Airline and hotel rewards programs frequently offer the opportunity to buy miles or points with a bonus to top up your account for future flight or hotel redemptions. This week, you can purchase Alaska MileagePlan and Air France KLM FlyingBlue miles with significant bonuses. Let’s look at the details to see if it is a good deal or not!
I just recently became an Alaska MileagePlan member, after Alaska offered Virgin America members a bonus to join and convert their existing VirginAmerica miles. While I have flown Alaska a few times while living in San Francisco, it was never enough to join the program. I am intrigued by their number of international airline partners, allowing you to use your Alaska miles for international travel! Here is what you get:
Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles = 20% bonus
Buy 20,000 – 29,000 miles = 30% bonus
Buy 30,000 – 60,000 miles = 40% bonus
They frequently offer purchase bonuses of up to 50%, so the current promotion is good, but not great. It works out to a cost of 1.96 US cents per mile at the highest bonus category. I’d value Alaska Miles at 1.5 ct/m, so I would not suggest to buy miles speculatively. It can be a good option, if you don’t have enough miles for a redemption and want to top off your account, especially in combination with a high value international redemption for premium cabin with Alaska partners like Cathay Pacific or Qantas! You can purchase points through your Alaska MileagePlan account until April 6th, 2017 here!
I personally will hold off until I have a specific redemption in mind, before purchasing any missing miles!
Another program I have not been a member of with a sale is Air France KLM’s FlyingBlue. Until March 12th, 2017, you’ll be able to purchase miles with up to 50% bonus as follows
Buy 4,000 – 8,000 miles = 30% bonus
Buy 10,000 – 28,000 miles = 40% bonus
Buy 30,000+ miles = 50% bonus
While the bonus looks a little better, the price per mile is almost the same at 1.94 US cents per mile in the highest bonus category. Similar to Alaska’s offer, I wouldn’t purchase points, unless you have a specific high-value redemption in mind, for example during one of Flying Blues discount award promotions. I’m personally not a member of Flying Blue – I have flown less on SkyTeam carriers than Star Alliance or OneWorld and they are not serving the routes I most frequently use. You can check out the details and purchase miles here!