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US Airways, the official consolidator of cheap Star Alliance miles, is at it again. This time it’s not as lucrative as some of their past buy-miles promotions, but it is also a lot simpler (no toolbar searches required). Simply transfer miles and get a 75% bonus, for a maximum of one bonus per member.
At this rate, you are buying US Airways miles for 1.5 cents a piece – much better than their normal rate of 2.75 cents each. What does that translate when it comes time to redeem awards? Before doing the math yourself, study their Star Alliance award chart, which has some pretty good redemption values.
For example, if you bought miles at 1.5 cents a piece, you could go to North Asia (includes China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Mongolia, S. Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) for $1,350 in business class on great carriers like Singapore Airlines, Thai and ANA. Or how about a ticket to Europe on Lufthansa, Swiss or Continental/United for $1,500 in business class- even during peak summer travel?
Key things to note:
1) The max amount of miles you can transfer is 50,000, so a maximum bonus of 37,500 per person.
2) Your account has to be open for at least 12 days in order to be eligible for the 75% bonus
3) You need to have the amount of miles you want to transfer, so this isn’t like a buy miles promotion where you can outright buy miles, you need to have miles in your account already in order to get the transfer bonus miles.
4) If you are signing up for a new account, you might as well try taking advantage of this promotion, which could give you up to 4,000 miles for free (it technically expired March 31, but it’s worth a shot!)
5) if you transfer miles to someone, that counts as your transaction and you cannot get the 75% bonus if someone transfers to you
So in my situation, I currently have 140,000 Dividend miles, which isn’t enough for two tickets in business class to Asia, which is where I want to take my Star Alliance miles. Utilizing this promotion, I can transfer 50,000 to my partner’s US Airways account and he’d receive 87,500 miles and I’d be at 90,000. I could then transfer 3,000 Starwood to his account to top him up to get to the 90,000 miles needed for the award.
Overall, its a quick way to earn some Star Alliance miles on the cheap, but work through the logistics first.