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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:
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 Points.com 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.