Is US Airways credit card a ripoff?

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:57 pm

Really? A bunch of one-post ghosts backing up the conventional wisdom?

The US Airways MasterCard gives away it's bonuses on the first purchase. It also gives you a 10,000 mile bonus every year, which transfer to your US account before the annual fee posts to your statement. Translated: you can cancel the card, not pay the fee, but keep the extra miles. And, you can churn it. Barclays doesn't appear to have a cap on the number of US cars you can get. Snag a 35k deal every 6 months or so, pocket the 10k bonus points and you're golden. You can probably get at least two applications in before the card disappears due to the US/AA merger. That's 90k miles. (90k becomes important in just a second.)

And, even though US itself may have few award seats available, the program allows you to book almost any available Star Alliance award seat. You're not stuck on US metal. You're also not stuck trying to find "saver" award space. US miles get you full-price award seats on other airlines.

Now, consider this: No airline on earth lets you fly to Asia in business class for 90,000 miles, round trip. Except that US allows you not only to fly to Asia for 90,000… they let you do it via Europe with one stopover and two sub-24-hour layovers.

An example: DEN-NRT-PEK-ICN-IST-FRA-YYZ-DEN. 12 nights in China, a night in Seoul, a week in Istanbul, and a night in Frankfurt. 90,000 miles in business class.

Now, add this: US Airways runs more 100% bonus mile sales than any other airline. You can buy miles for 1.8 cents each. They also run 100% bonuses on shared/gifted miles. With that, you can effectively buy miles for 1.3 cents each. That means that 90,000 mile trip to Asia can cost you $1170.

Final bonus: any miles you earn with US and don't use will eventually transfer to American, who has the best award chart of any legacy domestic carrier. Get the US card now and combine it with the Citi 50k and 100k AA offers (that this site says does not exist) and you're cruising the OneWorld alliance in style. You can pile up 200k AA miles this year. That's good enough for a 35,000 mile OneWorld Explorer ticket.

So, don't believe the BS. US Airways is one of the best programs out there. The only downside is that it's on its way out because of the merger.
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