US Airways Grand Slam 2011 Master Guide
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Update: Instead of creating new posts about this promotion, I wanted to keep all of the information on this master post so we can look back on it next year. I’m on track to hit my 36 hits, 100,000 miles and the total cash outlay is going to be steep, but a lot of the things I’m getting credit for are business trips that I would have taken anyway. So the only “cost” of certain hotel stays is that I credited the points earned into US Airways instead of my hotel programs. Plus, I also purchased 100,000 miles when that deal was still good, which cost me $1,478, but I’ll use them on a business class trip to Asia (with miles to spare), so I still think I’m coming out ahead.
If you are scratching your head or haven’t gotten in on Grand Slam, here’s a quick video of me giving the overall gist of the promotion.
So far I’ve been credited with the hits below- 16 total with several pending. I’m still waiting on Office Max and Audience Rewards, plus I still have 16 hits to accomplish, which include the Toolbar, Points.com, Supershuttle, more car rentals and hotel stays (to get up to 6 each), Energy Plus (I’m barely home so I’m not worried about my energy bill increasing that much!), Sharing miles, Dividend Miles Dining, Using my BOA Debit Card (which I keep leaving at home), executing a trade on Sharebuilder and luckily my new dry cleaner belongs to the Thanks Again Network. I’ll report back soon with my update hit successes.
|9/14/11||9/14/11|| Online Redemption (Mags for Miles)
|9/14/2011||09/14/11||BUY MILES – POINTS.COM||50,000|
|9/14/2011||09/14/11||BUY MILES TIERED BONUS OFFER BONUS||50,000|
|9/14/2011||09/19/11||CONVERSION: SPG POINTS TO MILES||851|
|9/14/2011||09/21/11||TRACKITBACK.COM WORRY-FREE TRAVEL MILES||500|
|9/14/2011||10/04/11||CONVERSION: HYATT-POINTS TO MILES||2,000|
|9/14/2011||09/20/11||PRIORITY CLUB REDEMPTION AWARD||2,000|
|9/14/2011||09/21/11||CONVERSION:HILTON HONORS REWARD EXCHANGE||850|
|9/15/2011||09/29/11||HERTZ CAR RENTAL BONUS||100|
|Non Grand Slam Related Activity|
|9/17/2011||09/29/11||HERTZ CAR RENTAL BONUS||150|
|9/18/2011||10/03/11||STARWOOD PREFERRED GUEST ADD TRANSFER||601|
|9/18/2011||09/29/11||BISCOFF GOURMET SNACKS||264|
|9/19/2011||10/03/11||STARWOOD PREFERRED GUEST ADD TRANSFER||1,079|
|9/23/2011||10/03/11||SKYMALL ONLINE PURCHASE||12|
|9/29/2011||09/29/11||GRAND SLAM 2011 MULTI PARTNER BONUS – 4||3,000|
|9/29/2011||09/29/11||GRAND SLAM 2011 MULTI PARTNER BONUS – 8||7,000|
|10/2/2011||10/06/11||SHOPPING MALL, APPLE STORE||150|
|10/2/2011||10/17/11||STARWOOD PREFERRED GUEST ADD TRANSFER||953|
|10/5/2011||10/05/11||GRAND SLAM 2011 MULTI PARTNER BONUS – 12||5,000|
|10/12/2011||10/12/11||GRAND SLAM 2011 MULTI PARTNER BONUS – 16||8,000|
|10/12/2011||10/12/11||GRAND SLAM 2011 PQM BONUS – 16 HITS||2,000|
Original post from September: As I wrote about last year, the US Airways Grand Slam promotion is one of my favorite airline miles promotions. It requires time, creativity and persistence so if you don’t have any of those things,
I’d recommend just buying 100,000 miles for $1,478 via their 100% Buy Miles Promo which ends on September 15.
