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Old Nov 23, 09, 6:58 pm   #1
 
Join Date: May 2003
Programs: AA (1MM)
Posts: 1,710
Up to a 250% Holiday Bonus

FAQ: The most frequent questions about this promotion:

Moderator Note: As we get to the final days of this promotion and more people are just learning of it and coming here to learn as quickly as possible about the details, we're seeing a large number of the same questions, over and over again. In an attempt to help people in this situation, FT member ramolnar was kind enough to write up this FAQ, which I will insert here, at the top of this initial post. The initial post, with the details and terms and conditions of the promotion still appear below in this post, unchanged. Thank you ramolnar!

US Airways Shopping Bonus FAQ


1. What do I need to do to get the 250% bonus?
You need to have transactions post from 5 different stores in the promotion, with a posting date between November 23 and December 30, 2009. If this is true, you will get the bonus on up to 10 separate transactions, the 10 with the earliest posting dates. See post #317 (Up to a 250% Holiday Bonus).

2. What counts as a different store?
Only the stores listed on the promotion page (http://shopping.usairways.com/en-US/...ner_promo.html) According to official communications, each different merchant in the Dividend Miles Shopping Mall is considered a different merchant.

3. Does TrackItBack have to be the 5th transaction to post?
No. They can post in any order.

4. How do I get miles for very cheap?
Make four other transactions that will post, then a large TrackItBack purchase. You must go through www.TrackItBack.com/US to do so. You'll get 40 miles per US dollar once it posts, then 100 miles per dollar on March 1. Counting auxiliary costs, that's about $73 per 10,000 miles.

5. Are the transactions actually posting?
Yes. TrackItBack uses a Tuesday cutoff, and the miles post on Wednesdays. This makes the estimated cutoff for TrackItBack the afternoon of Tuesday, December 29. Jason Wagner, the founder of TrackItBack, is posting in this thread as member trackitback. Customer service has been good.

6. What are other good values?
Sharebuilder can be very lucrative and tends to post quickly. With the bonus, it's 10,500 miles for starting an account of any size, taking less than $20 total. Sharebuilder also posts quickly - sometimes the next day.

FTD is good value; with bonus, 70 miles per dollar. FTD tends to post quickly. However, multiple orders from FTD have been posting as multiple transactions, even when paid at once. So ordering 7 flower bouquets can eat up 7 transactions.

7. What else is cheap and posts quickly?
ThanksAgain: Go through to restaurant.com and get a gift certificate for $4 or less. You need to make a Thanks Again account, link a credit card and then use the click-thru from Thanks Again to Restaurant.com and pay for the purchase with the credit card on your profile. If you search, you'll find discount codes.

Gaiam: In the Shopping Mall, you can make a $2 donation for a tree.

Gift Cards: there are plenty of merchants (Sears, Barnes and Noble, OfficeMax, and others) that will let you buy small gift cards with cheap shipping.

In general, Shopping Mall purchases tend to post on Mondays and Thursdays. There may be some delay, so getting these done before Christmas would be safer.

8. What about non-Americans?
TrackItBack will ship to Canada, Australia, and likely other places. Beyond that, you'll need to find merchants that accept international orders. There should be enough in the Shopping Mall.

9. This is great, but can I do even better?
There are discussions about donating the TrackItBack luggage tags and stickers to non-profits. For people who itemize, that makes a charitable contribution. You'll have to find someone that wants them - try universities and groups that fund charitable travel. There are more restrictions - read the IRS rules - but this will reduce your cost even more.

10. Are these miles worth it, or are they more like Zimbabwe currency?
US Airways published the Star Alliance award chart for 2010 (www.usairways.com/goawards). It's decent; for example, business class US to Europe is 100K miles, and business class US to North Asia is 90K. There is a $50 fee per booking. However, unlike United, Star Alliance carriers are not blocked. You might have to help the agents find something, but they will book it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original post:

I saw this offer in an e-mail from US Airways tonight:

Shop your way to a bigger bonus
A 250% holiday bonus never looked so good!*
This isn't your average bonus it grows every time you shop at a different store. See how many stores you can shop at and watch your bonus grow at every one. You'll get extra Dividend Miles and additional bonuses, up to 250% for every dollar you spend.

