US Airways is offering up to a 100% bonus on shared miles (miles transferred between accounts) between December 2 and December 6.
Don’t transfer points today (December 1) — wait until this promotion goes live.
You can earn up to 50,000 bonus miles with the offer, which should appear instantly with the transfer.
The cost for this is “$0.01 per mile plus a processing fee of $30 and a tax recovery charge of 7.5%” — transferring 50,000 miles from one account to another will deposit 100,000 in that account at a cost of $567.50.
Since that’s a net increase of 50,000 miles you’re buying miles at $0.01135 per mile. At that price I’m a buyer.
What I love about US Airways is awards in premium cabins on Star Alliance partner airlines, and a generally reasonable award chart — in some cases downright generous such as 90,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Hong Kong, and 110,000 miles roundtrip between the US and Australia or Africa. Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book Star Alliance awards.
What I don’t love about US Airways is that there are no one-way awards at half the cost of round trip, and no changes to an award ticket once travel has commenced. In addition, US Airways has had challenges ‘seeing’ some Lufthansa award space and even some ANA award space, my sense is that this is the result of a technical glitch that US Airways has not at all seemed eager to solve (“a feature not a bug”).
Since it’s now been nearly four years since they increased prices across the board on their award chart, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another round of increases — held in check by the impending American Airlines merger — in the near term I’d expect to see some harmonization of their award charts, generally in the upward direction (e.g. it wouldn’t surprise me to see US to North Asia in business class going from 90,000 miles to 110,000) and over time I’d expect to see awards become moderately more expensive still.
It’s still hard to go wrong at less than 1.2 cents apiece. So I intend to take advantage of this offer. This is a great way to buy miles in conjunction with a friend (you transfer to them and they back to you) as well as a great way to clean out orphan accounts.
Two caveats: Accounts need to be open for a dozen days to transfer, so you cannot open a new account to take advantage of this promotion. And transferring between two accounts in the same name is a recipe for an account audit.