I’m Not “Buying” US Airways Miles at 1.1 Cents Each

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Today is the last day to “buy” US Airways miles at 1.1 cents each, and I’m not remotely interested.  I’ve seen plenty of posts about this deal, and most of them seem to indicate it is a good deal, and you should consider buying.  Well, it can be a good deal in a limited set of circumstances, but it’s probably not a good deal for most of us.

For those not familiar, you get a 100% bonus when sharing 30,000 – 50,000 US Airways miles with someone through today.  So, presumably you could share 50,000 US Airways miles with your partner, and they would then be 100,000 miles richer, while you were 50,000 miles poorer.

Us Airways Share

The cost to share would be $567.50 which means the 50,000 miles you are gaining in the process “cost” about 1.1 cents each.  Don’t get me wrong, that is a very good price for buying miles, but here’s why I’m still not interested.

  • I have a bunch of US and AA miles that will presumably go into the same pool at some point in the not terribly distant future.  I don’t need more right now.
  • US Airways and American Airlines just made changes to their award charts without notice (during this promo).  I don’t trust them to do better next time (though I hope they will).  I don’t need more miles in those programs when I know further negative changes will come as the merger progresses.
  • I don’t have a specific plan for my US or AA miles right now, so spending money for more miles I don’t have a specific plan for is not a good idea.
  • Um, April 15th is this week, and that is never fun day for the budget.  I’ll keep the dollars we have left, thanks.

Seriously, this can be a good deal if you know how you are going to use the miles in the near term, and don’t have an easier or cheaper way to access the miles you need.  However, if you are already sitting on a pot of US Airways (and/or American Airlines) miles, don’t have a specific plan for them, and have a limited budget, then I would pass and not look back.

Even good deals aren’t good at the wrong time.


In case this might be the right time for you, here are the full terms and conditions:

Offer available for share transactions made between April 7th 00:00:01 PT and April 13th 2014, 23:59:59 PT. All transactions are non-refundable. Bonus miles will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. The maximum number Share Bonus miles that can be received by one member for this offer is 50,000 bonus miles. All miles shared beyond this limit will not be eligible for a bonus. ​The recipient of the share transaction will also receive the bonus miles. ​All transaction inquiries must be submitted to US Airways Dividend Miles within 90 days from end of promotion. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Buy and Gift transactions are not eligible for bonus. Only share transactions made online are eligible for the bonus. Please note that Dividend Miles accounts less than 12 days old are not permitted to Buy, Share or Gift miles. For Gift and Share transactions, the recipient account must also be 12 days old. All US Airways Dividend Miles terms and conditions apply.

Miles are shared for $0.01 per mile plus a processing fee of $30 and a tax recovery charge of 7.5%. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents. Miles purchased through Buy, Share or Gift Miles do not count towards Dividend Miles Preferred status. All other Dividend Miles Terms and Conditions apply. Miles may be used based on award availability at the time of booking. Please note that Dividend Miles accounts less than 12 days old are not permitted to Buy, Share or Gift miles. All purchases are non-refundable

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. well, to each his own. I bought them because I go to London a lot and I can usually get a ticket for 40,000 miles and $400 and some dollars is a lot cheaper than $1060 that I usually pay. So I’d say it depends on your circumstances… I normally never buy miles but this is a pretty good deal.

  2. My thoughts are exactly like yours. I have the AA/US miles already that I’m likely to burn in the next 18 months, and really don’t trust the “New American” at all in terms of the value I can expect for those miles in the long run. I hope they’ll be worth more than 1.1 cents, but the signals they sent last week tell me the miles won’t be worth nearly what they are now. They’ve damaged their product significantly in my mind.

  3. Also one can “buy” 110,000 AA miles for $250 (or $450 if you consider opportunity cost of spending $10k at 2%) by getting the Citi Exec MC. So that is a much better deal if one has the opportunity with their credit. We are getting 3 for 330,000 miles.

