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The Best Holiday Shopping Bonus Takes Off

More frequent flyer miles for holiday shopping? You betcha!

Most retailers depend on Christmas sales to make the year a profitable one. And to ensure they get their fair share of consumers' business, many companies offer extra frequent flyer miles during the critical period between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

We've already reviewed mileage mall promotions from American, Delta, and United. But it turns out the best was yet to come. And from a somewhat unlikely source: US Airways.

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Through December 30, Dividend Miles members can earn up to 250 percent more miles for purchases made at more than 20 participating program partners, including FTD.com, Barnes & Noble, ShareBuilder, 21st Century Auto Insurance, Netflix, Bose, SkyMall, and the Dividend Miles Shopping Mall.

The size of the bonus depends on the number of different partners members shop at during the promotion period. Make a purchase at one partner to earn a 50 percent bonus; two partners for a 100 percent bonus; three for 150 percent; four for 200 percent; and five to earn a 250 percent bonus. The bonus applies to the first 10 purchases made during the promotion, so there's the potential to earn 250 percent more miles for a significant portion of your holiday purchases by mapping out a shopping plan that uses between five and 10 different stores, and maximizing the miles earned.

Registration is not required, but you must begin shopping using the links from US Airways' website.

Deal or No Deal

If used to optimal effect—purchasing from five different merchants to earn the full 250 percent bonus—this is superior to any other airline shopping promotion launched this year. So if you're already a US Airways partisan, it's definitely worth taking advantage of.

For those who participate in other programs, a great promotion in a different program is rarely sufficient reason to switch allegiance, even temporarily. That's the general rule, which follows from the overarching strategy: Find a program that works with your travel and shopping patterns, and stick with it.

On the other hand, if your holiday purchases, including the bonus, will generate enough miles to reach an award threshold in US Airways' program, it might be worth wearing a Dividend Miles hat through the end of the year.

In the spirit of giving and getting.

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