Alaska Airlines Deals Oneworld

Extended: Alaska Mileage Plan buy miles 50% bonus

With three weeks to go before it becomes a oneworld member, Alaska Airlines is offering up to 50% bonus when you buy miles.
Extended! This promotion has been extended until 19th March 2021, 3.59pm Singapore time.

Our regular readers will know that Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan miles are a great way to tap into good value First and Business Class redemptions with a variety of airlines, in ‘normal times’. They’ll also know they aren’t something you’d ever fork out for without a promotion running, because there almost always is one.

As usual, the airline is back with one of its regular ‘buy miles’ promotions this week, offering a 50% bonus deal for selected members, which allows you to purchase at 1.97 US cents per mile.

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Unless you need a top-up for a specific redemption you’ll be making soon, however, this probably isn’t something to go for.

Aside from the fact better bonuses have been offered recently, Alaska’s entry into the oneworld alliance is just three weeks away, and we expect some changes to the award chart structure and pricing by the time alliance-wide redemptions are rolled out this summer.

The new offer runs from now until 15th March 2021 19th March 2021 in Singapore.

The March 2021 offer

This is the ninth Alaska miles bonus offer since the COVID-19 situation took hold, with anywhere from 40% up to 60% bonus promotions already in the lineup over the last 12 months.

Some bad news though – since the CARES act for aviation ticket taxes expired in the US, federal excise taxes of 7.5% are back – meaning you’re now paying more per mile compared to comparable bonus levels running last year!

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 14 purchase bonus offers in 2019 and 2020).
AStrans

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

Miles purchased Bonus Cost per mile
1,000 – 2,000 None 2.96 US ¢
3,000 – 14,000 40% 2.11 US ¢
15,000 – 100,000 50% 1.97 US ¢

If you are not an elite member, your account may only be credited up to a maximum total of 150,000 miles (acquired through buying miles) in a calendar year, whether purchased by you or gifted to you.

MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K Mileage Plan member accounts have no annual limit on the number of miles which may be purchased or gifted.

  Click here to buy Alaska Miles

Deadline: 15th 19th March 2021

The offer closes at 11.59pm PST on Sunday 14th March 2021, which is 3.59pm on Monday 15th March 2021 Singapore time.

Extended: The offer now closes at 11.59pm PST on Thursday 18th March 2021, which is 3.59pm on Friday 19th March 2021 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 19th March 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 anything from 50% bonus rates or more, 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 / Qatar flights 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.

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

Here are 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
Business Class
65,000
miles
$1,373 $1,281
Singapore to Tokyo
Business Class
25,000
miles
$528 $493
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JAL Boeing 777 Business Class from Singapore to Tokyo. (Photo: Melv_L – MACASR via Flickr)

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).

SQtrans small

AStrans Effective cost buying at bonus levels (US$):
40% 50%
Tokyo to Los Angeles
Business Class
80,000
miles
$1,689 $1,577

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$1,478 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$):
40% 50%
Singapore to Los Angeles
First Class*
70,000
miles
$1,478 $1,380
Singapore to Los Angeles
Business Class
50,000
miles
$1,056 $985
Sydney to New York
First Class*
80,000
miles
$1,689 $1,577
Sydney to New York
Business Class
60,000
miles
$1,267 $1,182
Hong Kong to London
Business Class
42,500
miles
$897 $838
Singapore to Tokyo
Business Class
22,500
miles
$475 $443

* 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$985 (if you buy at the 50% bonus rate).

Even Singapore to Tokyo or Seoul for example drops to US$443 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
$1,478