Up to 50% Bonus on Alaska Miles Lets You Buy Emirates First Class at a Deep Discount

Alaska Airlines is offering up to a 50% bonus when you purchase or gift miles. It’s a ‘mystery bonus’, you give them your name and account number and it’s revealed whether you receive a 35%, 40%, or 50% bonus.

I consider buying at 40%, at 50% it’s really tempting, and Alaska’s are the only airline miles I’d personally do that with. The starting price of Alaska’s miles is lower than many other airlines.

Regardless of the offer you’re targeted for you will be presented with a tiered bonus. For the 50% offer, it’s:

  • Purchase 10,000-19,000 miles: 20% bonus
  • Purchase 20,000-39,000 miles: 35% bonus
  • Purchase 40,000-60,000 miles: 50% bonus

With this offer you can buy 60,000 miles, receive 90,000, at a cost of $1773.75 or about 1.97 cents per mile.

A 40% offer still lets you buy as low as ~2.1 cents per mile and a 35% offer as low as 2.2 cents a mile.

Key things to know:

  • You can make as many transactions as you like — there’s no limit to the number of miles that Alaska will sell you, or to the number of bonus miles you can earn with this promotion. But you can only use the same credit card up to 4 times per 30 day period for any Points.com transactions, so if you’re going hog wild you’ll need to spread the purchases across multiple cards.

  • Since the transactions are processed by points.com, not the airline, these purchases aren’t treated as airfare by credit card companies and as a result don’t earn airfare bonuses.

It’s great that you can buy enough miles for an award from scratch, although Alaska doesn’t hold award tickets and let you buy the miles later. You’d have to find availability, buy miles, and go back to ticket… or work with a phone agent to set up a reservation while you try their patience and complete the mileage purchases online.

I really like Alaska Airlines miles because they offer one-way awards on nearly all of their partners and most booking functionality is available on their website. One way awards allow an enroute stopover. So booking roundtrip allows two stopovers in addition to your destination.

Alaska partners with many of the airlines both in oneworld (like American, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, LAN) and Skyteam (like Delta, Air France, Korean) and also non-alliance airlines like Emirates. While you cannot book first class awards on either Air France or Korean (business is the highest cabin offered) you can book first class even on the A380 on Emirates — though award charts are region-specific and travel isn’t permitted to and from all regions of the world.

You can use Alaska miles to fly US – Asia via the Middle East.

You can fly to just the Middle East or to India or Africa.

You can also fly between the US and Europe on Emirates (this is what worries American, Delta, and United so much).

Cathay Pacific first class inventory is tighter than it used to be although they still reliably make unsold first class seats available close to departure.

I’m not in favor of hoarding miles at these prices. But it’s strategically useful and I’ve purchased Alaska miles with a 40% bonus.

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 InsideFlyer.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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Comments

  1. Thanks for the info – I live in Dallas and I am lifetime Platinum on AA. After reading this, I went to Alaska and signed up. Once I had my number, I tried to purchase miles using the link in your article and received the follow.

    The Mileage Plan account you specified is not eligible to purchase miles.

    Any idea why?
    Thanks

  2. You need to have an active account for 7-10 days before you can purchase miles and book awards with Alaska Airlines.

    You cannot book EK awards from Europe to Asia unfortunately. Flight options do not show up.

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