If you've read some of my other articles, you're well aware that I love US Airways Dividend Miles program. They have some of the best "sweet spots" of any award program out there. Particularly good are the 90,000 mile business class awards from North America to North Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc) and a few other interesting awards that I've gone into quite a bit of detail.
Very recently, they've released their most generous offer of the year: You can share up to 50,000 miles with another Dividend Miles account holder and they will receive a 100% bonus in miles. Taking into account all of the taxes and charges, this basically comes out to 1.13 cents per mile. Looking at the above 90,000 mile redemption, this would be roughly $1,017 for a business class ticket to North Asia, compared to the fares regularly in the $3,000-$4,000 range. Even coach tickets can easily cost more than $1,000 for these fares. Needless to say, this is a fantastic deal.
There are a couple of ways to play this:
1. If you don't have any US Airways miles, you can easily transfer Starpoints into Dividend Miles. With the 25% bonus on all transfers of 20,000 mile increments, 40,000 Starpoints becomes 50,000 Dividend miles. Then, you would either set up another account, or find a trusted friend/relative with an account and send the 50,000 miles to their account. You'd be left with 0 miles in your account, and your friend would have 100,000 dividend miles courtesy of the 100% bonus. Total cost would be $567.50 + 40,000 Starpoints.
2. If you want to score multiple awards from this promotion, you'd take a 1-2-3 tack to this. Person 1 would transfer 50,000 miles – either through transferring in Starpoints or existing miles – to Person 2 who has no miles in their account. Person 2 would go from having 0 miles to 100,000 miles because of the transfer bonus. Then Person 2 would share 50,000 miles with Person 3, halving their account total and finally complete the cycle by transferring back 50,000 miles to Person 1. So after this, Person 2 would be left with no miles and Person 1 and Person 3 would have 100,000 miles each in their accounts.
This "daisy chain" is very useful, because 50,000 miles really doesn't get you anything except coach fares and domestic business, and it's always my goal to get expensive international flights in premium cabins. Going all in on this would generate 150,000 additional miles for just over $1700, but with two accounts at 100,000 mile balances, this would allow you to get two business class flights to either North Asia or Europe. Those flights would be $4000-$5000 at a minimum, and using some creative routes, could very well be over $10,000 at normal retail rates.
This is a great deal from US Airways, and I'd strongly recommend to anyone to invest a little bit of time and money into getting outsized value from these awards.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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