All you have to do is shop! Shop your favorite participating stores November 23 - December 30, 2009.

Get your big bonus:
Shop online at any of the participating stores by clicking on the links listed below.
There's no need to register. Just enter your Dividend Miles number each time you shop.
Shop at 1 store and get a 50% bonus on your purchase. Shop at 5 different stores and get a 250% bonus.**
We'll add your final big bonus to every purchase you make throughout the entire promotion period, up to 10 individual purchases.
Stores shopped at: Bonus earned:

1 50%
2 100%
3 150%
4 200%
5 250%


Participating merchants:
(Click on the links below to be eligible for bonus miles.)

FTD
20 miles for every dollar you spend, plus 250 bonus miles on flowers and gifts

Dividend Miles Wireless
4,000 miles when you activate a new account or renew an exsiting account

Biscoff
2 miles for every dollar you spend, plus 250 bonus miles (additional 250 miles when you spend $50 or more)

TrackItBack
40 miles for every dollar you spend

macys.com
3 miles for every dollar you spend

Barnes & Noble
3 miles for every dollar you spend

Harry & David
4 miles for every dollar you spend

Sears.com
2 miles for every dollar you spent

Omaha Steaks
5 miles for every dollar you spent

Vinesse Wine Clubs
5 miles for every dollar you spend, plus 2,000 bonus miles when you join a wine club

ShareBuilder
500 extra bonus miles for a total of 3,000 miles for opening a new account

USA Today
4 weeks free, 1,000 sign-up mileage bonus and 200 miles per month

Other participating merchants:

21st Century Auto Insurance
Dividend Miles Shopping Mall
Netflix
OfficeMax
Sentry Insurance
SkyMall
Wine Insiders
ThanksAgain
Bose
Terms & Conditions


Terms and conditions: *No registration required. The US Airways Big Bonus Offer ('Offer') is available for transactions with participating Dividend Miles partners/stores listed on usairways.com/bigbonus only. Completed transactions with participating partners between November 23, 2009 and December 30, 2009 will receive a tiered bonus based on their qualified transactions during the promotion period. To attain a higher bonus tier, customers must shop at different participating stores during the promotion period. Tiered bonuses are as follows: One store = 50% bonus, two different stores = 100%, bonus, three different stores = 150% bonus, four different stores = 200% bonus, 5 different stores = 250% bonus. Transactions must have a posting date between November 23, 2009 and December 30, 2009 to qualify for the offer. A maximum of 10 combined transactions with any participating partners will be eligible for the bonus during the promotion period. Bonus amounts will be assigned in order of posting date(s) for qualified transactions. Offer excludes any partner sweepstakes offers. Miles do not count toward Dividend Miles Preferred status. US Airways is not responsible for the quality or delivery of goods and/or services provided by Dividend Miles partners. Offer subject to change with or without notice. All Dividend Miles terms and conditions apply. US Airways assumes no responsibility for how qualifying partners record eligible activity dates; some partners record eligible activity dates based on completion of the required activity (for example, delivery of the item purchased including delivery of flowers). You should check with the participating partner to confirm how the partner records eligible activity dates. The last date activity from a participating partner can be received by US Airways for bonus miles consideration is February 28, 2010, regardless of the eligible activity date. Bonus miles will be processed on March 1, 2010. **You must shop at 5 different stores to get a 250% bonus, for example FTD, Biscoff, ShareBuilder, macys.com and Vinesse, using the links provided in this email.

