At the beginning of October I blogged about a great offer from US Airways. Through tomorrow, Wednesday October 31, you can get a 100% bonus when you share your miles. This is actually cheaper than when US Airways offers you to purchase miles with a 100% bonus. If you have friends/family members with a lot of miles willing to partake in this promotion with you, this can be a great value for you and allow you to purchase 50,000 miles for $567.50 (you can do less as well, but 50,000 is the most per account).
You can only share miles in 1,000 mile increments at $10 per $1,000 miles. This means that the cost to share 50,000 miles with a friend, thus giving them 100,000 miles, will cost you $500. However, when sharing miles you will pay a $30 fee per transaction plus 7.5% tax. This makes the total cost $567.50. While person A is out 50,000 miles, person B is up 100,000 miles, thus a gain of 50,000 miles. Person B can than share the 50,000 miles back to person A for the same $567.50 cost. Ultimately, this means you can “purchase” 50,000 miles for $567.50, which can be one heck of a deal for many!
While 50,000 miles alone probably won’t get you anywhere internationally, it can be used for two domestic roundtrip tickets, meaning each roundtrip will cost you $284. Probably not the best deal, but you never know. I personally wouldn’t speculate purchasing miles for a $284 redemption, but that is me. If you have a specific award in mind that you know is available and will cost more than $300, than it can be worth it.
The real value, however, is for international travel, especially business and first class award tickets, but you must have existing miles in your account (or plan on purchasing or earning them in the future) to be able to redeem for a higher amount.
Some sample award redemption include:
- 60,000 miles from the US to Europe in economy
- 60,000 miles from the US to South America in economy
- 60,000 miles from the US to North Asia (includes: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Mongolia, S. Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), but for only 30,000 miles more roundtrip you can fly in business class!
- 70,000 miles from the US to Africa
Remember, you do not have to redeem your US Airways miles only on US Airways flights. When you look for point redemption opportunities at usairways.com you will only get the availability and mileage required for US Airways operated flights. To fly a partner Star Alliance airlines (which might have more award availability and a better redemption) you can check on the united.com website for availability – this will show all Star Alliance award availability. You will, however, then have to call US Airways to book your flight.
The one thing I hate about US Airways is that you cannot redeem their points for one-way travel, only roundtrip – so keep that in mind, even if it is on a partner airline. However, you typically can do three-legged for the same number of points as a roundtrip allowing you to get a higher value out of your points.
My approach: If you read this blog often you are well aware that I typically do not redeem my points for business class. I’d instead prefer two trips and I care more about my experience while at my destination than the experience getting to/from my destination. For those of you who will not pay extra for business class, you might find this promotion worthwhile if you do not have a certain award redemption in mind. For those that are looking to redeem for a trip soon, do a cost analysis and see if it is worth it. I usually do not purchase points if I have no immediate (or even near future) need in mind. However, I have about 91,000 US Airways miles and Mr. Deals is at a measly14,400 miles. I was really hoping for the US Airways grand slam this year to enhance the number of miles in our accounts, but looks like that was a bust. Since 14,000 miles in an account doesn’t get you much, I will probably transfer enough miles to allow some point redemption from his account.
Additionally, I have about 59,000 Capital One points I have yet to redeem, and I’ve read many reports that folks were able to purchase these miles using their Capital One card and get reimbursed. Since Capital One has a fixed redemption rate, it doesn’t matter if you use your points on taxis, flights, hotels, car rental, etc. This is a great way to utilize those points since all other credit cards will only give you 1x point per dollar spent. Although this is a travel expense, it is charged from points.com and not usairways.com, thus no bonus points will be earned.
This promotion ends October 31, 2012 and you can only receive up to 50,000 bonus miles. You can share your miles with another account here.
Will you be taking part of this promotion? For the right redemption it is a great promotion, and one that doesn’t come along too often. I haven’t fully decided what I am going to do yet, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted – there is a chance I’ll go full out and transfer those Capital One points into US Airways miles!