40% Bonus on Purchasing or Gifting Alaska Airlines Miles

Through September 28, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is up to a 40% bonus on purchased or gifted miles.

It’s a 20% bonus on purchases/gifting of 19,000 or fewer miles, a 30% bonus on 20,000 – 29,000 miles, and a 40% bonus on 30,000 – 40,000 miles.

Even with a 40% bonus you’re paying 2.1 cents per mile — not cheap enough where I suggest buying miles on the if-come, but a good deal if it puts you over the top towards a premium cabin award.

And the Mileage Plan program has some really great values. They have a wide variety of partnerships across both members of Skyteam and of oneworld, as well as unaffiliated carriers like Emirates and Icelandair.

They don’t permit award holds, they don’t offer one-way awards when booking on partners, and they do not permit combining partners on a single roundtrip award — you can fly only Alaska Airlines and one partner on an award, and it must be the same partner both directions of a roundtrip.

But an award like Cathay Pacific from the US to Africa via the Pacific with an allowable stopover in Hong Kong is just 140,000 miles roundtrip in first class. Not bad. And we’ll soon see their redemption chart for new partner Emirates.

I really like the Alaska program for infrequent flyers, you can credit flying on both American Airlines and Delta to the Mileage Plan program and get an award ticket faster. I also like it for Delta hub captives who don’t fly enough to earn elite status, since Alaska miles are more valuable than Delta miles and such folks aren’t making the tradeoff of better treatment for less valuable miles by crediting to Delta to earn status.

Certainly useful to some.

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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  1. 2.1c per mile is not terrible… $1,100 total for 56k miles… Considering first class ticket JFK-HKG-JNB-HKG-JFK retails for $38k… Random dates in November.

  2. The last time I called the GOLD MVP line to make an international award I was told they will offer 1-way partner awards and online rewards bookings by the end of 2012, fingers crossed and its true.

  3. c’mon EK!! lets get that redemption chart done!! sheesh…Ramadan is over..back to work! 🙂

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