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Just a few more days to take advantage of three buy point/mile promotions.

1) Purchase Starpoints with 25-50% discount by December 31, up to a maximum of 30,000 points.

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-6-51-43-pmSince I purchased 30,000 Starpoints (the annual maximum) earlier this year, I am not qualified for this promotion. But my friend, who is facing a dilemma about how to maximize SPG points to Alaska miles, was targeted for 35% discount. The total cost for 30,000 points is $682.50, an awesome 1.4 cents per mile! My friend will definitely max out on this promotion. Each SPG point essentially transfers to 1.625 Alaska miles, so 30,000 Starpoints will become 48,750 Alaska miles, almost enough for a one-way trip to Southwest Asia in business class on Cathay Pacific with a stopover in Hong Kong.

My best friend called me yesterday and asked me to plan a Maui trip for her family next summer. She has only 16,000 SPG points at the moment. By taking advantage of her targeted 35% discount offer, she will add 30,000 points to her account for $682.50, She will reach a total of 46,000 SPG points, which can be transferred to138,000 Marriott Rewards points. We can transfer 22,000 from Ultimate Reward to reach a total of 160,000 Marriott points, enough for 5 nights at the Marriott Wailea Resort where nightly cash rate is over $450. Instead of spending $2,250 for five nights, she will spend only $682.50 thanks to this promotion. For her flight, we plan to use Avios to fly Alaska Airlines from the Bay Area to Maui.

[SEE ALSO – 4 reason to transfer SPG points to Marriott.]

[SEE ALSO – Using Avios to your advantage for a family trip.]

 2) Purchase Alaska miles with up to 40% bonus by December 31.

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-8-18-21-pmThe bonus is tied. In order to receive 40% bonus, you must purchase at least 30,000 miles. Buying 60,000 miles will get you 84,000 miles at the cost of $1,773.75, equivalent to 2.11 cents per mile. While each transaction is limited to 60,000 miles, there is no limit to the number of transactions you can make.

You can combine these two promotions to get enough miles for an awesome international flights in premium class with Alaska’s global partners. Recently Alaska added new award redemptions on Japan Airlines to Southeast Asia and on Emirates to Australia and New Zealand.  Dan loved his flight in first class on Emirates from New York to Dubai and on Japan Airlines from Chicago and Tokyo. My family of five flew Cathay first class a few years ago to China and loved it. My girls still talk about the flight these days as if it happened yesterday!

3) Purchase American AAdvantage miles and earn up to 120,000 bonus miles prior to January 3, 2017.

screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-8-26-43-pmThe bonus again is tiered. If you purchase the maximum 150,000 miles, you will receive 120,000 bonus miles for a total of 270,000 miles,  at a total cost of $4,786.88 or 1.77 cents per mile. While this is the cheapest I have seen AA selling its miles, it is still a lot of cash out of pocket. So unless you have an immediate redemption in mind, think hard before you make the purchase.

If you are considering flying Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines, it would be a good idea to compare the cost of using AAdvantage miles versus Alaska miles. For example, Alaska requires 50,000 miles for one-way flight in business class to Southeast Asia and greater China area, that is $1,055 if you purchase miles at the cheapest per mile cost 2.11 cents.  On top of that, you get a free stopover in either Hong Kong and Tokyo.  With AAdvantage, you will need 70,000 miles for the same flight, that is $1,239 at the cheapest per mile cost of 1.77 cents, and you don’t get the free stopover like you do with Alaska miles.

Both Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines routinely release 4 to 5 seats in business class when schedule opens, which is great for a family but you will need to have miles ready in your account and book as soon as schedule opens, especially for holidays.

Will you be taking advantage of these three promotions? If so, what are you using them for?

 

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