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Alaska Mileage Plan up to 60% bonus miles sale

Buy Alaska Miles in the latest sale from 1.72 US cents each with a competitive 60% bonus, but only if it's right for you

Alaska Airlines is back with one of its regular ‘buy miles’ promotions this month, repeating its best ever 60% bonus offer for selected members, allowing you to purchase at a highly competitive 1.72 US cents per mile. While travel remains uncertain, this does have the potential to unlock some good value redemptions in 2021.

The current offer runs from now until 1st November 2020 in Singapore, with either 50% or 60% bonuses widely offered to programme members.

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The October 2020 offer

This is the sixth 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 is offering its record 60% bonus. There’s also an amazing 70% bonus for those based in the USA who bought during the last sale, however that’s unlikely for our readers as the deal wasn’t offered internationally.

The exact deal is targeted specifically for your account, so log on to check. Not everyone receives the same offer.

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

At the top end you’ll have a 60% bonus (historically the maximum offered).

Here’s a typical 60% deal, as structured for my account:

Miles purchased Bonus Cost per mile
1,000 – 2,000 None 2.75 US ¢
3,000 – 39,000 50% 1.83 US ¢
40,000 – 100,000 60% 1.72 US ¢

Deadline: 1st November 2020

The offer closes at 11.59pm PST on Saturday 31st October 2020, which is 2.59pm on Sunday 1st November 2020 Singapore time.

Alaska is strict about the offer deadline, so it will completely disappear at the end time – we’ve tested it to the minute in the past. We would therefore recommend making your purchase before approximately 2pm on 1st November in Singapore if you’re interested, just in case you have any issues or the payment doesn’t go through first time.

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$):
50% 60%
Singapore to New York
First Class*
75,000
miles
$1,375 $1,290
Singapore to New York
Business Class
65,000
miles
$1,191 $1,118
Singapore to Tokyo
Business Class
25,000
miles
$458 $430

* 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$1,290 if you bought Alaska miles at a 60% bonus rate, though to be fair no one will be complaining much about spending US$1,375 for the experience at the lower 50% 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$):
50% 60%
Tokyo to Los Angeles
Business Class
80,000
miles
$1,467 $1,376

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$1,376 with a 60% 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$):
50% 60%
Singapore to Los Angeles
First Class*
70,000
miles
$1,283 $1,204
Singapore to Los Angeles
Business Class
50,000
miles
$917 $860
Sydney to New York
First Class*
80,000
miles
$1,467 $1,376
Sydney to New York
Business Class
60,000
miles
$1,100 $1,032
Hong Kong to London
Business Class
42,500
miles
$779 $731
Singapore to Tokyo
Business Class
22,500
miles
$413 $387

* 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$860 (if you buy at the 60% bonus rate).

Even Singapore to Tokyo or Seoul for example drops to US$387 in Business Class at a 60% 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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