The February issue of Inside Flyer predicts (subscription required) that the combination of USAirways and America West will allow you to combine your miles in the two programs in “late March or early April.”
Readers of this blog know better. As I mentioned last month, you can combine the miles in your accounts now on a self-service basis using Points.com.
Points transfer between USAirways and America West on a 1:1 basis at no cost. Transfers from America West to USAirways appear to complete in real-time. Having tested it the other way as well, it looks like transfers from USAirways to America West take somewhat longer.
This method will let you combine points to top off for an award, or even move all your miles from one account to the other to take advantage of current partnerships that the other program has or to take advantage of the other program’s award chart.
Best of all, you can even use Points.com to move your points back if you change your mind (bearing in mind that going from USAirways to America West doesn’t seem to happen real time).
It used to be that points could only be moved out of a USAirways account if you had a USAirways co-branded credit card. These America West transfers are an exception. And using Points.com usually means devaluation, again these transfers are an exception. And best of all it’s free.
Of course, USAirways and America West will be trying to combine accounts in a few months on their own, and where they aren’t able to figure out which accounts match (perhaps due to slight variations in name or different addresse) they’re certainly be able to handle it for you. But in the meantime your best bet is do-it-yourself.