Yesterday I wrote about US Airways’ 100% bonus on shared miles promotion, which they’re bringing back this week only. This is the single most lucrative promotion in the industry for purchasing miles.
As I explained yesterday, the promotion isn’t targeted, though your US Airways account has to be at least 12 days old to take advantage of this promotion (that applies both to the account gifting the miles and the account being gifted the miles).
This is very similar to the promotion they ran for the first half of October, which was essentially an opportunity to generate US Airways miles for ~1.1 cents each, assuming you had a starting mileage balance.
The only difference between this promotion and the last one is that this time around they’re offering tiered bonuses based on how many miles you share, as follows:
So to get the 100% bonus you have to share between 30,000 and 50,000 miles. During the October promotion sharing any number of miles (up to 50,000) would trigger the 100% bonus. The cost to share miles is one cent per mile, plus a 7.5% tax, plus a $30 transaction fee.
What this means is that if you transfer 50,000 miles from one account to another you’d pay a total of $567.50, and that account would then have 100,000 miles. So basically you “generated” 50,000 miles at a cost of $567.50, which is just ~1.13 cents per mile.
50,000 miles (pre-bonus) is the most number of miles you can transfer into a single account during the promotion. That means you can transfer 1,000 miles into an account 50 times, 25,000 miles into an account twice, or 50,000 miles into an account once — the choice is yours. You can transfer as many miles as you’d like out of an account, though. Furthermore, even if you took advantage of the October promotion you’re still eligible for this one.
To put the value of this promotion into perspective, US Airways charges just 90,000 miles for business class from the US to North Asia, and you can route via Europe with a stopover there. So if you can generate miles at 1.13 cents each, that’s the equivalent of paying ~$1,000 for such a ticket. For tips on booking such a ticket, see this post.
This is absolutely as good as US Airways promotions to purchase miles get, and a rate at which I’d speculatively purchase miles even without an immediate use, despite the number of devaluations we’ve seen lately. Eventually these will become American miles at a 1:1 ratio, though we could see an award chart devaluation before that option becomes available.
As a reminder, sharing of miles is processed by points.com, meaning this wouldn’t qualify as airfare spend for the purposes of your credit card.
I just shared miles twice through this promotion, and the transfer occurred instantly for one account, while it hasn’t gone through yet for the other account, so it may take 1-2 days as it did for some accounts in the last promotion.
In both cases I shared 45,000 miles at a cost of $513.75, meaning I generated miles for ~1.14 cents each. 45,000 miles converts into 90,000 miles, which is enough for a business class award between the US and North Asia… as of now.