Alaska Airlines Lets Some Customers Convert Wallet Funds to Miles
As the coronavirus wiped out travel demand, all airlines canceled flights. That has brought on a whole new set of issues when it comes to refunds and how they are processed. If an airline cancels your flight, you are owed a full refund. The Department of Transportation has clarified that twice this summer. But if you cancel a flight voluntarily, you are often given a voucher than comes with an expiration date. Some customers have even been forced to accept vouchers when they were owed refunds, or were offered a bonus in order to accept a voucher instead of cash. Some airlines are now offering the option to convert those funds into miles, such as Southwest.
Alaska Airlines is now offering a similar option to some customers. The airline has sent targeted email offering people the option of converting their wallet funds into Mileage Plan miles. The offers are for redeemable and elite-qualifying miles. You must have received an offer directly by email in order to be eligible to convert your wallet funds. You may also be able to check your Alaska account here. If targeted, you have until Aug. 26, 2020 to decide if you want to take advantage of whatever offer was sent to you by email.
TPG reports that the value offered for the conversion of wallet funds into Mileage Plan miles varies. Different people are receiving different offers. For redeemable miles the value offered is from 1 cent to 2.5 cents per mile. For the elite-qualifying miles, people are getting anywhere between four and 10 EQMs per dollar.
Some people are even offered a bonus between 10% and 50% on their balances, and in return they will not be able to use the funds until next year.
Should You Do It?
I value Alaska Airlines miles at about 1.7 cents. But valuations are always subjective. Everyone should have their own valuation when it comes to miles and points. So whether it makes sense to convert your wallet funds to miles will first be based on your own valuation, and then on the offer that you receive. If you are offered to convert at 1 cent per mile for example, I think you should go go for it right away. If your offer has a conversion rate of 2 cents or more, then I think you should skip it.
Then there are a few other things to consider, even if the conversion rate is not that great. Alaska wallet funds normally expire in one year. By converting them to redeemable miles, you would extend that period to 24 months from the last activity in your account. With miles you are also able to book travel on partner airlines, which gives you more flexibility and the option of a free stopover.
You first need to be targeted for this option, so check your emails or accounts to see if you have any type of communication from Alaska Airlines. If you get a good conversion offer, it should be worthwhile. You get more value, more time to use up your miles, and you have more options to do so.
Let me know if you were targeted and if you would convert your funds to miles.