Reminder: you can purchase more than 100,000 US Airways miles per promotion

There’s not an airline out there that sells miles as aggressively as US Airways. This month they’re offering up to a 100% bonus on purchased or gifted miles. For that matter they’ve run a bonus promotion on the purchase, gifting, or sharing of miles every month this year, though the exact terms have differed.

US Airways doesn’t have a cap on the number of miles you can purchase per year, but rather caps the number of bonus miles you can earn per promotion. That’s almost always 100,000 miles, including the bonus. That includes this promotion, on which you can earn a 100% bonus on the purchase of up to 50,000 miles.

Probably the single most valuable award on US Airways’ award chart is for travel between the US and North Asia, which costs just 90,000 miles in business class, and allows you to route via Europe and even have a stopover there, if you’d like.

But I’m also very frequently asked what the best way is to purchase more than 100,000 miles in a single account. For example, business class from the US to Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, etc., costs more than 100,000 miles roundtrip, as does first class to most destinations.

And it’s actually quite easy. I’ve mentioned it in the past, but I still get questions about it frequently, so figured I’d post a reminder. US Airways lets you buy, gift, or share miles. “Buying” miles is exactly what it sounds like — you purchase miles for your account. But it’s gifting and sharing that people often get mixed up. “Gifting” miles is when you purchase miles for someone else, while “sharing” miles is when you transfer your miles to someone else’s account.

Buy, Gift, Share

So what you can always do is buy miles for your account as you usually would, and then for the remaining miles you may want in the same account, simply purchase them from a different account through the gift miles option. When you go to the gift miles page, you’ll see the form asks you to enter your Dividend Miles account number and the account number for the recipient that will be gifted miles.

Gift Miles

Do keep in mind that the promotion this month offers tiered bonuses, and you only get the 100% bonus for purchases of at least 30,000 miles. So if you wanted 120,000 miles in a single account (enough for first class between the US and North Asia, for example), you’d want to use the “buy miles” option to purchase 30,000 miles in the account in which you want miles (for a total of 60,000 miles with the bonus), and then you’d want to use the “gift miles” option to purchase 30,000 miles for the account in which you want the miles (with the other account just being used for the purposes of gifting), for a total of 120,000 miles including the bonuses.

Hopefully that makes sense!

Comments

  1. Lucky, qq: I want to purchase 100K miles for both my parents so I can book biz tickets for both of them. Is it always better to use their accounts to buy and gift to my account so I can book for both of them at the same time? Will a booking for 2 cost only one booking fee or two? Thanks!

  2. @ JW — The fees will be the same, though it is a bit easier to have all the miles in one account, or else you’ll have to book the reservation as two separate records.

  3. @ Jorge — The T&Cs say you can only have one account, technically (though I’m not sure how they’d actually enforce that, given that there are lots of people out there with the same name).

  4. I’m still thinking that I buy 100K miles for First class Asia to Europe via North America.
    But someone told that “Dividend Miles members can’t book First class tickets of Lufthansa”.
    If Dividend Miles member can book First class tickets of Lufthansa, I want to buy miles. 🙁

  5. Hi Lucky – helping a buddy out with this one… I don’t think you can mix for. e.g. economy on the outbound and business in the inbound and be charged 1/2 for economy and 1/2 for business right?

    TIA

  6. @ Steve — Unfortunately not. You’re charged roundtrip for the highest class of service you fly.

  7. Hi Lucky,

    I was planning on doing exactly as you sugges for my mum when for when she goes from Aus – Europe rtn. However the US page where you buy miles says in the small print that the recipient of miles can only receive a maximum of 50,000 buy, shared or gifted bonus miles. So therefore you can’t buy one lot of 30,000 (=60,000) and share 30,000 (=60,000) as the total bonus miles exceeds 50,000 unless i am misinterpreting it?

  8. @ Melissa — US Airways has never been good with terms. I’ve done this many times in the past, and my understanding of what they’re trying to say is that you can earn a maximum of 50,000 bonus miles per promotion type.

  9. Lucky, sorry i don’t get what you are saying. Are you suggesting that the 75% and 100% bonus offers are different promotions? It seems pretty clear to me in the terms that you can only receive a maximum of 50,000 bonus miles from buying or gifted miles. Buying two lots of 30,000 will exceed this. Have you purchased 2 x 30,000 miles as part of this months promotion and got the 60,000 bonus miles?
    Cheers,
    Melissa

  10. @ Melissa – I’ve done this with a friend (“gifted her 30K) and she bought 30k on her own… she got 120k points in less than 10 mins credited into her account

  11. Hello Lucky.

    I have already bought 100k and under the T&C, it says max bonus under this promotion is 50k… Would i really get 50k extra bonus if someone else gifts the miles to me….

    Although reading all the comments above, it seems like working after all….

  12. @ Yucci — The T&Cs are tricky, but as you can see based on experiences above, anecdotal evidence suggests that works.

  13. Hi Lucky,

    If I had already bought 50k miles and got the 100% bonus, and then I decide that I would “gift” 50k miles to another member, do they get the 100% bonus as well?

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