US Airways 100% Share Miles Promotion Live!

Late last night I posted a screenshot from US Airways’ website highlighting up to a 100% bonus on the sharing of miles. While the offer wasn’t live yet, it sure got me excited, since this is the single most lucrative opportunity out there to generate miles.

To be honest I’m shocked that they’ve brought back this promotion post-OneWorld integration, given how lucrative it is. I was expecting them to continue to offer a 100% bonus on purchased miles occasionally (which allows you to generate miles at ~1.88 cents each), but this is basically an opportunity to generate miles for 1.1 cents each.

US Airways Buy Miles Promo

Well it appears that the promotion is now live.

US Airways Share Miles

Details of US Airways’ share miles promotion

The share miles promotion is valid for miles that are shared April 7-13. The bonuses are tiered, based on how many miles you share, as follows:

  • Share 10,000-19,000 miles and get 50% bonus miles
  • Share 20,000-29,000 miles and get 75% bonus miles
  • Share 30,000-50,000 miles and get 100% bonus miles

US-Airways-Share-Miles

The cost to share miles through US Airways’ share miles promotion

The cost to share miles through this promotion is one cent per mile, plus a 7.5% federal excise tax, plus a $30 transaction fee. You can share at most 50,000 miles per transaction before the bonus, meaning with the 100% bonus you could transfer a total of 100,000 miles at a cost of $567.50.

Basic rules for taking advantage of US Airways’ share miles promotion

There are a couple of key rules that come along with this promotion that are important to understand:

  • Your account has to be at least 12 days old to take part in this promotion.
  • You can’t transfer more than 50,000 miles (pre-bonus) into a single account during a promotion. You can transfer a million miles to 20 different accounts if you want and they’d all qualify for the bonus, but you just can’t transfer more than 50,000 miles into a single account. That being said, you can make multiple transfers to reach that 50,000 mile limit (so you could transfer 10,000 miles from five different accounts, 1,000 miles from 50 different accounts, etc.).

How to take advantage of the promotion if you don’t have any US Airways miles

Obviously this promotion is amazingly lucrative for those with existing mileage balances, though what about those without any miles right now? Well, you have a few options:

  • You can purchase some miles at the normal cost of 3.5 cents per mile plus tax (which is really high), though if you go that route be sure to crunch the numbers and make sure you still come out ahead.
  • You can transfer points from Starwood at a 1:1 ratio (plus you get a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred), though Starpoint transfers can take more than a week, so there’s some risk there.
  • You can try to find someone that has an existing mileage balance and would be willing to share miles with you, and maybe you could share some miles back.

How long does it take to share miles with US Airways?

Historically, some transfers are instant and some take 1-2 days. The ones that are instant are usually for established accounts with a history, while the ones that often take 1-2 days to process are for new accounts and/or accounts without existing mileage balances.

How often does US Airways offer a 100% bonus on shared miles?

Historically they’ve offered this promotion about once a year on average. Last year was sort of an outlier, as they ran the promotion in both October and December. As I said above, I really wasn’t expecting this promotion to return so quickly. Color me surprised.

Has the value of US Airways miles decreased now that US Airways is in OneWorld?

I had mixed feelings about US Airways leaving the Star Alliance and joining OneWorld, given the amount of uncertainty there was surrounding it. That being said, US Airways’ award rules for travel on OneWorld couldn’t have turned out more favorably, so I’d say US Airways miles are as valuable as ever.

Here are some posts related to US Airways’ transition to OneWorld that might be helpful:

Putting the value of this promotion into perspective

Back when US Airways was in the Star Alliance I repeatedly wrote about the amazing value of US Airways’ business class North Asia awards. Basically for 90,000 miles you could fly roundtrip business class from the US to North Asia via Europe, and even have a stopover there. Just a few weeks ago I planned one last Star Alliance North Asia award, which I’ll be flying in June. That’s in addition to the ones I’ve already flown, including:

The great news is that the opportunity is still “live,” and you can still redeem 90,000 miles for business class on OneWorld from the US to Asia via Europe. When you put it into perspective, if you generate 90,000 miles for ~1.1 cents each, you’re paying ~$1,000 plus taxes for a business class ticket to Asia with a stopover in Europe if you want. That’s a crazy value, cheaper than you’d pay for a revenue economy ticket.

Which credit card should you purchase miles with?

US Airways processes points purchases and transfers through points.com, meaning that the money you spend sharing miles doesn’t qualify as airline spend. As a result you’ll want to use one of the credit cards that’s best for everyday spend.

Bottom line

If you have an existing mileage balance with US Airways and have the cash, this promotion is an absolute no brainer to take advantage of. In 90% of cases I recommend not purchasing miles unless you have a specific use in mind. In this case I absolutely recommend speculatively purchasing miles, even without a specific use in mind.

Let me know what questions you guys have in the comments section below, and I’ll do what I can to help.

