Like Alaska Airlines, which I’ll discuss tomorrow (I’m having an awful problem with posts missing their scheduled publication date/time), US Airways is also offering a chance to buy miles at a special discount. They’re offering bonuses of 50% to 100% when you buy up to 50,000 miles by May 25. That means a chance to get 100,000 miles while paying for only 50,000.
The best price, obviously, is when you get the 100% bonus for purchases between 30,000 and 50,000 miles (the offer terms say 30,ooo to 40,000, but the drop-down menu goes higher). The price of 100,000 miles would be $1,881.25, or about 1.88 cents per mile. This is not a bad price at all, but it’s not as good as some past offers from US Airways, like the opportunity to share miles with a spouse or friend for about 1.1 cents each.
Still, I’ve mentioned the limited opportunity that remains to accrue US Airways miles. There are many good uses for them, including travel on their new oneworld Alliance partners as well as some of their former Star Alliance partners. US Airways’ award chart remains pretty good for now. You can still benefit from some unusual routing rules, like going from North America to Asia via Europe. And several bloggers have recently shared that it’s possible to use US Airways miles to book awards on British Airways without incurring any fuel surcharges (this isn’t expected to last long).
There is little downside to buying US Airways miles as long as you expect you’ll be able to use them sometime in the next year; the price is fair enough that I think some good opportunities can be found to use them, and a small devaluation wouldn’t leave me regretting my purchase much. Once US Airways and American merge their loyalty programs, those miles will become part of a combined American AAdvantage. Will the award chart change? Eventually. I’m not worried about it happening too soon as the airline will want to take advantage of its honeymoon period. They might even become easier to use if you can combine them with your existing AAdvantage account balance. But I think these changes are a ways off. A timeline for integrating the two programs has not yet been announced.
If you’re still on the fence about this promotion, consider at least opening a Dividend Miles account — assuming you haven’t already. Your account must be open for at least 12 days before you can take advantage of these bonus miles. That means you have just a few days to open a new account, wait out the 12 days, and then buy the miles before May 25.