Mileage Plan Points Cost Increases

Readers of the Asian Miler would know that Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of our recommended frequent flyer programs. You don’t have to fly with Alaska Airlines or be in the United States just to benefit from Mileage Plan because you can book awards with their multitude of airline partners across the globe.

There’s even an ongoing points purchase deal so you can rack up your miles early in the year. Alaska Airlines, however, has low-key put into effect a Mileage Plan points cost increase effective immediately.

Mileage Plan Points Cost Increase by 2%

In the past, Mileage Plan charged members 2.75 cents per mile (cpm) purchased, plus an extra 7.5% tax. Now, they apparently raised this price to 2.805 cpm, plus the aforementioned tax, which translates to a 2% price inflation.

So whereas we all used to be able to buy 60,000 miles (+24,000 with the 40% bonus) for $1773.75 before:

Mileage Plan Old Purchase Cost

now everyone has to pay $1809.23 for the same amount:

Mileage Plan New Purchase Cost


The Asian Miler Take

Is it a devaluation? Not really. Devaluation means that the currency you already own – in this case, Mileage Plan miles – lost value you could use for redemption. This change mostly affects the cost of acquiring those points. Should you jump ship because of the increase in Mileage Plan points cost? Not really.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan still offers quite the wide variety of travel redemption options. When you do so, you are able to get quite a good value for your miles. Members have even just started redeeming miles for award bookings on Singapore Airlines in the past year.

This price increase may just have factored in inflation, but you can always soften the blow by transacting with cards that further offer you miles or convertible points. Just remember that Mileage Plan points purchases are handled by and NOT the airline itself, so they won’t count as travel transactions.


Final Word

This change is by no means a devaluation, but it does hurt wallets. People who fly on Alaska Airlines and credit to Mileage Plan are largely unaffected, and indeed could be one incentive management wants for members.

Regardless of the rise in Mileage Plan points cost during purchase, the frequent flyer program’s currency is still valuable. You just have to go for purchase bonus deals and use payment channels that offer some extra reward or perk whenever you can.