I have been waiting some time for Alaska Air to discount their award flights. Alaska Air’s award/point program is already the top rated in the country, so what could possibly make it better? Cheaper award flights!
So what is the deal?
Normal flights booked with your Alaska points are generally 12.5k points one way, 25k round-trip to the lower 48, Canada, and Alaska. Flights to Hawaii are normally 40k points round-trip. Some routes have been discounted to as little as 10k points ROUND-TRIP, only 5k one way. An example route at this 10k price is Oakland to Seattle or vice versa.
How do I get Alaska Air points?
The quickest way to rack up a good chunk of Alaska points is to sign up for the Bank of America AA card. That card will get you 25k points and the best part is….. there is no minimum spend! That’s right, you get approved for the card and in 7-10 days the 25k points will be in your account ready to spend. The only drawback to this card is a $75 annual fee. I find the $75 annual fee a very minor draw back though since this card is a Visa Signature card. Read about all the Visa Signature benefits, like free roadside assistance, here. Another great perk with the card is a first free checked bag on Alaska Air flights which saves you $25 each way.
Okay, show me some of the good deals!
Everyone wants to get to Hawaii right? (I want to go back ASAP) You can fly out of San Jose into Kona for only 25k points round trip. Yep, sign up for a credit with a $75 annual fee and get to Hawaii round-trip with non stop flights. This flight is typically $450, so the credit card essentially saves you $375 and you don’t have to meet a minimum spend. Boom!
If you aren’t looking to leave the mainland, there are some other good discounted redemption options. You can fly Sacramento to Seattle for only 7.5k one-way. This flight is normally 12.5k one-way and costs about $90 one-way if you booked it with cash.
Live in the Bay Area? You can fly into Seattle for only 5k points one-way! That is a no brain-er! You can also fly from San Jose into Reno (or vice versa) for only 5k points one way. At 5k points into Reno it is probably more cost effective than driving.
If any of these deals sound good to you, book now! Alaska Airlines let you cancel your award flight with no penalty as long as the flight is at least 60 days out. Most other airlines have a concrete “no refund” policy when you book award tickets.