Alaska Airlines recently barred Mileage Plan members with billing addresses and credit cards outside North America from purchasing the program’s miles. Alaska says they had to make the sudden change because of an increased number of fraudulent transactions they were seeing with international credit cards. The problem was that people were buying miles with stolen credit cards, and until the airline has the infrastructure to reduce the overall fraud-related issues, they have chosen to limit the cards to those issued in North America. Only 0.5 percent of the miles transactions were issued on international credit cards last year.
Bottom line: Alaska is working to limit fraud so that legitimate international transactions can go through. Alaska Mileage Plan recently ran a promotion for up to a 40 percent bonus when buying miles.