Targeted US Airways 100% bonus on the purchase of miles

This morning I posted about an amazing opportunity to share US Airways miles with a 100% bonus, which essentially allows someone with a sizable Dividend Miles balance to generate miles for as little as ~1.14 cents per mile.

At first I couldn’t quite rationalize why they were offering a 100% bonus on sharing miles but not a 100% bonus on buying miles, given that buying miles costs ~1.88 cents per mile. But then it made sense to me, since I realized they probably didn’t want people to buy miles at the discounted rate and then in turn transfer them around to generate miles at ~1.14 cents per mile. Instead I’m sure they were hoping to have people buy miles at the regular price of 3.5 cents each in order to be able to transfer at the low rate.

But it seems that US Airways is also offering a 100% bonus on the purchase of miles through October 31, at least on a targeted basis. The email specifically states “this offer is only valid for the member whose name and Dividend Miles number appears on this email.”

When you follow the link in the email it brings you to this page, which requires you to log-in with your Dividend Miles number to see if you’re eligible.

The odd thing is that for the accounts I manage, even those that didn’t receive the email seem to be eligible after logging in. In the past if an account wasn’t eligible it wouldn’t offer the bonus on the next page, so that leads me to believe that you’d be eligible as long as the bonus shows up after logging in.

So what’s the upside with this? If you already have sizable Dividend Miles balances, there isn’t one. You should focus on the share miles promotion, since that allows you to purchase miles at 1.14 cents each.

However, if you have Dividend Miles accounts without any miles, this would be the best way to take advantage of the share miles promotion. Just make sure the accounts are at least 12 days old and show the 100% bonus after logging in on the “buy miles” page.

You could purchase 23,000 US Airways Dividend Miles for ~$865 per account, which would net you 46,000 miles per account. Then in turn you could transfer 46,000 miles from each account to the other for $524, for a total of 92,000 miles in each account for $1,389. That’s enough for a business class ticket to North Asia via Europe, which is a spectacular value given that you couldn’t typically find a coach fare for that little.

And this is the “worst case scenario,” assuming you don’t have any existing US Airways Dividend Miles.

Comments

  1. @Lucky – What’s the best strategy for buying points if you have an account with a decent amount of points in em, say 300k? Thanks

  2. @lucky -nm. I just read your recent post. It seems like there’s no way to get around having to top off accounts. Thanks 🙂

  3. Got a targeted email for “buying” miles in the month of October – but not with a 100% bonus – but rather, up to 6k elite qualifying miles (in order to get the 6k elite miles, you must purchase 50K miles costs at a cost of $1800).

  4. I used to get the offer for double miles but I too got the offer this week for up to 6,000 preferred miles if I buy 50,000 miles. For what its worth – I am less than 5,000 miles away from hitting a new preferred level and I even got an encouraging email seperately reminding me to keep flying to get their “Special Dividends” bonus offers earlier in the week

  5. “You could purchase 23,000 US Airways Dividend Miles for ~$865 per account, which would net you 46,000 miles per account.”…

    Why would you buy so many miles at a rate of 1.8ish instead of buying less at this rate and transfering them more than once where you could buy mile at this “amazing” rate. For example, aiming at 90k or 100k, one with 0 mile could buy 12,000 miles (instead of 46,000), transfer to friend A netting 24,000, then to B 48,000, then back to you ending at 96,000. Two more transaction fee = $60 but buy more miles at lower rate.

    Would this work? Is math right?

  6. @ uauaua — You’re absolutely right, that would be a better strategy, and could indeed work. Good thinking!

  7. What is the limit on transferring to your “friends”? Friend B would be close to the 50K limit no?

  8. Any math whiz want to figure out the cheapest combination of purchasing miles and transferring miles between two accounts that have no miles to begin with? The constraint is you can transfer a maximum of 50,000 miles into a single account.

    My brain is fried and I can’t figure this out right now.

  9. @Lucky – Transfer around? Are there any limits? Can I transfer miles back to the sending account? I heard of accounts being audited and locked by US Airways for these kind of transactions….

  10. @ Dan — You can transfer as many times as you want, though you can transfer a maximum of 50,000 miles into an account through this promotion. I’ve never heard of an account being audited from a “share miles” promotion, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  11. I have seen this 100% buying miles promo come and go 3 times and I haven’t been targeted once 🙁

  12. Hi Ben

    I think I’m finally getting a hang of booking with us airways dividend miles but I got a question for the expert 🙂

    Lets say I wanted to go from NRT to LAX but I can’t find first class space. But I can find First class space lets say PVG to LAX. Can I ask to be booked NRT-PVG-LAX or will they ask me to do a more direct routing – or is this the whole idea of adding segments ?

  13. Hey Lucky, do you know if this was pulled or something? I created an account specially for this, but 12 days later the 100% bonus still doesn’t show up when I log in :S

  14. @ Henry — It hasn’t been pulled to the best of my knowledge. I’d give it a couple more days, as I’m not convinced the 12 day figure is exact.

  15. Okay thanks! Really hope it works out, going to try for my first premium award booking with purchased miles if it goes through.

  16. Hmm lucky it doesn’t seem so. I can buy miles fine enough, the red lettering with the 100% bonus just doesn’t show up. The transfer bonus shows up on the transfer page though 🙁

  17. @ Henry — Well it is technically targeted, so I assume since your account wasn’t open when the promotion started you won’t be eligible, unfortunately.

  18. Yeah that makes sense. Do you know if points.com allows transfers between accounts with different names? (My plan B to take advantage of this promotion)

  19. @ Henry — Between US Airways accounts in different names or between a US Airways account in one name and another frequent flyer account in another name? Not sure I follow…

  20. Between a US airways account and another FF account in another name. I’m sitting on several accounts with ~40-50k Aeroplan points, and Aeroplan has a decent transfer rate to US airways through points.com, and then I can take advantage of the 100% transfer bonus to get enough miles at a cheap price for a specific redemption I have in mind. Hope that logic follows through.

  21. @ Henry — I believe you could through the “exchange” function, though don’t quote me on it. Haven’t done it myself.

  22. I never fly US Air but this made me interested. I’m able to purchase miles with the 100% bonus but what would be the benefit of say buying 25K miles and getting 25K in bonus (netting 50K), then transferring the 50K and ending up with 100K vs. just buying 50K outright and still end up with 100K?

  23. @ Matt — Because with the transfer you’re paying substantially less per mile than you do with outright buying them. It’s a spread of about 0.7 cents per mile. 🙂

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