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Alaska miles 7 day flash sale: Up to 50% bonus

Alaska Mileage Plan is offering up to 50% bonus when you buy miles between now and 25 September
EXPIRED This article relates to an offer or promotion which has now expired.
Extended: Alaska has extended this offer, which now expires at 2.59pm Singapore Time on Friday 25th September 2020.

With a significantly uncertain outlook for travel opportunities over the coming months, most of our readers are quite understandably not in the market for buying miles lately. The continued border restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have kept most of us grounded for an extended period and there looks to be no immediate respite in sight.

Alaska Airlines has regular ‘buy miles’ promotions and is not holding back this year with another one now in full swing. This time the airline is offering up to 50% bonus for those purchasing or topping up their balance between now and 21st 25th September 2020, allowing you the opportunity to buy Alaska miles from 1.8 US cents each.

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The September 2020 offer

This is the fifth Alaska miles bonus offer since the coronavirus situation took hold, with anywhere from 40% up to 60% bonus sales already offered this year.

This week the airline appears not to be offering its record 60% bonus, with 50% being the top level. The exact deal is targeted specifically for your account, so log on to check. Not everyone receives the same offer.

Remember that these miles are very regularly on offer at these 40-50% bonus levels.

Pro Tip: Never buy Alaska miles at full price, unless you need a small top-up quickly to achieve a specific redemption, or to urgently keep your existing balance alive if it is about to expire. These miles are almost always available on offer (there were seven purchase bonus offers in 2019 alone).
AStrans
Alaska Sep20 50pc

At the top end you’ll have a 50% bonus (historically the maximum, but recently Alaska miles have been sold at a 60% bonus).

Here’s a typical 50% deal, as structured for my account:

Miles purchased Bonus Cost per mile
1,000 – 4,000 None 2.75 US ¢
5,000 – 34,000 40% 1.96 US ¢
35,000 – 100,000 50% 1.83 US ¢
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Why buy Alaska miles?

In normal circumstances we’d recommend buying Alaska miles at 50%+ bonus rates for excellent value First and Business Class award tickets with airlines like Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.

That’s because even if you don’t earn Alaska miles through other means (e.g. Kaligo hotel bookings, or crediting miles from paid Emirates / SIA bookings to the programme), the effective ‘fares’ you are paying for these redemptions are highly competitive even having only acquired your miles in one of these sales.

In many cases, taxes are low with no fuel surcharges levied and Alaska allows free stopovers for no additional miles on most itineraries.

Let’s look at some examples, with the effective cost shown based on buying all the miles you need for the booking.

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AStrans Effective cost buying at bonus levels (US$):
40% 50%
Singapore to New York
First Class*
75,000
miles
$1,473 $1,375
Singapore to New York
Business Class
65,000
miles
$1,276 $1,191
Singapore to Tokyo
Business Class
25,000
miles
$491 $458

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

Singapore to the USA in JAL First Class for 75,000 Alaska miles is one of the standout redemptions in the programme, and just in case you thought it wasn’t possible:

JAL F SINJFK

This itinerary would cost you just US$1,375 if you bought Alaska miles at a 50% bonus rate, though to be fair no one will be complaining much about spending US$1,473 for the experience at the lower 40% bonus level.

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JAL Boeing 777 Business Class from Singapore to Tokyo. (Photo: Melv_L – MACASR via Flickr)

While the first flight up to Tokyo is in JAL’s Business Class seat, you’ll be in First Class for the longer overnight flight to New York.

JL First Class (JAL)
JAL Boeing 777 First Class from Tokyo to New York. (Photo: JAL)

Better still, you can search and book JAL award tickets using Alaska miles wholly online, including availability view by month, no fuel surcharges are added so the taxes are low, and you can have a free stopover in Tokyo on this itinerary for no additional miles (just US$22 in additional taxes).

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AStrans Effective cost buying at bonus levels (US$):
40% 50%
Tokyo to Los Angeles
Business Class
80,000
miles
$1,571 $1,467

There aren’t really any great value ways to use Alaska miles on Singapore Airlines, since the intra-Asia stopover ‘tricks’ were shut down in October 2019.

Perhaps the only decent value option is a Business Class ticket on one of the airline’s fifth freedom routes between Tokyo and Los Angeles, usually 92,000 KrisFlyer miles but available for 80,000 Alaska miles or the equivalent of US$1,467 with a 50% purchase bonus.

It’s not an incredible deal but personally we would probably rather buy the Alaska miles for this one and save the 92,000 KrisFlyer miles for a better value redemption, assuming we needed to fly this city pair in isolation.

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AStrans Effective cost buying at bonus levels (US$):
40% 50%
Singapore to Los Angeles
First Class*
70,000
miles
$1,375 $1,283
Singapore to Los Angeles
Business Class
50,000
miles
$982 $917
Sydney to New York
First Class*
80,000
miles
$1,571 $1,467
Sydney to New York
Business Class
60,000
miles
$1,179 $1,100
Hong Kong to London
Business Class
42,500
miles
$835 $779
Singapore to Tokyo
Business Class
22,500
miles
$442 $413

* Business Class to Hong Kong, then First Class to the USA

There are some great value ways to use Alaska miles on Cathay Pacific, including Singapore to the USA in Business Class for US$917 (if you buy at the 50% bonus rate).

Even Singapore to Tokyo or Seoul for example drops to US$413 in Business Class at a 50% bonus.

1A Boarding
Singapore to Los Angeles, including the Hong Kong to Los Angeles sector in Cathay Pacific’s excellent First Class, is only 70,000 Alaska miles. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Bear in mind though that Cathay Pacific awards using Alaska miles are not searchable or bookable online, so you’ll have to call to secure them. Using the British Airways Avios or American Airlines AAdvantage search engines to check award availability beforehand is usually accurate.

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AStrans Effective cost buying at bonus levels (US$):
40% 50%
Sydney to Dallas
First Class
70,000
miles
$1,375 $1,283
Sydney to Dallas
Business Class
55,000
miles
$1,080 $1,008
Perth to Sydney
Business Class
20,000
miles
$393 $367

If you’re based in Australia, using Alaska miles for coast-to-coast domestic flights in Business Class on Qantas, like Perth to Sydney or Perth to Melbourne at 20,000 miles each way, is great value. That’s equivalent to just US$367 when buying with a 50% bonus. Pick an Airbus A330 or Boeing 787 for the newest flat-bed seats.

It’s also worth checking out Australia to USA award pricing.

QF SYDDFW F

QF A380 J Bed (Qantas)
Qantas A380 Business Class. (Photo: Qantas)

Business Class on one of the world’s longest flights (the 16-hour mammoth from Sydney to Dallas) comes in at around US$1,000 when buying miles at a 50% bonus.

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