US Airways has been on a promotional tear.
Currently, it’s offering a 1,500-mile sign-up bonus for new Dividend Miles members.
And it’s doubling the miles for all US Airways flights competed between April 13 and June 15.
It cut the price to transfer miles to other Dividend Miles members through May 31.
And on three separate recent occasions, US Airways effectively halved the price to purchase miles.
The latest addition to the list: a bonus for doing business with US Airways’ rental car and hotel partners.
Between May 24 and July 31, Dividend Miles members will earn 50 percent more miles for transactions with all rental car and hotel partners, including hotel points transfers.
To earn the bonus, program members must choose to earn Dividend Miles from the partner when making reservations, checking in, or when requesting points transfers.
Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
It’s hard to argue with a substantial bonus. It applies to rentals, stays, and transfers at all of US Airways’ many car and hotel partners. And it’s in effect for more than two months. All good.
The issue raised by this, and all US Airways’ aggressive efforts to boost mileage-earning, is the reward side of the program. No matter how generous the offer, miles are only worth earning if they’re readily redeemable for free flights. So, just how redeemable are US Airways miles?
A recent Idea Works report on award availability found that US Airways miles could only be successfully redeemed 10.7 percent of the time—the worst performance of all the U.S. programs surveyed.
You may be able to do better, by booking by phone instead of online, or by using miles for free flights on US Airways’ airline partners instead of on US Airways’ own flights. Or not.
Bottom line: Look before you leap.
Reader Reality Check
The elephant in this room is the usability of US Airways miles. If you’re a Dividend Miles member, how difficult have you found it to book award flights?
Do you agree that US Airways is the stingiest airline when it comes to frequent flyer awards?