United and US Airways both offering extremely lucrative targeted promotions

Usually I don’t write about targeted promotions because, well, they’re targeted. If you were targeted you’d know about them, and if you weren’t targeted you’d just feel bad about yourself.

Anyway, both United and US Airways started sending out emails for some ridiculously lucrative targeted promotions yesterday, and they’re so generous that I can’t not write about them.


United sent out an email to select members offering double redeemable miles for all roundtrip flights for the rest of the year. The major restriction is that only tickets booked after October 1 qualified, and that a maximum of 50,000 miles could be earned through the promotion. You’ve gotta wonder if this is a response of sorts to the promotion that US Airways published earlier this week, also offering 50-100% bonus miles on flights. If so, here’s to hoping that American one ups them and offers double miles for the rest of the year for everyone… 😉


US Airways

Meanwhile US Airways sent out an offer to select US Airways Mastercard cardmembers, offering a 10-50% discount on award redemptions made before November 30, 2013, for travel until March 31, 2014. For the 50% refund offer that a reader sent below, you have to redeem at least 20,000 miles and can get back a maximum of a 30,000 mile rebate. The best part is that even awards booked on partner airlines qualify. So this would lower the cost of a US to North Asia via Europe award in business class to just 60,000 miles. That’s crazy, especially in conjunction with the 100% bonus on shared miles right now, whereby you can generate miles for roughly 1.1 cents each.



  1. My offer was for a 25% rebate up to 30k. I’d love to take advantage, but unfortunately all my vacation time is already accounted for through next summer.

  2. How do I get targeted potentially for any of the US Air deals? I have not received one offer since I opened the card in May? I must be doing something not right?!

  3. If you accidentally delete your mail, is there a way to check your promotions at US Airways web site?

  4. I’m a 1k, and didn’t get the email, maybe because I already have about six more trips purchased some time ago. Wouldn’t feel bad about myself, but it could tick me off about them.

  5. lucky, do you know what happens if you book 2 tickets using miles from the eligible account? Let’s say I book 2 coach tickets for 25k each totally 50k. Do I get 25k back since I was targeted with the 50% offer?

  6. @ Angel — Yep, you can redeem miles for multiple tickets and they’d all count towards the potential refund.

  7. United is very frustrating with their targeted promotions. In the spring, they had a targeted promotion to Japan when I was flying on a full fare business class ticket, but they wouldn’t extend to me. Now I have 4 NY-London business class trips planned for the fall at about $10,000/pop. Was going to fly UA but forget that — I’ll take my 25K bonus that AA is offering and fly AA/BA for each trip (surprised UA and DL haven’t matched their Europe promotion). To the extent I was on the fence about flying UA anyway, this certainly pushes me to the other side.

  8. There is no rhyme or reason to these targeted emails. As for the US ones, there was also the targeted 3X PQM Promo (called Re-engagement 3XPQM) to select members. They are not promotions aimed at targeting US Airways most loyal flyers. I am guessing the United Promo was not much different.
    Are they generating a little good will with these? Sure, for those lucky enough to receive them.
    For the rest of us, our ‘loyalty’ is leaving a pretty bad taste in our mouths. This is evidenced by the comments on the FlyerTalk thread. It’s not a good feeling when one is penalized for loyalty.

  9. Anyone have the United link from the email? Worth clicking it and seeing if qualified, given I tend to ignore or delete most United emails these days. I will be over 150k eqm this year and so I can’t really imagine I would hit their criteria, but the text does read like some sort of apology for service, so perhaps…

  10. I got the code (on flyertalk) and it was rejected. I’m canceling all my UA reservations today and booking AA. Eager to try their new business class anyway with the 1/2/1 seating on a 777 on some London flights (I’ve typically avoided their 2/3/2 seating, even on 767’s)

  11. @Dax

    The promotion code is TB9M19. You can click on the promotions tab at United dot com and enter that code to see if you’re eligible.

    I was not 🙁

  12. I have US Airways MC since 1/2012 and only received one offer for 5X points for spending on gas, grocery and phone. I sense that US somewhat penalizes customers for their loyalty and I put mine in the sock drawer,though I spent $2K on it in August . I am waiting for AA to match/ beat the offers from US and UA soon before I book a trip to South America this month for next year travel.

  13. To book away from a carrier because you didn’t get a targeted promotion is so childish. If one carrier targets you with a better deal than another, it’s rational to go there, but to go elsewhere because someone got targeted and you didn’t is completely childish.

  14. @ Lantean — There’s no link as far as I know, you’re just automatically registered if you were targeted.

  15. @Kris – as I said, AA is offering an untargeted 25K bonus to Europe. UA is offering nothing except a targeted offer that they excluded me from. Anyone else think it’s “childish” to cancel my UA reservation and book AA? But, frankly, even if AA didn’t have the bonus, if choosing between two equal choices (I’m elite on both and these trips will get me to the next higher level on whichever airline I fly and I’m equally close to million miler status on both), I see absolutely nothing wrong with deciding not to fly the one that takes your business for granted when targeting offers. That’s the flip side UA needs to think about when they target offers.

  16. Asked Gary and MommyPoints same question, but trying to get feedback from a few people, in case one of you is more familiar:

    My wife and I each have 2 US Airways accounts and 2 Barclays credit cards. I got a 50% offer, she got a 25% offer. I emailed them on both of the cards which I got no offer, just to ask if we qualified (in case it was deleted by mistake). My question is, if I’m trying to book a United flight with US Airways miles for 3 people, what is my best way to go about this. I see the maximum is 30,000 miles back. Does that mean I should maybe book 2 tickets with the 50% account, and 1 with the 25% account? Also, do you know the total fees charged by US Airways (I’ve never booked an award ticket with them before). US Airways seems to have very limited availability from NYC at the lowest level for the couple places I’ve looked, so I think I’m stuck booking a United flight. I know a US Airways flight would be better since it’d only be 10K each instead of 12.5K, but doesn’t seem like I have any options. We’re not very flexible for the days we need.

    Thanks in advance.

  17. @ Joe S — Well three tickets would run you 75,000 miles. So if you booked them out of the account with a 50% discount you’d get a total of 30,000 miles back. Meanwhile if you booked two tickets out of the account with a 50% discount you’d get 25,000 miles back, and then for the third ticket you’d get 6,250 miles back. So you’d come out slightly ahead with the latter scenario.

    As far as fees go, per person you’d pay $5 in taxes roundtrip (assuming you’re taking nonstop flights in both directions) plus a $25 processing fee.

  18. One thing I found interesting is at the same time from Oct 1st you can only earn 25% of your miles with Air Canada for flights on/after October 1, 2013, Flights within Canada and between Canada and the U.S., Central America, Mexico or the Caribbean. Premier members earn a minimum of 125 base miles in K, N, G, P, E, and A purchased fare classes on these flights.

    Which does not make it worth your while to use Air Canada but if you want to avoid the USA from Mexico you don’t have a choice.

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