US Airways clarifies the terms of their double miles promotion

A couple of days ago I wrote about US Airways’ super generous promotion, which runs through December 31. It seemed to offer double redeemable miles for all travel booked on with a Mastercard, and double elite qualifying miles as well for all travel booked with the US Airways Mastercard.

Well, it appears as if that’s not really what they meant, so they’ve clarified the terms:

Use your US Airways Dividend Miles Mastercard card to book your next flight and get double Preferred-qualifying miles. OR use your Mastercard card and get double miles.

While I suppose offering both would have been overly generous, if you prefer to earn bonus redeemable miles they’re telling you NOT to use their co-branded credit card, which has to be a first in the world of loyalty program promotions…

Update: Apparently I’m wrong and you DO earn both double redeemable and preferred qualifying miles if using a US Airways Mastercard. Either I’m really tired/dumb, or US Airways is really bad at clarifying things. Or maybe a bit of both.


  1. Guess I’m kind of screwed with my only mastercard being the US branded mastercard…I want redeemable miles. 🙁

  2. Are you sure that’s what they mean? It seems much more likely that they mean: Use any Mastercard and you earn double miles. Use a US Airways Mastercard and those miles you earn will also be preferred-qualifying.

    It seems odd to imagine earning miles that only count towards preferred status but do not add to your mileage balance.

    I admit that if that’s what they meant, they could have said it that way. So perhaps you are right.

  3. Ok, maybe I’m misunderstanding everyone else’s misunderstanding on this. And you’ve all lived in UA/AA worlds for too long.

    Any and every mile earned on US is redeemable (unlike other carriers). It’s just a matter of whether that redeemable mile also counts towards preferred status or not.

    So what they’re telling you (and I assumed as much from the original promo announcement) is that you’d get double miles for using any Mastercard. Should it be the US/Barclays Mastercard, those double miles will have that nice little tickmark in the “Preferred” column.

    Either way, it still cuts the CPM in half at a minimum, and the CPQM as well with the right card.

  4. This is, not surprisingly, the same company that at one time took away the 500 mile minimum for their elites. Most of what Dougie does doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  5. Agree with ArizonaGuy. Andy, if you choose the double preferred qualifying miles you still earn the “normal” redeemable miles, but not the 100% bonus. So you have to choose between bonus redeemable miles and bonus preferred qualifying miles.

  6. What they told me on Twitter today when I asked if using the US MC got both double redeemable and double elite qualifying:

    “All miles are redeemable. If you book & travel using your US Airways Mastercard, the miles count towards Elite status.”

  7. I really don’t think it is confusing. Mommypoints got the straight scoop. ArizonaGuy put it right, too (but ffi was wrong to say “double the double miles”).

    So if I (US Gold) book a 2,000-mile flight segment with any old Mastercard, what I expect will show up in my account are

    * 2,000 flown miles
    * 1,000 Gold 50% bonus miles
    * 2,000 Mastercard bonus miles

    for a total of 5,000 miles. My PQMs will increase by 2,000.

    If I book with the US Airways Mastercard, all of the above remains true, except that my PQMs increase by 4,000 instead of 2,000.

  8. Lucky, I believe you and Arizona Guy are actually saying different things, but maybe don’t understand that you are. The best way to think of it is with an example.

    Your current balances are 100,000 miles and 10,000 equity miles. You fly 1,000, having registered for the promo. You and Arizona Guy, and everyone else seem to be in agreement that if you use the non-US MC, your balances now will be 102,000 miles and 11,000 equity miles. That’s clear.

    Now, what if you use the US MC. ArizonaGuy is saying your balances will be 102,000 miles and 12,000 equity miles. You seem to be saying your balances will be 101,00 miles and 12,000 equity miles.

    I actually think Arizona Guy will turn out correct, notwithstanding the recent USAirways “clarification,” which seems like maybe they didn’t understand the question. As cumbersome as it is, I think it’s easier to discuss with examples. I believe there was some of the exact same confusion with the equity miles portion of the Grand Slam last year, and what I’ll call the ArizonaGuy interpretation was correct.

    To clarify one point, though, that ArizonaGuy has made, it’s not actually true that all US PQM are RDM. The 10,000 PQM received for $25,000 spend on the US Credit card are not also RDM. Well, sort of. They accomplish it by deducting 10,000 RDM and adding back 10,000 miles that are both RDM and PQM, so the end result is that you receive no RDM but 10k PQM. It’s theoretically possible they could do something similar here, but, as noted, I doubt it.

  9. Buy with a general Mastercard, fly 1000 miles: Your balance will increase 2000, half (the flown portion) counting towards status.

    Buy with the US Mastercard, fly 1000 miles: Your balance will increase 2000, all 2000 of which count toward status.

    @ Larry – don’t introduce the credit card confusion to this discussion, people just get more confused! They call it a conversion, not an earning of an extra 10K miles. The way they do that is confusing but there is no other way to mark exactly 10K as preferred. Taking 10K RDM, adding 10PKM does not change your balance. If you had 10K to start, you’d have 10K after to use however you see fit. Only your YTD elite qualifying mileage total increases by 10K.

  10. The whole thing has been a bit confusing for sure, but my impression of what they said was a 2,000 mile flight booked with a US MC will earn 4,000 miles that are both redeemable and elite qualifying. The only thing they still have not confirmed for me is if others on the reservation (who aren’t the cardholder) will also get the bonus. I am guessing yes, but haven’t seen that confirmed anywhere.

    Clear as mud was the best description for this one. 😉

  11. Looks like I got this totally wrong. Updated the post. Wow US Airways, that’s the worst “clarification” I’ve ever seen… or maybe I’m just really tired/dumb.

  12. I agree with Arizona Guy: If I fly CLT-SLC (1727 miles) and book with any old Mastercard, I’m going to get 1727 miles for the flight (which count towards preferred status), and an additional 1727 miles. So I will receive a total of 3454 miles for the trip, 1727 of which will count towards preferred status (but also are redeemable!), and 1727 that are just redeemable.

    If I do the same flight but pay with my Dividend Miles Mastercard, I’m going to still earn a total of 3454 miles for the trip (same total as before), but all of those miles will count towards my preferred status.

  13. @Jerry

    In previous double PQM promotions (like in 2009 when everyone was doing double qualifying miles), the double portion did NOT count towards the trial. Nevertheless, it was a good excuse at the time when airfare was cheap due to the economic downturn to take a MR to Europe. But those $300-$400 MRs to FRA are practically non-existent, especially from anywhere west of the Mississippi.

  14. Was advised by the CP Liaison (who checked with the DM Svc Center) that the party traveling with you will get the promo miles if on the same PNR and will, like you, get the double PQM’s if you use a USAirways MC. RDM’s only if you use a non-USAirways MC. Companion must be on the same PNR and, of course, must have a DM number in the record.

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