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For the month of March, US Airways is having a “Mystery Bonus” event where the number of bonus miles you’ll receive when purchasing miles differs for each account. From what I’ve read, people are receiving between a 25% to 100% bonus – I personally was targeted for the 75% bonus offer. Since US Airways runs 100% bonus miles offers quite often (unless they are changing that going forward), I would ONLY recommend purchasing miles IF you were targeted for the 100% offer, or if you desperately need the miles right now and purchasing the miles is cheaper than buying the ticket at the current cost.
This current offer lasts until March 31, 2013 and is maxed at purchasing 50,000 miles per account. For the purpose of this post, I did the math for the 100% offer since that is really the only offer I’d recommend buying miles at.
Should you take advantage of this promotion?
While there is no cut and dry answer, this promotion could be great for some of you. Those who primarily redeem for domestic travel will most likely not see the value, but for those that desire business and first class on international flights, this could be a great deal!
Typically, miles are sold for $0.035, but with this promotion you can think of each mile costing $0.0175. If you go all in, the 100,000 miles will cost you $1,881.25. These 100,000 miles can be used for a round-trip business class ticket from the US to Europe. Purchasing this ticket will typically cost you at least $3,000 (on the super conservative side). Remember though, you will not earn miles when redeeming, so there is that opportunity cost as well.
You can check out the US Airways award chart here to see the number of miles needed for each route. Also remember that if you have the US Airways branded credit card you’ll get 5,000 miles off your round-trip flight. Award seats are capacity controlled, so just make sure to look up seat availability prior to purchasing any points.
I actually have yet to purchase US Airways miles during this promotion, as I am up to my ears with American miles that I still need to redeem. I personally do not like buying miles speculatively without a specific redemption award in mind (unless I can purchase them for really really cheap!). This promotion seems to appear at least every other month, so if you have no immediate need, you can always hold off till the next time the promotion runs (assuming it will).
While it has not yet been announced, hopefully US Airways miles will eventually be able to transferred to American miles, and if so these purchased miles will help you on an AA/OneWorld Alliance flight.
You can purchase miles here.