US Airways 50% Bonus for Shared (Transferred) Miles in April

US Airways usually offers a bonus of some sort for shared miles or purchased miles. When they run a 100% bonus on purchased miles the cost to buy miles directly is 1.87 cents apiece, something that many consider.

Their best offer is a 100% bonus on sharing miles — transferring miles from one account to another, with the amount of miles transferred being matched by the same number of additional miles. That lets you buy additional miles at just a penny apiece.

April’s offer isn’t as good as either one, but will be strategically useful to some that need to top off an account towards an award or clear out an orphan account with just a few miles in it.

Limited time offer: Give a 50% bonus when you Share Miles!
Share miles from from April 1 to April 30, 2013 and your friend or family member will get 50% MORE in bonus miles — up to 25,000 miles.

Transferring miles costs a penny per mile. And they give you a 50% bonus. Which means if all you’re looking at is the cost to generate new miles, the price is 2 cents per mile. For instance,

  • Transferring 1000 miles generates 500 bonus miles at a cost of $10
  • Transferring 50,000 miles generates 25,000 bonus miles at a cost of $500

Then you have to add a $30 processing fee per transaction, which makes the per-mile cost higher (and much higher on small transactions since you don’t have as many miles to spread that fixed cost across).

Update: There is also 7.5% tax. Somehow I had thought that transferring miles didn’t incur tax, only purchases, but perhaps because they are adding miles to your account the transaction is treated as a purchase. So a $500 fee to transfer 50,000 miles incurs both the $30 processing fee and 7.5% tax so a total cost of $567.50, not $530 as I had originally been thinking.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’ve been waiting for a transfer bonus to move some orphaned miles from an account I set up during “the great Grand Slam push” — not many there, but I kept them alive.
    Would you go ahead and move them now OR wait to see if the bonus goes up?
    Given the transfer fee and cost, it only makes sense to do it while there is a transfer bonus, and my concern is that the AA merger means a 100% transfer bonus may not be coming.

  2. I had my wife get a US Air MasterCard with the 40,000 points intro after a quick qualifying spend 2 months ago. Today we transferred that to my account under the 50% shared mile bonus. Since she doesn’t travel except on my points, the 60,000 point transfer (including bonus) to me really only cost slightly less than .01 per mile including the tax and processing fee. My math maybe a stretch for some of you, but considering the cost of her 40,000 points, it was worth the almost one cent per mile to add 60,000 to my balance.

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