Why You Want to Buy Icelandair Miles

Online Travel Review shared a great tip today, and one that most overlook.

  • Icelandair has a 20% bonus on purchased miles running through September 28th.

  • 30,000 miles (25,000 plus bonus) costs ~ $329 (charged in Krona)

  • That’s the cost of an Alaska Airlines first class roundtrip ticket between Seattle and any non-stop destination they fly to — including Hawaii and Mexico.

  • You can purchase 100,000 miles per account per year.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Did you mean one way first class ticket? That’s what I can make of the Alaska Airlines award chart. I’d love a 25k rt first class award though!

  2. I see I was supposed to be looking at the Iceland Air Saga Club redemption. It still doesn’t say if these are RT or one way awards…

  3. @Greg this is not the Alaska Airlines award chart that’s at issue, you’re using the ICELANDAIR award chart for redeptions on their partner Alaska Arilines

  4. I’m with Greg. It doesn’t seem clear if the redemption is for one-way or RT. It seems more reasonable for it to be for just a one way ticket.

  5. I get the feeling that they are inundated with account registrations or are rethinking this Saga Club miles bonus on purchases. I was given an error message and told to email my personal details for them to “manually register” me. The automated registration is down.

  6. Sure would be a sweet deal for RT tickets. But yeah, “Saga Club members can redeem their Saga Points with Alaska Airlines. Why not fly to Hawai, Las Vegas or Los Angeles for only 20.000 Saga Points?” doesn’t really convince me you’ll also be flying back. Certainly a vague website.

  7. zmike, that’s exactly the right point. I think everyone is making a mistake here. It very much seems that it’s only one way.

  8. I just got off the phone with them. They were having a really difficult time, and were uncertain if it was 30000 one way or round trip. Could not even price it for me without purchasing first, because they have to manually do it…. I will wait.

  9. Hi – I wrote the original article, and figured I’d clear up some answers here:

    I’ve spoken with Icelandair a few times about this, and it’s 20,000 miles roundtrip. It’s not crazy when you think about it: the majority of Alaska Airlines flights are short-to-mid haul. Yes, the Hawaii part is ridiculous and I can’t imagine why they’d do it for 20k miles. However, Avios is only 25k miles in coach from the West Coast so it’s not absurd.

    The incredibly low price for purchasing miles comes from the Icelandic Krona devaluation. If you live in Iceland, buying those miles isn’t cheap. But if you live in the US, it’s a deal.

    And yes – the fine folks at Icelandair were not well-versed in using miles on Alaska Airlines. Apparently this is not a redemption they deal with very often (ie, never). However, I called a few times (speaking with the same person a few times – it’s a small office) and they were able to price out the tickets at 20k roundtrip.

    You can also see on the award chart for Icelandair redemptions that they only allow roundtrip redemptions – I can’t imagine why they would only permit roundtrip redemptions on Icelandair but far-more-lenient one-way redemptions on Alaska.
    https://www.icelandair.us/frequent-flyer/earning-and-redeeming/redeem-points/detail/item200069/Icelandair/

  10. I dunno. Based on the precarious financial state of the entire country I don’t think I would invest much in Icelandair’s miles for long-term use. Maybe if there is an Alaska redemption that you have your eye on now, yes…

  11. @Gomer: Iceland has turned itself around quickly. Unemployment is below 6%, they paid back all of the loans they took to get themselves through the crisis, and their economy is growing almost 3% a year. Spain, Italy and Greece are in far, far worse positions.
    See here:
    http://nyti.ms/LEMgCf

  12. Anyone else seeing a “this service is temporarily unavailable” message when navigating to the “buy miles” screen?

  13. I am running into a problem booking flights to Hawaii from either ATL or MCO. Because of the layover rules, cannot get there on one ticket. Next tried to book separate ticket to SEA and then another to LIH. Still a bargain for 650 RT. Alaska Air showed award availability out of both cities to SEA & then to LIH. Called Iceland Air & they advised they did not show award seats available. Apparently, Alaska Air had not released those seats to them. So, now got a bunch of Iceland Air points and no Hawaii trip! :-( So, warning to others, just because Alaska Air shows award tickets, does not mean that Iceland Air can book you on those seats.

  14. Now that Iceland Air has pulled the Alaska Air relationship for now, any thoughts on what to do with the 60K Iceland miles burning a hole in my pocket? Lesson learned, don’t buy unless I’m ready to fly.

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