Between May 1st and May 31st US Airways is offering up to a 100% bonus for purchased or gifted miles.
- Buy 5,000 – 9,000 miles, get a 25% Bonus.
- Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles, get a 50% Bonus.
- Buy 20,000 – 29,000 miles, get a 75% Bonus.
- Buy 30,000 – 50,000 miles, get a 100% Bonus.
Depending on your travel plans, there may be some possibility to maximize this for your benefit. Obviously, the best benefit would be if you wanted to get enough points to reach the next award level threshold.
Example #1: Business class from US to North Asia With a Stop in Europe
A business class flight to North Asia will cost 90,000 US Airways miles. Through this promotion you’d pay $1,692 for your miles. In addition, you can expect to pay about $200 in booking fees and taxes. Thus, for about $1,900 you could outright buy the miles you need for a trip to Asia with a stop in Europe.
I just searched Kayak.com for a flight from DEN – FRA (stop) – NRT (stop) – DEN. In economy class the best rate I can get is $2,963. In business class it’s $9685. Even just a flight from DEN – NRT in economy is $1128. Thus, for an extra $800ish, you can add on a trip to Europe and fly business class.
Example #2: Economy class off-peak to Europe
If you were to purchase 90,000 miles, that would be enough miles for three economy class off-peak tickets from the US to Europe on US Airways metal if you are a US Airways card holder. The best price in Feb 2014 from DEN – Rome is $1332. For three passengers that would be a total of $3996. Again, if you bought 90,000 miles it would be $1692 plus about $125 per person in taxes and booking fees. Your total cost would be $2067. That’s nearly a $2,000 savings.
Example #3: Business class from US to Australia
A business class flight to Australia will cost 110,000 miles. Obviously, you can’t buy that many with this promotion, but you can buy 100,000 so that if you already have 10,000 in your account it will work. The total cost for the miles you buy would be $1881.25. You’ll pay about $200-$250 in booking fees and taxes. Let’s assume that is a total cost of $2150. Remember, you can also get a stop in Europe or Asia if you wish.
By comparison, flights from Denver to Brisbane cost $1950 in economy. Thus, for an extra $200 you can fly business class and get a stop in either Asia or Europe.
Example #4: Economy or business off-peak to South America
If you fly off-peak and use only US Airways operated flights and have a US Airways credit card, you can fly from North America to South America for 30,000 miles in economy or 55,000 miles in business.
If you were to purchase 90,000 miles, that would be enough miles for three economy class off-peak tickets from the US to South America on US Airways metal if you are a US Airways card holder. The best price in Feb 2014 from DEN – Rio De Janeiro is $1525. For three passengers that would be a total of $4575. Again, if you bought 90,000 miles it would be $1692 plus about $115 per person in taxes and booking fees. Your total cost would be $2037. That’s nearly a $2,500 savings.
The math also works out in your favor if you’re interested in a business class flight to South America.
By combining a reduced cost to buy miles with some of US Airways’ sweet points, you can get some good value out of the current mileage sale promotion.
Note: With the upcoming merger between American and US Airways, there is no guarantee that these great redemption options will remain, so I wouldn’t speculatively buy these miles. The miles may eventually end up as American Aadvantage miles; but again, there is no guarantee.