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9 Ways to Boost Your US Airways Miles Balance

May 07, 2014
8 min read
9 Ways to Boost Your US Airways Miles Balance
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With the current 40,000-mile sign-up bonus offer on the US Airways Mastercard, now is a great time to think about maximizing your US Airways miles and racking up as many as possible to do so. Now that the American Airlines/US Airways merger is well under way and US Airways has officially become a member of Oneworld while even while retaining some Star Alliance partners, plus most of its award chart sweet spots intact for the time being, US Airways Dividend Miles are looking more and more like a great way to redeem for amazing rewards, many of which were not previously available.

US Airways customers were unable to book Star Alliance partner awards yesterday.
US Airways are more useful than ever now.

One great example is the recent discovery that using US Airways miles to book on British Airways helps avoid the steep BA fuel surcharges, and there are plenty of others, so US Airways miles should be on your mind - and if they are, here are some of the best ways to boost your Dividend Miles balance so that you can redeem them for the awards you want.

1. Open the US Airways MasterCard: The latest offer from Barclaycard on its US Airways MasterCard is pretty generous at 40,000 Dividend Miles after your first purchase. Since these miles will post in the billing period in which the purchase is made, they should be in your account pretty quickly. This is always a great way to quickly earn a large amount of miles in a short amount of time, and the card itself is a solid product. We’ve even already written why this is a good deal and also why this card is one of the top credit cards to earn elite miles with - when you spend $25,000 in a calendar year you get 10,000 Preferred-qualifying miles - and plenty of other benefits like priority boarding, anniversary companion tickets and free checked bags. Check out the full post on the offer here.

US Airways gives 40,000 Miles after your first purchase.
US Airways gives 40,000 Miles after your first purchase.

2. Buy Miles: Though buying miles is usually an expensive proposition I'd only suggest for desperate last-minute needs, US Airways occasionally puts out 100% bonus miles offers. Buying miles doesn’t always make sense, but in an instance like their current 100% Buy Miles bonus it drops the price to about 1.88 cents per mile - which means a business class ticket to Europe would cost the equivalent of about $1,881 in miles. This promo is valid from now to May 25th, so be sure to take advantage of this soon!

US Airways is offering up to 25,000 bonus miles for flying its new Oneworld partners.
US Airways is offering up to 25,000 bonus miles for flying its new Oneworld partners.

3. Flying Partner Airlines Bonus: You can always earn miles while flying partner airlines, but with the recent joining of Oneworld, US Airways is offering up to 25,000 bonus miles when you fly partner airlines between now and June. Make sure you register your Dividend Miles account to receive the bonus miles. For this promo, each partner airline will only count once, so you can’t take 5 flights on British Airways and receive 15,000 bonus miles for 5 flights on partner airlines, but this is a great way to take advantage of any international travel you may have coming up on any Oneworld partner airlines. The more partners you fly, the more bonus miles you earn, and if you fly 6 partners, you earn the full 25,000 miles.

And even more exciting, if you are a Dividend Miles Preferred member, you will be able to receive the following select elite benefits on all American Airlines flights:

  • First/Business Class check-in
  • Priority security checkpoints
  • Priority boarding
  • Complimentary checked bags
  • Access to Preferred seats
  • Priority baggage delivery

So you should have much the same experience as an elite as you would if flying US Airways itself.

4. Transfer Hotel Points: Some hotel rewards programs are significantly more valuable than others. One of the best being the Starwood Preferred Guest 1:1 transfer with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. Not only can you transfer these to US Airways, but Starwood has 31 transfer partners and through these partners, offers access to 118 different airlines!

5. Dining Rewards: One of the easiest ways to rack up those miles, and not just on US Airways, is dining rewards. With US Airways' Dining Rewards Network, you can register up to five credit cards to receive up to five miles per dollar spent from simply paying with a linked credit card at over 10,000 participating restaurants, bars and clubs. One of the best parts of earning miles through something like a dining rewards programs is the ability to double dip your miles. If you use your US Airways Mastercard, you will earn you normal 1X miles on all purchases in addition to your up to 5 miles per dollar spent at those restaurants. I know I’d start picking up the tab! The catch? Most rewards programs will not allow you to register the same card for multiple programs. So if you plan on earning miles on other airlines through their dining rewards programs, make sure to keep track of which cards earn on which airlines.

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Current Offers on the Storefront
Current Offers on the Storefront

6. Shopping Portal: Like dining rewards, shopping portals are another quick and easy way to earn those Dividend Miles. By simply using the Dividend Miles Storefront you can earn anywhere from 1 mile/dollar spent up to 30 miles/dollar spent on tons of merchants including Apple, Barnes & Noble, Nordstrom and more. Mother’s Day is coming soon, and there are tons of bonuses including so why not send your mom a delicious shipment of Shari’s Berries goodies and earn 6 miles/dollar? I recently needed more laundry detergent and was offering 2 miles/dollar while was only offering 1 mile/dollar. That’s already an extra mile per dollar that I wouldn’t have earned if I simply used my US Airways MasterCard at the grocery store, and more than if I chose to purchase through Like I mentioned with dining rewards, this also allows for double dipping. By using the US Airways Mastercard, I could earn 3 miles/dollar spent on my purchase of detergent. While laundry detergent may not be a big ticket item, it all adds up. Especially when you make a large purchase like a computer or do you holiday shopping at one of the many department stores offering deals. Deals can vary and change pretty regularly, so make sure to check often to see who is offering the best deals. Before I purchase anything online, I always check the shopping portals and EVReward to see what deals I can get.

7. Hotel Stays: So you’ve booked your vacation. Maybe even redeeming miles that you earned through the previous seven clever ways. Now you need a place to stay on that vacation to Hawaii. Why not check out the airline's extensive list of hotel partners? Earning potential varies from 2 miles/dollar spent at places like Marriott and Starwood properties to a flat 500 miles/stay at an Intercontinental property. Most hotel sites will allow you to add your Dividend Miles number while booking your room and you can always ask the front desk at check-in to make sure your Dividend Miles number is attached to your reservation.

Earn bonus miles and discounts with US Airways' car partners like Budget.
Earn bonus miles and discounts with US Airways' car partners like Budget.

8. Car Rentals: Whether you’re a business traveler, or you’ve flown into town for a wedding, you will probably need to rent a car during your trip. Like hotels, US Airways has numerous partnerships with rental car companies. Earning anywhere from up to 6 miles/dollar spent to a flat 500 miles per rental, you can really start to accumulate those Dividend Miles. Most of the programs require you mention a specific coupon code, so be sure to check the site to make sure you have the most up-to-date codes and always confirm that your Dividend Miles number is attached to your reservation. Let no mile go wasted!

9. Financial Services: A less frequent, but potentially lucrative, way to earn Dividend Miles is through the airline's partnerships with various financial institutions. US Airways currently has an offer with earning potential of up to 2,200 miles with 21st Century auto insurance. You receive 200 miles just for receiving a quote. While this may not the best, continually check the US Airways partner site for any new offers. Other airlines are offering up up to 50,000 miles for things such as opening up and funding a brokerage account and sometimes for simply adding money to your existing accounts.

As you can see there are plenty of ways to earn some serious Dividend Miles ranging from actually flying to opening up a new credit card to buying your holiday gifts online. We at TPG wish you happy spending and even happier earning!
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