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Bad Deal Alert! Avoid This New Alaska Airlines Scheme!

Bad Deal Alert! Avoid This New Alaska Airlines Scheme!

Million Mile SecretsBad Deal Alert! Avoid This New Alaska Airlines Scheme!Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Alaska Airlines announced folks can redeem 10,000 Alaska Airlines miles for TSA PreCheck membership (worth $85).  

But this is NOT a good deal because there are better ways to use your Alaska Airlines miles!

Bad Deal Alert Avoid This New Alaska Airlines Scheme
TSA PreCheck Is a Convenient Way to Speed Through Airport Security. But the Alaska Airlines Offer to Redeem Miles for Membership Is NOT a Good Way to Spend Your Valuable Miles!

I’ll explain why you should skip this offer.  And how you can get a better deal on TSA PreCheck membership!

What’s the Offer?

Link:   Alaska Airlines TSA PreCheck Deal

Link:   TSA PreCheck

Link:   How to Use Alaska Airlines Miles

Alaska Airlines has a deal where you can exchange 10,000 Alaska Airlines miles for a TSA PreCheck membership, which usually costs $85 and is valid for 5 years.

To get the deal, email TSAredemption@alaskaair.com by April 30, 2016, with your name and Mileage Plan number.

They’ll deduct 10,000 Alaska Airlines miles from your account, and send you a validation code which you can use until November 30, 2016, to cover the cost of your TSA PreCheck application.

But you shouldn’t do it!

That’s because at this rate, each Alaska Airlines mile is worth less than 1 cent apiece ($85 / 10,000 Alaska Airlines miles)!

Your Alaska Airlines miles can be worth much more when you redeem them for award flights instead.

Bad Deal Alert Avoid This New Alaska Airlines Scheme
Money & Miles Awards Is a Better Deal Because Each Alaska Airlines Mile Is Worth More

For example, with Alaska Airlines’ Money & Miles,“ you can get a discount of up to 50% of the retail cost flights.

Here’s how it works:

  • Use 10,000 Alaska Airlines miles to reduce the price of a ticket by up to $100
  • Or 20,000 Alaska Airlines miles to reduce the price by up to $200

So if you buy an Alaska Airlines ticket for $250, you can redeem 10,000 miles to take $100 off the price of the ticket.  You’ll end up paying $150 and 10,000 miles for the flight – and your points are worth 1 cent each, which a better deal than the TSA PreCheck offer!

Bad Deal Alert Avoid This New Alaska Airlines Scheme
Picture Yourself Here! You Can Redeem Alaska Airlines for an Award Seat in Emirates Business Class, Which Can Be Worth Thousands of Dollars!

Alaska Airlines also has several fantastic airline partners, including Cathay Pacific, Delta, and Emirates.

When you use your Alaska Airlines miles for award tickets, your points can be worth ~2 cents each, or even more, depending on which route you book.  You’ll get a much better deal that way!

Here are some other ways to spend your Alaska Airlines miles.

Why Do Airlines Promote Bad Offers?

Folks sit on their miles perhaps because they don’t know how to spend them.  When you hold onto lots of miles, it’s harder for airlines to gauge how they’ll be redeemed, which makes it difficult for them to plan the financial commitment needed on their end.  They want you to redeem them!

Bad Deal Alert Avoid This New Alaska Airlines Scheme
Airlines Want You to Spend Your Miles. But Million Mile Secrets Readers Know the Best Ways to Redeem Them! 😉

So they create offers hoping you’ll use them sooner rather than later. And, they’re generally targeted toward folks who don’t know better ways to spend them.  But Million Mile Secrets know better because they’re savvy and know the best tips and tricks! 😉

The only way this could possibly be a good deal is if you have close to 10,000 Alaska Airlines miles that are about to expire.  And you want to get some use out of them rather than lose them altogether.

Otherwise, save your miles for better deals!

Other Ways to Get TSA PreCheck

Link:   Global Entry

I’d actually recommend applying for Global Entry instead of TSA PreCheck!

That’s because if you have Global Entry (which allows you to clear US customs and immigration quickly), you’re also automatically eligible for TSA PreCheck.  And it only costs $15 more.

Bad Deal Alert Avoid This New Alaska Airlines Scheme
When You Have Global Entry, You Also Get TSA PreCheck. It’s Like a 2-for-1 Deal! And You Can Get It Free With the Right Credit Card!

Global Entry membership usually costs $100 and it’s valid for 5 years.  Some credit cards will reimburse the cost of Global Entry as a statement credit, including:

Orbitz also offers a TSA PreCheck application fee credit (NOT Global Entry) as a perk of Orbitz Platinum status, which you get after booking 12+ hotel nights in a calendar year.

But in most cases, it’s better for folks to apply for Global Entry, because it comes with TSA PreCheck eligibility.

You’ll also qualify for TSA PreCheck if you’re a member of NEXUS or SENTRI.

Bottom Line

You can redeem 10,000 of your Alaska Airlines miles to get a TSA PreCheck membership, which normally costs $85.  But at this rate, your points are worth less than 1 cent each, which is NOT a deal I recommend!

Instead, you can use Alaska Airlines miles for a Money & Miles award, where your points are worth more.  Or for award flights on Alaska Airlines partners.  In fact, there are lots of ways to use your Alaska Airlines miles and get a better value for them!

If you want a TSA PreCheck membership, I recommend applying for Global Entry instead.  Because it comes with TSA PreCheck.  And, it’s available as a statement credit with certain credit cards, like the AMEX Platinum Card or Citi Prestige.

I’ll always let you know about the best deals.  And which offers to skip!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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@scott – United Airlines has promotes a few bad deals in hopes folks will spend their miles:

https://millionmilesecrets.com/2015/12/20/why-you-shouldnt-use-your-miles-points-for-free-merchandise/

Definitely save them for an award ticket!

Thanks for the post!

“Folks sit on their miles perhaps because they don’t know how to spend them. When you hold onto lots of miles, it’s harder for airlines to gauge how they’ll be redeemed, which makes it difficult for them to plan the financial commitment needed on their end. They want you to redeem them!”

Is that why United is always sending me junk mail trying to get me to redeem my miles for magazine subscriptions?