Variable 25% – 100% Bonus On Purchased US Airways Miles

by on March 1, 2014 · 15 comments

in Buy Miles Promotions, US Airways

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US Airways is known for liquidating its miles cheaply with fairly frequent 100% bonuses on bought and transferred miles. Lately, these bonuses have been more and more targeted, like one in February just for US Airways Mastercard cardholders. Now the airline is running a variable mystery bonus of between 25% – 100%. You just have to log into your account on the buy miles page to see how much of a bonus you’ll get.

I was targeted with just a 25% offer:

US 25 Bonus

Maybe it’s because I’ve been buying so many US Airways miles with their targeted promos lately and redeeming for ultra-premium awards like my first-class United award to Australia.

US Airways miles are normally sold for 3.5 cents each plus a 7.5% tax, so 3.76 cents per mile total. With these bonuses, here’s how much you’re paying:

  • 25% bonus: 3.29 cents
  • 50% bonus: 2.82 cents
  • 75% bonus: 2.35 cents
  • 100% bonus: 1.88 cents

Whether the bonus you’re targeted with is a good deal depends on what you plan to use the miles for. 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 award levels 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.

The airline will still be part of Star Alliance until March 30, and then starting March 31 you should be able to use US Airways for Oneworld awards, so there are some great opportunities here. Especially since United devalued its own and its partner award chart so that award requirements shot up astronomically, which means US Airways miles are your best bet for booking Star Alliance awards at decent levels for the next month. Check out my post on Tips For Searching Star Alliance Availability for more info.

If you do get that 100% bonus, you can buy 50,000 miles for $1,881.25 and end up with 100,000 miles, enough for some super-expensive international business class flights to various regions, 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 processes these transactions, so you don’t earn 3X points per $1 on with the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card’s airfare bonus since flights must be booked directly with airlines or 2.14X points per $1 on the Sapphire Preferred since this isn’t categorized as a travel purchase.

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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  • Philip

    got 100% target bonus. I bought 100,000 miles for myself and gift 100,000 miles to my partners. total cost around $3600, enough for two round trip business class to Hong Kong with stopover in Europe.

  • Justin

    Any idea how long the bonus runs? I took advantage of the cardholder bonus last month for $1881.25 but thinking of adding on for Envoy back from Dublin in Sept to PHL.

  • Danny

    My wife and I both had 50% bonus. I bought 50k+50k bonus just 2 weeks ago and my wife never bought any miles… Wonder what’s their logic behind the bonus levels.

  • chris

    I have a little over 40,000 US air miles, and they offered me the 75% bonus. I’m trying to get to Sydney in June, but it doesnt look like US air can get me there between any of their partners. I feel like after the switchover at the end of the the month with AA the options for award travel to SYD will be limited or unavailable(even though AA partners do go to sydney). Am I wrong for thinking this or is there a possiblity?

  • alicia

    I hope not :( I live is Sydney and the appeal with buying and utilizing UA points is to get out of Sydney to destinations in either business or first class for minimal spend.. I hope Sydney, and Australia for that matter, is still serviced!

  • thepointsguy

    Oneworld availability to Sydney is even more limited than Star Alliance (United/ANZ) in my opinion. Try to book before they join Oneworld! Keep checking for saver availability and then call to book the award if you see space

  • thepointsguy

    On March 31 US joins Oneworld, which will give access to Qantas availability, which should be a boon for intra-Australia travel, but trans-Pacific it can be difficult finding space- especially in biz/first vs United

  • thepointsguy

    Nice leveraging!

  • Sam

    TPG- If using for US travel, it is worth purchasing 100K total for $1881.25. Just curious, for what purchases would this be worth leveraging and having these miles? Thanks for your help. We like to use to travel to india but it seems we would have to fly through LONDON and those fees are high.

  • Sam

    TPG- Also, where would you recommend be using these purchased miles for? I do a lot of spends on Credit Cards to earn various miles but don’t fly as much but when I do, I usually fly business or first class to india with miles. Thanks again for your help

  • Paul

    How many times can one buy the 100% bonus?

  • American in London

    they offered me 25% but my wife 100% – guess which one I took?

  • Julio

    The email they sent me said this promo runs until 3/26.

  • Justin

    Thanks Julio!

  • as

    @thepointsguy:disqus What’s your assessment of OneWorld biz availability from SFO to India? Star Alliance has been very good in terms of the number of trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific options. Other than BA (which has high fees), I’m not seeing the same value in OneWorld. Thoughts?

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