I must admit, originally I was not too interested in the US Airways Grand Slam promotion. I was going to go for the few free hits and that was that. However, after really looking into the program and the excitement Mommy Points (another travel blog) brought to the table, I decided to get fully obsessed!
If you have not started yet, you still have time, I actually just really started a week ago and speculate either 28 or 32 “hits”. If you have no idea what I am talking about, read my previous blog post outlining the entire promotion and what exactly a “hit” entails. In a nutshell, you earn 1 hit with select US Airways partner activity. The promotion runs until November 14th and you can earn up to 110,000 miles. However, make sure to register – “hits” earned prior to registration will not count.
Some hits are completely free, while other hits costs some money. You really have to see what is worth it for you to determine the amount of money you will shell out to earn these miles.
Below are the hits I have completed, or will complete to get my 28 (60,000 miles) or 32 hits (80,000 miles). In total this will cost me less than $300. Luckily, I have some hotel stays and car rentals which I would have had regardless of the promotion, so these end up being free, easy hits for me.
UPDATE: I would suggest getting some hits in sooner than later. For example, the Dividend Miles toolbar post monthly, so make sure to get that one in quickly so you do not miss the last posting date (which is unknown).
- Download the Dividend Miles Toolbar and perform 3 searches: Download the toolbar here.
- Swap points from another loyalty program into Dividend Miles at points.com. To swap points go to:
- Trade, Exchange and Buy
- Click the “Get more into a Program” radio button
- Select US Airways and then 1 mile –> It will list for you all the trade options you have available (I was able to move 4 American Airline miles for 1 US Airways miles)
- Audience Rewards: Answer the 5 questions correctly to get 2 miles per correct answer. This weeks answers are:
- New York
- Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
- Promises, Promises
- e-Miles: Sign up for an e-Miles account and select US Airways as your partner loyalty program. If you already have an e-Miles account with another loyalty program, create a new account using a different email address. This will probably take you 30 minutes in total to fully get 500 points (the minimum number needed to transfer your points the US Airways). Just for signing up and filling out various profile questions you will get 250 points. This will take about a week to get enough surveys to get the 500 miles, so do not delay.
- Magazines for Miles: This partner activity requires you to redeem miles for a magazine subscription. I was able to get a subscription for 400 miles, but some can be up to 2,000 miles. You must have existing miles in your account to redeem. If you current do not have any miles you can share or purchase miles (both count as a hit as well).
- e-Rewards: An invite only program where you take surveys to accrue dollars that can be transferred over to US Airways miles. I have been doing e-Rewards since 2005, but have not participated much lately. I currently have about $3.00 in my account and not nearly enough surveys are coming my way to be able to hit the $25.00 mark. While some of you might have luck with this, I am not going to get this hit and instead start preparing for next year!
So with just those free 5-6 hits, you can earn 3,000 miles! However, for just a little more effort and money, you can continue on and accrue many miles! For the purposes of my analysis, I am going to take out e-Rewards from earning a “hit” since it is one of the more difficult ones.
Really Cheap Hits (Less than $5):
- Dividend Miles Shopping Mall: Make a purchase at the US Airways Dividend Miles Shopping Mall. You will only get 1 hit regardless of the number of items your purchase from the Shopping Mall. You will need to log-in with your US Airways Dividend number and select a merchant. This will take you to the regular merchants shopping portal (do not worry, it is all tracked). I personally purchased a restaurant.com certificate for $2 (Google “Restaurant.com discount code). Others have purchased $1 iTunes song.
- Dividend Miles Dining: Register a card with the dining program, and eat out at a participating restaurant in your area. You can even just purchase a $1 soda to get the hit.
- Thanks Again: Purchase an item from the Thanks Again website. This is a free site where you can earn miles with local businesses and online retailers. Again I purchased a restaurant.com certificate for $2.
Now, you have 5 free hits and 3 cheap hits that cost no more than $5 in total, which will earn you 10,000 US Airways miles!
Inexpensive Hits ($5-$20 range)
- SuperShuttle & ExecuCar: I had no usage for this, but many have reported making/paying for a reservation and still getting the hit. I reserved a trip from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to the local Aloft Phoenix Airport Hotel. Using discount code UYR59 brought my total to $4. However, I was nice and still tipped the driver, so total out of pocket was $6.
- Biscoff: Go to the Biscoff website and enter your US Airways number on the main page. I purchased the 2 jars of spread for $12.95 (plus $5 flat shipping on all orders). There are some items slightly less expensive, but this looked good!
- OfficeMax: Go to the OfficeMax website and enter your US Airways number immediately. Then purchase any item from their site. I actually ordered something I needed, so paid slightly more – only $13 though including shipping.
- SkyMall: Go to the SkyMall website and purchase an item. People have reported purchasing batteries, but there are many cheap items. Unfortunately, shipping was $7.95, but I was still able to only spend $10 for this hit.
