US Airways Leaving Star Alliance ; Joining OneWorld

Since US Airways and American Airlines have merged, it made sense for US Airways to join OneWorld, as no way would American Airlines leave OneWorld and join Star Alliance.  I’m not sure if this is good or bad right now, but in terms of miles, it could be a positive situation for us. The plan is that US Airways will have officially joined OneWorld by the start of 2014, which is not too far from now.

When United and Continental became one last year, we saw both mileage accounts merge eventually, and If history serves me right, we will see our US Airways Dividend Miles merge with any American Airlines AAdvantage miles we may have, thus creating a super pot of miles (if you have a lot in both of them), which could be redeemed for some superior trips in first or business class in any of the OneWorld carriers.  I recommend getting the US Airways MasterCard while you can, since they will end their relationship with Barclays.  Eventually, I am sure we will see a new card under the new merged airline.  The sucky part is they are leaving Star Alliance, which includes Thai Airways and Lufthansa, which have a great business class product on their A380 fleet. The cool part is, they are joining OneWorld, which has Malaysia Airlines, and they have a pretty cool First class product on their A380’s.  My favorite destination is Kuala Lumpur, so I am welcoming this move.  I also have racked up over 180,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles, and I have over 250,000 US Airways Dividend Miles, which brings my total to a whopping 400,000+ miles.  I even have time to accrue more, as I will apply for another Citibank AAdvantage MasterCard in my next upcoming churn. Hopefully, I will have enough miles to fly a family of 4 in business class to KL, so my daughters can swim with the fishes in Pulau Redang.

So now your asking: What should I do Oz? Well, the plan is simple ; rack up as many US Airways and American Airlines miles as you possibly can between now and the end of the year. Like most of my readers, you have no status, and you are an infrequent flier, so getting miles with credit card sign-ups is your best option.

So there you have it – some lucrative ways to rack up some major miles before the merger and even after the merger!! More than enough for a ticket to anywhere in the world- for FREE!

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1500 American Airline miles for 99¢..or US, UA, SW, DL

This morning, I found a thread over at SD explaining how to get 1500 American Airlines miles by subscribing to the New York Times Digital Subscription.  This greatly interested me, because I had canceled my Citibank AAdvantage Visa card earlier, to avoid the annual fee, and needed a way to deposit some miles into my AAdvantage account, so this will reset the expiration clock.  Some airline miles do expire, and depending on which program you are actively participating, it helps to accrue miles in the program every now and then. This deal is pretty sweet: a 4 week New York Times online digital subscription for only 99¢! You can cancel after the 120 days, and keep the miles, and you will have paid only 99¢.  If you were to buy those miles straight out, you will have paid about $70.00.

Save Your Miles from Expiring

This is a great opportunity also to save your airline miles from expiring, without having to actually take a trip and spend hundreds of dollars on an airline ticket.  Using this will be an opportunity to credit your account with 950 – 1500 miles, for under a buck! I urge you to take this opportunity.  Remember, you can always cancel and keep the miles by calling 877-698-5635 and change your subscription.

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US Airways and American Airlines Merger – What Now?

The mileage community is on a buzz with this mornings news ; US Airways and American Airlines are merging!  Although the rumor has been idling in the back burner for some time, the official words are now coming from both companies.  I received two emails this morning from American Airlines and US Airways talking about how great its going to be.  They make it sound like a marriage between two rich 18 yr olds, who plan on serving caviar and Mountain Dew at the reception.

They will be operating under the American Airlines name, and will be a part of OneWorld, instead of Star Alliance.  What this means, is if you have US Airways miles, you may soon be able to redeem them on American Airlines, and any of the OneWorld carriers.  I think the part I will miss about this, the fact it was so easy to redeem for ridiculous routing rules on US Airways, since their agents had the geography skills of 2nd graders.  Of course, nothing is set in stone yet, and like any corporate mergers, there will be casualties.  Although there is no official word on routing specifics and what rules will change, if any. I am confident change is coming, and at times, the rug will be pulled from under our feet.