  4. Justin, I can’t argue against it being a good deal in a vacuum, but it just probably isn’t for more people than it is for.
    farsighted, agree totally. I say it is a good deal if you know how you are going to use the miles in the near term and don’t have a better way of getting them, so sounds like you meet the criteria. 😉
    DaveS, I bet they are worth more than 1.1 cents each, but if you have all you need for 18 months it doesn’t seem overly smart to spend money buying more…unless you just have the money to burn.
    JL100, indeed. 😉

  5. So how many miles is “enough”? I never seem to have sufficient miles for my target redemption (four tickets to Asia or Europe)! Between two Exec cards and sharing back and forth, that’s 320,000 miles, closing in on an award.

    • Larry, enough is relative to your goals of course. If you need more for what you want this can be a decent way to get them.

  6. Debated about this since we have a lot of aa miles. But in the end broke down and bought a bunch for travel to pek nonstop on air china business class. Beats spending the same and stuck in coach for over 10hr. Now let’s hoping they don’t drop air china unannounced!

  7. Sat on the fence a long time on this offer as my SO and I have about 400k USAirways in inventory. The 30k winter Europe trips deals look dead (ever year I do winter in Europe and did grab Rome for January 2015 before the deal died). Much of the time US Airways miles and dollar cost is worse than Delta (gasp) so I tend to avoid them, but on some occasions they can get you where you want to go during fixed dates when others cannot. So in the end bagged another 73k to even out the USAirways accounts. As an old auditor there are no hotels, airlines, banks, grocers or even drugstores I trust (sorry Cary), so trust is never an issue for me when generating or using miles.

  8. It all boils down to if you can use those miles in the near future for a business or first class flight. If not, forget it. My wife and I returned business class from Rome last week on U.S. Air and they offered a 40,000 mile credit card with first purchase, no minimum spend. $89 fee. We had cancelled our U.S. Air cards a couple of months ago, but hey, we took this deal. Waiting on the results of our application. But, if it is neg. we will simply call and have our huge Arrival card line of credit divided and then get the approval. I am not buying either.

  9. Prove me wrong but not very long ago you told us that you are low on miles and points yet now you say you have plenty of US and AA miles. What’s changed?

  10. I bought some 20K USAir miles last year when there was a 100% bonus on *buying* them to top up for a loosely planned award trip. The merger with American made me nervous and I booked that 90K round the world (DEN-IST-AYT-OKA-NRT-SJC-DEN) a couple of months ago. I’m glad I did as the change to the award chart would have made me seriuosly annoyed. As it was I’m annoyed at the loss of the “explorer” award as I was waiting a couple of months to book mine for the summer of 2015. Lesson learned – miles & points are a perishable quantity!

  11. Dan, good memory! Two issues at play with that one, first we have been earning pretty well since then. The 100k AA card offer didn’t hurt. Second, these were actually the type of miles we had the most of left.

  12. Isn’t the point of the promo to share it with friends and family? Well I hope one of your friends/family/readers shared with you some US Airways Dividend miles last week!

  13. “Seriously, this can be a good deal if you know how you are going to use the miles in the near term, and don’t have an easier or cheaper way to access the miles you need”
    Exactly. It was a good deal for me and some I know. I shared with my wife to top it off 120K (in both accounts), and made booking right away in Cathay (before any further deval) for a trip to India with a stop at KUL in Feb 2015.

  14. I appreciate you being a “voice of reason” on this. I was annoyed by ThePointsGuy for telling his readers that this was “absolutely” a good deal. It CAN be a good deal — I mean, I bought miles for myself — but for most folks, it’s NOT a good deal. You basically need: 1) to have the money; 2) be planning an international premium class trip; 3) have the considerable skills and flexibility necessary to find these scarce award tickets; and 4) be willing to live with the uncertainty of whether that award will still exist when you want it. For most people, the right choice to to keep the money in their pocket.

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