It’s interesting that US Airways has listed this on the web page for buying miles, presumably they’re going to be measuring whether an announcement of a future bonus reduces purchases that would otherwise be expected the last several days of this month. Still, odd, they’ve never announced this before. Perhaps they think drumming up advance interest will net them more than twice as many mileage purchases as the early announcement will lose them.
Last month US Airways raised the price of purchased miles for the second time in a year and a half. That, combined with the award chart bump of two years ago, means that buying an award ticket from the US to Europe in business class through mileage purchase is about 80% more expensive than it was in December 2009. I no longer buy US Airways miles speculatively.
However, if you need to top off your account, a 100% bonus (ie 50% discount) is great. And since US Airways allows you to put an award on hold without the needed miles in your account, you can set up an award and then and only then buy the miles (which usually post instantly), making this still strategically useful.
Me, I’m still hoping the price increase means that next year they test a 150% bonus… 🙂