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Alaska’s been making headlines for the past few months with their acquisition of Virgin America, and for good reason: lots of the news has been good! Here’s some of our recent coverage:

For their latest act, Alaska is offering a 40% bonus when you buy 15,000 or more miles (up to 60,000 miles). This is as high as Alaska has ever given in terms of bonus points, but it’s not the first time they’ve offered this deal. This deal runs through February 8th, 2017 and can be accessed here. Let’s examine the math and see if this makes sense.

Alaska BuyMile Jan2017_2

Normally, Alaska miles cost $29.56 to purchase 1,000 miles (tax included), for a purchase price of 2.9 cents per mile. Yowzer, that’s steep! Even the most generous person would value Alaska points at roughly 2 cents per mile, so at the normal rate, it doesn’t make sense to buy.

What about with the 40% bonus? In order to be eligible for that promotion, you needed to have been targeted (I was not, but Sharon was), and you need to buy AT LEAST 15,000 miles. Those 21,000 miles (15,000 + 6,000 bonus) will set you back $443.44 (again, tax included), giving you a purchase price of 2.1 cents per mile. Again, this is not a great purchase price, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the normal rate!

Alaska BuyMile 15K

As I’ve said before, buying miles can make sense in the right situation. If you’re 1,000 miles short of an Emirates first class redemption, it may not be a bad idea to spend the ~$30, but buying points for the sake of buying points just doesn’t make sense here.

Were you targeted for the 40% bonus? Let us know if you’ll be purchasing points to close the gap on an award redemption!

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