Happy sharing!

Comments

  1. How far in advance can you purchase QF/CX/MH tickets with US, going to purchase some for travel in April ’15 so seeing how long I have to wait?

  2. Hi Lucky,

    I know that the account sharing the miles needs to be older than 12 days, but does the account RECEIVING the miles also need to fulfil that requirement?

    Thanks!

  3. @ Scuta — Absolutely, and it’s likely imminent when the carriers combine award charts. 1.1 cents per mile is still a fantastic rate though.

  4. Am I able to give friend A a transfer of 50K and friend B a transfer of 50K and receive the bonus for both transactions?

  5. I currently have 30,000 Dividend Miles. Who would I share them with to earn the bonus? I want the miles for myself. Do I need to open a second DM account? Or do I need to find a friend who also has a DM account and each of us share with the other?

    I want to take advantage of the promotion but am confused as to what to do.

    Thanks.

  6. wahts best CC to use?
    will AMEX PRG get 3x for this purchase?
    maybe USair barclays card? or settle for 2x on UR or barclays arrival?

  7. Hi Lucky,

    I I share 50,000 miles with my wife….she gets 100,000, can she immediately turnaround and share 50,000 miles with me within this promotion period?

    Thanks!

  8. Hi Lucky,

    One more follow up to my question above…. if the to and from transfer is allowed…how many times can it be done? i.e. Account A to B to A to B……

    Thanks!

  9. @Larry: IMO find a friend as that is the best option. If you need more miles, sth like this would make sense:
    You transfer 30K to friend: Friend gets 60K
    Friend transfer 50K to you: You get 100K and friend’s balance remains with 10K
    If you start with a 25K transfer you get only 75% bonus which may throw the numbers slightly off.

  10. @ Adam — You ultimately need a second account that has been open at least 12 days. Only thing I can suggest is to find (or make) a friend that has a US Airways account.

  11. Hi Lucky,

    I used to redeem US airway miles for direct roundtrip business class between shanghai and Zurich via Swiss or LH. What would be my option now if I am looking for flights with less hassels (during transit) for my mom.

    Thanks for your time

  12. This was well-timed. We’re a family of 3, and my wife’s account had 30k and my daughter’s 20k. I just went straight forward and transferred both to mine, so I guess I missed out on 5k bonus miles (since 20k “only” gets 75%). Still, I was able to consolidate and put 95k into one account. I haven’t decided if I want to put 25k back to each of theirs to maximize. Normally I would, but I don’t know if/when there will be another promo to consolidate back.

  13. @ Yang — Out of Zurich it’s a bit tougher, though you could do Qatar Airways through Doha, which is probably the best option.

  14. Ben,

    Can we book on Qatar airways now that US airways is part of one world and will there be huge taxes for award booking in Business class from IAH-India(BLR,HYD)

  15. If I do this promotion with 2 different friends, and they do the same back, will I receive the bonus twice?

  16. I wonder how much revenue Lucky personally drives to USair by advertising this promotion. I bet it is a lot.

  17. @Lucky, what would be your thoughts on the difficult of finding 2 J seats to somewhere in N Asia over Memorial day weekend at the last minute? We’re east coast based and willing to fly pretty AA, JAL, CX, etc to wherever in N Asia.

  18. should not I’m not seeing much availability on BA.com, but flight loads in J look ok for that weekend.

  19. @ arrek — If you’re willing to wait until really last minute I’d say your odds are good. That being said Memorial Day Weekend can be a tough time to find award space, but with flexibility on destination/carrier your odds are good if you monitor closely.

  20. Lucky,

    Any idea if points.com purchases code as travel related purchases with a credit card? I’m asking because if so, I could redeem Barclays Arrival points for US Air miles when I do this, correct? Thanks!

  21. @Lucky – Can I combine OneWorld carrier with for instance EVA for a reward to North Asia thru Europe in business?

  22. @ AlexLAX — No you can only book an award on US Airways’ OneWorld partners OR non-OneWorld partners. But you can’t combine the two.

  23. Hi Lucky,

    My wife’s US airways account is dormant. Do you think her account would still qualify as a receiving account and if so maybe it would deactivate a few thousand dormant miles?

  24. Anyone looking to get in on this that has the miles but no one to share with, reply to my comment and we can trade to each earn the 50k bonus.

    I opened my account to try and get in on the last 100% buy bonus not knowing my account had to be open for at least 12 days. My account is now old enough, but I have no miles to transfer.

    Obviously you’d need to feel comfortable transferring your miles to me first so i can transfer them back… If you’re interested, let’s chat a bit to see if you’re willing!

  25. @ Douglas — That should be fine as far as I know. As long as the account is at least 12 days old it should be able to participate, even if the miles have expired.

