Purchased Alaska Miles not crediting instantaneously

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Update: the points populated a few hours after publication – roughly 30 hours post purchase

I just finished up an incredible trip to Saudi Arabia, and will have quite an extensive post coming up. Until then, I wanted to give a little heads up regarding purchased Alaska miles. Right now, they’re offering up to a 50% bonus on miles, and I wanted to take advantage of it to nab some first class Emirates seats for my return. I have an Etihad routing already booked with AA miles, but a direct from DXB to LAX opened up and we would have much preferred that routing.


And then a hiccup occurred.

In the past, for myself, friends, family, and clients, purchased Alaska miles, processed via, have instantaneously populated accounts. That has not been the case for my account or my fiancee’s account. To make matters worse, my account, which is MVP Gold, shouldn’t have any limitation to the number of miles I can purchase in a year, but annoyingly, my account is being capped at the non-elite maximum of 150k purchased, which needs to be rectified.

I should have been able to load up my account with enough miles for the two of us, but instead needed to split which also proved that it wasn’t just my account causing an issue, but both of them.

It’s been over 24 hours since the mileage purchase, receipts have been received, no fraud alerts issued, and both of our accounts are experiencing the same problem. No miles.

I reached out, and the only response/explanation given is that mileage purchases can take up to 30 days to process. WHAT?!

My suspicion is that there is something going on IT wise either with or Alaska airlines, but until the miles populate and I’m back stateside with better service to rectify my mileage cap, I’d recommend only purchasing points if you can wait that long to book.

30 days might as well be 100.

Many programs don’t instantaneously populate, but the annoying thing here is that most people buying points are doing so because they see availability and want to book it. If this becomes a recurring problem, it’s undoubtedly going to negatively affect the volume of purchases as people will be fearful the of the points not populating in time to book the award space they want.

That was the case for us. We purchased within 12 hours of the flight we needed and the points didn’t populate. Lucky for us, we will use those points in the future, and also had solid back up options, but for most non-blogger purchasers, that is a game changer.

If you can’t instantly populate your account then I couldn’t honestly promote purchasing them. Programs devalue so often and in the cover of night, so if you’re not buying for an intended redemption ( that you see available ) I’d strongly advise doing so with the knowledge your “investment” could lose value in the interim between purchasing and redemption.

Anyone else experience my issue?

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

*you may find an elevated offer walking into a branch – see below

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
    • Some people have seen Chase branches offering the following:
      • 75k Ultimate Rewards After $4k spend in 3 months + 10k Ultimate Rewards after $6k in 6 months 
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Comment

  • HiAperture November 17, 2019

    I feel you. This just happened to me with and Marriott. I purchased 100,000 points during their October promotion and it took a week for them to arrive (despite charging me instantly), and only even then after complaining to Marriott. Only makes sense to purchase points with an immediate use for them, which is rendered pointless when they don’t come through immediately to spend.

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