However, if you want to play along, I’m officially inviting you to join me on my quest to get the max prize: 110,000 US Airways miles, which is more than enough to fly from North America to North Asia or Europe in business class. I also use my US Airways miles for 60,000 mile business class off-peak awards to Europe in January/February since my best friend lives in Madrid and frankly there’s no bad time to go to Spain in my opinion! The reason why I like to envision my awards at the beginning of the promotion is that there will most likely be frustrating times ahead and curve balls so it’s always good to have your eye on the prize and realize that these points = travel, which to me = $.
First things first: register here. If you don’t have a US Airways Dividend Miles account, you can get one for free here. The promotion starts on 9/14/11, but to be safe I’d wait until midday Wednesday at the earliest instead of buying stuff right away at midnight, just in case US Airways systems haven’t started recognizing the promotion.
This post will be the master guide and will be updated as much as necessary with all relevant information needed for the promotion. The effectiveness of this post will depend on your feedback and comments, so please share your experiences!
What is Grand Slam?
The premise of the Grand Slam promotion is to get “hits” with non-flight partners of US Airways. Why would US Airways want to do this? All of their partners – whether Netflix or Dividend Miles Dining, buy miles from US Airways and in turn offer them to us, the consumer, to buy things from them. What US Airways is doing is raising awareness of all the ways to get miles in hopes that their non-flying partners get tons of new customers and continue buying more and more miles from them. Grand Slam has been happening for several years, so it must be working!
|Miles||3,000||10,000||15,000||25,000 (2,000 EQM)||35,000||45,000 (5,000 EQM)||60,000||80,000||100,000||110000 (10,000 EQM)|
TPG reader Nick sent me a snazzy spreadsheet that I used as my baseline for setting up Grand Slam (this was a good thing because I haven’t open Excel since I left my job in June!). I made some edits and added a second page to list all of the potential “hits” and planning for them. I recommend going through the “Hits” tab and putting together an initial estimate of how many hits you can easily do. You can update as you go, but it’s always good to set some preliminary goals. I went through and my estimate was 42 hits, so I’m going for the gold!
US-Airways-Grand-Slam-2 (LINK TO DOWNLOAD SPREADSHEET)
You automatically get credit for a hit as long as you purchase the items through the US Airways website or include your Dividend Miles number on your purchase. Last year there wasn’t a counter showing how many hits you currently had, so you’d have to guess by the amount of bonus miles posted to your account. I don’t expect this to change this year, so make sure you keep accurate track of which activities you’ve done so you can make sure if they processed correctly.
You have until November 14, 2011 to get your hits in and the final deadline for hits to post and for bonuses go to your account is March 28, 2012. Plenty of time to make this all happen!
Full list of the rules (read through) and the T&C – note there is a big new rule:
New service cancellation policy:
ALL bonus miles earned from the Grand Slam promotion will be forfeited and removed from a member’s account if new service acquired during the Grand Slam promotion is cancelled within 6 months from the end of the promotion. This date is May 14, 2012. For example, if you subscribe for a new USA Today newspaper subscription in order to earn a hit during Grand Slam and cancel it on or prior to May 14, 2012 ALL bonus miles you earned from the Grand Slam promotion will be forfeited and removed from your account, no matter how you earned them.
Subscription partners include:
- US Airways Club
- Dish Network
- Energy Plus
- Share Builder
- Life Lock
- TD AMERITRADE
- USA Today
- Wine Insiders
Hits: Here is my first run analysis of hits. As I mentioned before, this will be updated as we all go through the promotion and learn of any roadblocks or shortcuts.
