Today is the final day to book US Airways awards (11:59PM CT today!) in the run up to the merging of the programs this Saturday, March 28. If you have had desires to book certain awards with your US Airway miles, today is the last chance! True, most of the awards that you may be interested in will be bookable when the accounts merge as AA miles, but there are some award opportunities that will be gone after today and you should lock those down before it is too late.
Last Day To Book US Airways Awards
5,000 Mile Discount
One of the features that I will miss is the ability to book awards on US Airways and, if you are a US Airway credit cardholder, receive a 5,000 mile discount for each award ticket. That meant 20,000 mile roundtrip tickets in the US and some pretty lucrative mileage rates for their off-peak calendar.
In its place, the US Airways credit card will now give a 10% rebate on miles used throughout the year (like the Citi AA Platinum card), although that is just up to the first 100,000 miles redeemed in a calendar year.
US to North Asia In First Class – Through Europe
Until they had changed some of the sweet spots, one of the best sweet spots with US Airways had been the 90,000 mile award to North Asia in business class. That meant it was 10,000 fewer miles than just business class to Europe, plus you could use the North Asia award to route through Europe! I received some tremendous value from this last year as I had to fly to Greece and tacked South Korea onto it for fun and to save 10,000 miles. 🙂
That being said, the award had changed from the 90,000 mile amount to 110,000 miles, putting business class as more of a thinker for a redemption and first class more reasonable. The reason is that it is only 120,000 miles to redeem that type of award in first class, a 10,000 mile increase over business. When we are talking that long-haul of a trip, 5,000 miles extra each way for first over business is a pretty incredible value.
So, if you want to book such an award (through Europe as a stopover – for a few days, or whatever you want), do it today. After today, that same award (without the stopover) will require 135,000 AA miles.
While American Airlines has a pretty nice off-peak award system as well (can you beat flying to Europe from October – May for 20,000 fewer miles per ticket?!), US Airways has some great off-peak awards as well that I have enjoyed taking advantage of. When combined with the 5,000 mile discount on the US Airways credit card, they can turn into big cost savers.
Want to fly to the Caribbean for only 20,000 miles a ticket (counting the 5K mile discount)? Book it today!
Want to fly to Europe for only 30,000 miles a ticket (counting the 5K mile discount)? Book it today!
Not Enough Miles? Transfer Bonus Ongoing!
Here is the problem – what if you want to make one of these bookings but you don’t have all the miles you need? Fortunately, US Airways is still running their transfer bonus option which, while not nearly as lucrative as in the past, could help you get there for less than you would spend otherwise. Today is the last day to take advantage of this discount for US Airways as well!
If you have a friend/family member with some miles in their account and they don’t mind transferring them to you, this is your last chance to top-up your account to take advantage of the US Airways award charts.
The end is near for the US Airways Dividend Miles program! While annoying many times, it has been a nice program to have access to. Still, it will be nice to see my AA account grow when the accounts are merged!
If you want some more detailed ideas of whether you should book awards today, check out this fantastic post over at One Mile At A Time about such awards and which program to use.