  26. Anyone played with the numbers to find what’s the best approach if you start with 2 accounts and 0 miles?

  27. Had purchased 100K USDM during targeted 100% bonus offer just recently (1.8 cents or so) explicitly hoping this would come back. Going to share 50K into acct B and back to acct A, so end result will be 150K in A and 50K in B 😀

  28. I just drained my account as well as my wife’s. I only have 30K miles left. I could

    I share 30K miles with wife
    wife shares 50K with me
    I share 20K with wife

    and we’d both get the full bonus, right? Only negative is that we pay 3 processing fees, rather than two, right?

  29. lucky, What if I get the US Airways credit card and the 40,000 miles bonus? And do the same for my wife? Would we have enough time to participate in this sale and share miles bonus offer?

  30. @ John DELTA — It will take a few weeks for the miles to post, and unfortunately the promotion only runs through the end of this week. Sorry!

  31. Lucky, If I purchase to gift my
    daughter (& I pay), then, can I
    pay for her to gift back to me? Is
    there a fee for transferring miles back
    & forth. Thanks

  32. @ jo — Yes, you can pay for both. The cost to transfer miles is one cent each, plus a 7.5% federal excise tax, plus a $30 transaction fee.

  33. Hi lucky,

    Thanks for the tips!
    I’m trying to redeem US airways miles on Turkish Airlines. Do you know if Istanbul, my destination, is considered Europe or Middle East?
    Thank you, as always.

  34. Hi @Lucky,

    I just joined Dividend Miles to look at buying some miles, and I clicked Buy Miles, only for it to say ‘The US Airways Dividend Miles account you specified is not eligible to purchase miles.’

    Why is that!? Do I need to wait a day or 2?

  35. @ Mitchzmagic — As I explained in the post, your account has to be at least 12 days old to take part in the promotion.

  36. Business class had decent availability on OW to north asia. But given the lack of space released on CX/JAL is it worth it to buy miles for north asia in first class?

  37. @ Andy — I personally think so. While it’s tougher to find space, with some flexibility it’s still quite possible.

  38. Lucky,

    I have found QR seats via BA website on July 17 from PVG to ZRH, but no QR seats are available for the returning flight through the entire July and August. Is this normal? Also, the US Airway agent said she could not find the seats even though I told her the flight and date (shown from BA website), is this a IT glitch, or US airways just block the seat.
    Thanks

  39. Hi Lucky, so if I have 5ok points and my wife has 0 points. Both accounts opened over 12 days ago, can I transfer 50k to my wife and she transfers shared miles back to me and we both get the bonus?

  40. @ Yang — Hmm, haven’t heard of any US Airways blocking with Oneworld yet, but either is possible. Make sure they’re just searching that one segment at a time.

  41. Ben,

    If I already had my girlfriend transfer me 50k (and received 50k Bonus)- can I now have my Mom transfer 50K into my account as well and receive the bonus???

  42. @ Lucky,

    I shared my miles with an old US Airways Account on the 7th and still haven’t gotten my miles. Any idea when these are suppose to transfer?

  43. i still can’t decide about this… it seems like a devaluation massacre can come any time… without notice!

  44. @lucky Does it make sense to buy 50,000 miles and get bonus of 50,000 miles at the price of $1750?

  45. I need someone to share miles with me! lol I will pay them the fee and some extra!!! email me heatherhill1980 @ yahoo.com

  46. Hi, I have to fly from NY to WA within the next 6mos or so.
    I know this is no european vaca 🙂 but … I really cant afford it so thought to sign up for US airways dividend miles a while ago. While not really knowing if this could be a help for lowering the ticket cost, I was looking for options. I currently have no miles.
    I see this promotion is back as of 12/2/2014 for 100% redemption of ‘gifted miles’ for those purchasing which seems to be at the lower cost of about 1.1 cents per mile and decided to google how to benefit if possible which brought me to this old thread.
    Might someone want to use this promotion and gift to me just so they would be able to take advantage of this promotion? …all I need out of this is a cheap coast to coast ticket and will absolutely hold up my end of ‘gifting back’ etc -or- any suggestions on what I might do to get miles, with of course spending less than the origional ticket cost of about $600 (I may pay for another to travel with so possibly $1200 or so …first class cheap cheap etc 🙂
    And help with whether to even bother for my purposes appreciated since every dollar counts. Thanks for your time and insight to the workings …cat

  47. @ cat — They’re offering a 100% bonus on purchased miles and not on shared miles at the moment, so there’s no way to generate miles for anywhere close to 1.1 cents each right now. Sorry!

  48. oops …thanks for the claification. Guess its obvious Im clueless to the miles thing 🙂
    Do you know if there are any sites or forums to connect with people who have extra miles they cannot use and might want to sell?
    I would think it is done frequently but could be wrong if there are restictions on using them by someone they’re not issued to?
    Thanks again, just trying to find another route to paying for full priced tickets …cat

  49. @ cat — Unfortunately buying/selling miles violates the terms of the programs, so there aren’t any places that can “officially” do that.

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