Obviously, it's not worth spending $600 on something JUST to get some bonus miles. However, the Alaska portal has so many retail partners that you might be able to earn some free miles off of something you were already planning on buying.
For example, maybe you have a trip coming up and need to book a hotel. If you were to book a Marriott hotel, you can use the Alaska portal (which gives you 1 point per dollar on Marriott purchases) and then get your 1,200 bonus Alaska miles if the hotel stay costs more than $600.
Here's where things start to get fun. Since Marriott members get 10 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar on hotel stays, you could also get another 6,000 Bonvoy points for the same stay. Now let's say you use a Marriott credit card that earns you 6 points per dollar on Marriott hotels. The rewards start to add up. If we value Marriott points at .84 cents each and Alaska Miles at 1.8 cents each, here is the return you'll now get on that $600:
- 1,200 bonus Alaska miles: 1,200 x 1.8 cents each = $21.60
- 10x Marriott member points: 6,000 x .84 cents each = $50.40
- 6x Marriott credit card points: 3,600 x .84 cents each = $30.24
- 1x Marriott shopping portal points: 600 x .84 cents each = $5.04
If we add everything up, you could reap a total return of $107.28, or 18% of your purchase back in the form of free travel. This is just one of the ways you can really max out your rewards and start taking your travel hacking (or general finance hacking) to the next level. Next time you need to make a purchase online, make sure you try to use some kind of shopping portal.
Wondering how I came up with the values of Marriott points and Alaska miles? Well, you'll have to stick around to find out - I'll cover that topic in a future newsletter 😛