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US Airways and Points.com 100% Bonus on Purchased Miles

by on March 17, 2012 · 16 comments

in US Airways

Purchasing miles from a frequent flyer program is usually a high-price/ low-value way to add some miles to your account, and is generally only a last resort if you need to top up your account for a particular award. But every so often there are some purchased-mile bonuses that might be worth it to some travelers.

Earlier this week, US Airways Dividend Miles and Points.com announced a joint promotion that could earn you up to a 100% bonus on purchased miles if you join points.com, which is free to join. This amounts to buying US Airways miles at 1.87 cents each, so is it a good deal? I generally think yes, but it depends on how you use those miles.

Some people think that US Airways has awful award availability, but the real issue is that their website does not show any availability for the other 26 Star Alliance carriers . They have the same Star Alliance availability as United or Aeroplan, it’s just that they don’t show it on their website- you have to call 1-800-428-4322 to book an award, though they will waive the phone booking fee since partner awards are not bookable online.

Details:
It’s actually split up into two separate 50% bonuses: one that should post right away and the 50% bonus for being a points.com member which should post by June 5, 2012. 

So you get an automatic bonus when you buy miles from US Airways here, and then you get an extra 50% bonus by registering your Dividend Miles account with Points.com. There are a few more conditions, though.

Each frequent flyer account can only purchase up to 50,000 miles at the rate of 3.5 cents each. Your account must be older than 12 days to purchase miles as well.

You get a 50% bonus automatically for purchasing miles on USAirways.com, and another 50% when you register for Points.com.

Example Scenarios
Let’s take a couple examples. say you just wanted to book yourself a low-level business class ticket from North America to Europe on US Airways. That would require 100,000 miles, so with this promotion, you’d only have to purchase 50,000 miles for $1,750 plus $131.25 in taxes for a total of $1,881.25. A quick search of flights showed business class tickets from Charlotte to Paris in September for $2,906 plus $186 in taxes. By buying the miles with this promotion, you’ve saved yourself about $1,000.

But a premium international route where this might be worth it came up when we searched tickets from Phoenix to Tokyo in business class, which you would fly on US Airways’ Star Alliance partner of ANA. We found tickets in July for $6,626 plus $98 in taxes. The same itinerary would require just 90,000 miles, which you could purchase for $1,575 plus $118.13 in taxes ($1,693 total). Buy purchasing those miles, you’ve just saved yourself almost $5,000!

Worth It?
As always, it depends on your travel needs and the award you intend to redeem your miles for. If you are hoping for low-level domestic coach redemptions or even awards on competitive international routes, you’re probably better off just buying tickets. However, US Airways is a Star Alliance member and has a pretty generous award chart, so if you are hoping to redeem premium class awards on expensive routes with low taxes, then you could definitely reap some value from this promotion.

For more information on maximizing US Airways awards, check out this post.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • goamit

    What’s going on with all the US Airways bonus miles promos this past month?
    Share, transfer, and now buy bonuses. Seems like they are trying to play it up.

  • drew

    If I was going to pay for business class, I would rather pay a little more (on an airline I like) and earn miles and EQMs. And is the $131 the taxes for buying the miles or using them?

  • Nick

    What if you already have a points.com account? Would you still be eligible for 50% bonus?

  • thepointsguy

    Yes

  • thepointsguy

    The only issue is that business class is often prohibitively expensive, which makes buying miles incredibly appealing in many cases

  • AJ

    Hi,
    My home airport is Seattle. I usually book award trips to India. Do ou think it makes sense to take this offer. Also, should I make use of the hotel promotion that is going on?

    Thanks.

  • thepointsguy

    US is known for these promos.. They somehow make it work

  • http://www.travelbypoints.com/ Jimmy

    Brian, does the off-peak Europe award allow open jaws, flying into LHR and out of CDG? Thanks!

  • SeoulMan

    Brian, I find most of your advice invaluable, but I’ve got to say I strongly disagree with “They have the same Star Alliance availability as United…” — absolutely not! Here’s my most recent post on the topic: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/us-airways-dividend-miles/1324827-need-help-planning-trip-europe.html
    See #6 on that Flyertalk Forum page. And look through the long thread on the subject:
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/us-airways-dividend-miles/1018431-star-alliance-award-bookings-using-us-airways-miles-faq-help-thread-merged.html

    Thanks!

  • cking006

    Though I usually don’t buy miles, last year I bought 50,000 miles + 50,000 bonus miles for 27.50/1000 (29.56 w/ tax) for a grand total of $1478

    This year US Airways has raised the price to 35.00/1000 miles (37.63 w/tax), which would make those same miles cost 1881.50.

    That’s a 27% increase from last year!

  • PJ

    you need to wait until June 5 to receive the extra 100 % that is more than a sore point if you need just small 4K to top off for a award ticket

  • Ram Kashyap

    Brian, You mentioned about the north Asia redemption. How about redemption to South Asia, especially India.
    Can you throw in some more details about redemption to India?

    Usually an economy ticket from North East, USA (Anywhere between BOS to IAD) to India costs 1400$ avg and a business class ranges from 3400-6500$.
    Buying 100,000 miles @ 1881$……….Will that bet in a business class ticket?
    I am not familiar with the business/first class availability on these flights.

  • Michael

    Brian, when i look up off-peak awards to Europe for Jan/Feb 2013 none seem to appear. Am I simply too early? Surely they can’t be already booked up by now. Specifically, I’m looking for LGA to ZHR via PHL in their Business/Envoy class. the 100% bonus seems like a reasonable deal, but before taking advantage i would like to confirm availability. going to combine with the barclaycard i just go and take advantage of the 40k bonus miles and 5k discount for each ticket (looking for 2).

  • Volker

    These deals are good if you want to fly between two small off-the-track towns or like me if you have to fly during high season (partner awards are usually the same all year long)

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