|1. Earn 1 hit when you buy a new US Airways Club membership or renew your current club membership during this promotion (max 1 hit per member).||This could be a good play for those with the American Express Platinum Card, because we lose Continental lounge access after 9/30/11. If you use your $200 Platinum airline rebate, it would work to cover up to $200 of the $550 which is yearly membership for a general member and the price decreases with the higher status you have. If you intend to get status via this promotion, I’d wait to buy the Club membership so the price comes down. Link to buy Club Membership. Membership includes access to all US Airways Clubs, United Red Carpet Clubs, Continental Presidents Clubs and Star Alliance Lounges. Must have membership until May 14, 2012 or else you lose all bonus miles.|
|2. Earn 1 hit for every credit or debit card use per card type. You can earn this bonus once for each unique card partner: US Airways MasterCard, US Airways Business Card, US Airways Visa, US Airways Visa Business Card and US Airways debit card.||Their credit cards are issued by Barclays and the Debit card by Bank of America. Key info and application links:
US Airways Mastercard: 40,000 miles, plus 10,000 each anniversary plus up to 10,000 for balance transfers. $89 fee, waived for the first year.
US Airways Business Card: 25,000 miles, plus up to 10,000 for balance transfers. $79 annual fee.
US Airways Visa: Three types, from $50-$90 annual fee.
US Airways Visa Business Card: Could not find a link
US Airways Debit Card:3,000 miles after first purchase. $30 annual fee. No hard pull on your credit.
|3. Earn 1 hit for every mileage-earning stay with a hotel partner (max 6 hits per member). There are 11 hotel families representing over 70 hotel brands: Best Western, Carlson Hotels (Radisson), Choice Hotels, Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, WORLDHOTELS and Wyndham Hotels Group.|| Your hotel stay must generate at least 200 Dividend Milesand you can see how many your hotel brand earns on this page.
This means you need to bank your hotel stay to US Airways (or at least double dip to US Airways with Hilton). Best Western: Each stay earns 250 Dividend Miles Club Carlson: 250 miles for stays at Country Inns & Park Inn; 500 miles for Park Plaza and Radisson stays Choice: Any stay earns 250 miles Hilton: Full service (Hilton, HGI, Waldord) offer 500 miles per stay (fixed miles). Hampton, Homewood, and Home2 which offer 100 miles or 1 mile per dollar spent Hyatt: Any stay earns 500 miles IHG: 500 miles for Intercontinental, 2 miles per dollar at other properties. La Quinta: 250 miles per stay. Marriott: 2 miles per dollar spent at full service (Marriott and higher) and 1 miles per dollar at lower tier properties like Courtyard. Note: Marriott select hotels have a 2,000 US Airways miles per stay, book by October 31, 2011. SPG: 2 points per dollar, 3 points per dollar for Gold and Platinum members. Wyndham: 2 miles per dollar spent, 500 miles for Wyndham
|4. Earn 1 hit for every mileage-earning car rental with a car partner (max 6 hits per member). There are 8 car partners: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty.||Just make sure your Dividend Miles is on the registration. Usually it will show on your car contract (I know it does on Hertz).|
|5. Earn 1 hit when you convert hotel points from a hotel partner into Dividend Miles (max 1 hit per hotel partner). There are 9 hotel partners: Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotel Group (Priority Club), Marriott Rewards, Radisson (Club Carlson), Starwood Hotels (SPG) and Wyndham Rewards.||Hotel transfers must result in a minimum of 850 Dividend Miles. Best Western: 5,000 points which equal 1,000 Dividend miles. Elites can buy points, $10 for 1,000 points and it is very easy to status match.
Choice: 5,000 = 1,000 Dividend Miles. Buy points for $11 per 1,000.
