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Alaska Mileage Plan is offering up to 50% bonus miles

Buy Alaska miles during their 6-week promotion and receive up to a 50% bonus

EXPIRED This article relates to an offer or promotion which has now expired.

1A Boarding

Our regular readers will know that we consider Mileage Plan, the frequent flyer program of Alaska Airlines, an excellent option for Singapore-based travellers owing to the wide range of good value, flexible redemptions you can secure using them. That’s combined with their regular sales offering bonus miles promotions, which allow you to purchase ‘unlimited’ Alaska miles.

The latest bonus

Hot on the heels of Finnair being added as a full Alaska miles redemption partner last week, there’s now the offer of up to 50% bonus miles on purchases of 40,000 to 60,000 miles.

50 Bonus.jpg

The 50% bonus level, which is the highest Alaska have historically offered, is targeted but appears to be much more widespread than under previous offers. I have been offered 50% this time, while Eddie got a 40% bonus.

The 50% bonus also seems to be common among One Mile at a Time readers judging by the comments section to their article, though some of their readers report receiving a 35% bonus.

Buy Miles.jpg

In Singapore, Aaron from The Milelion reported getting targeted for the 50% bonus, as did Aaron from Miletitude, so the top tier certainly appears to be quite common.

Log in to your Mileage Plan account to find out which applies to you.

As usual Alaska miles purchases under the offer attract increasing discount levels in progressive tiers depending how many you buy.

Here’s a table showing the cost per mile for the various purchase levels depending on whether you have been targeted for the 35%, 40% or 50% discount. Note that there may be other discount levels on offer, however these three appear to be the most common.

AStrans

Cost per mile based on discount rate
Miles Top Discount Rate
35% 40% 50%
0 – 9,000 2.96 US ¢ 2.96 US ¢ 2.96 US ¢
10,000 – 19,000 2.46 US ¢ 2.46 US ¢ 2.46 US ¢
20,000 – 39,000 2.27 US ¢ 2.27 US ¢ 2.19 US ¢
40,000 – 60,000 2.19 US ¢ 2.11 US ¢ 1.97 US ¢

Note that only the highest tier, purchases of between 40,000 and 60,000 miles, will get you the top discount rate you have been targeted with.

There’s no bonus for anyone for purchasing up to 9,000 miles, after that it’s a 20% bonus for everyone in the 10,000 – 19,000 miles category, a 30% bonus in the 20,000 – 39,000 miles category (35% for those with an overall 50% bonus) then your top targeted bonus rate for purchases of 40,000 – 60,000 miles.

How long does the offer run?

The bonus runs from now until 11.59pm PST on 4th October 2018 (that’s 3.59pm on 5th October in Singapore if you’re cutting it to the wire). If they mean PDT however (as no city is currently observing PST until November due to daylight savings) then it’s 2.59pm on 5th October in Singapore. Might be safer to assume the latter!

Buy as many as you like

One advantage of buying Alaska miles for those with big travel plans coming up is the ability to buy an effectively unlimited volume of miles by repeating the purchases (ideally at the maximum discount level in each case).

You can only make a maximum of four miles purchases per card however, so you are technically limited by the number of credit cards you have.

What you could use them for

If you’re lucky enough to have the 50% bonus, and it appears many people are, that means you’re paying around 1.97 US cents per mile (around 2.69 Singapore cents per mile). That’s the equivalent of paying about S$673 for the JAL ‘stopover trick’, plus about S$80 in taxes.

What’s the JAL ‘stopover trick’?

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An exceptional rate of 25,000 Alaska miles for a ‘return’ flight from Singapore to Japan in Business Class.

JAL787SkySuite
(Photo: Japan Airlines)

This takes advantage of the ability under the Alaska scheme to book free stopovers on one-way redemption tickets. It means you can create a ‘pseudo return’ itinerary for a very low miles rate by booking a redemption to a close-by city, with a stopover in a distant one.

The JAL trick is effectively booking Japan Airlines from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, with a stopover in Tokyo. Sounds like it shouldn’t be possible – but it is, and it’s incredible value at 25,000 Alaska miles in business class (the equivalent of 12,500 miles for each 7 hour sector).

JAL Stopover Map.jpg
(Source: greatcirclemap.com)

Other routings are also possible, you could decide to start your journey in Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok for example and return non-stop to Singapore. Jakarta is also an option.

Generally speaking, JAL Business Class award availability through Alaska MP is also quite good.

The variety of aircraft types used on JAL flights in Asia means you’ll likely be able to try out their newest ‘Sky Suite III’ and ‘Sky Suite 787’ flat-bed products, not to mention renowned on-board service and cuisine.

There’s also a selection of oneworld lounges to visit depending on your routing and the time of day, so this is your chance to try out facilities like the Qantas Singapore Lounge, JAL’s Tokyo lounges or the Qatar / Cathay offerings in Bangkok. Something new if you’re used to flying the Singapore Airlines / Star Alliance network.

JALbooking2.jpg

In order to search and book such an itinerary on the Alaska Airlines website, select ‘all search options’ under the booking area, then select ‘multi-city’ and of course ensure the ‘use miles’ option is selected.

After that simply enter each leg separately (e.g. Singapore to Tokyo for the first flight, Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur on the second flight), select the dates you want (your stopover in Tokyo can be as long as you like), then search to check award availability.

There are plenty other good uses of Alaska miles though, here are a few more ideas with comparison against the miles needed for the same routings with other frequent flyer programs:

Japan Airlines

AVIOStrans JALMBtrans AStrans
Singapore to New York
First Class*
200,000 85,000 75,000
Singapore to New York
Business Class
165,000 70,000 65,000

* Business Class Singapore to Tokyo, First Class Tokyo to New York

Cathay Pacific

Note that Cathay Pacific awards don’t appear in the online search function for Alaska Mileage Plan. We recommend searching using the BA Avios tool, then you’ll have to call Alaska to book.

AVIOStrans Asia AStrans
Singapore to Los Angeles
First Class
160,000 130,000 70,000
Singapore to Los Angeles
Business Class
135,000 85,000 50,000
Sydney to New York
First Class*
200,000 130,000 80,000
Sydney to New York
Business Class
165,000 85,000 60,000
Vancouver to New York
First Class
50,000 40,000 35,000

* Business Class Sydney to Hong Kong, First Class Hong Kong to New York

Korean Air

GAtrans KEskypasstrans AStrans
Singapore to Chicago
Business Class
200,000
(return)
150,000
(return)
120,000
(return)

Qantas

AVIOStrans QFF