So What Does This Mean to Me?

In terms of credit card mileage bonuses, I recommend you get the US Airways MasterCard 40,000 miles after first spend offer soon, before it’s gone.  The card is issued by Barclays, and is pretty easy to get.  Bear in mind the Citibank American Airlines VISA and American Express cards are also out there, and with the merger, this all could change.  They aren’t going to disappear tommorow or even next week, or even a month from now….but they will change, for sure.  I’m guessing though, that Citibank will be the card provider for the American Airlines credit cards, and not Barclays.  These points will eventually be combined into your AAdvantage account.  If you don’t have an American Airlines AAdvantage account, go sign up soon. Its free.  Pick up as many miles as you can, with the offers they have out there.  This includes NetFlix, FTD Flowers, AVIS, etc..etc.  Technically, when it’s all said and done, they will offer new credit cards, under the new banner, and new offers, which YOU will qualify for since its a new product!  Even if you received miles before, you will then be able to apply for the new credit cards and get the bonuses.  I know from experience this was the case for me when United merged with Continental and the America West/ US Airways merger.  I got over 100,000 miles, just from two credit card sign-ups!!

Like the Continental Airlines and United Airlines merger last year, they were both operating independently for sometime, and eventually all systems became one.  This is going to be the same way I predict.  Expect a full union by the end of the third quarter 2013, as stated by the email.

What do you think about all this? Please comment.

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100% Bonus Miles from US Airways on Purchased Miles!

From now until the end of the month, US Airways is offering a 100% bonus on ALL purchased miles.  Why is this a great deal? Because if you do this correctly, you could buy a Business class ticket to Europe for around $1,770.  It costs 100,000 miles for a business class ticket on US Airways.  Meaning you buy 50,000 miles, and you get the bonus.  I know this sounds like a lot of money, and it is.  However, if you look at the value this has, you will see why it’s a good deal.  Is it for everyone? I would say no, simply because paying this much for an airline ticket is outrageous.  However, you are getting an executive class ticket for cheap.  Let’s examine where it does have value, and if you should buy these miles to help you on your next trip.  First of all, US Airways is the slut of the skies.  Their award chart(s) are extremely undervalued, and it’s a matter of time before they raise their redemption rates….so take advantage of them.  Their agents are versed in world geography, and I think 2nd grade students are teaching them.  For some reason, they think Dubai is in African, and that Addis Ababa is a made up word. Booking with them takes a whole day of annual leave from work, unfortunately.  That is the subject of another post, for a future date.  Back  to buying US Airways miles.  Below is how much a ticket costs from Los Angeles to Paris (LAX – CDG) for the month of June.  I used some sample dates, just to prove my points.  Now, that’s pretty expensive! For two people, you are looking at well over $10,000!!! OUCH! That leaves no money for a croissant, or a tour of the Eiffel Tower.  However, buying miles can be a economical way to score executive class tickets to Europe. For summer travel, sometimes the tickets hover around $1,000 – $2,000….and that’s in coach!!

L.A. to Paris

Bear in mind, that you do not have to fly US Airways to get to Europe.  You can use one of their partners, and since US Airways is (still) a Star Alliance partner, you can book the flights on Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, United, Thai Airways, and the list goes on and on.  Also, I used this sample route to prove my point.  The miles can be used, of course, to book ANY flight through US Airways, as long as their is availability.  I personally did this a couple years back using my Capital One Venture points to pay for it.  I got a FREE business class ticket out of it to the Middle East.  (The purchased + bonus miles + Barclays US Airways Master Card 40,000 miles after first spend).

If you don’t have a US Airways Dividend Miles account, sign up now at www.usairways.com. Its FREE, and it will qualify you to do this.  You cannot participate in this if you do not have an account open for at least 12 days. Its still early, and you have a chance to get in on this offer, as it does not appear to be targeted.

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