If you need to stock up on US Airways miles, there’s a fantastic promotion this week!
US Airways will give up to a 100% bonus when you share your miles. But the deal only runs until April 13, 2014.
You can transfer up to 50,000 miles to a friend or family member. If you transfer the maximum amount, they’ll get a 100% bonus or an additional 50,000 miles!
Why Is This a Great Deal?
There have been promotions like this before (most recently in December 2013.) But this is the 1st since US Airways joined the oneworld alliance on March 31, 2014, as part of its merger with American Airlines.
You can share up to 50,000 miles with someone else. The bonus they get depends on how many miles you transfer:
- 10,000 to 19,000 miles – get 50% bonus miles
- 20,000 to 29,000 miles – get 75% bonus miles
- 30,000 to 50,000 miles – get 100% bonus miles
Transfers cost 1 cent per mile, plus a $30 transfer fee and 7.5% tax. If you transfer the maximum amount, you’ll pay ~$568, and the recipient will receive
100,000 US Airways miles!
US Airways usually sells miles for 3.5 cents a mile, but in this case you’re getting them for ~1.1 cents per mile (~$568 cost to share 50,000 US Airways miles / 50,000 US Airways miles = ~1.1 cents per mile).
Because US Airways miles transfers are processed through Points.com, sharing miles doesn’t count as a travel purchase. So you won’t get extra points if you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred or US Airways Mastercard. And it won’t count as a travel expense if you want to redeem Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® points (but you will get 2X points per $1 you spend as with any purchase).
Using the Miles
Link: US Airways Award Chart
You could use 100,000 US Airways miles to get a lot of Big Travel with Small Money!
You could get:
- 2 round-trip low level economy class award tickets to Hawaii (with 20,000 miles left over)
- 2 round-trip off-peak economy class award tickets to Europe (with 30,000 miles left over)
But my favorite use of US Airways miles is booking award flights with their partner airlines. You can redeem US Airways miles for travel on any of the oneworld alliance airlines.
There are 14 airlines in the oneworld alliance, including Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Japan Airlines, and Qantas. TAM (a Brazilian airline) is a new oneworld partner.
You can fly to North Asia with a stopover in Europe for only
90,000 110,000 miles in Business Class! I wasn’t sure if this would still be possible once US Airways switched from Star Alliance to oneworld, but it is! Remember, the seats available for purchase with miles can change so it’s good if you have flexible dates.
Update: US Air changed their award prices early today morning and it now costs 110,000 miles in business class.
Drawbacks and Limitations
Buying miles to share might not be such great deal for domestic coach travel because you’d pay ~$275 for 25,000 miles (25,000 miles X ~1.1 cents) which is usually around what a domestic round-trip ticket costs. But for expensive routes or last-minute travel, it might be worth it.
Transferring fewer miles might not be such a good deal. If you only have 10,000 US Airways miles, you’d only get a 50% bonus (5,000 miles) and pay ~$138. So you’re buying miles for ~2.8 cents per mile ($138 cost to share 10,000 US Airways miles / 5,000 US Airways miles = ~2.8 cents per mile) which isn’t nearly as good.
You can’t transfer more than 50,000 miles into an individual account. And the account must have been open for at least 12 days.
US Airways seems to run deals like this every few months, so if you can’t do a miles transfer now, you should be able to get a bonus in the future. Other airlines, like Avianca (a Star Alliance member), also have frequent mile transfer promotions.
I don’t know how the US Airways award chart will change as they move forward with the American Airlines merger, so if you have a specific trip in mind it’s probably a good idea to book it now. And remember, US Airways miles will eventually become American Airlines miles.
Make the Most of the Bonus
I’ll transfer 50,000 miles to Emily for ~$568 and get a bonus 50,000 miles. Then she’ll transfer 50,000 miles to me for ~$568 and I’ll get an extra 50,000.
Essentially, we’ll buy 100,000 US Airways miles for ~$1,136, and use them for a Business Class round-trip award ticket to Europe or North Asia.
I did a search for a round-trip ticket in September from Austin to Seoul, Korea, and the cheapest Business Class fare I could find was $4,940. And to Tokyo, Business Class tickets cost over $6,000!
So transferring US Airways points with this promotion is a great value. I like getting Business Class tickets for a fraction of the cost!
US Airways has a share miles promotion from today until April 13, 2014. You can transfer up to 50,000 miles to a friend or family member, and they’ll get up to 100% bonus miles.
It costs ~$568 if you transfer 50,000 miles, but your friend will get 100,000 miles total.
Where will you go with your US Airways miles?