Hilton: 10,000 = 850 Dividend Miles. Purchase points for 1-1.25 cent each, so 10,000 = $100. Amex Membership Rewards transfer to Hilton at 1:1.5 and you have to transfer in 1,500 blocks of Hilton, so 7,000 Amex would = 10,500 Hilton.American Airlines miles also convert to Hilton at 1:1.67. To transfer, login to your account -> Membership Services -> Transfer points to miles
Hyatt: 5,000 points = 2,000 Dividend miles. Buy points for $24 per thousand with a 20% bonus until September 30, 2011. Hyatt points are a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards (Program of Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold)
Intercontinental/Priority Club: 10,000 points = 2,000 Dividend Miles. Buy points for $13.50 per 1,000. Priority Club points are a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards (Program ofSapphire Preferred and Ink Bold). They are also a 1:1 transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards. I couldn’t do this online, so I had to call 1-888-211-9874
Marriott: 10,000 = 2,000 Dividend Miles. Buy points for $12.50 per 1,000. Marriott points are a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards (Program of Program of Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold)
Radisson: 8,000 points = 1,000 Dividend Miles. It is not possible to buy Club Carlson points (to my knowledge). You can also get 9,000 points for a 3 day rental from Avis or Budget.
Starwood: 1,000 points = 1,000 Dividend miles. Platinum members can transfer in increments of 1, so 850 SPG = 850 Divided miles. Buy points at 3.5 cents a piece ($35 for 1,000). Starwood is an Amex Membership Rewards transfer partner, at 3:1, with a 25% bonus until September 14, 2011.
Wyndham: 8,000 points = 3,200 Dividend Miles. No purchase points program.
|6. Earn 1 hit when you make a qualifying purchase at the US Airways Dividend Miles Shopping Mall. Maximum 1 hit regardless of number of merchants used at the Shopping Mall. Purchases of SkyMall merchandise does not count towards Shopping Mall, but does count as a unique hit.||Go here, log-in on the left with your Dividend Miles number and then buy something. Cheap options: iTunes 2 miles per dollar spent (plus no shipping).|
|7. Earn 1 hit when you download the Dividend Miles Toolbar and perform 3 searches.||Download the toolbar here.|
|8. Earn 1 hit when you buy miles at usairways.com or points.com.||100% bonus until 9/15/11. Normal rate is 2.956 cents per mile including tax. Link.|
|9. Earn 1 hit when you share miles at usairways.com or points.com.||1 cent per mile, 1,000 mile minimum plus a $30 “processing” fee. Link.|
|10. Earn 1 hit when you swap other points into Dividend Miles at points.com.||Log into points.com -> Trade, Exchange and Buy -> then click “Get more into a Program” choose US Airways and then 1 mile. It will show you a list of options at the very bottom, like moving 4 AA, 3 Amex MR or 2 Aeroplan miles into 1 US mile.|
|11. Earn 1 hit when you Buy up to Preferred.|| Starting at $249.
|12. Earn 1 hit when you buy ‘Trial Preferred’ status.||This is their status challenge – Silver starts at $200 and you need to fly 7,500 miles within 90 days. Link.|
|13. Earn 1 hit with each of our other Dividend Miles partners:||Find the full partner list here.|
|21st Century Auto Insurance|| Link. NOTE: There is a new T&C that states, “No miles earned for requesting a free quote for a service.” So technically you have to get the insurance, but let’s wait and see if anyone gets the hit for the quote.
Current policyholders are not eligible. Insurance provided through 21st Century Insurance and Financial Services (or in Michigan through 21st Century Insurance Agency), Wilmington, DE, agent for its affiliated personal lines insurance companies. Offer not available in the states of GA, HI, MA, NC, NY, OH and WI.
|1800Flowers||Link. 10 miles per dollar spent. Cheapest items I could find: Franciscan Desert Rose Oval Basket by Wedgwood $12.99 with free shipping or $13.99 Sad Sam Teddy Bear that comes with free shipping. I won’t be sad when I get my hit! Note: All deliveries have to be within the Grand Slam promo period (before Nov 14, 2011)|
|AAA Carolinas Auto Club||?? Can’t find a link|
|Audience Rewards|| Link. I initially bought a $17 Poetry Slam, but never got the credit since I was a no show. Many people are reporting success getting this hit just by playing trivia- you get 2 US miles for correctly answered questions and apparently they post pretty quickly. Can’t hurt to try! Trivia Link here- once you answer correctly it’ll ask you to log-in with your US Airways number.
