US Airways 100% Bonus on Buying Miles is Back

by James Andrew Scott on March 15, 2012

in Deals, Tips, US Airways

This deal is an instant 50% bonus and then another 50% bonus  if you sign up for a Points.com account or if you’re already a member.  The latter 50% bonus posts to your account sometime before June 5, 2012.  With the 7.5% excise tax added the miles cost 1.88 cents each with the 100% bonus factored in.

Link to Purchase here. (FYI:  the much maligned US Airways site is living up to its reputation today. If you follow the menus to buy miles, you get an error page).

This deal makes the most sense if you plan to make international flights in business class.  US Airways has some very reasonable Star Alliance awards for trips to North Asia (China, Japan, etc.) for 90,000 points in business.  Chart here.  

I priced out a United flight from Washington (IAD to Tokyo (NRT) in October non-stop in Business class for $7,144.   With your miles cost basis at .0188, your cost  is $1,692 plus about $95 in taxes and a $50 award processing fee.  The total cost basis would be about $1837, making buying points in this instance a good deal, and saving you $5,307!  Or course, you’ll have to contend with finding availability.

Or fly to Europe for 60,000 miles in coach or 100,000 in business.  I priced out a ticket in June from Washington (IAD) to Paris (CGD) ($1,454 in economy, $5,650 in business).  Your cost basis would be $1128 + 87.50 in taxes + $50 awards fee = $1,266, a rather lean savings, that perhaps doesn’t make any sense.  In my mind, you might as well buy the ticket with cash and earn miles, rather than buy miles, save $180 and not earn thousands of miles flying to Europe and back.   Your savings are greater in business.  Your cost basis there is is $2,018 for a $3,633 savings.

US Airways has been increasing the cost per mile often over the past few years so they’re now 3.5 cents per.  A few years back they were 2.5 cents  Even with the 100% bonus the miles have become pricier, but if one factors in fare increases, perhaps it’s a wash.

If you’re not planning to use these miles soon, there’s no need to rush to take advantage of this offer.  US Airways runs these specials quite often.  Sometimes, they sell the miles at half-price, which has the same effect as a 100% bonus.

The Fine Print states:

The 50% bonus for purchasing miles will be awarded at the time the purchased miles are posted to your account. You must be a registered user of Points.com or join Points.com during the offer period to receive the additional 50% bonus. The additional 50% bonus will be awarded before June 5, 2012.

Any thoughts or reaction to the deal?   Feel free to share your comments with our readers.

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