US Airways Buy Miles Mystery Bonus For March

US Airways seems to run a promotion on the purchase of miles almost every month. Often it’s just a straight 100% bonus on purchased miles, sometimes it’s a tiered bonus, and sometimes they offer a 100% bonus on shared miles, which is the best promotion of all (though we haven’t seen that yet this year).

Well they just announced their March Buy Miles promotion, which runs from March 1 through March 26, 2014. This month they’re offering a “mystery bonus” on the purchase of miles, whereby different accounts are targeted for different bonuses. Accounts seem to either be targeted for a 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% bonus.

The cost to purchase US Airways miles is ordinarily 3.5 cents each plus a 7.5% federal excise tax, or a total of ~3.76 cents each. Of course US Airways sells miles in a similar fashion to how Jos A Bank sells suits, so the “normal” price is kind of a moot point.

Suits

So through this promotion the cost to purchase US Airways Dividend Miles is as follows:

  • 25% bonus: ~3.29 cents/mile
  • 50% bonus: ~2.82 cents/mile
  • 75% bonus: ~2.35 cents/mile
  • 100% bonus: ~1.88 cents/mile

My account was targeted for a 50% bonus:

US-Airways-Mystery-Bonus-2

While another account I manage was targeted for a 75% bonus:

US-Airways-Mystery-Bonus-1

Ultimately the value of US Airways miles is highly dependent on the redemption you’re looking to make, and in some cases it can probably even make sense to pick them up with just a 50-75% bonus (if you have a specific short term redemption in mind).

Keep in mind that this is the last opportunity to purchase US Airways miles before they exit the Star Alliance on March 30, and join OneWorld on March 31.

Anyway, even 1.88 cents per mile isn’t a rate at which I’d usually speculatively buy miles, but if you have a specific use in mind it can still be a very good deal. US Airways charges just 90,000 miles for business class between the US and North Asia, and you can route via Europe with a stopover there. It’s anyone’s guess how much longer till they devalue their award chart, but spending under $1,900 to get enough miles for such a ticket is a bargain, assuming you can lock it in soon.

Once they join OneWorld we don’t know what their routing rules will look like or what award chart they’ll use, so I generally think you’re better off redeeming US Airways miles with the “sure bet” which is the current award chart, vs. hoping they don’t change it when they join OneWorld.

Comments

  1. Pass. They need to have one last awesome promotion: 200% bonus….go for that extra revenue..

  2. @ DJ — It’s anyone’s guess as they transition to OneWorld. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it back eventually, but also wouldn’t count on it.

  3. ” Once they join OneWorld we don’t know what their routing rules will look like or what award chart they’ll use, ”

    —————–

    This is the question.

    Since both FF programs are not merging until sometime in the future, I don’t think US will adopt AA’s chart when they join OW in a month. If they don’t, they should give notice of a new chart if it is a devaluation. I am holding off on booking hoping to get to HKG on CX J for 90K miles. and what about BA? AA imposes fuel surcharges – what will US do ?

  4. @ Mike S. — A near given that they will impose fuel surcharges as well, in my opinion. There aren’t any airlines that don’t impose fuel surcharges for award travel on British Airways.

  5. Is it true that the last day for S* flights award seats will be those departing Feb 23, 2015, which will be released on Mar 30, 2014 if they do it 330 days out?

  6. mrs TD & I both offered 50% would have buoght at75-100% re 330 days out We too wish for later return april 2015 (7 days seach could find up to feb28th ish) might book rtn on *A still in use ie CA n ps change later

  7. Just a quick one: do you know how to transfer or exchange UA miles? Heard about Giift but not sure it’s a good website. Thanks!

  8. anyone who gotten the 100% and not biting? I would like to buy and redeem a trip for April, anyone like to “loan” me their account 🙂

    thanks!

  9. With the alliance change, if I have a round trip flight outbound in March and returning in April, is there any way to get Dividend Miles credit for the outbound and United returning? What is your preferred Star Alliance carrier after US Air leaves?

  10. @ Mark — Nope, there won’t be a way to earn Star Alliance miles for US Airways flights after March 30 unfortunately. Best program really depends on what you’re looking for, I think. Flying mostly premium cabin or coach fares, how often, etc.?

  11. Got a 100% bonus on one account and 50% on another so tempting to jump on this offer.

    @ Lucky – if we want to travel to Aus/NZ, should we book now (*A) or wait until UA goes to OW?

  12. @ Ivan Y — Well OneWorld is *theoretically* ideal for travel to Australia, given that Qantas is in OneWorld. That being said, they’re extremely stingy with premium cabin award space, and American doesn’t have very generous routing rules for travel between the US and Australia.

    So I would probably go with Star Alliance, since US Airways has generous routing rules, and if you’re willing to route through Asia then availability is pretty wide open.

  13. @ Lucky – yeah, no kidding about Qantas availability. Checked Oct.-Dec. J & F awards (DFW-SYD or LAX-SYD) and really only one date combination that would work for departure/return (in J). Guess it’s a moot point since can’t book Qantas with UA yet.

    P.S. If I book UA award on *A, I won’t be able to change dates, right?

  14. @ Ivan Y — After March 30 there won’t be any way to rebook on a Star Alliance carrier, though you will probably be able to redeem on a OneWorld carrier at that point, I would guess.

  15. @Lucky, I am making multiple trips to Saudi Arabia this year in Coach. My next trip is on Lufthansa. Since I can’t collect US Airways miles who would be best to collect to hopefully get a round trip in Buisness class to Europe?

  16. @ Mark — I would go with either United MileagePlus or Aeroplan. Assuming you earn the same number of miles in each program I would go with Aeroplan, since they charge 90,000 miles for business class between the US and Europe.

  17. I know this is an old thread, but the percentage offered seems to be changing. I was originally offered a 50% bonus (which I passed on) but I’m now being offered 100%. YMMV of course, but it’s worth checking out.

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