Buy Alaska Miles with a 60% Bonus

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is a popular program in Canada for its co-branded MBNA credit cards, great redemption offers, and frequent mileage sales.

With your current sale, you can earn up to 60% bonus miles on your purchase. This sale is until May 23, 2022, so be sure to capitalize sooner if you’re interested.

Buy Alaska Miles with a 60% bonus

Alaska Airlines typically sells miles for 2.75 cents per mile, plus a 7.5% tax recovery fee, for a total of 2.96 cents per mile. Fortunately, Alaska frequently offers discounts on the purchase of miles.

Alaska is known for running specific “mystery bonds”. It seems that the best offer available is for up to 60% bonus on purchased miles, structured like this:

  • 60% bonus when you buy 40,000–100,000 miles
  • 50% bonus when you buy 20,000–39,000 miles
  • 40% bonus when you buy 3,000–19,000 miles

My own offer is considerably lower, with a maximum bonus of 40%. Sign in with your Mileage Plan account to see the exact breakdown of your bonus.

With a 60% bonus, could purchase 160,000 Alaska miles for $2,956 including tax, at a cost of 1.85 cents per mile.

At our current assessment of 1.8 cents per milethat price is very competitive if you have a specific use in mind.

Alaska has historically tended to offer rebates in the 35%-60% range, although we have seen exceptional offers of up to 70%. If you’ve dabbled with the idea of ​​purchasing Alaska miles and are destined for the best bonus, now would be a great time to do so.

How many miles can be purchased?

Unless you have elite status with Alaska, each Mileage Plan member is limited to receiving 150,000 miles per calendar year for mileage purchases, whether you buy them for yourself or give them to someone else.

This limit only applies to base miles, although there is a limit of 100,000 base miles per transaction. If you split your purchase into multiple transactions, you can purchase up to 240,000 miles including the 60% bonus, assuming you have not purchased or received Alaska miles this year.

What credit card should you use to purchase Alaska miles?

Mileage Plan sells miles through Since you’re not buying directly from Alaska Airlines, you won’t earn bonus points for using an Alaska Airlines credit card.

The purchase will also not be coded as a trip for the category accelerator. Instead, you could consider any card with a high base earn rate, or one you’re working on to meet the minimum spend requirement.

The purchase will be charged in USD. To avoid additional costs, you must use a US credit card.

If you use a card with a Canadian billing address, you will be charged GST/HST in addition to the tax recovery fee, so even if you have a Canadian card with no foreign transaction fees, I recommend using it only as a last resort.

Who Should Buy Alaska Miles?

Buying miles can be a good way to top up your account if you want to redeem soon.

Book an expensive aspirational flight

I should note that there is some uncertainty surrounding the future value of the Alaska Mileage Plan. Since Alaska joined Oneworld in March 2021, they have been slowly rolling out new partner lists for Qatar Airways, Iberia and Royal Air Maroc.

However, Alaska has committed to announcing any changes to existing prize lists at least 90 days in advance.

With that in mind, the Alaska Prize Chart continues to offer some spectacular fares on exquisite first-class cabins.

Some examples from Canada or the US include Cathay Pacific First Class for 70,000 miles one way with a stop in Hong Kong, or JAL First Class for 70,000 miles one way with a stop in Tokyo.

Compared to the exorbitant cash prices, award tickets can be had for absolutely incredible value. 70,000 Alaskan miles at 1.8 cents per mile is worth US$1,260. Compare this to a cash price of $11,563 for Cathay First Class, and you see the dictionary definition of outsized rewards!

Seen another way, this redemption would be worth it 16.5 (USD) cents per milemore than 15 times the reference value of a mile, and that is before considering the option of adding a stopover at no additional cost.

With these rates, it would make sense to purchase miles if you have a specific high-value redemption planned. Buying at around 2 cents a mile sounds expensive, but not when you’re sure the value will outweigh the cost many times over.

Even if you are starting from scratch and need to purchase all the required miles for this ticket, with a 60% promotion, the cost of the miles would be US$1,293 including fees, a very modest premium on top of your baseline value, and a no-brainer compared to an income fee.

Of course, this only makes sense if you can find room for prizes. JAL First Class awards are notoriously popular, and luckily they’re back on the Alaska search engine. Cathay Pacific First Class awards appear to be available between North America and Asia, but must be booked by phone.

I recommend making sure you’ve lined up your seats before you pull the trigger on a points purchase.

