Up to 100% Bonus for US Airways Shopping Portal Purchases

I believe that Pizza in Motion was the first to highlight that US Airways is offering a bonus on shopping portal transactions of up to 100% through June 23rd. The more transactions the bigger the bonus, up to a 100%, bonusing up to 12 transactions. Registration required.

Here’s the earning chart:

And here are the partners for which transactions are eligible to earn a bonus:

  • Teleflora: Earn 15 miles per $1 spent
  • 1800Flowers: Earn 25 miles per $1 spent
  • FedEx: 250 miles for first shipment & earn 1 mile per $1 spent
  • Dividend MilesDining
  • Vinesse: 5,000 miles when you sign up (first shipment is 6 wines @ $6.99 per bottle)
  • Wine Insiders: 1,000 bonus miles for $7.99 wines & 1 cent shipping
  • FTD: Earn 15 miles per $1 spent
  • Skymall: 10 miles per $1 spent

In addition, Dividend Miles StoreFront purchases are eligible if they are for at least $50.

Bonus miles for this offer won’t be posted until September 8.

How Much Potential is There in This Offer?

In 2009 the holiday shopping promotion allowed you to earn up to a 250% percent bonus provided you made at least five transactions (but the bonus would apply to no more than 10 transactions). Track-it-back was offering 40 miles per dollar so with the promotion that meant earning 140 miles per dollar, or buying miles at just over 7/10ths of a cent apiece.

The best you will do here with this promotion is 60 points per dollar with Webroot, the Dividend Miles storefront lets you sort by earning rates and that’s the one that comes out on top.

Here are the StoreFront offers that are 10 miles are more per dollar before the bonus.

You can also earn up to 50 points per dollar on flowers, which is a great earn rate (and better than buying miles, though only Webroot is better than buying miles with a 100% purchase bonus).

Vanessa has truly awful wines, in my experience, but a 100% bonus on the usual 5000 miles makes it worth signing up … grabbing the 6 bottles at $6.99 apiece… and cancelling (without drinking any).

The only way to truly game the offer though is to find high points-yielding items that you can resell to recoup much of your purchase price. The offer isn’t worth it for the miles-earning alone, to make purchases you don’t otherwise need.

The Big Limitations of the $50 Rule for StoreFront Purchases

At loyalty conferences there’s been a backlash against the “gamification” of programs and you can certainly see US Airways taking steps to cut down on the ability to have the kinds of fun scavenger hunt sorts of activities that many of us used to. With the 2011 Grand Slam there were minimum amounts of miles you had to transfer in from hotel programs to get credit. And with this offer there’s a $50 minimum purchase in order for the activity to count.

With the 2009 holiday shopping promotion it was a game to figure out how little you could spend on your four ‘other’ activities besides buying track-it-back stickers. All of the folks I helped with the promotion made a $2 donation towards the planting of a tree, for instance. Home Depot wall paper samples (less than $1) didn’t credit reliably enough.

Here it’s only going to be ‘real purchases’ that help you get to the 100% bonus level.

How to Use This Offer

Registration is required, so register.

And then recognize that during the promotion period the US Airways shopping portal will be better than many other portals you might use, though it’s still worth comparing with others like the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall and the American AAdvantage eShopping mall (using a site like EV Reward) — sometimes those will offer twice as many points as the US Airways portal without any promo at all.

Although when the earn rates are close it may make sense to use the US Airways portal to increase chances of hitting the 100% bonus.

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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Comments

  1. I already have my plan in my mind will put it on paper and I will be getting plenty of miles Yippeeee…

  2. The way I read the T&C, it looks like only purchases 10, 11, and 12 earn double miles. All previous purchases earn fewer bonus miles. I could be wrong, but it seems to be spelled out that way. There would still be ways to game this if US Airways had good portal offers for certain merchants (think Staples, Sears, Best Buy,…), but I’m not seeing anything good

  3. I’d say this is one of the most ambiguously drafted promotions ever.

    (1) As Frequent Miler notes, do only the 10th through 12th qualifying transactions earn 100%? Does this eactually mean that a 13th purchase earns NO additional points??

    (2) Do $50+ purchases from non-participating partners count toward increasing the bonus level upon which bonus miles for participating partners are awarded?

    (3) How does Vinesse’s 6 bottles of plonq wine at $6.99 a bottle ($41.94) qualify at all?

    Hopefully someone with better writing skills will edit this promotion.

  4. You’re better off buying two (or three) buck chuck at Trader Joes and just buying the miles surely…

  5. Assuming that you can make multiple purchases via one partner, and that in the case of Dividend Miles Dining, you can buy from the same restaurant multiple times, you can probably game your way up to the 100% bonus pretty easily.

    At least in my area, Burger King is a DM Dining participant. Meaning that in theory I can go buy $1 in food at BK nine times (maybe doing it once per day for nine days in a row, to be extra safe), waiting for the credits to post, then teeing off on Webroot and/or other high-earning offers for the next 3 transactions.

  6. @ justin, indeed, DM dining can score easy hits, but there is a $50 minimum, and it is ambiguous how that would be applied to DM hits.

  7. I read the $50 limit to only apply to the DM StoreFront purchases, but US Airways’ T&Cs are clear as mud.

  8. This is easy, folks. Buy one Coke nine separate times at the closest Dining partner near you. Your next three transactions – Webroot, 1800Flowers, or otherwise – are all at the 100% bonus. Do this and there’s no need to worry about all the issues pondered above!

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