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US Airways has sent out a targeted offer this afternoon to folks who bought or gifted miles in 2013 to earn a 100% bonus on purchased miles now through January 31, 2014. that means you can buy US Airways miles for the bargain price of just 1.88 cents each.
I thought we might have seen the last of the US Airways 100% buy miles bonus now that the merger with American Airlines is going full steam and the two have announced reciprocal earning and redeeming of miles on each other, but it appears that those of us who purchased these Star Alliance miles on the cheap last year have another chance to rack them up. Not only that, but if you use them before March 30, 2014, you can redeem for Star Alliance awards, whereas on March 31, or after, you can use them for Oneworld awards, so there are some great opportunities here. This also might be a cheap way for some of you to buy miles that will eventually become American miles once the AAdvantage and Dividend programs are merged.
As usual, all purchases are non-refundable and the maximum number of buy or gift miles that can be received by any one member/account is 50,000 bonus miles (so 100,000 miles total). All miles above and beyond that will not be eligible for the bonus. You must complete your purchase by January 31, 2014 11:59 MT. This is an exclusive and is non-transferable. Share transactions are not eligible for the bonus. And because these purchases are processed through Points.com, they will not count towards the Amex Premier Rewards Gold‘s 3X per $1 on airfare or the Sapphire Preferred or Arrival‘s 2X per $1 on travel.
US Airways miles are normally sold for 3.5 cents each plus a 7.5% tax, but with this bonus, the price per mile comes out to 1.88 cents each – so you could buy up to 50,000 miles, receive a bonus 50,000 for a total of 100,000 miles for the grand total of $1,881.25.
That might seem like a lot of money, but remember that US Airways has some amazing award chart sweet spots such as just 90,000 miles for roundtrip business class to North Asia, and 110,000 miles for roundtrip business class to South Africa, which is what I did last January.
Spending under $2,000 for an $8,000+ flight is a pretty great deal, though I understand the cash outlay isn’t for everyone. Economy redemptions are generally not as good an idea, but US Airways does have some flexible routing options which might make it worth it for you. Also note that you get 5,000 miles off US Airways awards if you have the US Airways MasterCard.
With the fact that US Airways will definitely be leaving Star Alliance by the end of March, you might be worried about actually being able to use those miles on Star Alliance redemptions, but as I continue to find a lot of Star Alliance partner availability when calling the airline, and you should still be able to book most Star Alliance awards through the exit date. Check out my post on Tips For Searching Star Alliance Availability for more info.
Those award chart sweet spots are likely going to go away once the airline joins Oneworld and its frequent flyer program becomes more closely aligned with American’s, but even since the reciprocal earning/redeeming announcement, a lot of interesting awards have opened up such as using US miles to fly AA to North Asia for less, or to fly AA to London without paying huge fuel surcharges.
US Airways’ Star Alliance options are also looking even better now since the other US-based Star Alliance carrier, United, announced a major devaluation of its award chart mileage redemption requirements that will take effect in February. Just keep in mind before you rush to stock up on miles that you can also buy US Airways miles for cheap using the Mileage Multiplier.
Do you plan to take advantage of this offer? If so, what do you plan to do with your miles? Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.