Back in March, I took advantage of Alaska Airlines’ promotion offering up to 40% bonus on purchased miles. For a couple of days now, the airline has been back another promotion, this time offering a bonus of up to 50%. Read on to learn how much the miles cost, and what I used mine for when I bought them the last time.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Alaska Mileage Plan Up to 50% Bonus Promotion
The current offer is scheduled to last until October 5, 2017. As such, you still have plenty of time to decide whether you want to take advantage of it or not. Also, this time, the offer is targeted – some members get up to 35% bonus, others up to 40%, and other up to 50%.
Luckily, I (similarly to some other people I know) was targeted with the 50% offer.
In one transaction, up to 60,000 miles plus the bonus can be bought. However, you can buy the packages as many times as you want, and so – if you feel like it, although I do not recommend it too much, you can stock up with a lot of miles.
With the “up to 50% bonus” offer, the cost per mile is as follows:
- 2.96 cents per mile if you buy up to 9,000 miles (the standard rate)
- 2.46 cents per mile if you buy between 10,000 and 19,000 miles (20% bonus)
- 2.19 cents per mile if you buy between 20,000 and 39,000 miles (35% bonus)
- 1.97 cents per mile if you buy between 40,000 and 60,000 miles (50% bonus)
How Did I Use My Previously Purchased Miles?
Alaska Airlines has quite a few partner airlines with which you can redeem miles. The one thing to keep in mind is that each partner has a separate award chart, and that each partner only offers awards connecting certain regions. For the full chart, see here.
As for some examples, let me write about the two award tickets that I used my previously purchased miles for.
Japan Airlines Business Class Within Asia for 25,000 Miles
My first Alaska Airlines-issued award ticket was between Jakarta and Singapore via Tokyo with Japan Airlines. If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia, this is a great way to add a side trip to Japan.
For just 25,000 miles (about $500 worth) and about $50 in taxes and fees, you can get a ticket between any two cities in Asia that Japan Airlines operates to with a stopover in Japan. For example, you could get a Delhi – Tokyo – Jakarta ticket which would get you two relatively long flights in business class for just $550.
Also, keep in mind that booking something like Bangkok – Tokyo – Bangkok would cost you twice as much as it would be considered a return flight. As such, if you are looking for a roundtrip from Southeast Asia to Japan, I recommend booking something like Singapore – Tokyo – Bangkok as that is considered to be a one-way ticket between Singapore and Bangkok. And, for the travel within Southeast Asia, you can just use an LCC.
Cathay Pacific First Class Within Asia for 27,500 Miles
The second Alaska award that I issued, and that I will fly next month is in Cathay Pacific’s first class between Bangkok and Tokyo via Hong Kong. The ticket cost 27,500 miles (about $550 worth) and a bit more than $90 in taxes.
Unlike with JAL, stopovers are not permitted. The other drawback is that there are not so many flights within Asia offering first class anymore with only Tokyo being a regular one. However, sometimes, first class also appears on Singapore or Bangkok flights.
Otherwise, you can book one segment in business class and the other in first class for the same amount of miles.
In either case, for a bit less than $650 in total, it is an incredible value if you happen to be in the region.
Some Final Tips
Since the offer is going to be valid for a couple of months, you still have plenty of time to think about it. However, to buy Alaska miles, your account has to be at least 10 days old. As such, if you are on the fences – and might want to buy the miles later – I suggest you create a Mileage Plan account now.
Before buying, if there is a certain flight you have in mind, I suggest checking the availability. (Keep in mind that the fact that you can find a paid seat on a certain flight does not mean there is also an award seat available.) For some airlines – including JAL, you can see it through Alaska’s booking system. For other airlines, you might have to look elsewhere. For example, you can check the Cathay Pacific availability through British Airways Executive Club booking page.
As for me personally, I am considering buying about 60,000 miles again. I am planning a couple of trips between Southeast Asia and Japan, and the miles offer a great value, basically letting me get business class ticket for the price of economy.
How about you? Do you plan to get some miles through this promotion?
If you have any questions about redeeming the miles and so on, leave a comment below.