Several months ago, I wrote about a promotion on Groupon Spain where one could buy Iberia Avios miles for 1.25 Eurocent per mile and about Alaska Airline’s promotion where one could buy their miles at 1.97 cents per mile.
While in general, I think buying miles for cash is not a good idea, with promotions like these, one can get a good use out of the miles.
Luckily, these two promotions seem to pop-up fairly regularly. And, at the moment, both of them are running simultaneously.
Avios Miles via Groupon Spain for 1.25 Eurocent per Mile
In the first promotion, one has to buy coupons which can then be redeemed for Iberia Avios miles. While Groupon is not stating the end date of the sale, the coupons themselves can be redeemed until the end of December.
The miles are sold in a variety of packages and come at the following cost (the 2,000 mile package can only be bought once):
Even though the miles are sold as Iberia Avios, they can later be transferred to British Airways as well. Among other things, they are ideal for short haul awards with oneworld carriers – especially when booking them last minute.
The last time, I bought two sets of 20,000 miles (for some reason the cost comes down cheaper then through a 34,000 mile package), and so far I used them for the following two awards:
- Tokyo Haneda to Seoul Gimpo with Japan Airlines in economy class for 7,500 miles and about 30 USD in taxes
- Busan to Tokyo Narita with Japan Airlines in business class for 9,000 miles and about 25 USD in taxes
If this is something you might be interested in, you can read more details including a step-by-step guide on how to buy the miles in my article about the last promotion.
Alaska Airlines Miles for 2.11 Cents per Mile
While buying Alaska miles might sound unattractive to anyone outside of the United States, that is not the case. The airline itself flies in a relatively limited area, but it has great partners – including Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, etc. – on which the miles can be redeemed.
As such, depending on what your travel plans are, buying Alaska Airlines miles during this promotion which lasts until December 28, 2017, might make sense for you.
The promotion comes in the form of bonus miles on purchases of 10,000 miles or more, and comes in the following tiers:
- 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)
- 2.11 cents per mile if you buy between 40,000 and 60,000 miles (40% bonus)
Even though you can only buy the miles in packages of up to 60,000 miles, you can buy an unlimited number of these packages. Also, as a side note, the previous maximum bonus was 50% – but in most of these promotions, 40% seems to be the maximum.
To see how you can use the miles, check Alaska’s award chart here. And, just to give you some inspiration, below is how I used the miles I bought during one of the previous promotions:
- JAL Business Class from Jakarta to Delhi via Tokyo – A business class one-way award between any two Asian cities served by JAL costs just 25,000 miles – and, Jakarta to Tokyo to Delhi is about as much flight time as one can get out of this award!
- Cathay Pacific First Class from Bangkok to Tokyo – For 27,500 miles and about 100 USD in taxes (less than 700 USD total), I was able to fly two (albeit fairly short) segments in Cathay Pacific’s first class. And, I also had a chance to visit the great “The Wing” and “The Pier” first class lounges in Hong Kong.
For some more details about the promotion, you can also check my article about the previous one.
Overall, I think both of these promotions can be very valuable depending on your travel patterns. If you tend to travel short haul a lot, you might want to look closer at the Avios deal. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a (relatively) affordable way to try business or first class, take a closer look at Alaska Airlines’ promotion.