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Most major airlines sell their points in some capacity, and they often go on sale. Normally I don’t recommend buying points, but it can make sense in certain cases. Generally, if you have a great redemption on the table that you need to make, a good price can be persuasive.
Right now, you can get more points for your dollar with JetBlue and Alaska Airlines.
Up to 50% Bonus on Purchased TrueBlue Points
The important thing with these sales is the cents per point rate that you’re getting. If you buy 30,000 TrueBlue points with this sale, you’ll get a 50% bonus on your miles, for a total of 45,000 points. You’ll be paying $825.00 (plus a $61.88 “Tax recovery fee”) for those points, bringing your cents per point rate to about 1.97.
$886.88 / 45,0000 TrueBlue points = 1.97 cents per point
TrueBlue is a fixed-value program, where the points needed for a flight are tied to the cash cost of the flight. Typically they’re worth around 1.4 cents, so you’re paying a premium in the above example. You’ll have to decide whether the cost is worth the points soon, as this sale ends on February 4th. (Maybe that’s enough time to book a great Mint class fare!)
Up to 40% Bonus on Purchased Alaska MileagePlan Miles
Alaska Airlines currently has a 3-tiered sale as shown above. MileagePlan is a great, zone-based award chart, with a ton of sweet spots on their partner airlines. With their recent Virgin America acquisition, Alaska has also positioned itself as a great option for west coast travelers. If you purchase 30,000 miles, you’ll qualify for the highest bonus tier – 40%. So for 42,000 miles total, you’ll be charged $825 for the miles and a $61.88 Tax recovery fee, for a total cost of $886.88.
$886.88 / 42,0000 MileagePlan Miles = 2.11 cents per point
Due to the many options for redemption Alaska miles are hard to pin down, but anywhere between 1.2 to 1.9 cents per point is a common valuation. Trust me though, you can get some serious value out of Alaska’s program (Japan Airlines First Class anyone?). You’ve got until February 24th to purchase MileagePlan miles with the current bonus.