US Airways 50% Discount on Purchased Miles: Good Deal?
US Airways is running a 50% off sale on their purchased points for people who purchased them in 2011. Normally they cost 3.5 cents a piece, but with this promo you can get 50,000 for a total of $940.65, or 1.9 cents a mile. This offer is targeted towards people who purchased miles in 2011, but you can try using this link to see if you are eligible.
So is this a good deal? It depends.
US Airways used to sell miles for 1.4 cents a piece, so if you simply look at the price increase it may not be such a good deal. However, US Airways is a Star Alliance member and has a pretty generous award chart, so buying miles may still make sense - especially if you value business or first class international travel.
For domestic roundtrip awards in coach, it would be like paying $475 for restricted low level awards and remember - you don't earn miles and can't get upgraded on award tickets. In that case, I'd recommend just buying your ticket unless you fly super expensive routes, like to Alaska, or small markets that charge a bundle.
The value gets better when you think about international travel. I can fly from Miami to Beijing for only 90,000 miles in business class, which at 1.9 cents a mile would cost me $1,710 plus any award taxes. I don't know about you, but I'd easily pay $2,000 for confirmed business class to Northern China (For the same amount you can also go to Japan, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Mongolia, S. Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.)
US Airways also has offpeak awards, so you can fly to Europe for 60,000 miles ($1,140) in business class from January 15- February 28. Pretty good deal, especially since US Airways has a decent business class product that they are currently in the process of upgrading to fully lie flat beds.
Before you purchase miles, make sure you have a goal in mind. I'd recommend reviewing their Star Alliance award chart here and deciding on what awards you might eventually redeem for and then decide whether you are okay paying for that amount at 1.9 cents a mile. If so, then buy the miles! If not, you may want to wait for more lucrative deals or just try building up your accounts the old fashioned way by flying or buying needless stuff for the next Grand Slam promotion!