US Airways keeps raising the price on buying or transferring miles. It used to be that 100% bonuses were plentiful, and you could buy them outright for as little as 1.4 cents per mile. Consider that off-peak business class travel between the U.S. and Europe is only 60K miles then subtract the 5K discount you get for holding a Barclays US Airways credit card. 55K x 1.4 cents each is only $770 for a business class ticket to Europe! But sadly, no more.
The current offer for the month of July allows you to transfer miles between accounts with a 50% bonus when you transfer between 40K and 50K miles (lower bonuses for smaller transfers). If you were to transfer 40K miles, this costs $400 and you get a 20K bonus. So you are essentially buying miles for 2 cents each. And don’t forget the $30 processing fee and 7.5% tax that you have to add on to every order anyway.
Not the greatest deal in the world, but if you need to consolidate points between your accounts anyway, it might be a good idea. Too bad the cap on the transfer size prevents you from sending them back and forth to gradually build up your balance. The T&C also say it’s only good for your FIRST transaction as either a sender or recipient.
Megan and I both have US Airways credit cards with about 50K balances. I’m hopeful that with the US Airways Grand Slam coming up (pretty please?) that we will have an opportunity to increase those balances significantly and through cheaper means.
What do you think, is US Airways finally opening up to the realization that it can’t sell its miles for almost nothing? You could argue that 2 cents a mile is still a good deal. That makes an off-peak business class fare only $1,100 at 55K miles assuming you have the credit card. Still, I hope that we see some better deals to buy miles later this year as the fall and winter slow seasons approach.
If you’re interested in getting a US Airways card, take a look at my airline credit cards page. I get no commission for this card, but I do think it’s the best offer out there, with a 40K sign up bonus, first year’s fee waived, and 10K annual anniversary bonus.