How to Buy Alaska Gold 75K Status and Why You Shouldn’t
It’s that time of the year again when Alaska Airlines Gold 75K members start doing the math to see if they’ll requalify top tier elite status. Many have or will be booking mileage runs to stretch to that goal, and a few are on the fence on whether they should.
I got an email today from Alaska reminding me my Gold 75K status will end as of December 31st, 2018 unless I requalify before December 28th. In it, they have the normal offer to buy the remainder of the required miles with cash, but they have added the option to use your redeemable miles instead.
I have no plans to let my status run out, and they should know that since I have plenty of reservations that will guarantee I earn the 1,908 miles separating me from that goal. Not requalifying when I’ve come so close would be a stupid idea, especially because of two main reasons.
Every year, on your requalification, Alaska grants you 50,000 bonus redeemable miles. That means throughout the year, you would have earned a minimum of 218,750 miles. There no way in hell I’m leaving those 50K on the table.
It also means that, as a 75K, I will be earning a bonused 125% of my flown miles, which is well, self explanatory. More miles, menos coach, you get the point.
Is it Worth Buying Your Requalification Miles Though?
Short answer is ‘it depends’.
Long answer is, well, long.
If you have no plans or time to make plans to fly the required miles, then it might be worth your time doing some math. In my case, I’m just shy of 2,000 miles to reach the 75K mark, and they’re offering to let me buy them at $570. Now, I know better and I understand I am more than able to find me a mileage run to earn those miles for under $200 if I had to. I also have the time to invest in actually flying those miles.
It’s worth noting that the more miles you buy for requalification, the cheaper they become. It looks like I’d be able to buy 10,000 miles for $1,650. It’s also worth noting that that’s insane considering I just booked a first class ticket on British Airways during Black Friday for around the same amount, and when I credit that flight to Alaska I will be earning approximately 70,000 redeemable miles and 250% for requalification.
The pay with miles option isn’t any more convenient at all. For the 2,000 miles I need, the system wants me to fork up 57,000 miles and 165,000 miles for the 10,000 buy-up. Reminder: you can fly first class to Europe on American Airlines for around 57K and Emirates First Class from the US to anywhere in the Middle East for 150K. Even the worst domestic award redemption on Alaska seems to go for 50k, still under the price of what they’re asking for a meager 2,000 qualifying miles.
So, I wouldn’t particularly recommend falling for any of the above options if you got the same email I did. But if you do not have the time to get those butt-in-seat miles and you’re short under 1,000 miles, I could perhaps justify $300 to maintain status and enjoy the benefits for another year. After all, the bonused 125% earning for next year alone would end up paying for it.