US Airways 100% Buy Miles Bonus Back

US Airways seems to run some sort of promotion on the purchase or sharing 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 (as they did in early April), which is the best promotion of all.

May Buy Miles promotion

Well US Airways just announced their May Buy Miles promotion, which runs from May 3 through May 25, 2014. This month they’re offering a tiered bonus on the purchase of miles, whereby the mileage bonus you earn varies depending on the number of miles you purchase.

The tiers are as follows:

  • Buy 10,000 to 19,000 miles, get 50% bonus miles
  • Buy 20,000 to 29,000 miles, get 75% bonus miles
  • Buy 30,000 to 40,000 miles, get 100% bonus miles

US-Airways-Buy-Miles-Promo

While the promo page seems to suggest the bonus only applies for the purchase of up to 40,000 miles, the 100% bonus actually applies for up to 50,000 miles. So you can purchase a maximum of 100,000 miles per account at a cost of ~$1,880.

US-Airways-Buy-Miles-Promo-1

The cost to purchase miles through this promotion

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

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

Of course the best deal by far is if you’re purchasing 30,000 or more miles, as that brings down the cost to 1.88 cents per mile.

Award redemptions now that US Airways is in oneworld

US Airways joined oneworld about a month ago, which is a huge transition. I’ve done what I can to cover most aspects of redeeming US Airways miles for travel on oneworld, including:

There are just so many great opportunities to redeem US Airways miles for first and business class on oneworld carriers. You can fly first class from the US to Asia via London in British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and/or Japan Airlines first class for just 120,000 miles roundtrip.

Cathay_Pacific_777_First_Class75
Cathay Pacific first class

You can fly first class to Australia via Asia for just 140,000 miles roundtrip. You can fly business class to Africa for just 110,000 miles roundtrip.

Really, the key advantage to US Airways miles over American miles is US Airways’ routing rules. American has extremely strict routing rules, while US Airways doesn’t. Add in their lower award costs, and there’s quite a bit of value to their program.

Buy Miles promotion restrictions

Your account has to be at least 12 days old in order to take part in this promotion. That’s the most major restriction. So if you sign up for an account now you can still take advantage of this promotion before it ends.

US Airways mileage purchases processed through points.com

For what it’s worth, US Airways doesn’t process mileage purchases directly. Instead they’re processed by points.com, meaning they don’t qualify as airfare in terms of credit card spend.

Bottom line

I wouldn’t speculatively purchase US Airways miles at ~1.88 cents each. That’s a high rate at which to speculatively purchase miles, and it won’t be long before they devalue their chart, in my opinion.

That being said, there are so many amazing oneworld award redemption opportunities using US Airways miles. If you can plan a trip soon I think their miles might just be worth more than they were when they were still in the Star Alliance.

Of course the Share Miles promotion was much more lucrative since it was essentially an opportunity to generate miles for 1.1 cents each. That being said, taking advantage of that promotion required a starting mileage balance, which I realize not everyone had.

Will you be taking advantage of US Airways’ (up to) 100% bonus on purchased miles?

Terms & conditions

Here are the full terms & conditions for the Buy Miles promotion:

Offer available for purchases made between Ma​y​ ​3,​ 00:00:01 PT and Ma​y 25, 2014, 23:59:59 PT. All purchases are non-refundable. Bonus miles will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. The maximum number of Buy and Gift Bonus miles that can be received by one member for this offer is 50,000 bonus miles. For Gift purchases, bonus will be awarded to the recipient. All miles purchased beyond this limit will not be eligible for a bonus. All transaction inquiries must be submitted to US Airways Dividend Miles within 90 days from end of promotion. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Share transactions are not eligible for bonus. Only purchases made online are eligible for the bonus. Please note that Dividend Miles accounts less than 12 days old are not permitted to Buy, Share or Gift miles. For Gift and Share transactions, the recipient account must also be 12 days old. All US Airways Dividend Miles terms and conditions apply. Visit usairways.com/dividendmilesfor details.

Miles are sold for $0.035 per mile plus a tax recovery charge of 7.5%. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents. Miles purchased through Buy, Share or Gift Miles do not count towards Dividend Miles Preferred status. All other Dividend Miles Terms and Conditions apply. Miles may be used based on award availability at the time of booking. Please note that Dividend Miles accounts less than 12 days old are not permitted to Buy, Share or Gift Miles. All purchases are non-refundable.

Comments

  1. My email says it’s Buy, Share, or Gift up to 50k…not just Buy! Maybe you got a different offer…?

  2. Another opportunity worth jumping at while you can. Thanks to Alex at Points Pros for helping with one of my insane long-weekend hops. I get to sample British Airways, Japan Airlines, Cathay and American’s new LAX-JFK transcon all in first come November.

    I missed out on the few days that US still had trips to N. Asia (on OneWorld partners) at 90K miles but was able to snag my wifes relatively low balance, getting a share-miles bonus and redeeming 120K for first all the way (except for a small intra-europe jump in euro-business class on BA).

  3. @ Rich — Hmmm, mine says:
    “Get or give up to 50,000 bonus Dividend Miles*
    Buy or gift miles today”

    Mind copying what your email says?

  4. @ Lucky – I posted a screenshot on my blog (link included) – seemed to me that the share miles offer was back. 🙂

  5. Is it just me or did US Airways just do a stealth change to their chart again? I always though North Asia to Mexico and Central America was 90K. Now it’s showing as 110K.

  6. Thanks Ben! This might be a stupid question but would that be for return flights or one-way only? The chart doesn’t state explicitly…

    Also, just tried to search for award flights on the US Airways web site and was unsuccessful.

