70% more purchased miles

Up to 60% more purchased miles

Up to 50% more purchased miles

Up to 60% more purchased miles

Up to 60% more purchased miles

Up to 60% more purchased miles

Up to 50% more purchased miles

Up to 60% more purchased miles

Up to 50% more purchased miles

Conclusion

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan’s 70% bonus promotion on buying miles is a great opportunity to push your balance over the hump for a dream trip, or to top-up your balance and use up your Alaska miles before further devaluations.

This time, you can earn up to a 70% bonus when you purchase at least 30,000 miles. If you have a specific redemption in mind, this could be a good way to score an aspirational flight at a fraction of the price; however, buying miles speculatively is particularly risky at this point, since the program is about to undergo major changes.

The offer runs until March 15, 2024, so be sure to have a look at what’s available and then make your purchase if you stand to benefit.





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