I had applied for the Alaska Airlines credit card offered by Bank of America earlier this year. At the time, you could get 30k miles just for applying! You didn’t have to spend anything and the miles would be deposited right into your Alaska account. I currently don’t see this offer anymore and the best one I see is 25k miles for applying. (If anyone knows where a good link is, include in the comments!)
I wanted to book a trip to Seattle from Houston which would cost 40k points during the weekend I wanted to go. I wanted to fly Alaska as I had never flown them before. As you can see I had the dilemma of being short 10k miles. Luckily they have an option to book cash and miles.
The rule for using cash and miles is that you can’t use them for code share flights (Alaska metal only). How cash and miles works is that when you redeem 10k miles, you will get a 50% discount oneway or roundtrip up to $100. When you redeem 20k miles, you will get a 50% discount oneway or roundtrip up to $200.
In order to book miles and money, you much select this option on the flight booking screen which I’ve highlighted.
To maximize your cash savings and utilize your points, I suggest booking 2 one way flights. So in my example of flying IAH-SEA, I used 20k miles one way and I used 10k miles + cash on the return flight. This allowed me to use all my 30k miles from the credit card and only had to pay $150. You will notice below that there is an option to pay 20k miles which would only save you about $14 in comparison which is a terrible value. So make sure to compare your options to see which would be a better value.
Another good thing about miles and money is that this could be used on any available flight on Alaska metal so you are not restricted to limited award availability and you will earn miles on the “paid” ticket.
Here is a great review of flying Alaska Airline economy by FreeTravelGuys.
Also here is post about Alaska’s great same day change policy by JustAnotherPointsTraveler.
Alaska Airlines also has a great lowest fare guarantee.
I’m not sure how it works with the Cash + Miles fares. To be honest, I haven’t found a lot of value in doing Cash + Miles but that could just be a function of the flights I was booking and the cost. Glad to see that it can be of some value.
I had no idea about the low fare guarantee…thanks! I don’t think this would apply to miles n money though but its definitely worth knowing about.
Thx for the shout out!
I looked into this option when I booked my flight but the flight was relatively cheap so I opted to save my miles for later. It’s a good option. Another great feature of this card is the $99 companion pass, which I used to book two friends to Hawaii since I wasn’t going to use it for me anyway. They were able to save almost $700 with my pass. You can use the companion pass for someone else, as long as you’re the one booking and paying for the trip, so my friends just reimbursed me for the cost. They saved the money. I earned free points. Everybody wins!
I have it and still haven’t used it, thanks for the reminder. I’ll definitely check it out!
Another cool thing about booking Miles & Money tickets and using BofA companion pass, is that you still earn MileagePlan miles (or miles in your partner FF account).