If you’re like Beat of Hawaii’s editors, you’re always looking for ways to get more travel for less money. And that frequently involves using miles instead of dollars for air travel. One of our two favorite ways to get around from Hawaii is on Alaska Airlines (the other is Hawaiian Airlines), and today there’s an offer we saw and fell for, which makes it easy to top-up miles.
This reminded us of the bigger subject of earning airline miles and the nuances around them. Your editors have flown more times than we can count to and from Hawaii using miles instead of cash. It’s excellent, and with some planning, it just isn’t that hard.
When editor Jeff needed ten thousand miles for an international award flight from Hawaii not long ago, he bought the extra miles he needed. It worked out great due to significant planning, as shown below.
Now let’s see how it all works. Here’s what to do if you’re game to get Alaska’s top-off offer.
Easy 1,000 Alaska Miles Top-Up For Hawaii Flights
1. Go to Alaska’s shopping plan page.
2. Download their Chrome extension to know when anything you are shopping for is eligible.
3. Spend $25 on any purchase by March 13, 2023.
4. Receive 1,000 bonus miles for the signup and purchase.
How to accrue airline miles and when to buy them.
Generally, we don’t recommend buying airline miles. And we do it ourselves only when presented with a good deal, where the difference we will pay is significantly less than the cash cost of the ticket we would otherwise purchase outright.
Case in point. Jeff wanted to obtain a business class British Airways ticket as an Alaska Airlines award from Lihue to the Middle East. The cost of the ticket in miles was 60,000; at the time, Jeff had just over 50,000 in his account. The amount he paid to purchase the extra miles was $275. That allowed him to obtain a ticket that was, in fact, worth thousands of dollars. He deemed it a great deal. Before he plunked down the cash, he made sure that the award was actually available for his travel, and it was. We would not recommend buying miles unless you are positive you can use them as planned. But Jeff’s success in this situation is rarer nowadays than expected.
- First and foremost, we earn miles by flying, not buying.
- Secondly, we use the airlines’ branded credit cards to increase the miles earned for flight purchases. When you obtain an airline credit card, bonus offers are regularly available for 70,000 bonus miles as a start-up after an initial investment.
- We also use airline frequent flyer program numbers to earn miles via their hotel and car rental partners when possible. But be a good shopper and watch for any additional costs to do so.
- If you are an Amex user, there can be bonuses for transferring miles between them and the airlines, so watch for those offers. Frequently you can convert 20k Amex points to 25k airline miles, which we’ve done on Hawaiian Airlines many times.
- Try using shopping portals like the offer today. We’ve done so with mixed success. It depends on your shopping habits since some stores participate while others do not.
- Lastly, when there’s no other alternative, consider buying them. These are very expensive, so do wait until you are absolutely sure it will work, which tends to be at the last minute before obtaining the award. These mileage purchases can be on sale, too, so we sign up and watch for emails from our airlines to be alerted when there are cheaper opportunities to buy miles. Often the more miles you buy, the cheaper they will be.
Do you have any airline frequent flyer tips you can share?
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