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US Airways 100% Buy Miles Bonus Through November 30, 2012

by on November 1, 2012 · 25 comments

in Buy Miles Promotions, US Airways

Just as the US Airways 100% Share Miles Bonus promo comes to an end, the airline has launched a 100% Bonus on Purchased Miles promo from November 1-30, 2012.

There’s no need to register, since this isn’t a targeted promotion, and you’ll receive the bonus automatically on the Buy Miles page. However, there are a few rules:

1. You must be a Dividend Miles member for at least 12 days, so sign up now if you are not and want to take advantage (sign-up here for a free account).
2. This promotion limits mileage purchases to 50,000 miles – 100,000 miles with the bonus.
3. For each purchase there is a processing fee of $30 and a 7.5% tax recovery charge, and GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents.
4. These transactions are processed by points.com so it won’t count towards airfare multiplier categories like the 3 points per $1 on the Premier Rewards Gold or 2 points per $1 on the Sapphire Preferred, or for reimbursements through the Amex Platinum $200 rebate.

Worth It?

Although 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, every so often there are some buy-miles bonuses like this one that might be worth it to some travelers and depending if you have an upcoming award in mind.

To give you some hard numbers to crunch, The cost to buy 50,000 + 50,000 Bonus miles is $1,881.25, thus making it 1.8 cents per mile, which can be a great deal if you redeem for expensive awards.

You only need 90,000 miles for a roundtrip business class ticket to North Asia.

Looking at the Star Alliance award travel chart) , you’ll see that to get from North America to North Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Mongolia, S. Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) in business on any Star Alliance carrier only requires 90,000 US Airways miles. Those tickets easily go for around $5,000. However, with this promo, $1,693.113 ($1575+ taxes) will get you 45,000 base miles plus 45,000 bonus miles, for a total of 90,000 miles, so you’ve basically just gotten yourself a $3,700 discount.

Also note that the 90,000 US Airways miles required for this roundtrip itinerary is 30,000 miles less than the 120,000 United would charge you for it.

Searching for Awards

When searching for awards, don’t use usairways.com as a judge of what flights you can get. I recommend using united.com for award searches because the site also includes Star Alliance airlines like ANA, Thai, United, US Airways, Lufthansa, TAP, bmi and Air Canada. It’s not 100% perfect, since it will automatically display United results first, so always scroll down to see partner availability. You can double check the availability using the ANA tool, which is a bit more burdensome, but more a more accurate judge of Star Alliance availability.

Generally, any Saver Award on united.com will be bookable with US Airways miles so you just write down the dates and flight numbers that show availability and then call in to book through US Airways. US Airways will let you put an award.

To take a quick example, let’s say we wanted to fly from New York JFK to Tokyo aboard an ANA 777-300ER. I found some great Saver Award (see the blue columns below) availability in December.

So I booked a sample trip departing December 2 and returning December 9 (on a 777-200). The total cost would be 120,000 United miles (but really 90,000 US Airways miles) and $51.90 in taxes and fees.

That same ticket would cost $3,824 on Orbitz, so I’d be saving $2,100 on this ticket by purchasing 45,000 miles and getting the bonus for the 90,000 total miles necessary for this award redemption.

As always, whether a promotion like this is worth 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.

Do the math for yourself before deciding to jump on this promotion, but this is another good US Airways offer, and I don’t know how many more we’re going to see.

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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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10002913 Robby Stratton

    Hi PointsGuy – I’m trying to do a PHX -> OGG, Then HNL -> PHX US Airways award at the saver level. I see it available on the United site, but not on the US Airways site. From your paragraph above, I’m assuming I can call US Airways and they will honor the mileage rate on the United site vs. their own? Thanks for the help.

  • http://twitter.com/rubiety Ben Hughes

    Man, US Airways shelling out even more. As much as I love these, I’m also struck with a sense of nervousness about point devaluation.

  • Greg

    @Robby Stratton

    Generally if it is at the lowest “SAVER” level on united it is available using US miles. However United has some award inventory that is available to their own members and their own elite members only. But more often then not if it is at the LOWEST point level, it should be available.

    Perhaps the award you are looking for is not at the lowest level?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10002913 Robby Stratton

    It shows saver (20K) each way on the united site (depart 3/1 to OGG return 3/9 from HNL) but when I called US Air earlier they were saying 3/9 is blacked out and doesn’t matter what is on the United site. Call back later and talk to someone else possibly?

  • Lantean

    Those are US Air flights only, you should be able to book online, no need to call.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10002913 Robby Stratton

    They don’t show on the US Air site, they are blacked out. Plus, it’s open jaw so you can’t do it through the US Airways site.

  • none

    Do these points post instantly upon purchase?

  • Eric

    They should post instantly as soon as the transaction is completed.

  • omp

    just for curiosity ….other *A members don’t get p!$$ed at US for “giving away”( lets say to asia) their premium product for $1600?if i was TG i wouldn’t be to happy on giving away biz seats on the a380 for nothing…

  • PJ

    Brian,

    are you saying what ever I can find in http://www.united.com I can phone up Airways to book it down? I understand US airway might now facilitate one way travel .

  • http://twitter.com/rubiety Ben Hughes

    I’d actually be really interested in hearing about how *A (or any alliance) members reimburse each other / pay each other for mileage bookings. Haven’t found much out there on that topic.

  • Choiklu

    I know UR and MR programs are not transferable but beside earning through US CRd and flying, is there any way to transfer points into US Air mileage program.

  • http://traveling.to/ Chris

    Generally, yes.

  • Alex

    This must be the fourth or fifth straight month that US is giving a 100% bonus on miles. Is this the new normal??

  • rj123456

    Only drawback is that US does not allow 1 way redemptions unlike UA.

  • Mike

    Since its through points.com would you still get the bonus miles from using a US Airways Mastercard?

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  • Henry82

    MR to Aeroplan and then to US via Points.com.

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