Credit Cards Destinations Marathons

Best Marathon Options For a Single Credit Card Application

It has been a while since I have had a destination post, so I thought I would get back at it. I did want to give a little bit of an overview of some of the best options available to fly to with a single credit card application. I will mostly concentrate on international marathons since it is not only possible but typical to be able to get to any marathon city in America on the miles earned from a single app. I will expand the list as time goes on, but here are some of the best marathon options for a single credit card application.

US Airways

Thanks to off-peak awards with US Airways, you can fly from the US/Hawaii to Europe from January 15 – February 28 for 35,000 miles (30,000 miles if you have the US Airways Mastercard). You do have to fly US Airways metal (ie. no partner airlines), but that still gives you a lot of options.

Naples Marathon

Naples Marathon takes place in (obviously) Naples, Italy. The date is Januar 27, 2013. While US Airways does not fly directly to Naples, they do fly to Rome and it is only a little over a 2 hour drive from there. Dates for travel there on the off-peak flight options are quite plentiful for me from my home airport (obviously, your mileage may vary depending on your home airport, but chances are very good that you can find a nearby airport with good options).

US Airways Award Table

Availability to Rome, Italy (notice all of the off-peak availability)

The total comes to 35,000 miles (30,000 with the Mastercard) and $101 in taxes and fees. If you were to purchase the same exact ticket with cash instead of miles, you would pay exactly $1,000. That puts your effective award mile valuation at 3 cents per mile, which is really good for a coach fare (especially since that is what you would be paying to just get there without adding the value of flying in a premium cabin, such as business class).

Sevilla Marathon

Another European marathon in January/February is the Sevilla Marathon that takes place in Seville, Spain. Again, US Airways does not fly there directly, but they do fly to Madrid (4-5 hours away), Barcelona (10 hours away), and Lisbon (4 hours away). While driving distances like that in the States might not be all that appealing, doing it in a foreign country can be very enjoyable as you get to take your time and enjoy the various cities and the landscape as you make your way through. The Seville Marathon would likely take place on February 17, 2013 (no set date yet) and is actually one of the few marathons that can claim the distinction of ending in an Olympic Stadium!

Yet again, a search to Madrid from my home city shows 35,000 miles (or 30,000 with the US Airways Mastercard) and $92. Those same flights would cost you $848 if paid with cash. Again, a terrific value!

US Airways Off-Peak Awards

A View of the Availability of Off-Peak Awards to Madrid


For now, those are two of the more established and well-received European marathons that take place within the off-peak calendar of US Airways (it is called off-peak for a reason!). Now, what does it take to get there? One US Airways Mastercard application.

The US Airways Premier World Mastercard has the following perks:

  • 40,000 miles after 1st purchase
  • 10,000 bonus miles on each anniversary
  • Up to 10,000 bonus miles for a balance transfer in the first 90 days
  • Earn 10,000 miles towards Elite Status
  • Up to two $99 companion tickets each year
  • One US Airways club pass annually
  • Preferred check-in
  • Zone 2 boarding
  • Annual fee waived for the first year ($89)
So, this is a solid card. Many people have reported that they have been able to apply and receive the same card every 90 days (without canceling their existing cards)!
Click here to apply (I do not make any commission off of this card)
So, there you have it! This gives you some of the best marathon options for a single credit card application (for international travel with US Airways). Soon, we will look at some more options courtesy of American Airlines.



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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.