US Airways and their lucrative credit cards offer some of the best award redemptions through an airline. Since they’re leaving the Star Alliance for Oneworld, this article focuses on what award redemptions you can book AFTER they leave on March 31, 2014.
The latter section of the article focuses on how to get the miles with the US Airways credit card. It offers a great start up bonus and up to 2 miles per $1 on US Airways flight bookings.
The Best Award Redemptions from US Airways
Each of these flights uses US Airways points, whether transferring them to a partner or converting them to another program. The seats are great, but sometimes, not found easily. They should all be booked after the March 31st merger to avoid any issues transferring points.
1. Middle East: Fly on Qatar in Superior Business Class
Qatar has amazing business class seats if you’re flying to the Middle East and great award availability. They have excellent service and comfortable full bed seats if you’re going on a long flight. You’ll have to wait to book this until after March 31st because of the merger but it’ll be worth it.
You can call (877) 777-2827 to schedule your trip for between 120,000-350,000 US Airways miles in Envoy class transferred to Qatar. The amount of miles depends on the time of the year; whether it’s peak or off-peak.
2. Asia: Cathay Pacific First Class Premium Cabins
These cabins are at the top of every frequent flyer’s dream list and boast the comfort and class you’d expect of a first class premium cabin. On some flights, they offer caviar and champagne service with the accompaniment of a full bed. A private oasis for a long flight is much more soothing than a baby crying behind your left ear.
If you want to book this trip, call 1 (800) 233- 2742 and use between 90,000-325,000 US Airways miles depending on the season. Another great way to get a Cathay First Class Premium Cabin is with Chase Ultimate Rewards for only 67,500 points.
3. Australia and New Zealand: Qantas Economy Awards
A good trip down under can be caught at an out-of-this world price for coach plus the award space is plentiful. If you’re looking for business or first class, the award space is a little more difficult to find but the seats are luxurious. Qantas offers a deluxe full bed and cabin for those flying in first class on that long, grueling flight.
If you can find a seat, book it immediately by calling 1 (800) 227-4500 and transferring US Airways miles to Qantas. For 64,000 miles you can fly in economy one-way to Sydney and for 287,000 miles for first class to Sydney.
4. 90,000 Mile Trips with Time for Sightseeing: New York to Brussels to Vienna to Tokyo to Istanbul to Warsaw to Chicago
There are some points gurus who can fly around the world on 90,000 miles. One guy managed to fly from New York all the way around the world and back to Chicago for only 90,000 miles. Should we all be so lucky. It’s possible to book trips like these because of the valuable rewards US Airways gives you towards trips to Asia. If you book a trip by hopping from one city to another to an Asian city, you can really bank on an excellent trip. He also flew the entire trip in business class sipping cold drinks and enjoying a comfy seat.
You have to book at the right times though by calling 1 (800) 428-4322, convert points, and make sure that you have time to catch all your flights with the time changes.
5. 90,000 Mile Trips with Downtime to Rest and Visit Cities: Seattle to Frankfurt to Nice/Zurich to Vienna to Tokyo to Taipei to San Francisco
Here is another example of a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you can get in business class for 90,000 miles and a call to 1 (800) 428-4322. This is the same traveler who took the other two 90,000 mile trips on this list and he even got to go sightseeing this time.
The way you book the trip, as long as you can fly out after a day or so, you can manage to get the trip booked all on the same ticket for 90,000 miles. Quite the steal for a day in Frankfurt and Tokyo.
6. 90,000 Mile Trips Around the World in Three Days: Chicago to Charlotte to Paris to Beijing to Tokyo to Taipei to Los Angeles
Flying to Asia again is a superb way to fly around the world. It lets you see many different cities while saving money and miles. This 90,000 mile trip allowed the traveler a day in Paris and Beijing as well as some downtime to catch some rest at a hotel rather than on the plane. He still flew business class and enjoyed a great seat while flying over millions of cities.
Call the same number mentioned above (1 (800) 428-4322) to schedule your trip.
US Airways Credit Card Review: The Best Way to Receive US Airways Award Points
The best way to earn US Airways miles is to use the US Airways credit card. It’s issued by Barclays, which has excellent customer service, and you can receive companion tickets every year when you purchase their ticket with your US Airways credit card.
