A strange thing happened this morning when I headed out to the cardmatch tool to check to see if I was targeted for the Amex Platinum 100k offer (I was not); I came across an offer for the Alaska Airlines personal credit card that offered 40,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles after spending $2,000 within 90 days. As many of you know, the usual Alaska Airlines Personal offer is 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within 90 days, so this is a significantly better offer than usual.
Alaska Miles For First Class To Asia
Alaska miles are super valuable for flying business or first class to Asia. They charge just 50,000 miles to fly Cathay Pacific Business Class to almost anywhere in Asia, and 70,000 miles if you wish to enjoy the mid-flight caviar in Cathay Pacific First Class.
Compare that to American Airlines charging 70,000 miles for business class or 110,000 miles for first class on the same flights and you can see why using Alaska Airlines miles for Cathay Pacific Business or First Class is such a great deal.
For just a few more miles you could go with another one of my personal favorite products, JAL First Class. While personally I think that Cathay Pacific offers the all around best first class product to Asia, JAL is pretty amazing too, and for 75,000 miles in first class I wouldn’t hesitate to book my next trip in JAL First Class with Alaska miles.
Alaska Airlines Stopover Policy
There is one really remarkable feature of Alaska Mileage Plan and that is that it allows you to have one stopover even on one-way awards. Most airline frequent flyer programs do not allow stopovers on one-way travel and that feature, combined with the low mileage cost for business and first class to Asia, makes Alaska one of my favorite programs for award bookings to Asia.
This greatly increases the value of your miles because you can basically add more destinations to your trip. A simple example of the concept would be if you wanted to go from New York to Bangkok, but wanted to see Hong Kong and Tokyo as well. You could book the outbound in Cathay Pacific First with a stop in Hong Kong for 70,000 Alaska Miles and the return in JAL First for 75,000 miles with a stop in Tokyo.
A few things to keep in mind when booking partners with Alaska Mileage Plan miles:
- You are not allowed to combine Partners on an award with the exception of Alaska Airlines flights. So you could fly Seattle to Los Angeles on Alaska to connect to your JAL First flight to Tokyo. But you couldn’t fly LAX to Tokyo on JAL and then Tokyo to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific on a single award ticket.
- You are allowed one stopover on a one-way ticket and two stopovers on a round-trip ticket.
- The partner award booking fee is $12.50. There is also a $15 phone booking fee that may be applied when calling in.
- You can’t see Cathay Pacific space on the Alaska website and you must call in to book Cathay Pacific awards.
- Changes and cancellations cost $125 per ticket.
Alaska Mileage Plan Sweetspots
Everybody loves an award chart sweetspot and Alaska has a few of them besides the ones mentioned above. The key to unlocking real value with Alaska is the ability to add a stopover on one-way travel. This is really handy when combined with their extremely reasonable award prices for travel within Asia.
Look at the little cutie above! Flying Singapore to Tokyo in JAL Business Class, stopping for 92 days in Japan, then Continuing on to Delhi in JAL Business Class all for 25,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles and $82 in taxes and fees. That’s just shy of 7,000 miles in JAL business class for 25,000 miles. Or as I like to think of it, 17 hours of open-bar in the sky. Really hard to beat that kind of value. Best of all it works with just about any 2 destinations in Asia, with India counting as Asia when flying JAL.
Given that both JAL and Cathay Pacific have huge flight networks within Asia, there are tons of possible city combinations that you can use this sweet spot for. Even better, the possibility of stopping over for several months without having to book a separate award ticket really makes Alaska Mileage Plan intra-Asia awards one of the best remaining values for business class travel in Asia.
Note: If you need some help with finding or booking your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award, I run an award booking service that will take all the stress out of booking your award ticket. You can find out more about it here.
The Alaska Airlines 40,000 Mile Bonus Offer
Whew! I got so excited about Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan sweet spots that I almost lost track of the offer that got me to write this post in the first place.
The offer does not seem to be targeted, so all you should need to do to get this offer is head out to the Alaska Airlines homepage and then the offer should populate toward the bottom of the page.
The offer states that you will get 40,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles after spending $2,000 within 90 days of account approval. Additionally, you will receive a $99 companion fare certificate each year on your account anniversary which is good for bringing a friend along on your next adventure. The card has a $75 annual fee which is not waived for the first year.
Keep in mind that Bank Of America, the issuer of this card, has a rule in place which we call the “2/3/4 rule”. The basics or which are that they will approve you of a maximum of 2 cards per rollings two months, a total of 3 cards per rolling twelve months and a total of 4 cards per rolling twenty-four month period. For a more exhaustive list of rules governing Bank Of America credit cards you can head over to this Doctor Of Credit post.
Good luck with your applications and happy hacking!
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Do you need some assistance figuring out which credit cards are going to get you to your destination in style? Learn more about my personalized credit card consulting services here.
If you’ve already got all the miles and just need some help finding space and booking the award, I have an award booking service that will get you all squared away. Find out more about it here.