Word about our credit card churning adventures has started to get out among some of our close friends. I don’t really talk about it much except on my blog, but Jim has been telling his morning basketball buddies about our free travel. When you first find out about travel hacking, it sounds either like voodoo or something illegal, but when I explain to them how we’ve gotten to take almost free vacations and how we are about to visit Hawaii in champagne style on a beer budget, they want in.
Churning the US Airways Credit Card
A big problem for some people want to start churning is the amount of spending you have to do to hit some of the larger bonuses. If you don’t have many big expenses and aren’t interested in manufactured spending or using Bluebird to pay bills, it’s hard to churn for free travel. However, the US Airways credit card from Barclay just made it lots easier to get cheap airfare. With this card, $90 gets you 40,000 Dividend Miles, enough for two domestic flights!
What 40,000 Dividend Miles Can Do
The US Airways Premier World Mastercard does have an $89 fee that is not waived, but after the first purchase, you get 40,000 Dividend Miles. That’s right, you can buy a pack of gum for $1 and get all those miles! With this credit card, US Airways also gives a discount of 5,000 miles off of each award ticket.
40,000 Dividend Miles gets you two round trip flights on US Airways in the US or Canada. You can get a round trip ticket from the US to the Caribbean or Mexico for 30,000 miles or to Hawaii for 35,000 miles. Our regional airport actually has service by US Air, and it’s usually about $1000 per ticket to go anywhere in the US. Having this card can save a ton of money on airfare if you don’t live close to a major airport!
US Airways recently merged with American Airlines and is now a member of the One World Alliance. The redemption rates take more miles on partner airlines and fuel surcharges could apply, but there might be some great options here considering you have several more airlines to choose from besides US Air.
Two Companions Can Travel for $99 Each
Another huge bonus with the US Airways credit card is that you get a companion certificate that allows up to two guests to travel with you on a paid ticket (value of $250 or more) for $99 plus taxes and fees. Again, this is huge benefit for a family like mine. I could buy one ticket and take Jim and the daughter for cheap. There are a few restrictions with the companion certificate, but if you are flexible and willing to go on off peak times, this can be a great value.
Other Card Benefits
While you and I most likely apply for credit cards to get free travel, there are some other perks that come with the US Airways Premier World Mastercard. You and up to 4 companions get your first checked bag free on US Airways flights. You can check in at the first class line and get priority boarding. You also get a US Airways Club lounge day pass for you and a companion. Most of the Barclay travel cards give the card holder access to a free FICO score as often as you want to check it, and this card does include that benefit.
Limited Time Offer?
At some point US Airways and American Airlines will combine their frequent flier programs. Currently, you can earn points in both to book on either airline or on other One World partners, but who knows how long that will last? I plan on picking up some easy Dividend Miles while I can!
In conclusion, the US Airways Premier World Mastercard might not have the biggest sign up bonus on the market right now, but it might be one of the easiest and least expensive to receive. For the annual $89 fee plus any purchase, you get 40,000 Dividend Miles, which is a pretty great deal, making this a great card for people who don’t spend much but want free travel!
Disclaimer: Don’t be as stupid as I used to be and carry a balance on your credit cards. Don’t ever buy things you don’t need to get points or miles. There is no credit card bonus that is worth paying interest to credit card companies!
How would you use 40,000 Dividend Miles? Have you tried credit card churning?