US Big Bonus Holiday Offer is AMAZING, Get In On This One…

The US Airways Dividend Miles holiday shopping promotion (discussed here and here) is amazing.

It’s one of the best shopping promos I have ever seen. It offers the opportunity to buy miles at 7/10ths of a penny apiece using purchases from TrackItBack (which normally gives 40 miles per dollar but if you reach the 250% bonus level it earns 140 miles per dollar).

There have been some concerns, though, about whether you really earn 250% as bonus miles on top of the regular miles earned for shopping, for your first ten shopping transactions as long as you have transactions with five different merchants. There have been concerns about whether all of the merchants in the US Airways Dividend Miles mall count as separate partners for qualifying towards the 250% bonus or not. Essentially, the promotion seems too good to be true and some people don’t trust US Airways to honor what would seem to be on offer.

I’m all-in on this one, it’s seemed pretty clear to me from the start. But I’m even more confident now than before.

Someone whom I much trust reached out to US Airways (real folks at the mileage program, not the phone reps) to get clarification. And they gave me permission to relay what they learned:

For every different partner that Dividend Miles members shop that are listed on the promotion landing page (usairways.com/bigbonus) during the promotion period (11/23 – 12/30), members will be eligible for a bonus. The bonus is calculated on the number of DIFFERENT partners they shop with, up to 250% bonus on what the partner lists as their mileage offer.

For example: If you were to shop just at Bose during the promotion period, your bonus would be 50% more of their 1,500 offer, so 2,250 total miles. If you were shop at Bose, FTD and Macy’s, you be eligible for a 150% bonus on their offers.

To ensure that we have all mileage postings from our partners, we will run the process to post all bonus miles due to our members on March 1, 2010. What ever level of bonus that is due to members will be applied to the FIRST 10 transactions (If you shopped at iTunes 3 times, that counts as 3 transactions), based on the partner’s mileage posting timestamp, of transactions that occurred during the promotion period.

Also, each Dividend Miles Shopping Mall merchant WILL count as a different transaction, and are eligible for increasing a bonus level.

Basically, they learned this promotion will work exactly as it says it will work!

Make (4) partner transactions and TrackItBack and then you have 5 partner transactions. You’ll earn a 250% mileage bonus on top of the miles you normally earn from those merchants. Bingo. Time to go wild on this one, folks!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] The US Airways 2009 Holiday Big Bonus shopping promotion offered a 250% bonus on points earned through their shopping portal provided you made transactions with at least 5 different merchants (and the bonus applied to no more than 10 transactions). Track-it-Back was offering 40 miles per dollar for purchases. With the bonus that made 140 miles per dollar, roughly 7/10ths of a penny per point. If you donated the product to charity for a tax deduction, that would reduce your cost basis to half a cent per mile. […]

Comments

  1. What about the risk of TrackItBack collapsing or failing to deliver their end of the deal? They are the partner that is the clincher.

  2. For those who have already done the TrackItBack purchase, when are you buying from TIB? Are you waiting for your other purchases to post to US Airways, waiting a certain amount of time after your other purchases or doing something else?

  3. Gary,

    Are you concerned at all that this promo will have an impact on *alliance availability through US? That Lufthansa first award is mighty tempting.

  4. I’ve been researching the US Air 250% promo to see if it’s worthwhile.
    TIB is 7/10ths of mile, but Sharebuilder is 2/10ths of mile.
    So could I lower my costs to total of $185.95 & purchase 6 Sharebuilder accounts to qualify for 250% bonus (would 250% apply to all 6 accounts)…?
    This would give 70K miles for a biz tix to Hawaii.
    (To get 90K bix tix to Europe would be $335.95)
    I’ve opened multiple Sharebuilder accts b/4 at same time with Continental and was successful in past…

    Example:
    Omaha Steaks GC – $5 (free shipping) – 17 miles
    Barnes & Noble GC – $5 ($0.95 shipping) – 105 miles
    Sears GC – $5 (free shipping) – 35 miles
    Track It Back – $50 – 7,000 miles
    (or $200-28K miles for biz tix to Europe)
    Sharebuilder – $20 (to buy 1 share stock w/fee) – 10,500mi
    Sharebuilder – $20 (to buy 1 share stock w/fee) – 10,500mi
    Sharebuilder – $20 (to buy 1 share stock w/fee) – 10,500mi
    Sharebuilder – $20 (to buy 1 share stock w/fee) – 10,500mi
    Sharebuilder – $20 (to buy 1 share stock w/fee) – 10,500mi
    Sharebuilder – $20 (to buy 1 share stock w/fee) – 10,500mi

  5. thanks for the info. My trackitback $500 posted 20,000 milesafter one day. I’m thinking about another.

    Gary i think your plan to go all-in makes sense.

    If you think how many thousands of dollars per year you spend on airline tickets and spend some significant fraction of that on this promotion you will come out way ahead.

    Depletion of awards because of all these newly created miles is a problem (like the Treasury printing money to spend our way of the Great Recesion and devaluing the dollar).

    However I think that your average traveler is clueless about these promotions just as many polls show that many people can’t name the president. There is probably a hard core of perhaps tens of thousands who follow this compared to the millions of total travelers

  6. I looked at this and believe only ONE Sharebuilder Account will receive the bonus. After that 10500 miles for $4 you are stuck with TIB to get any big chunk of miles..

  7. Re: Sharebuilder. The T&Cs limit it to “one per unique customer or custodial beneficiary.” However, multiple bonuses can be credited to the same account, e.g. one account for you, one for your wife, one for each child, etc. I’ve successfully opened three accounts this way. However the bonuses post as separate transactions, so each one takes up one of your 10 partner slots.

  8. So, Gary, now that the shopping spree is pretty much over, what’s your thought on why US AIrways offered this generous promo? A few weeks earlier, we thought their buy/gift/transfer miles promo was a great deal, and then then come up with this… are they so desperate to sell miles to merchants that they are willing to throw tons of bonus miles at us? (from what I have read, the bonus miles come from US, not from the merchants). Or did they simply make a miscalculation and didn’t want to create ill-will by changing the promo after it was published?

  9. Is it necessary to buy stock on Sharebuilder? Or can one just leave transferred money (minimum?) in BDMXX MONEY MARKET CASH?

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