Updated on February 21, 2016
Is it possible to get a Business Class Flight for $567?
Yes, if you are willing to pay $567 + apply for the US Airways credit card, you can have a Business Class flight from the US to Asia (it will help if you have 5k US Air miles but not absolutely required). I just checked the price of JFK to HKG (Hong Kong) in March 2014 in Business and see a price of $7,619 on Cathay Pacific (amazing Business class!) or United so this may be worth it for you. I'm excited about this because I'm planning a trip to the Maldives next year and may combine that with an Asia trip with a few stops since I'm already going so far.
I dont usually think that the promotions to buy or share points is worth it but this one works. According to Viewfromthewing's post here and Onemileatatime's posts here and here, using US Airways miles for a Business Class round trip flight from the US to North Asia (Hong Kong, Taipei and others) will cost you 90,000 miles. I called US Airways to test this and it works. So the goal here is to get 90,000 miles. You will need some friends to make this work.
Step 1: Take advantage of the US Airways promotion: when you share miles, the recipient will get a 100% bonus – up to 50,000 miles. Just share your miles by October 15, 2013. You must have an active US Airways account to be eligible.
For example, I share 50,000 miles, you get 100,000 miles. You share 50,000 and your friend gets 100,000. Your friend shares 50,000 with the first person who receives 100,000. At the end everyone gets another 50,000 miles that they didn't have before. One person needs to have at least 50,000 miles in their account to start and I do not recommend doing this just between two people (I read that some people got in trouble just sending miles back and forth between two people). There is a fee for this, a total of $567.50. Now you have 50,000 miles and need 40,000 more to get to 90,000 miles.
Step 2: Get the US Airways Premier World Mastercard and earn 40,000 miles.
You will get 30,000 miles after your first purchase (no big spend is required). You can get another 10,000 after a balance transfer within 90 days, but not everyone will want to do this (there is a 3% fee involved). Once you have the card, you can book a reward for 5,000 fewer miles (so that 90,000 mile award ticket should cost 85,000). The annual fee is $89 (a bit high but it helps you get your business class flight, it should be worth it).
- Earn up to 40,000 bonus miles with qualifying transactions
- Exclusive: Book award flights for 5,000 fewer miles – award travel starts at just 20,000 miles for cardmembers
- Zone 2 boarding on all US Airways flights
- Earn 2 miles per $1 on US Airways purchases
- Earn 1 mile per $1 on purchases everywhere else
- Annual companion certificate good for up to 2 companion tickets at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
- First Class check-in
- Please see terms and conditions for complete details
Step 3: You now have 50,000 miles + 30,000 = 80,000. You need another 5,000 miles to get to 85,000 and you can do that by a) spending on your credit card and earning miles, b) having some points already in your account, c) transfer miles from your Starwood account or other hotel program (SPG platinum members have a min transfer of 1 point, gold is 1,000 point min), d) Earn miles by flying on US Airways or shopping with their partners here, or e) balance transfer (I dont recommend this because of their 3% fees so use this only as a last resort). You might have a good amount of miles already and in that case you might just do Step 1 (sharing the miles for another 50,000 miles) and skip the credit card all together.
Step 4: After you have your points, you will need to figure out where you want to go. See this post from OneMileAtATime to learn more about redeeming miles awards on US Airways.
I'm doing this myself so if you have any questions, please ask. Once you have the miles we can work on booking the flights.
A reader commented that the 5,000 point discount on reward flights is only on US flights. After checking the terms and conditions, it states it is valid only on US Airways flights anywhere they operate (not just in the US) but they don't flight to Asia without their partners.
There is also a US Airways 35,000 miles credit card offer (with no annual fee the 1st year), however, its one of those offers with no official landing page when you click the link. That means you can't be sure what you've signed up for, but if you're willing to contact their customer service is something goes wrong, then it will be worth it (that's what I would do). If you don't want the possible hassle, stick with the offer detailed above. Either way, its a good idea to get the card before the merger happens because this offer is likely to disappear forever. There are better offers out there if you only want one card, like the Chase Ink Bold 50,000 point offer (transferable to 50,000 United miles) or the United 55,000 mile offer (see #6 on the list), but these will continue to be offered in some form (or you can get both and collect even more points!).
Here are the terms and conditions for the 5,000 discount: (its near the bottom of the fine print after you click the link)
Dividend Miles Select Eligibility Criteria: The Primary Cardmember is eligible to receive the 5,000 Mile Award Discount when each of the following conditions have been met: (a) the applicable Account remains open and in good standing (b) you have made at least one purchase or balance transfer in the last twelve months; (c) you are redeeming miles from the Dividend Miles account linked to your Account; (d) you are using the Primary Cardmember’s card to purchase the ticket directly from US Airways; and (e) your award ticket(s) are booked for either a roundtrip or open-jaw itinerary solely on flight segments operated by US Airways and/or US Airways Express (“Eligible Award Tickets”). In the event any portion of the award itinerary is not operated by US Airways/US Airways Express, or is not a valid roundtrip or open-jaw routing, these benefits will not apply and will not be pro rated. If you close your Account or change from an Account with an annual fee to an Account with no-annual fee, you are no longer eligible to receive this benefit.
Must have an active US Airways account already or else ineligible for the transfer bonus.
Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve added that to the post.
The 5K discount is for US flights only, and they don’t fly to Asia.
And there’s a 35K offer for the US Air card with a waived annual fee, plus a 10K annual bonus.
Thanks TJ. I’ve updated the post.
Cathay Pacific First Class is a real treat – I just wish they’d open up more award space! You can get the Citi cards to get enough miles rather easily.