US Airways is running the most lucrative mileage purchasing promotion this week, from 02-06 December 2013. Notice I said the most lucrative, not its most lucrative. Nowhere else in the airline industry can you generate enough points to travel to both Europe and Asia in business class for $1027.50.
The proposition is simple–share your miles and US Airways will give the recipient a 100% bonus when you transfer between 30,000 and 50,000 miles. Transfer less and the bonus is less lucrative, but still still may make sense if you are just a bit short of the miles needed for your booking.
So, say you and your friend each have 45,000 in your account. For $513.75 (by transferring your points to each other), you can instantly have 90,000 miles each–enough for an award trip in business class to both Europe and Asia.
Say you have zero miles and your friend has 45,000. Your friend can transfer 45,000 to you for $513.75, you can transfer 45,000 back to your friend for $513.75, then you will still have 45,000 miles (your friend’s original amount) and your friend will have 90,000 miles–enough to book the trip. You can use US Airways Dividend Miles for anyone, so your friend’s account can be used to book your ticket and your friend can then use the 45,000 miles in your account when necessary.
The only “catch” for this promotion is that accounts must have been open for at least 12 days to take advantage. Also make sure that you do not have two accounts set up with the same name and are transferring between them. US Airways is aggressive in auditing these accounts and will take the bonus miles back–one of my clients recently found out the hard way.
It is not just the 90K award from North America to Asia via Europe that is lucrative on the chart–I just booked a ticket for a client from Sydney to Guam, with a stopover in Manila on the return that included two longhauls in Singapore Business and a longhaul in Thai Business for 30,000 miles (since both Sydney, the origin, and Guam, the destination, are in the South Pacific region). Many clients who live outside of America have taken advantage of this offer and you should check out the US Airways award chart (before it devalues…which I suspect we are only weeks, if not days, away from) and see what kind of deals are available from your departure country.
- Sydney to Singapore in Singapore Business Class
- Singapore to Nagoya in Singapore Business Class
- Nagoya to Guam in United Business Class
- Guam to Taipei in EVA Business Class
- Taipei to Manila in EVA Business Class
- Manila to Bangkok in Thai Business Class
- Bangkok to Sydney in Thai Business Class
Although the bonus miles will not post for two billing cycles, I cannot stress enough: if you do not have the US Airways MasterCard, sign-up for it before the offer of up to 40,000 bonus miles is pulled. This is a versatile card that will be pulled soon after the merger closes with American Airlines on December 9, 2013.
We do not know what changes the AA-US merger will bring to each carrier’s loyalty program, but we have a pretty good idea that transfers between accounts will be available sometime early in the new year, meaning these US Airways points can potentially be used for travel both on Star Alliance and oneworld. An extra 30-40K miles never hurts.