|Biscoff|| Link. Enter your US Airways number when you get to the main page.
|Dish Network|| Link. In order to qualify for 5,000 mile reward, customer must present DIVIDEND MILES number at the time of purchase. 5,000 Mile reward will be given upon installation. Limited Time Offer. Get 5,000 bonus miles and a great deal on Dish Network service. Enjoy some of the best entertainment on TV with Dish satellite network. They have over 280 channels, with more in high-definition than anyone else and all at the best prices. ‘Win-Win’ deal for you – sign-up for Dish Network now and get 5,000 miles, plus a premium Dish package starting at $24.99 per month. Choose a two-year bronze package or above and you’ll also get:
|Dividend Miles Dining||US Airways Dividend Miles Dining: 1,000 points for new members: 500 points when you spend $25 and 500 more on the second $25 dine within the first 45 days and complete online reviews.|
|e-Miles||Link. e-Miles® is an exclusive new online program that rewards you for your time with airline miles. It’s absolutely free. As a member of e-Miles, you can earn free miles in just minutes a day simply by reading and responding to marketing messages based on your preferences. I did this last year and it was annoying, but I got enough to make a transfer and get a hit. See this Flyertalk thread for more info.|
|Energy Plus|| Link. Rip-off electricity provider that will give you free miles but greatly jack up your electric bill. I doubt this is worth it, but feel free to comment on your experience. If you live in CT, IL, MD, NJ, NY, PA or TX you can earn miles just for paying your electric bill. Just choose Energy Plus as your electricity provider to earn miles while getting the same reliable service from your local utility company. Enroll today and you’ll enjoy:
|e-Rewards||Link. “Invite” only but they send invites all the time. Check your inbox. This also takes up a lot of time by answering surveys – I’m not excited to do it again. See this Flyertalk thread for more info.|
|FTD.com & Florist.com (counts as 1 partner)|| Link for FTD and Link for Florist. 15 miles per dollar spend. Cheapest item I could find was I Love You Message Bear by Build-A-Bear Workshop® Item #BB55 for $19.99 which came to $33.45 after taxes (maybe less in your state) or also the stunning The FTD® Pink Cascade™ Boutonniere $16.99 – 255 Miles which came to $35.61 with all taxes and fees. Note: All deliveries have to be within the Grand Slam promo period (before Nov 14, 2011). I ended up ordering a family member a regular get well package and it obviously counted (I didn’t try for a supercheap item)
|getAbstract||Link. $299 for 12 months. getAbstract is the most efficient way to absorb the key ideas of today’s most important business books. Over 4,000 of the best business books ever published are distilled into crisp, expertly written 5-page summaries. These are instantly downloadable from the web to your PC, iPod or Smartphone.
|Hilton Grand Vacations Club Ownership||?? Can’t find a link|
|Lasik Plus – corrective procedure only||Link. 25,000 Dividend Miles for Lasik, but something leads me to believe they probably jack the price up incredibly. Luckily I have 20/20 vision, so won’t worry about this one.|
|LifeLock – annual membership only||Link. 3,000 points for $99 yearly membership. ***WARNING: This is one of the subscription required partners – if you cancel/close your account before May 14, 2012, you will lose ALL Grand Slam miles|
|Life Shield||?? Can’t find a link|
|Marriott Vacation Club (ownership purchase)||?? Can’t find a link|
|Magazines for Miles||Link. One of the easiest, free hits. Just redeem as few as a couple hundred US miles for a magazine subscription. Easy as pie.|
|Netflix|| Link. 1,500 miles when you become a member. As low as $7.99 a month with a one month free trial. One redemption per household. Miles will be awarded for a new paid subscriptiononly and require, at time of sign-up, linking directly from this page and entering a valid Dividend Miles number. Please allow 8-10 weeks for mileage postings. Purchase or redemption of gift subscriptions is not eligible to earn miles.
