My father called over the weekend and mentioned that he and my mother were interested in taking a trip to Italy this summer. He was looking at spending about $1250 for a coach ticket – he had called to ask if there was anything mileagewise that could help him.
He and my mother each had about 42,000 miles in US Airways from the US Airways credit card I had recommended to them (that’s not an affiliate link). Note here: just about everyone should get that card because you’ll get 40,000 miles after the first purchase with the first year fee waived. You really never know when those miles will come in handy.
Which brings me to the point of this story: for 100,000 miles they could each get a business class ticket to Europe. US Airways is running a 100% bonus promo when you purchase miles through June 30th. I’ve suggested they each buy 58,000 miles, costing them about $1,015 per ticket (roughly $.0175/mile).
I think it’s not a great strategy to purchase those miles in advance of a trip you may be taking (ie, just to stock up on miles at that price), but they’ll each fly business class now to Europe for $1,015 plus 40k miles, rather than spending $1250 on a coach ticket. I think that’s a great use of miles and a smart use of that US Airways promo.
I used to think there was really no good reason to purchase large blocks of miles, even at 50% off. However, I’m revising my advice: there are a handful of scenarios where I think it’s smart, and buying miles to get business class instead of paying the same amount for coach seems like a smart strategy.
Just a thought…