The current round of bonuses for purchasing US Airways miles was supposed to run through November 30th only.

Of course I pretty much anticipated that once the bonus ended, there would be another one. Although sometimes it’s a smaller bonus, or targeted only to people that had purchased in the past. But most of the time US Airways does offer some sort of bonus.

This time what they’ve done is extend the November 30-expiring bonus through December 7.

It’s over 1.8 cents a mile to buy miles even with the 100% bonus, my personal approach is that I would certainly buy miles to top off an account or to make an immediate award booking (put a reservation on hold then buy the miles) but I wouldn’t buy miles speculatively just to stock up for future use.

The reason is that I do see risk in hoarding US Airways miles for future use, such as two years down the line. It’s been a few years since they’ve devalued their award chart so there’s risk that the cost of awards could increase. And US Airways is one of the three most likely airlines to shift their program to revenue-based, which presents risk that accumulated miles balances become worth less. (Delta is clearly the leading program for that risk, but both US Airways and/or Alaska could pull the trigger at some point — my guess is what keeps US Airways from doing it is the possibility of a merger with American.)

Still, straight-up buying miles for business class award tickets such as to North Asia (90,000 miles) can make sense at times.

  1. Erndog said,

    The e-mail I received indicated that the previous transfer bonus (up to 50,000 miles) was also still available ’til Dec. 7th.

    $.01 per mile + $30 fee + 7% tax, better than the outright buy at $.018 per mile

  2. Gary said,

    I don’t see that on the Share Miles page, were you targeted?

  3. nsx at flyertalk.com said,

    Gary, do you think major airlines will shift to revenue-based redemption as well as revenue-based earning?

    If redemption remains similar to what it is now, then credit card customers can continue to earn miles and use miles as they do currently. If redemption becomes revenue-based, the ratios between premium class and coach redemption will increase dramatically. What should we expect on that question?

  4. JetAway said,

    Of course, if US & AA do merge, these purchased US miles are likely to become Aadvantage miles.

  5. Erndog said,

    @ Gary – maybe I am confusing things, but the e-mail I got said buy or gift miles. When go to the ‘gift miles’ page, the cost is $500 for 50,000 miles . . . all without logging in, so it seems it isn’t targeted, but perhaps an extension of the previous offer of a month or so ago where you could transfer mile to someone for the $.01 per mile rate?

    Hope that answers your question.

  6. Gary said,

    @Erndog – GIFT miles is 3.5 cents per mile. Share miles is 1 cent per mile but no 100% bonus when I go to that page. And the email I got didn’t include a 100% bonus on sharing miles.

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