February 11, 2014

Keep Alaska Air Miles From Expiring for 49¢

UPDATE :   I don't think the 49¢ cent trick worked.    I would test a purchase of $1 or more to see.  Anything of at least $1 should give a mile.

I've accumulated a lot of miles with Alaska Airlines over the years.   But I haven't flown with Alaska lately and the last activity on my account was in June 2012.   After 24 months Alaska miles will go inactive so I only have a bit over 4 months to earn some more miles before they are inactivated.   If the account goes inactive you have to pay a fee to reinstate your miles.  In fact the Alaska Miles Benefits Q&A  says that the fee is $75.

You can earn miles by shopping at various online merchants at the Mileage Plan Shopping  site.   I figured if I make a cheap purchase through a merchant then I could get a mile or two and keep my miles active.   I've used this trick before with my United miles.     I talked about that a while ago in Two Tricks to Keep United Miles from Expiring.  with United I made a 99¢ purchase at Newegg and got myself 1 mile which kept my account active.

I figured I'd try the same trick with Alaska.   I searched Newegg and found a 49¢ item for a Max Payne 3 online game code.   I don't actually want the game code and in fact have no intention of doing anything with it.   But I picked it since it was cheap and the purchase is immediate plus it won't waste anyones time and money by shipping me something I really don't want.     I went ahead and bought the item.     They say that miles are usually credited to your account 3-5 days after the purchase but it can take up to 45 days.    I hoped that an online purchase like this would be fast.  

Follow up :    It took about 4 weeks for the credit to appear on my United account.
2nd Follow up:   When Alaska credited my account I got 50 miles.    Looks like they incorrectly counted the 49¢ as $49.99.   Then they removed the 50 mile credit a few days later.    I'm still waiting...

2nd follow up :    I still only have the +50 and -50 records.   It doesn't appear this worked.
I tried a 2nd 49 cent purchase and did not see any activity.   I'm thinking that they don't credit a full mile for 49 cents and probably round cents to the dollar?   


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