US Airways Credit Card Holders Get a 100% Bonus When Buying Miles

US Airways is running another targeted 100% buy (and gift) miles bonus offer, this time for their co-branded credit card holders. That allows you to buy miles at 1.88 cents apiece.

When you go to the purchase miles offer, you have to verify your account details.

Then if you’re eligible you’ll see:

Get 100% bonus miles when you buy miles

Use your US Airways MasterCard® or Visa® credit card to buy and you’ll get or give a 100% bonus – up to 50,000 miles.

The offer says ‘use your US Airways…card’ and indeed you not only need to be on record as having one (to be targeted for the offer), it appears as though the payments page will only give you the offer to pay with one.

I’ve not tested whether a different Visa or MasterCard will work if you selected one of the above choices, though I imagine they’re smart enough to validate the digits unique to a US Airways co-brand card.

Is This a Good Deal? If You Have a US Airways Credit Card, Should You Buy?

US Airways ran — both targeted and non-targeted — versions of the 100% purchase miles or share miles bonus for most of 2013. This airline has been the single most aggressive in selling miles, and at a price point lower than most other carriers offer their miles.

Of course, Star Alliance carrier Avianca’s LifeMiles program sells miles even cheaper a few times a year.

Here’s my guide to using US Airways miles to book awards.

US Airways has difficulty ‘seeing’ some partner award inventory, especially Lufthansa’s and especially intra-Europe though also transatlantic and also ANA space as well. That makes the miles a bit less valuable for redeeming Star Alliance awards.

My advice is to use this offer only to top off an account towards a specific award — and you can generally place awards on hold and then buy the miles, calling back to ticket the held reservation.

I wouldn’t buy miles speculatively at nearly 2 cents apiece. This purchase bonus offer is cheaper than American sells miles. US Airways should depart Star Alliance March 30 and enter oneworld on March 31.

But there’s also uncertainty about the US Airways award chart over the course of the next year, before US Airways miles become American AAdvantage miles (and indeed, some uncertainty about what changes will come to the AAdvantage award chart and rules once the carriers do fully integrate).

Make no mistake, they can still be a good deal, but not good enough in my view to stock up miles speculatively.

No Airfare Spending Bonuses for the Mileage Purchase

US Airways mileage purchases are processed by points.com which means they don’t show up as airfare, and thus don’t earn bonuses from credit cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred (double points) or American Express Premier Rewards Gold (triple points) that bonus airfare spend.

(HT: Loyalty Lobby)


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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Good advice about topping off. I recently bought 50,000 miles plus received a bonus of 50,000 which I used to top off my account. I was able to book a round trip to Asia in F which included ANA square and Thai A380. Total trip would have costed over $17K.

  2. Theoretically, after March 31st I should be able to use USAirways miles to redeem on OneWorld partners (such as Qantas) correct?
    If this is what I’d like to do, would it be a relatively safe bet to buy USAirways miles with this promo?

  3. i have 3 US air cards… all Mastercards… i didn’t even know there was an option to get them as Visa.

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