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A flying start to a new year! Alaska Airlines are offering a 40% bonus when you buy 15,000 or more miles (up to 60,000 miles) 40% bonus on 15,000 miles or more purchased through February 7, 2017. The offer is targeted. But even if you were targeted, should you buy?

a man and woman balancing on each other

Let’ do the math. Normally, each 1,000 Alaska miles would cost $29.56 with tax included, that is 2.9 cents per mile, pretty steep cost! Nobody values Alaska miles at more than 2 cents per mile, so at the normal rate, it doesn’t make sense to buy.

What about with the 40% bonus? To be eligible for the promotion, you have to be targeted (both my husband and I are), And you need to buy AT LEAST 15,000 miles, for a total of 21,000 miles (including 6,000 bonus miles). The purchase will set you back $443.44 including tax, averaging 2.1 cents per mile. This is still not a great purchase price, but a lot better than the normal rate!

Alaska BuyMile 15K

Buying miles can make sense in the right situation. If you’re 1,000 miles short of an Emirates first class redemption, or an award ticket on JAL first class or business class, 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? 

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