Quick top-up for an upcoming redemption

If you’ve identified a good opportunity to redeem your Alaska miles at a value you like, but your account is just slightly below the amount you need, it may be acceptable for you to pay above the benchmark value to make up the difference.

As long as you’re redeeming above the 1.85 cents per mile (USD) cost to shop with this promotion, you’ll win.

Even if you trade in for less, it may be worth it. After all, your miles are worthless if you don’t have enough to make the reservations you want. If most of your miles were purchased very cheaply, you can still get good value on your average mileage cost, even with a small premium for the instant gratification of a modest mileage purchase.

Generally speaking, though, if I’m a little short on a points program for a low-cost redemption, I’d first look to book with other programs that might offer a better deal, or even cash. In less urgent cases, I’m happy to keep collecting until I have enough to redeem at a value I like better.

Cathay Pacific First Class

Other Ways to Earn Alaska Miles

Before rushing to buy miles at a promotional rate, I’d first look at other sources at lower costs, if you don’t need the miles right away to make a reservation.

Canadian MBNA Credit Cards

Primarily, Alaska Miles can be earned on the MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard, with a welcome bonus of 30,000 miles for spending $1,000 in the first three months.

The card’s low-income variant, the MBNA Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard, offers 20,000 miles with the same spending requirement and you can’t have both cards at the same time.

For an annual fee of $99, the World Elite card represents the purchase of 31,000 Alaskan miles at 0.32 (CAD) cents per mile, or approximately 0.25 cents per mile. Certainly, this is cheaper than buying miles outright, though it’s a much slower path to building up a big balance.

Additionally, you can sometimes find MBNA deals with $100-200 statement credits, more than enough to offset the annual fee.

MBNA Cards Alaska Airlines Mastercard

US credit cards from Bank of America

If you have a social security number, you can also apply for Bank of America co-branded cards. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Y Alaska Airlines Visa Businesses both offer 40,000 miles by spending $2,000 in the first three months.

Both cards have frequent credits equal to a refund of the first year’s fee and occasional high point offers. Otherwise, at an annual fee of $75, the cost of acquiring points is 0.18 cents per mile.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to the Alaska Mileage Plan at a 3:1 ratio, with 5,000 bonus miles when transferred in installments of 60,000 Bonvoy points.

At our current valuation of 0.7 cents per point, 60,000 Bonvoy points are worth $420. When transferred to the Alaska Mileage Plan, this is equivalent to purchasing 25,000 miles on 1.68 cents per mile.

This is still lower than Alaska’s benchmark redemption value of 1.8 cents per mile, and cheaper than the promotional cost to purchase miles directly. Depending on your Bonvoy balance and hotel redemption goals, you’ll need to weigh whether this is a better option than paying cash for Alaska miles.

Mileage plan purchases

You can also head to the Mileage Plan Shopping portal to earn rebates on online purchases at many popular retailers around the world, from technology companies to sports apparel. High bonuses can often be found on big shopping days like Black Friday or Boxing Day.

In my experience, miles usually arrive within two weeks, although many stores have restrictions on purchases outside of the US.

Previous promotions

While you’re evaluating whether this promotion is a good opportunity to reach your travel goals, here’s a snapshot of Alaska Mileage Plan’s past offers on mileage sales, covering all promotions over the past year:

Up to 60% more miles purchased

Up to 50% more miles purchased

Up to 60% more miles purchased

Up to 50% more miles purchased

Up to 60% more miles purchased

Up to 60% more miles purchased

Up to 60% more miles purchased

Up to 50% more miles purchased

Up to 60% more miles purchased

Up to 60% more miles purchased


Alaska Mileage Plan’s 60% bonus promotion on the purchase of miles is a great opportunity to increase your balance for a dream trip. Make sure you take advantage of the next few days before May 23, 2022 to maximize this offer.

Thankfully, even after joining Oneworld in March 2021, Alaska has confirmed that their reward table will continue to offer their current unique sweet spots for now, and that they will give at least 90 days notice of any changes to their redemption tables.

If there are any announcements in the coming months about any impending changes to Alaska flight rewards, you’ll still have time to redeem the points you purchased with this promotion and earn one last sweet spot.

That said, if you don’t have a specific redemption in mind, you may prefer to go the slow route by focusing on bonuses and credit card transfers, and waiting for the next point sale in case a purchase makes sense down the road. .

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