The US Airways Double Miles MasterCard Promotion Is Really Confusing

The offer I wrote about earlier today of double miles on flights if you pay with a MasterCard and double elite qualifying miles if you pay with a US Airways MasteCard is actually confusing rather than simple.

Or maybe I’ve just been thinking about it too much?

When I wrote the post it seemed so straightforward. You get double miles for paying by MasterCard for any US Airways flights booked at USAirways.com by October 31, for travel through the end of the year (provided you register).

But then I got my e-mail from US Airways, and as a co-branded credit card holder the marketing language didn’t even mention the double redeemable miles, just the status miles.

Here are the full terms and conditions, it sure seems to leave a lot to the imagination.

Registration is required. You must purchase a ticket on usairways.com September 17 – October 31, 2012 for travel September 17 – December 31, 2012. Use a valid MasterCard card to get double miles or use a valid US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard card to get double Preferred-qualifying miles on flight activity. US Airways will award miles 6 – 8 weeks after travel has been completed. All Dividend Miles terms and conditions apply. MasterCard and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated.

I’ve bolded the key phrase. But so much is left unsaid.

  • I assumed that if you pay with a US Airways MasterCard you get both double miles and double elite qualifying miles. But is that really the case? Could it really be one or the other? That would make little sense, that if you wanted the double redeemable miles you would need to put away your US Airways Mastercard?
  • I assumed that the offer only applies to US Airways flights, on US Airways aircraft, but the terms and conditions don’t actually say that. Would a codeshare flight count, as long as it’s booked on the US Airways website?
  • What happens to flights booked online at USAirways.com but later changed over the phone?

Sometimes the simplest explanation really does make the most sense, though. Am I reading too much into this?

I suspect that US Airways is going to have to add some meat to the terms and conditions of the offer, which is always a sticky thing to do after the offer has started.

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 Milepoint.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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Comments

  1. I interpret your bolded sentence as follows: Let’s say I fly one-way CLT-PHX (1774 miles). If I’m registered and I pay with any old Mastercard, I’m going to get 1774 PQM’s (as you normally would), plus an additional 1774 RDM’s, for a total of 3548 miles.

    If you use your DM Mastercard, you’re still going to get 3548 total miles, but all of them are going to be PQM’s.

  2. The condition OR is either one or the other. In computer science works like 1 0r 0. Not both.

    “or use a valid US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard card to get double Preferred-qualifying miles on flight activity” that is it. You will not get the previous part or the condition.

  3. I agree with @Andrew… regarding the actual earn options, it is not confusing. You either get 100% RDM with a normal MC or 100% PQM with us airways MC.

    Regarding your second point, you are right that it is murky. However I will probably interpret it as any flight you can book on usairways.com which includes codeshares.

    I also agree with your third point, but I doubt many people will run into that problem. If I were to guess, if your reservation was created on usairways.com with MC then you’ll get the double promotion regardless of what you do over the phone later. I believe this because from a technical stand point, it isn’t worth the effort (development) to track this.

  4. @Davisson They have clarified it in the modified T&C. You must travel on US Airways or US Airways express operated flights

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