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PRR 60

3 Points/Dollar: AGR Mastercard Purchases until 12/31

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3 minutes ago, Anderson said:

Also, just a note: Alaska Airlines has a buy points promotion going on right now (the cost-per-point is about $0.0198 after taxes at the highest purchasing level), so this actually makes pumping something like that worthwhile (since you'll walk away with enough AGR points generated to either pull a gift card, at $0.03 in value, back or get AGR travel for more).  So this is...er...broken.

What are those Alaska points worth, though?

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@cpotisch:
(1) On the one hand, TPG puts their value at about 1.8 cents per mile.  On the other hand, I've been able to get far more from that out of them in the past (as a rule, their partner redemptions are a better deal, particularly on Cathay Pacific, and CX availability is pretty good*).  I would probably peg judicious use of them at about $0.03 vis-a-vis what you'd "normally" pay (for example, I am not valuing a Cathay Pacific First seat JFK-YVR at the $4000 sticker price...I'm putting it more in line with a normal "domestic" lie-flat First seat heading out to the West Coast (so $1000-ish), so the 35,000 miles probably come to around $0.03 in value).  Yes, I've done that trip (twice) before.
(1a) So, to analyze a hypothetical transaction above:
-You pay the $1773.75 for 90,000 Alaska miles (60,000 "purchased" plus 30,000 "bonus").  Cost is $0.0198/mile**
--Taking 1.8 cents/mile, you're looking at $1620 in value.
--Taking 3.0 cents/mile, you're looking at $2700 in value.
-On the side, you get 5,321.25 AGR points.
--On a "bad" redemption (gift cards), that's $53.21 in value.
--On a "good" redemption (non-Acela Amtrak travel), that's probably around $160 in travel (remember, it's $0.029/point...but you've inherently got the credit card so there's the 5% points rebate).

* And I'm quietly ignoring my Emirates award jackpot.
**Technically $0.0197083..., but I choose to round off unfavorably here.

(2) Moving to an "internal" AGR purchase (since that's all in-house):
-You pay $1131 for 39,000 AGR points (30,000 "purchased" plus 9,000 "bonus").  The cost-per-point is $0.029.
-On the side, you get an additional 3,393 points (so, 42,393 points total).  This gives you a grand total of $0.0267/point.

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