US Airways 50% Transfer Bonus – Worth It?
I’ve written about a few recent buy and transfer promos from the airline, including Delta’s 75% miles purchase promo, as well as purchase promos from American (up to 37%) and US Airways (50%). Now US Airways is offering a 50% bonus on mileage transfers between members from March 1-14.
The Cost Per Mile
US Airways charges you 1 cent per mile transferred, plus a processing fee of $30 (and a “tax recovery charge” of 7.5% for Canadians). So if you transfer 50,000 miles, it'll cost $500 + $30 processing fee. With this 50% bonus, your recipient will also get a bonus of 25,000 miles (remember the original 50,000 were yours to begin with that were being transferred to someone else). So essentially you are buying 25,000 miles for $530 or 2.1 cents a mile. Certainly cheaper than buying them at the regular rate of 3.5 cents each, but more expensive than the good old days of 1.5 cents.
As always, it depends. US Airways has some great redemptions, mostly in business and first class. For example 90,000 miles to North Asia, so at 2.1 cents a piece that would amount to $1,890 for a roundtrip business class trip to Japan/China. You can now also book the roundtrip premium routes on Singapore Airlines, like Newark to Singapore roundtrip for 120,000 miles ($2,520) and ~$90 in fees. I think this would make a lot less sense for coach and domestic awards, though do the math and it might make sense. There's a maximum of 50,000 bonus miles received and the person who receives the transfer gets the bonus miles as well.
If I didn't have tons of miles, I'd think about this, because I can generally get more than 2.1 cents per value back when I use Star Alliance miles.
Offer valid for Share miles transactions made between March 1, 2012 00:00:01 PT and March 14, 2012 23:59:59 PT. Members may receive a maximum of 50,000 bonus miles during the offer period. This bonus is only applicable for Share Miles and the offer does not apply to Buy or Gift Miles transactions. Bonus amounts will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. Bonus miles will be awarded to the recipient of the Share. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Only purchases made online are eligible.
Miles are shared for $0.01 per mile plus a processing fee of $30 and a tax recovery charge of 7.5%. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents. Miles purchased through Buy, Share or Gift Miles do not count towards Dividend Miles Preferred status. All other Dividend Miles Terms and Conditions apply. Miles may be used based on award availability at the time of booking. Please note that Dividend Miles accounts less than 12 days old are not permitted to Buy, Share or Gift miles. All purchases are non-refundable.