US Airways 100% Bonus on Purchased Miles Until Dec 31

by on December 1, 2011 · 23 comments

in US Airways

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Buying points directly from airlines rarely makes sense, but US Airways frequently runs lucrative bonuses that can make it worth your while. In fact twice this year I’ve purchased blocks of 100,000 miles for $1,478. Since it only costs 90,000 miles to go from North America to North Asia (Japan, China, Hong Kong) in business class, I think paying less than $1,500 roundtrip for that is a steal- especially since coach fares to Asia can often get that high from certain cities.

Well, from December 1-31, 2011 you can get a 100% bonus on purchased miles- however, there are two changes that make this less lucrative than past promotions:
1) Miles now cost 3.5 cents a piece (up from 2.7), so even with the 100% bonus you are paying 1.75 cents a piece per mile, which isn’t great. However, that 90,000 mile roundtrip to Asia in business class will cost you $1,750, which still might make a lot of sense for some people.
2) The max bonus you can receive from this promotion is 40,000 miles, whereas most others have been 50,000. So buying 40,000 miles at $1,750 will yield you 80,000 miles.

Your Dividend Miles account needs to be open for more than 12 days, so if you don’t have one yet you can sign up here for free.
Note: these transactions are processed through, so they generally don’t count towards the Sapphire Preferred 2x travel or Amex Premier Rewards 3x airfare bonus categories- nor will they count towards the Amex Platinum $200 annual airfare rebate.
US Airways has a decent Star Alliance award chart and relatively low taxes and fees, so I’d run the numbers on any upcoming trips you want to take. I don’t see how this would make sense for coach, but it very well may if you routinely pay for business or first class.

US Airways also has off-peak awards to Europe for only 35,000 miles in coach ($630) or 60,000 miles (or $1,050).

The dates are limited, but all “low” level awards during those periods will be at the off-peak level. So if you use the ANA tool to find availability, say from Phildadelphia to Madrid from Jan 15-Feb 28 (off peak window) it should price to only 60,000 miles roundtrip when you pull it up on I’ve been having some difficulty using their site lately (it sometimes only shows coach offpeak when I really want to search for business), but these awards can be booked online. FYI I searched for a while this morning and it seems like there is almost no business class award availability- which is odd. Please report your experience below- I’ll keep searching as well and update you when it appears back in the system.
Remember also, that US Airways has pretty flexible award rules, which includes Atlantic routing on Asia awards, including a stopover in a Star Alliance hub or an open jaw.

Offer available for purchases made between December 1 and 31, 2011, 11:59 MT. All purchases are non-refundable. Bonus miles will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. The maximum number of Buy Bonus miles that can be received by one member for this offer is 40,000 bonus miles. All miles purchased beyond this limit will not be eligible for a bonus. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Share transactions are not eligible for bonus. Only purchases made online are eligible for the bonus.

Miles are sold for $0.035 per mile plus a tax recovery charge of 7.5%. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents. Miles purchased through Buy, Share or Gift Miles do not count towards Dividend Miles Preferred status. All other Dividend Miles Terms and Conditions apply. Miles may be used based on award availability at the time of booking. Please note that Dividend Miles accounts less than 12 days old are not permitted to Buy, Share or Gift Miles. All purchases are non-refundable.

Disclaimer: 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.

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  • Dave Op

    AA is also offering bonus of 33% (at best purchase combination) or about $0.020625 per mile at 60,000+20,000 category. I won’t be getting US Airways or AA miles at this point since I got no use for them now.

  • Flyer Fun

    6 months ago, I was planning to do the next purchase to bank the miles until I needed them. However, it irritates me that the price has gone up by so much. Liquidity has a price. If they want my cash, they have to offer up a better deal.

  • Dhammer53

    My memory may be a little foggy on this, but doesn’t USAirways charge a fee to redeem your miles?

  • MJLouise

    And if you have the USAirways cc you get a 5K discount / rebate on miles redemption.

  • Peter Bennett

    Does buying miles count towards elite status?

  • Peter Bennett

    Never mind, saw the fine print. Guess that would be too easy.

  • Anonymous

    To clarify: Only if each and every segment in your redemption is on US Airways metal.

  • Anonymous

    There is one advantage here, though. They are awarding double miles on all quantities not just in increments of 10,000. I only need 14,000 for myself, so I can just buy 7,000 ($245) instead of having to buy 10,000 ($350). If it were a better deal I’d be banking them, but since that door’s been closed, at least I can save a bit buying the ones I need.

  • Anonymous

    Like most programs they do charge something at check-out, but they’re among the lowest. There’s a booking fee, a quick-ticketing fee (<14 days?) and a phone booking fee (but only for awards that CAN be booked online, which means they will waive it for all Star Alliance awards). Finally, some airport taxes and fees get tacked on.

    For comparison I put on hold (but never executed) a *A domestic J/F award (on 3-cabin planes) and I think the total taxes and fees came to ~$75.

    One hidden benefit of their award chart come to think of it is that UACO will charge you 70k to redeem First on domestic itineraries which include travel on 3-cabin aircraft, however US will charge you 50 regardless.

  • Pulley

    For me buying miles can make sense when I want to travel in F. In 2008 I bought $ 7,000 worth of Alsaka Miles and booked two BA F tickets IAD-BKK so that was worth it to me (pre-huge fees). This December I’m going back to BKK and I had to buy two UA C tickets for $3,900 each – best value I could find. Alaska Air is running a 40% bonus now through the end of the year. I will probably buy 100,000 miles for $ 2,800 and with the 40% bonus I will have enough miles for a CX F ticket to HKG.

  • hc

    does the one stopover rule on usairways redemptions inlcude one stop over total per round trip, or can I make a stopover on the way there, anda stopover on the way back?

  • Richard1148

    The award chart appears to be mileage needed for round trip flights. Right? Does US Airways allow one way at half the miles?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    When do these miles expire after purchase?

  • CloveLeaf

    I should have bought Dividend Miles back in June. I figured they were going to run this promotion again anyway. I will just wait until I need those miles. Now they increased the price and lowered the limit!!! But $1750 + fee for a business class ticket to China is still a deal for me. Thanks for the info and the thorough explanation.!!

  • KP

    US Airways charges a Bullshit $25 ticketing fee to redeem your award. They also charge a fee if you are within X amount of days from departure. AA doesn’t charge a “ticketing fee” unless you call them. Delta doesn’t charge ANY fees when booking online, close to departure or not and CO/UA charges no ticketing fee. US Airways is the only one that runs this fee scam for $25 out of the legacies.

  • KP

    Not true ;), quite possible to get that 5k off with mixed metal, just saying ;)!

  • Adamu98

    this is a rubbish deal now-i got in before-but now not worth it-they have been searching for the pricepoint and i think they have exceeded it .

  • Mike

    Also keep in mind US blocks trans-Atlantic F on LH and LX.

  • Mike


  • Mmt

    Please clarify how to locate 35,000 off peak awards to Europe. You later say they will show up as 60,000 miles.

  • Brooks

    Really? Bookable on usairways site?

  • Anon99anon

    WOW!!! I just found out that US Air charges a $25 processing for all awards booked on their site – I had no idea! Not only do they not allow one-way awards, but they charge a fee for award travel? Us Air sucks!!! DOes anyone know when they instituted this fee??? I would never earn miles with US Air…I hope other airlines don’t follow suit.

    Dividend Miles award processing fee
    We charge an award processing fee for all award tickets based on destination ($25 for domestic tickets, $35 for tickets to Mexico/the Caribbean and $50 for tickets to Hawaii, Europe, the Middle East and South America).

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