    “We’re unable to find flights for the cities you searched. Please try different cities or dates, or search by:
    Multi-city
    Nearby airports
    Low Fare Finder (choose Low Fare Finder under ‘Search by’)
    Route map”

    Is there a trick to it?

  7. @ Rich — That says nothing about a bonus on sharing miles. It’s a bonus on buying or gifting miles. It’s simply listed on the usairways.com page which describes, buying, gifting, or sharing miles.

  8. @ Marc — Threw me off as well, but it’s Caribbean to South Asia that’s 90,000 miles, while Caribbean to North Asia is 110,000 miles.

  9. @ eminere — Those are roundtrip prices. US Airways only displays award availability for their own flights on their website, so you’d have to call to book.

  10. Ah dang I guess that means I’d have to pay the USD40 call center award ticketing fee…

  11. @ eminere — They waive that since you can’t book those awards online, though you still pay the processing fee.

  12. I’m going to buy 100k miles and get 25k from SPG and 25k from IHG to fly rtw in first from South America.
    I will use your services to book it. How does it exactly work? Can I pay the service fee with a credit card or just with PayPal? And how do you book it? Do I have to give my account password and credit card information or do you put the reservation on hold and I will finish the reservation?
    On a related question, now that Tam has canceled its first class service for next year, is there any availability on AA first to/from South America? I can’t find anything from JFK, LAX or DFW, only on business. Does explats or UsAirways have better access to the inventory?

  13. @ Carlos — You can pay for our service using a credit card through PayPal. To issue a ticket we’ll need your passwords and account numbers. Unfortunately American is really stingy with award space out of South America, and Executive Platinum members don’t get extra availability.

  14. Ben,

    What are the routings to Australia using US Airways Dividend Miles? Can I route through Europe??

    Thanks

  15. @ Adam — It all depends on the agent you get. You can usually route through Asia, and sometimes even through Europe.

  16. I’ll be using this promo to top up from 100k to 120K for my wife and I to take a 25th anniversary trip next year…assuming they don’t devalue again.

  17. What’s the best way to sample AA transcon F? How stingy is award space during the winter holidays? More success w/ close-in booking or in advance?

  18. @ Andy — Well US Airways charges the same number of miles for business class as they do for first class on the transcon routes, so it’s a great use of miles. American is decent about opening up one award seat in first class on many of the JFK-LAX flights.

  19. I have 1m USDM and OW space is limited and not as generous/more flights to choose from like *A.

    Get or give up to a 100% bonus when you buy or gift miles

    NO SHARE 🙁

  20. Hi Ben,

    I have 2 places to visit in December ex-SIN(AMS and DUB) but the only way to go either places is via LHR on British Airways. Do you think they will allow if I have to transit in LHR 3 times for a round trip journey?

    Eg.: SIN-HKG-LHR-AMS-LHR-DUB-LHR-HKG-SIN

    Thanks.

  21. Based in OZ say I buy 100K miles (with bonus) and need 10K more for return flight to LAX in J how does one get the additional 10K miles?

  22. @ Keith — You can transfer points from Starwood if you have them. Otherwise might just have to wait for another promotion or buy them at full price.

  23. @ CM — Technically you can only route through an airport once in each direction, though you may be able to find an agent willing to book that.

  24. @ Keith — Correct, just a limit on the number of bonus miles per promotion, but no limit on the overall number of miles you can purchase.

  25. Just want to let people know these miles credit immediately after purchase. I want to also say I think it’s a terrific deal, and rivals that of the AA 100,000K credit card since your basically getting 100,000 miles for only $1750 instead of having to spend $10,000.

  26. Considering an award to Australia, so may jump on this instead of transferring SPG points.

    P.S. Guess it takes them awhile to send out emails as haven’t received this offer yet.

  27. @ Ivan Y — It’s not targeted, so if you go to usairways.com under the “Buy Miles” section you should see it.

  28. @ DEVALUATOR — Most recently they didn’t, though before that it has been years since they’ve had a major devaluation. Going forward I would expect that they’ll provide notice of major changes.

  29. My account turned 12 days old yesterday but US still won’t let me buy miles 🙁 Does it usually take 1-2 more days?

  30. Hi,
    I have 57000 points with SPG and 56000 points with united mileage plus. If I am planning a trip Melbourne-Seattle-Nashville-Melbourne next year, how many points do I need in all? Can I buy tickets for my wife and 18 month old with all the points in my account or do I need points in my wife’s account too?

  31. @ Sumit — Are you hoping to buy US Airways miles, or use your existing United miles? At present you’d need 110,000 US Airways miles per person in business class, which is a great deal.

  32. Do you know when the 12 day clock starts ticking? My card was approved on 5/15, and they’ve now extended the offer to 5/31, but I didn’t complete my “dividend miles profile” until today. Am I screwed, or should I try again in a few days?

  33. @Lucky
    I need some guidance on maximizing benefits using me existing points, as listed below:
    Qantas: 17000
    SPG: 56000
    United miles: 57000
    Can I merge all 3 points and buy additional miles to get 220000 miles?
    Can I collect all the miles in my account and buy ticket for the 3 of us?

  34. @ Sumit — No, unfortunately there’s no way you can merge Qantas and United miles. You can transfer SPG points to United, but at a bad ratio of 2:1 (while most other partners are 1:1). So you’re better off focusing on building the individual balances towards the award you’d like.

  35. Hello, I am trying to upgrade to business class on a flight to FCO in late August. I have us dividend miles but no seats are available for upgrade. Are there any ideas that I can do to get up on business class without paying the full business fare? Thanks!

  36. @ bern — That’s a tough one, as upgrades using miles are typically pretty difficult. If you’ve already purchased your tickets your only real option is to hope upgrade space opens up closer to departure, unfortunately.

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