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To celebrate “Cyber Week” (aka the week where people spend lots of money shopping online), US Airways is offering a limited time 100% bonus on shared miles from December 2nd – December 6th. Most of the time buying miles directly from a hotel or airline is a bad to mediocre deal, but this is actually a pretty good deal, especially if you have a specific and swift redemption plan in mind.
Up to 100% Bonus on Shared US Airways Miles:
US Airways will be offering up to 100% bonus on shared US Airways miles, up to 50,000 miles, at the following rates:
Share 10,000-19,000 Dividend Miles 50% bonus miles
Share 20,000-29,000 Dividend Miles 75% bonus miles
Share 30,000-50,000 Dividend Miles 100% bonus miles
If you want to do this, I would transfer at least 30,000 miles to get the full 100% bonus. If you do, you are effectively buying the bonus miles at 1.135 cents per mile after the processing fee of $30, $0.01 per mile cost, plus tax recovery charge of 7.5%. If you share 50,000 miles to get the full 50,000 mile bonus, the cost will be $567.50.
Your account will then have 50,000 miles fewer and the account you transferred the miles into will be 100,000 miles richer. The transaction is processed by points.com so don’t worry about using a US Airways card to get 2x miles, just pay with any card that earns miles or points you want the most.
Risks of Buying:
The American Airlines and US Airways merger means that it is a certainty the US Airways award chart will be changing at some point, and many estimate it will be changing to be more in sync with the American Airlines chart sooner rather than later. This means that if you have a specific redemption in mind, such as 110,000 miles for business class round trip to Australia, I would only buy these miles to book that award if you are booking soon. They also will be exiting Star Alliance around the end of the first quarter of 2014, so if you are hoping to redeem on Star Alliance partners, your time is limited. Of course, you may be buying and holding to redeem on OneWorld partners.
At this price, you will likely not really lose too much value no matter what since even if you redeem for a domestic round trip ticket at 25,000 miles, that is roughly paying the equivalent of $284 for that flight, which isn’t bad on many routes. However, I would still not buy and hold unless you are very aware of the risk and the likelihood of award chart changes and devaluations.
Buying airline miles at this price has it’s risks, but it also can be leveraged to get to award ticket thresholds much faster so that you can take advantage of the current Star Alliance partners and US Airways award chart.
I’ll update other Cyber Monday/Cyber week deals that I come across!