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Thanks to the new 35% SPG Starpoints sale, you can effectively (indirectly) buy a huge range of different types of airline miles, for ~ 1.28p each.
1.28p is expensive for some types of miles like British Airways Avios, but is a very good price for more ‘exotic’ airline currencies like Alaska Mileage Plan Miles.
There are lots of incredible ways to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan Miles, but for many readers, one of the best (and simplest) is for Cathay Pacific Business Class to Hong Kong. You only need 42,500 Alaska Mileage Plan Miles to fly (one-way) in Business Class on any direct Cathay Pacific route between Europe and Hong Kong.
At ~1.28p per Mile, that works out at about £545 to buy the Miles required. To book the same flight with Avios, BA would charge 90,000 Avios!
Obviously, you need to factor in unavoidable airport charges and Government taxes on top, but at least there are no additional ‘surcharges’ to worry about when redeeming Alaska Miles for flights on Cathay Pacific. If you can connect from a cheap low cost carrier flight to start your long haul somewhere outside of the UK, or are booking from Hong Kong back to the UK, you should be able to keep total costs for a one way below £600.
Air Passenger Duty for premium cabin long haul departures from the UK would add on an extra ~£150.
With the lucrative credit card sign up bonuses looking like they may be tightening soon, buying Miles smartly and redeeming them as efficiently as possible, is likely going to be an increasingly important part of ‘travel hacking’ in the UK.