News You Can Use – Fewer Miles with Bank Direct, 100% US Air Share or Buy Miles Bonus & Marriott Promotion

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1.   Fewer Miles with BankDirect Checking Accounts

I’ve written previously about earning American Airlines miles with a checking account with BankDirect.  You earn 100 miles (per month) for every $1,000 in your account, up to $200,000 in your account.  For every $1,000 above $200,000 you would earn 25 American Airlines miles per month.

This meant that a deposit of $200,000 would earn 240,000 American Airlines miles in a year!

That said there is monthly service fee of $12, but it is well worth it for folks (note: I’m not an investment advisor, so consult yours!) with large deposits of liquid cash who leave the money in other bank accounts.  That’s because you don’t pay tax on the miles (but you do pay tax on interest earned at other banks) and also because the American Airlines miles are worth more than the small amounts of interest which banks pay.

BankDirect Mileage Checking

BankDirect Mileage CheckingAccording to View from the Wing, BankDirect will make significant changes (PDF File) to their mileage checking accounts, starting June 1, 2013.

You will earn still earn 100 American Airlines miles, per month, per $1,000 deposit.  But only for the first $50,000 in deposits.  After $50,000, you will earn 25 American Airlines miles for every $1,000.

Despite the changes, I still think that earning AAdvantage miles with BankDirect is well worth the opportunity cost if you have money in another bank account (the amount of interest which you would earn if you kept your money elsewhere).

You can earn 75 miles per $1,000 deposit (per month) if you put $50,000 in the mileage checking account (earning 100 miles) and another $50,000 in the money market account which earns 50 miles per $100,000.

Sure, this isn’t as good as it used to be, but something is better than nothing!  And don’t forget that you can deposit money with Fidelity for additional bonuses with Delta, American Airlines, and United.

In addition, it is possible to earn a total of 22,000 miles for opening a new BankDirect account:

  • Earn 1,000 miles opening a new account.
  • Earn an additional 1,000 miles if referred by an existing member
  • 5,000 miles for using their Visa Checkcard
  • Another 5,000 miles for using their bill pay service.
  • And 10,000 miles for 6 consecutive months with at least $2,000 in direct deposits.
2.   Marriott Announces Summer 2013 “Unexpected Bonus” Promotion Via Loyalty Lobby, Marriott has announced their “Unexpected Bonus” promotion, running between May 15, 2013 and September 2, 2013. Marriott Unexpected Bonus

This promotion is targeted, so your miles may vary as far as which offer you will receive.  A full list of offers is below, with links to their Terms & Conditions:

  1. Free Category 1-5 Night After Two Stays (Max of 2)
  2. Free Category 1-4 Night After Two Stays (Max of 3)
  3. 25,000 Marriott Points After 15 Nights, Additional 10,000 Points After 20 Nights (Max of 35,000 Points)
  4. 25,000 Marriott Points After 15 Nights, Additional 2,000 Points Each Additional Night (Max of 45,000 Points)
  5. 35,000 Marriott Points After 20 Nights, Plus 10,000 Points After 25 Nights (Max of 45,000 Points)
  6. 35,000 Marriott Points After 20 Nights, Plus 2,000 Points Each Additional Night (Max of 55,000 Points)
Step 1

to your Marriott account.

Step 2

Then click the “Promotion Central” drop-down menu at the bottom of the “My Account” tab, which is located on the right side of the homepage.

Marriott Unexpected Bonus Step 3

Next, click the “New promotions for you” link on the “My Account” tab.

Marriott Unexpected Bonus-3 Step 4

Ccomplete the registration on the following page:

Marriott Unexpected Bonus Summer 2013

You have to register before July 21, 2013 to be eligible.

3.   US Airways 100% Bonus on Purchased Miles

Via One Mile at a Time, through May 31, 2013 US Airways is offering bonuses on all purchases of at least 5,000 miles:

  • Buy or Gift 5,000 – 9,000 Miles, Get a 25% Bonus
  • Buy or Gift 10,000 – 19,000 Miles, Get a 50% Bonus
  • Buy or Gift 20,000 – 29,000 Miles, Get a 75% Bonus
  • Buy or Gift 30,000 – 50,000 Miles, Get a 100% Bonus

While there are a number of different bonuses, the best deal is to purchase at least 30,000 miles and receive a 100% bonus, at a rate of ~1.89 cents each.

US Airways Buy Miles Bonus

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.  You can redeem US Air miles for travel on any of the Star Alliance member airlines.

You would pay $1,700 if you bought 90,000 miles for a Business Class award to North Asia with a stopover in Europe (subject to award availability & taxes and fees, of course).

This isn’t such a great deal for domestic coach travel because you’d pay ~$472 for 25,000 miles which is usually more than what a domestic round-trip ticket costs.  And do the math to see if this makes sense for international coach tickets since it usually doesn’t make sense as well.

If you do plan to get in on this offer, the Terms & Conditions say that your US Airways account must have been open for at least 12 days before purchasing miles.  Also, there is a maximum of 100,000 miles earned through this offer (50,000 purchased, with a bonus of 50,000 miles).


Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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