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Until April 3, 2015, you can buy 56,000 or more Alaska Airlines miles for 2.11 cents each.
The sale is structured as a bonus on the normal number of miles you’d receive. The bonus is tiered, so the biggest 40% bonus comes from purchasing 40,000 miles at the normal price of about 2.96 cents each after tax.
To buy 56,000 miles (40,000 + 16,000 bonus) during this sale costs $1,182.50, which is 2.11 cents per mile.
I don’t think Alaska miles are worth 2.11 cents each, but they are worth close to that, and if you have a specific redemption in mind, it isn’t hard to get more than 2.11 cents of value per mile.
- What are the best redemptions for Alaska miles?
- Does this miles purchase count as airfare or travel spending for category bonuses?
- How many miles can you buy during the promotion?
Best Deals with Alaska Miles
Here are the Alaska partners on which you can redeem.
The two redemptions I have been saving my Alaska miles for are Emirates First Class and Cathay Pacific First Class.
- Alaska charges 90,000 miles one way in Emirates First Class (you know, the plane with the showers on board for First Class passengers) from the United States to Dubai or 100,000 to Africa, Europe, or Asia. I think the best deal is the two flights in A380 First Class for 100k miles and stopping for a few days in Dubai for free. Unfortunately Alaska Airlines is blocking Emirates First Class redemptions for flights beyond March 28, 2015. Check out my Emirates First Trip Report here.
- Alaska charges 70,000 miles one way in Cathay Pacific First Class from the United States to Asia, India, the Middle East, or Africa. (Here’s the pattern to Cathay Pacific First Class award space.) Check out my Cathay Pacific First Trip Report here.
Other fantastic deals with Alaska miles:
- Alaska charges the same off peak prices for American Airlines flights that American Airlines charges to Europe and South America. That means you can fly one way in American Airlines economy to Paris or to Buenos Aires for 20,000 miles one way.
- From the United States to Fiji (stopover as long as you’d like) to Australia or New Zealand on Fiji Airways is 40,000 miles one way in economy and 55,000 in Business Class. More here.
Remember that Alaska Airlines miles sales are handled through points.com, so they are not considered airfare or travel purchases for the purposes of earning a category bonus on your credit card. By contrast, Avianca miles are sold through lifemiles.com and do count as airfare/travel spending.
While you are limited to 56,000 Alaska miles per transaction, there is no limit on the number of transactions. You can buy unlimited quantities of Alaska miles through multiple transactions. Is that a good deal? Is even a single purchase a good deal? The answer is almost always the same on buy-miles promotions:
It is a bad deal to speculatively buy the miles without an immediate use. Not only are Alaska miles probably not worth 2.11 cents in the abstract, but miles can always be devalued before you use them. However, if you have an immediate use of Alaska miles where you get more than 2.11 cents of value–very achievable–this is a good deal.