A Tale of Three Credit Card Offers – 30K or 40K Miles for the US Airways MasterCard?

US Airways MasterCard

In one of my earlier posts I talked about how credit card spending fuels my Pointing activities.  In other words, it’s not the amount of time my behind has spent in an airline seat but rather my credit card spending that has allowed me to rack up significant point totals. On top of that, the sign up bonuses associated with opening new credit card accounts have provided healthy boosts to my mileage balances.

Over the past few days, the latest credit card deal circulating through the travel blogosphere is the announcement of improved sign up bonuses for the US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard.  The bonus on this card is pretty “easy” to earn since you receive the miles by making only a single purchase of ANY size. There is NO required “minimum spend” (which you see on most credit card offers) in order to receive your bonus. The annual fee is $89 and the most common publicly available offer is available on the US Airways website.

US Airways Standard Offer

However, a number of the leading travel bloggers have reported the following signup promotion which would provide you, under generally the same terms, with an additional 10,000 miles.

US Airways New Offer

In order to take advantage of these deals you need to access the application through the links provided by the blogger.  The following are two bloggers who have posted some useful background information on the current round of US Airways deals.

View from the Wing

Mommy Points

Note: You will be accessing the application through these bloggers’ “affiliate links” which will not cost you anything.  However, they do provide the blogger with a “referral bonus” should your application be accepted. I DO NOT receive any compensation from the credit card companies. However, whenever I apply for a new card, I try to do so through the links offered by my favorite bloggers.

Nevertheless, a third offer exists which provides an even more generous set of incentives.

US Airways Chairmans Offer

This offer provides not only the 40,000 miles of the previous deal but also waives the first year’s fee AND provides you with an annual bonus of 10,000 miles on the card’s anniversary date in subsequent years.  You can access the application via the following link:

Chairman’s Preferred Offer

While technically this set of bonuses is targeted to members of US Airways’ top tier Chairman’s Preferred frequent flyers, several travel bloggers have reported that applicants still receive these benefits.  In my case, I applied for this card in late November, received instant approval and already have my bonus miles.  In addition, the hard copy of the Terms & Conditions which accompanied the card state that I am entitled to the benefits outlined above. However, access to this particular may be changing since a curious new requirement to enter your “US Airways Employee Number” has appeared on the application in the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure if this means that the opportunity to capitalize on this particular signup bonus has now ended.  However, you should be aware that you run the risk of not receiving the full range of these benefits if you apply via “Chairman’s Preferred” route.

So, why am I collecting miles on airline I’ve never flown on?  I have to admit I’m somewhat intrigued by US Airways’ frequent flyer program.  Their Dividend Miles program offers some pretty interesting redemption opportunities. For example, US Airways is a member of the Star Alliance which provides you access to the award availabilities of not only the foreign partner airlines but also that of United which is one of the Alliance’s major anchors.  There are also surprising “gems” in the Dividend Miles Award Chart.  For example, a roundtrip Business Class award ticket to North Asia (China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan) is only 90,000 miles vs. 120,000 miles on United.  In addition, on such an award you can potentially make one stopover, arrive and depart in different cities and even route your itinerary through Europe. US Airways also regularly offers 100% bonuses for either purchasing or transferring miles. These various earning and redemption options are what drew me to the Dividend Miles programs and served as the inspiration for adding the US Airways Premier World MasterCard to my arsenal of Pointing tools.  Hmmm, I think I’m going to need a bigger wallet …