Several days ago I shared some details of the upcoming US Airways Grand Slam promotion which offers bonus miles for qualifying activities with their partners.
I had been afraid that only elites would be able to qualify for the traditional highest bonus of 100,000 miles, and also that that highest bonus would require more partner activity than in the past (40 rather than 36 ‘hits’). Instead it’s more or less the standard Grand Slam offer of 100,000 miles for 36 partner activities plus an extra opportunity for an additional 10,000 miles when hitting 40 activities, if you’re a US Airways elite member. Now, since various bonus point thresholds actually offer miles towards elite status, and the 10,000 miles towards elite status are now reserved at that 40 activity tier, it may make sense to some to shoot the moon. Especially since buying temporary ‘trial preferred status’ is itself a qualifying activity under the promotion.
One Mile at a Time is skeptical of the value of the promo. For folks who will spend $1500 or more amassing 36 activities to earn 100,000 miles, they’d do just as well and with less effort just buying miles under the US Airways 100% bonus for mileage purchases. (Buying miles is a qualifying activity under this promo as well…) His advice is that if you’re going to spend much more than $500 (I’d push it to $800 or so) then it’s not worth the effort, though I would point out that if you are already maxing out the 100% purchase miles promotions then you might want to take advantage of this on top of those purchase miles bonus offers.
Like Lucky, I am unlikely to go for the full bonus. Still, I will register to take advantage of the promotion and I will accumulate some partner activities and earn some bonus miles through my regular course of participating in the program. I’ll credit some rental cars to Dividend Miles, but I do that anyway, the 3 day Avis rental 3000 mile US Airways bonus is already compelling and this promo makes it even more so. I’ll find some cheapie qualifying activities (which I’ll share back here on this blog of course.) And I’ll find myself probably at 16 hits but not anywhere near 36 (or 40).
At the same time, and while I agree with the logic that there are cheaper and easier to earn US Airways miles than investing in this promotion, these sorts of promos are just fun — scavenger hunts finding the cheapie partner activities, tracking and waiting for them all to post, and earning a big bonus for your efforts. But they don’t make it easy, and I do like my easy…
I suppose since the promo hasn’t started yet I’ll just wait for some brilliant minds to map out the ‘100,000 bonus miles for $350 strategy’ and then perhaps I will go all-in!