You receive bonus miles, discounts, initial bonuses and APR reductions, and exemplary check-in services. If you want to fly for free and in first class on US Airways, you need to get the credit card.
Current Sign-up Bonuses and Rewards Rates:
- US Airways Premier World MasterCard: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on US Airways purchases. All other purchases are at a 1:1 ratio and you receive Zone 2 boarding and First Class check-in. Redeem flights for 5,000 fewer miles and an annual companion ticket good for up to 2 companion tickets at $99 each (plus taxes and fees) is also available.
- US Airways World Master Card: Earn 25,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and you earn 1 mile for every $1 you spent on US Airways Purchases. You can redeem flights for 5,000 fewer miles and an annual companion ticket good for one companion ticket at $149 (plus taxes and fees) is available.
- US Airways BusinessCard: Earn 25,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and earn 2 miles for every $1 you spend on US Airways purchases. You will receive a complimentary US Airways Club day pass and additional cards for employees are available to allow you to earn more rewards.
*Important to note: You must have good credit to get the bonus miles for your first purchase
Magnificent Aspects of the US Airways Credit Card
1. 40,000 Introductory Bonus Miles
When you sign up for the US Airways credit card, you earn 30,000 miles after your first purchase and can earn 10,000 extra bonus miles by transferring a balance to this card. With these initial 40,000 miles, you can fly round-trip for free. It’s one of the best and largest amounts of miles for a travel credit card you can find.
2. 2x miles per dollar spent on US Airways flights
This is pretty simple. If you buy a $300 US Airways plane ticket, you’ll receive 600 miles. Any airline purchases you make will double your miles so using this card while you’re traveling is a great way to earn another free trip.
3. 1x mile per dollar spent on everything else
Gas, groceries, gifts, goggles, galoshes. You get 1 mile per $1 spent on anything you buy. Not only are you getting twice the miles on US Airways trips, but all of your other purchases are matched at a 1:1 ratio.
This is not the best bonus, considering most all points card offer this, so for ever day spending you’re better off with another card that offers a multiple.
4. Flights can be redeemed for 5,000 less miles
One of the best benefits of this card are the travel discounts. When the time comes for you to redeem your miles for an award ticket, you can get a 5,000-mile discount. That means that trip to the Bahamas comes quicker and for less money. The cheapest trips start at 20,000 miles, which means you can get them starting at 15,000 miles.
5. Receive 2 round-trip companion tickets per year
With the US Airways credit card, you receive 2 round-trip companion tickets per year, which means you only pay $99 plus taxes and fees per ticket. There are some little things to remember though: the ticket isn’t exactly free (it costs $99 plus taxes and fees as stated above), you have to buy a ticket of at least $250 to get the companion ticket, and this is a promotional offer, which means it may change without notice.
Great for domestic travel, and for those people who aren’t planning any International trips, though how can you resist these first class cabins?
6. Complimentary Day Pass to US Airways Club
This allows you to hang out in a comfy chair while the rest of the airport searches for a seat that they can sit in during their layover. It’s valid at any US Airways Club and it’s great to have a place to hang out if you’re stuck at an airport for a few hours.
This is worth about $95, and essentially offsets the annual fee on this card.
7. First Class check-in with Zone 2 priority boarding
First class check-in allows you to skip all the long lines and, if you’re daring, get to the airport less than 2 hours before your flight. There have been many times where economy lines go out through the airport entrance whereas the first class line is empty. With Zone 2 priority boarding, you also get to skip the lines but in a different way.
You don’t have to stand awkwardly in the middle of the plane while other people try to figure out where to put their stuff. Zone 2 allows you to find your seat and settle in while also having a place to stow your bag. On overcrowded flights, many times they’ll ask you to check your bag at the gate because all of the overhead space is filled. As someone who boarded in Zone 2 though, you won’t have that problem.
8. The miles don’t expire if you transfer them
When you think your miles are about to expire, transfer them to a partner organization to keep them active. You can always move them back to US Airways but you don’t lose them if you move them around. You can also buy a small amount of merchandise on the online store to keep the miles active but not lose too many total miles.
We do get paid if you join through our link, so if you enjoyed this article, we thank you for using our link.
Get The Best of Reserve First Class
Join our newsletter and get a daily update of everything First Class travel.