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In its self-appointed role as the King of Mileage Sales, US Airways has deployed just about every conceivable variation of buy-miles bonus: set bonuses, which have run the gamut from 50 to 100 percent; variable bonuses, depending on the quantity purchased; variable bonuses, depending on individual members’ flight and mileage-purchase history; and so on.
For the month of May, it’s a variable bonus, as follows:
Miles normally sell for 3.5 cents each, plus a 7.5 percent tax-recovery charge. The bonus, at 100 percent, effectively halves that, to about 1.9 cents per mile.
The bonus applies to miles purchased for one’s own account or as a gift for another Dividend Miles member.
If you’re not already a Dividend Miles member, note the following: “Dividend Miles accounts less than 12 days old are not permitted to Buy, Share or Gift miles.”
Deal or No Deal
Since US Airways began offering buy-miles bonuses several years ago, the combination of increases in the price of miles and higher award prices has diminished the promotion’s potential value.
Nevertheless, purchasing discounted US Airways miles and redeeming them for premium-cabin international flights on Star Alliance airlines can still make for outsized return-on-investment opportunities.
While that business-class award ticket to Europe now costs 100,000 miles instead of 80,000, a paid business-class ticket on Lufthansa between Los Angeles and Frankfurt, for example, would cost $8,812 for mid-May travel. So in this case, you’d be buying a $8,812 ticket for $1,881, the price of 100,000 miles including the bonus.
Your mileage may vary, of course. And you’ll have to work around the capacity controls imposed on the award ticket. But done right, this promotion still delivers.
Another consideration: Looking ahead to the post-merger consolidation of the American and US Airways programs, any miles credited to a Dividend Miles account will eventually become American AAdvantage miles.
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