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Up to 50% bonus when you buy Alaska Miles until 31 August

Alaska Miles are on sale again, with up to 50% bonus offered. Book the JAL stopover trick from US$493. Deadline 31st August.

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

AS 737 Landing (Kenneth Gill)

Alaska Mileage Plan is back with another ‘buy miles’ promotion this month, featuring a variable top bonus of up to 50%, historically the highest they offer. This is perfect timing if you need to top up your balance for one of the good value redemptions these miles unlock, including the JAL stopover trick for just US$493.


Check your account for your personal bonus level and make your purchase by 2.59pm Singapore time on 31st August 2019.


July 2019 offer

Once you log on to your Alaska Mileage Plan account and click on ‘Buy Miles’ you’ll be presented with the offer applicable to your account. For me it’s the highest level this time with a 50% bonus.

Alaska Jul19 Offer 2.jpg

To trigger the 50% bonus I have to buy 60,000 miles, but the deal may be structured differently for others. For example Eddie only has to buy 40,000 miles to get the 50% bonus, and some members may have been targeted for a lower 35% or 40% maximum bonus.

Depending on your bonus level structure and number of miles purchased, you’re buying Alaska Miles here at:

  • 20% bonus – 2.46 US ¢ / mile
  • 35% bonus – 2.19 US ¢ / mile
  • 40% bonus – 2.11 US ¢ / mile
  • 50% bonus – 1.97 US ¢ / mile

50% is historically the highest bonus level Alaska offers in its Mileage Plan sales, and while you typically saw it once a year this is coming around more frequently lately. There was a flash sale last month with a 30% discount (equivalent to a 43% bonus), but 50% bonus remains the best offer to date.

One of the highest value benefits of holding Alaska Miles in this region is the JAL stopover trick, a pseudo-return Business Class flight to Japan and back for 25,000 miles. At the 50% bonus rate that’s costing just US$492.71, but even if your offer is for a 40% bonus it’s not bad at US$527.90.

Offer ends 31st August

No big rush this time as you have until the end of August to decide whether to buy. The offer closes at 11.59pm PST on Friday 30th August 2019, which is 2.59pm on Saturday 31st August 2019 Singapore time.

Alaska are strict about the offer deadline and it will completely disappear at the end time (we’ve tested it to the minute before), so we’d recommend acting before approximately 2pm on 31st August in Singapore if you’re interested, just in case it doesn’t go through first time.

The JAL stopover ‘trick’

There are many uses of Alaska Miles for members based in Singapore, but without question one of the best is the JAL stopover ‘trick’.

This is a ‘return’ JAL Business Class flight from Singapore to Japan for 25,000 Alaska Miles plus around US$60 in taxes. The only snag? You’ll need to either depart on your first flight somewhere other than Singapore (e.g. Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta or Bangkok) and then fly back to Singapore at the end, or start in Singapore then end the trip in one of those places.

Here’s how it works in a bit more detail.

What’s the JAL ‘stopover trick’?


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

(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

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.


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.

On our most recent trip in April we commenced the journey in Bangkok as we wanted to start in Osaka and JAL doesn’t fly there directly from Singapore.

After positioning on a cheap Scoot flight SIN-BKK, then sampling the excellent and relatively new Qatar Airways Bangkok lounge for a few hours, we took the non-stop overnight BKK-KIX flight.

For the return sector we were leaving from Tokyo and flew non-stop from Narita to Singapore. Total cost per person was 25,000 Alaska Miles + US$60, in addition to the Scoot flight. We also had the cost of positioning between Osaka and Tokyo, but you wouldn’t need to do that if (like most people) you just use the trick for a Tokyo trip.


Cathay Pacific First and Business Class

If the JAL stopover ‘trick’ doesn’t interest you, the next best way to use Alaska Miles for Singapore-based flyers is in First or Business Class on Cathay Pacific.

You can fly all the way from Singapore to Los Angeles in Business Class for 50,000 miles or in First Class for 70,000 miles (Singapore Airlines is charging 95,000 and 130,000 KrisFlyer miles respectively for the same trip)

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
Hong Kong to London
Business Class
90,000 65,000 42,500
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

Even though the Alaska award chart shows that redeeming Europe flights on Cathay Pacific is only possible to or from Hong Kong, you can fly Singapore to Europe on Cathay using Alaska Miles, but they will charge you for the Singapore – Hong Kong (Intra-Asia) and Hong Kong – Europe rates combined (22,500 + 42,500), making it a relatively poor deal at 65,000 miles in Business Class.

Both flights are combined into a single itinerary for you so it’s a simple option, but in our opinion it’s better to position to Hong Kong with a low-cost airline then take the competitive Business Class rate with Alaska Miles from there.

Alternatively use Avios and position to Hong Kong on Cathay for 22,000 points in Business (unfortunately this recently increased from 20,000 points), they will also check you through for your onward Europe flight redeemed using Alaska Miles despite separate itineraries, provided you have built in a 1hr+ connection time.

1A Boarding.jpg
Cathay Pacific First Class is a strong favourite of ours, and it’s great value on many routes using Alaska Miles. See our full review. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The only downside when using Alaska Miles to book Cathay Pacific flights is that availability is not searchable online. You’ll have to search using another tool (we recommend using the British Airways Avios site), then call Alaska to book.

As we’ve mentioned before, there are varying accounts regarding what Cathay Pacific availability Alaska phone agents can and cannot see. We generally find the Cathay availability shown on the BA Avios site to be accurate. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less.


Other good redemptions

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

Korean Air

GAtrans KEskypasstrans AStrans
Singapore to Chicago
Business Class


AVIOStrans QFF AStrans
Sydney to Dallas
First Class
200,000 168,000 70,000
Sydney to Dallas
Business Class
165,000 112,000 55,000
Perth to Sydney
Business Class
37,500 36,000 20,000
Qantas 787 J (Qantas).jpg
Qantas flies its latest 1-2-1 Business Class seats on many long-haul and domestic flights. (Photo: Qantas)


EKtrans2 EKtrans.png