***WARNING: This is one of the subscription required partners – if you cancel/close your account before May 14, 2012, you will lose ALL Grand Slam miles
|Network Solutions||Link. Earn 1,000 miles for every qualifying purchase, including:|
|OfficeMax||Link. Many items are available for cheap and with free shipping. However, they aren’t automatically crediting the miles- check outthis post by Mommy Points for more info.|
|Select Warranty||Link. Must call to get quote. Probably not a good deal.
Earn up to 25,000 Dividend Miles and never pay a major car repair bill again. Get bumper-to-bumper coverage for your car for up to the next 6 years or 125,000 miles. It could save you thousands of dollars on unexpected repairs. Call now and also get free towing and National Roadside Assistance with your coverage.
Limited time offer. Don’t miss out!
|Sentry Insurance||Note: The T&C now say you can’t get a hit for a free quote, so let’s wait and see. Get 1,500 miles and save money with Sentry Insurance! *You can save up to 10% on your home and auto insurance. Plus, when you get a no-obligation quote you’ll get 1,500 miles.|
|ShareBuilder|| Link. Investing doesn’t have to be so complicated. We’ll even give you miles when you invest.
– No account minimum
– 2 smart ways to trade
– Free mobile app
*Mileage Disclaimer: You must open a new ShareBuilder account to be eligible for the initial bonus miles. Limit one per unique customer or custodial beneficiary. Dividend Miles Members will receive 2,500 bonus miles after opening a new account and purchasing their first security. If a member subscribes to the Advantage Program each month, they will receive 500 additional bonus miles for every active quarter during the calendar year.
Please allow 6-8 weeks for miles to post to your account.
|SkyMall||Link. 3 miles for every $1 you spend online. Cheapest item I found was a Carabineer Clip for $1.99.|
|Starwood Vacations Ownership||?? Can’t find a link|
|SuperShuttle & ExecuCar (counts as 1 partner)||Link. Choose a airport to hotel trip. Phoenix Sky Hardbor to Aloft Phoenix Airport with disocunt code UYR59 brings it to $4 total.|
|TD AMERITRADE|| Link. Open and fund a TD Ameritrade account to earn up to 25,000 miles. You’ll earn:
|Teleflora||Link. 15 miles per dollar. Cheapest item I found was the Make a Wish – Standard Item # TFWEB164 for $29.99 and comes to $44.98 after taxes and shipping. Note: All deliveries have to be within the Grand Slam promo period (before Nov 14, 2011)|
|Thanks Again||Link. Cheapest is to buy restaurant.com gift certificates at 80% off. Earn up to 4 miles for every dollar spent within an exclusive network of airports, airport retailers and thousands of local businesses nationwide including dry cleaners, spas and golf courses. Your miles will really add up! Enrollment is free, secure and convenient.
|TrackItBack.com|| Link. Earn 20 miles for every dollar you spend with TrackItBack – help protect your personal property from loss.
A single pack is $19.99 +sh which ends up being $24.99.
|US Airways Cruises||Link. $500 will earn 500 miles and up from there.|
|USA Today||Link. Requires subscription at $19.99 a month until May 14, 2012.|
|Verizon Wireless||Link. Get 10,000 miles and a free Droid Incredible 2 by HTC when you sign up for a new 2-year Verizon Wireless activation and data pak. Use all caps in order to log-in.|
|Vinesse||Link. Join a Vinesse Wine Club and get 2,000 bonus miles, plus 5 miles for every $1 you spend. In the past you could buy accessories, but they closed the loophole and now make you have the membership until May 2012, which makes this one expensive.***WARNING: This is one of the subscription required partners – if you cancel/close your account before May 14, 2012, you will lose ALL Grand Slam miles|
|Wine Insiders||Link. Free shipping on $6.99 wines + 1,000 miles
***WARNING: This is one of the subscription required partners – if you cancel/close your account before May 14, 2012, you will lose ALL Grand Slam miles