Now, you will have 5 free hits, 3 cheap hits, and 4 inexpensive hits, with a total out of pocket of about $45. These 12 hits will earn you 15,000 miles! If you’ve gone this far, you might as well keep on going.
Moderately Inexpensive Hits ($20-$30 range)
- 1-800-FLOWERS: Purchase and have flowers/balloons/teddy bear delivered from 1-800-FLOWERS by November 14, 2011
- Note: Many have been reporting not getting miles/hit when combined with a promotional code or special offers, so be careful with this one!
- TackItBack.com: Purchase a single pack for $19.00 (plus $5.00 s/h) on TrackItBack.com. These stickers can be attached to personal items to help you recover items when lost.
- Share Points: Find a friend or family member to share your points with. Both parties will receive a hit for this transaction. The minimum you can share is 1,000 points which will cost $10 plus a $30 transaction fee. You can count this as $20 per party. Feel free to comment on this post if you are looking for someone else to share your points with to get a hit.
- Network Solutions: Purchase a domain name for $28.99/year for three years. However, using the current 70% off code “SAVE70DAF” and “TECHDOM3AF” will bring the cost down to $26.09.
- Do NOT chose a duration less than 3 years. You will not earn the miles, thus not earning any hits. You will also get 1,000 extra bonus points with this hit.
Now, you will have 5 free hits, 3 cheap hits, and 4 inexpensive hits, and another 4 moderately inexpensive hits. These 16 hits will earn you 25,000 miles! This will give you enough points for a domestic flight in the US. Your total cost will be about $135, not too bad for a ticket that could be worth around $400. At this point, there are many other relatively expensive hits and subscription based hits that I am not going to get into. They are primarily worth it if you were going to purchase the item anyways, or if you are going for the full amount and can ultimately get 110,000 points for about $800.
However, there are many hits that you can get by staying in hotels and renting cars that can help you earn more hits or eliminate the need to pay for hits, depending on what your ultimate goal is.
- Hotel stays: You can earn up to 6 hits with stays at partner hotels – Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotel Group (Priority Club), Marriott Rewards, Radisson (Club Carlson), Starwood Hotels (SPG) and Wyndham Rewards. With each brand, you must set your earning preference to miles (thus forgoing your points) and earn 200 miles to qualify as a hit:
- Best Western: Each stay earns 250 Dividend Miles
- Club Carlson: 250 miles for stays at Country Inns & Park Inn; 500 miles for Park Plaza and Radisson stays
- Choice: Any stay earns 250 miles
- Hilton: Hilton, Conrad, Waldorf earn 500 miles per stay for fixed miles or 1 mile per dollar spent; Hampton, Homewood, and Home2 Suites earn 100 miles (fixed miles) or 1 mile per dollar spent *remember, to get the 200 miles minimum, at lower tier hotels, members must have at least $100 on their room charges
- Hyatt: Any stay earns 500 miles
- Intercontinental Hotels Group: 500 miles for Intercontinental, 2 miles per dollar at other properties
- La Quinta: 250 miles per stay
- Marriott: 2 miles per dollar spent at Marriott, JW Marriott, and Renaissance; 1 miles per dollar Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Summerfield Suites, Residence Inn, etc.
- Starwood: 2 points per dollar; Gold and Platinum members earn 3 points per dollar *remember, to get the 200 miles minimum, regular members must have at least $100 on their room charges
- Wyndham: 2 miles per dollar spent, 500 miles for Wyndham
- Car rentals: You can earn up to 6 hits with partner car rentals – Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty.
- Others have reported calling a local car rental and getting a cheap one day rental, explaining the situation to the manager, and not even having to pick up the car
- Hotel loyalty program transfers: You can earn 1 hit per loyalty program transfer (max 1 per program), up to 8 hits. You must earn at least 850 US Airways Dividend miles to count as a hit:
- Best Western: 5,000 points = 1,000 miles
- Choice Hotels: 5,000 points = 1,000 miles
- Hilton: 10,000 points = 850 miles
- Hyatt: 5,000 points = 2,000 miles (I value 5,000 Hyatt points quite high so not sure this hit is worth it)
- Priority Club: 10,000 points = 2,000 miles
- Marriott: 10,000 points = 2,000 miles
- Radisson/Club Carlson: 8,000 points = 1,000 miles
- Starwood: 1,000 points = 1,000 (minimum transfer for regular members is 2,500 points; Gold members can transfer a minimum of 1,000 points, and Platinum members have no minimums – but you must transfer 850 points to generate the minimum for this promotion)
- Wyndham Rewards: 8,000 points = 3,200 miles
My prior blog post outlines all the hits one can earn. Also, check out Mommy Points as she has an entire tally of the hits she has earned, including posting dates, and any other good things to know. If you have any suggestions or other ways to earn cheap hits for readers, please comment and share the wealth. I will be posting more this week on some off the beaten path ways of earning some hits.