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1. $1,000 Club Carlson Giveaway
Club Carlson has very generously donated two Club Carlson $500 Visa cards and Club Carlson Gold Elite Status valid through February 2014 for two lucky Million Mile Secrets readers!
The drawing closes on 10:00 pm Central US Time on Friday, August 9. Good luck!
2. 100% Bonus For Buying US Airways Miles
The bonus miles earned depends on how many miles you buy:
- Buy or Gift 10,000 to 19,000 Miles, Get a 50% Bonus
- Buy or Gift 20,000 to 29,000 Miles, Get a 75% Bonus
- Buy or Gift 30,000 to 50,000 Miles, Get a 100% Bonus
The best deal is to buy 50,000 miles and receive another 50,000 miles for a total of 100,000 miles.
This costs $1,881, including the 7.5% excise tax, so you are buying miles at 1.88 cents each ($1,881 / 100,000 miles).
Terms & Conditions
Your US Airways account must have been open for at least 12 days before purchasing miles.
Also, the maximum bonus that you can receive through this offer is 50,000 miles.
Using The Miles
A great use of US Airways Dividend miles is to use 90,000 miles to fly in Business Class from the US to Asia, with a stopover in Europe or even the Middle East.
You would pay $1,700 if you bought 90,000 miles for a Business Class award to North Asia with a stopover in Europe or the Middle East (subject to award availability & taxes and fees, of course).
This isn’t such a great deal for domestic coach travel because you’d pay ~$470 for 25,000 miles which is usually more than what a domestic round-trip ticket costs.
Just be sure to do the math to see if this makes sense for you! Also remember, that US Air miles will soon be American Airlines miles!
3. Avianca 100% Bonus for Buying Miles
This means that you are paying 1.5 cents per mile, which is cheaper than the US Air bonus.
The most miles that can be purchased in one transaction is 75,000 and their Terms & Conditions say that you must have been a LifeMiles member by August 1, 2013. So sign-up now for a LifeMiles account so that you can take part in the next promotion (likely in a few months).
Avianca is a Colombian airline, but is a Star Alliance airline, meaning that you can use their miles to fly on United, Lufthansa, Thai, Singapore, etc.
This may be a good choice if you want a Star Alliance award because you can book (some) flights on-line and are not blocked from Lufthansa First Class like you would be with US Airways (the other airline which frequently sells miles).
Another great thing about Avianca is that if you have just 40% of the miles needed for an award ticket, you can purchase the remaining miles for ~1.6 cents each.
Here is Avianca’s award chart .
Terms & Conditions
You are limited to one transaction through this offer, and can purchase up to 75,000 miles, in addition to getting up to 75,000 bonus miles. Also, the maximum number of miles that you can purchase during a calendar year is 150,000 miles.
Purchases of Avianca miles are non-refundable, and use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees to avoid paying foreign transaction fees.
Avianca Miles Also Have Their Shortcomings
Avianca does not allow mixed cabin awards. So, if you find award availability in Business Class on one segment, it cannot be combined with Economy on other segments (even though you don’t mind flying in economy). So you’d have to book another flight back home!
This means that if your home airport is served by a regional jet with only economy seats, you won’t be able to book a seat on it if you’ve used Avianca miles to book a business class award!
Practically speaking, this rule makes it hard to book a First Class award with several segments using Avianca miles.
In the last few years airlines have cut First Class from a lot of routes, meaning that typically you may need to book a few segments in Business Class (or even coach) on a long award itinerary.
In addition, they do not allow a connection of more than 12 hours (most airlines allow you up to 24 hours for connections), and have less-than-ideal customer service when it comes to making reservation changes.
I wouldn’t buy Avianca miles unless the flights you want can be booked on their website online. You just need an Avianca account to search for award availability online.