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Earlier this month, US Airways announced a targeted 100% buy miles bonus for Dividend Miles members who had purchases miles in 2013, and today, the airline launched another 100% buy miles bonus for cardholders of US Airways credit cards where they can buy or gift miles with a 100% bonus now through February 28, 2014.
The bonus should be hardwired into your Dividend miles account when you log into the buy miles page, and you should see a message on the main page even before logging in that says: “Use your US Airways MasterCard® or Visa® credit card to buy or gift miles and you’ll get or give a 100% bonus – up to 50,000 miles.”
So the key terms are that you can buy up to 50,000 miles (so get 100,000 miles total), and you must use your US Airways credit card for the purchase in order to earn the bonus, so if you use another card at check-out, you likely will not get the bonus points.
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’s a chunk of change, but US Airways still 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. Those awards are likely to disappear when American and US Airways merge their frequent flyer programs with the merger, and possibly even as soon as March 31, when US Airways leaves Star Alliance and joins Oneworld. Even since the reciprocal earning/redeeming announcement between US and AA, 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.
For the time being, however, 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. Especially since United’s devaluation should be going through any day (or moment) now, which means US Airways miles are your best bet for booking Star Alliance awards at decent levels for the next two months. Check out my post on Tips For Searching Star Alliance Availability for more info.
Spending around $1,900 for what could be $8,000+ international business class flights is a pretty great deal, though I understand the cash outlay isn’t for everyone. Economy redemptions are generally not as good an idea in terms of buying miles, but US Airways does have some flexible routing options which might make it worth it for you. And remember, you get 5,000 miles off US Airways awards if you have the US Airways MasterCard. 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.
Also note that Points.com processes these transactions, so you don’t earn 3X points per $1 with the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card’s airfare bonus or 2.14X points per $1 on the Sapphire Preferred since this isn’t categorized as a travel purchase.