Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan periodically puts its miles on sale. These miles can be difficult to earn, so the occasional buy miles sales can be useful for topping up or stocking up to book one of the many Alaska Mileage Plan sweet spot redemptions.
Through Nov. 2, 2022, Alaska is offering a “mystery offer” buy miles sale through which you can buy miles with up to a 60% bonus. If you’re targeted for a 60% bonus, you’ll be able to buy miles for as low as 1.85 cents per mile. You can log in and check your offer here.
TPG’s valuations peg the value of Alaska miles at 1.8 cents each. But, buying miles for slightly higher than our valuations may provide excellent value if you have a specific redemption in mind. In particular, purchasing miles through this sale may be a good idea if you’re ready to book an award flight and have already found bookable award space.
Now, let’s take a closer look at this offer.
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Buying Alaska Miles with up to a 60% bonus
With this “mystery offer,” the bonus is targeted. So, your offer may differ from what’s offered to other members. But the highest bonus is 60% and is structured as follows for TPG senior writer Katie Genter:
Price per mile
3,000 to 19,000 miles
20,000 to 39,000 miles
40,000 to 100,000 miles
Purchasing miles with the 60% bonus decreases the cost to 1.85 cents per mile as long as you purchase at least 40,000 miles.
This is one of the highest bonuses we’ve seen for Alaska miles, though not as good as a 70% bonus we’ve occasionally seen in the past. You’ll see an extra tax recovery fee listed when you go to buy Alaska miles, but this fee is included in the price per mile we discuss throughout this story.
TPG values Alaska miles at 1.8 cents each, but you can get even more value from your miles. You can redeem Alaska miles for first- and business-class travel on one of Alaska’s many international airline partners like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Fiji Airways. Sometimes, you can get more than 5 cents per mile in value with these redemptions.
Related: Your complete guide to earning and redeeming with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
How many Alaska miles can I purchase?
If you hold MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K or MVP Gold 100K elite status with Alaska Mileage Plan, there isn’t any annual limit on how many Alaska miles you can buy or receive as a gift. But, if you don’t hold elite status with Alaska, you can only buy or be gifted up to 150,000 miles per calendar year.
The calendar year limit for non-elite members doesn’t include bonus miles, though. If you’re targeted for a 60% bonus and haven’t purchased or received as a gift any Alaska miles yet this year, you could buy 150,000 miles through this sale and receive 90,000 bonus miles for a total of 240,000 miles deposited into your account.
However, note you’d need to purchase your miles in two transactions since the website only supports buying up to 100,000 miles per transaction.
Related: Alaska Mileage Plan top-tier members get an intriguing choice of perks for 2023
How should I redeem Alaska miles?
Alaska Airlines partners with many great airlines. On top of Alaska’s Oneworld and Oneworld connect partners, the airline also partners with various other airlines, including Korean Air and LATAM.
Best of all, you can add a free stopover on many Alaska Mileage Plan awards. You can check out Alaska’s award charts for inspiration, but here are a few of my favorite ways to redeem Alaska miles.
Stopover in Fiji on the way to the South Pacific in business class
ZACH HONIG/THE POINTS GUY
With its pristine beaches, Fiji is a bucket-list destination for many travelers. You can redeem 55,000 Alaska miles to fly from the continental U.S., Alaska or Canada to Fiji in Fiji Airways business class, making it one of the best redemption values for Alaska miles.
During this sale, 55,000 Alaska miles would cost you about $1,018 if you buy the miles at a rate of 1.85 cents each. Plus, you can use Alaska’s free stopover to continue to New Zealand, Australia or another South Pacific destination for no additional miles.
Fly from the US to South America in LATAM business class
LATAM is the largest airline in South America, with hubs in Santiago, Lima and other major cities. You can book a one-way award from the continental U.S., Alaska or Canada to South America in LATAM business class for just 45,000 Alaska miles, though you still need to book these awards over the phone.
During this sale, 45,000 Alaska miles would cost about $833 if you can buy the miles at a rate of 1.85 cents each.
Head to Asia in Cathay Pacific first class
JAMES D. MORGAN/GETTY IMAGES
Cathay Pacific flies from several different U.S. gateways to its hub in Hong Kong. You can use your Alaska miles to fly in Cathay Pacific’s swanky first-class product to Hong Kong and beyond for just 70,000 Alaska miles one-way with minimal taxes and fees. Considering these tickets often cost more than $5,000 one-way, purchasing miles is an excellent deal for this award.
During this sale, 70,000 Alaska miles would cost about $1,295 if you can buy the miles at a rate of 1.85 cents each. However, ensure you find first class award availability before buying the miles. Fair warning: it can be hard to come by.
Related: Now live: Cathay Pacific awards bookable on the Alaska Airlines website
Use one of these credit cards to pay for Alaska miles
Points.com — not Alaska — will process your purchase if you take advantage of this promotion. Because Alaska isn’t processing the purchase, you won’t earn bonus rewards for using a card with airline spending as a bonus category.
Pay with a credit card that offers a solid return on everyday purchases to earn the most rewards for your purchase. For example, consider using the following cards that offer bonus earnings on all purchases:
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn at least 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
Citi® Double Cash Card: Earn 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay).
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Earn 2 points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent in purchases per calendar year.
Related: The best credit cards for buying points and miles
We don’t recommend buying points or miles speculatively. But, if you have an upcoming trip that you want to book with Alaska miles and you’ve found award availability, this buy miles sale may let you earn Alaska miles at a reasonable rate.
If you don’t need the miles immediately and are instead starting to plan a trip, you may prefer to sign up for an Alaska Airlines credit card and earn miles through its sign-up bonus and bonus categories. For example, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus miles plus companion fare from $121($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) when you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
Additional reporting by JT Genter, Katie Genter, Victoria Walker and Nick Ewen.