Last edited by AZ Travels the World; Dec 20, 09 at 8:01 pm.
ExitRowAisle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 23, 09, 7:06 pm   #2
 
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Thanks...actually seems good! But, too bad each different merchant through the shopping mall was not its own (but that would be too easy to rake in the 250% bonus). Start shopping i guess.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 7:18 pm   #3
 
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After reading back through the wording of this promo, these excerpts seem to contradict one another:

"We'll add your final big bonus to every purchase you make throughout the entire promotion period, up to 10 individual purchases."

AND

"Bonus amounts will be assigned in order of posting date(s) for qualified transactions."

The first implies that 5 different partners will generate a 250% bonus on all 5 transactions. The second suggests that the first transaction posted will earn a 50% bonus, the second will earn a 100% bonus, and so on.

This should be fun to sort out!
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Old Nov 23, 09, 8:14 pm   #4
 
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it sounds to me like 50% for 1 up to %250 for 5 then if you do the remaining 5 will be at %250... I'm probably wrong
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Old Nov 23, 09, 10:47 pm   #5
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Here is a link to the promo details on the US website.
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Old Nov 24, 09, 6:20 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CactusFlier View Post
Thanks...actually seems good! But, too bad each different merchant through the shopping mall was not its own (but that would be too easy to rake in the 250% bonus). Start shopping i guess.
I ran some numbers when I got the email, but I can't see any way to justify spending for this promo. Best case scenario is 250%, and the best miles-to-dollars ratio is FTD or TrackItBack (please correct me if I'm wrong). So if I spend $20 (plus tax/shipping) on the cheapest TrackItBack item, which gets me 800 miles, which if subject to the 250% "boost" gets me a total of 2,000 miles.

Certainly not a bad deal, but keep in mind this is the most generous example (no other vendor gives 40 miles per dollar spent). Until the end of the year you can buy/share/gift miles for about the same cost per mile and not have to mess around with this promo, nevermind the Grand Slam promo was an even better deal when looking at CPM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExitRowAisle View Post
After reading back through the wording of this promo, these excerpts seem to contradict one another:

"We'll add your final big bonus to every purchase you make throughout the entire promotion period, up to 10 individual purchases."

AND

"Bonus amounts will be assigned in order of posting date(s) for qualified transactions."

The first implies that 5 different partners will generate a 250% bonus on all 5 transactions. The second suggests that the first transaction posted will earn a 50% bonus, the second will earn a 100% bonus, and so on.

This should be fun to sort out!
Who's going to be the first one to work this promo? Marty? Will look forward to clarification...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rookieflyer View Post
it sounds to me like 50% for 1 up to %250 for 5 then if you do the remaining 5 will be at %250... I'm probably wrong
That's how I would read it based on the comments here. When I originally read the email I assumed I'd get 50% for 1, 100% for 2, 150% for 3, 200% for 4, and 250% for 5, and then they'd go back and "gross-up" me to 250% for 1-4, but I hadn't read the T&C's (still haven't).
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Old Nov 24, 09, 7:47 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vysean View Post
I ran some numbers when I got the email, but I can't see any way to justify spending for this promo. Best case scenario is 250%, and the best miles-to-dollars ratio is FTD or TrackItBack (please correct me if I'm wrong). So if I spend $20 (plus tax/shipping) on the cheapest TrackItBack item, which gets me 800 miles, which if subject to the 250% "boost" gets me a total of 2,000 miles.

Certainly not a bad deal, but keep in mind this is the most generous example (no other vendor gives 40 miles per dollar spent). Until the end of the year you can buy/share/gift miles for about the same cost per mile and not have to mess around with this promo, nevermind the Grand Slam promo was an even better deal when looking at CPM.
No matter how the promotion is interpreted by US Airways, it seems to me that one should be able to front load his/her activity with low value partners (e.g., Thanks Again, DM Shopping, Bose, etc.) and then sign up for Sharebuilder as one of your 5th-10th partners and earn 10,500 miles (3,000 standard miles + 7,500 bonus miles). Assuming one has never used Sharebuilder before and can time the postings properly, what would be wrong with that strategy?

Sentry would be another good selection for Partner Nos. 5-10, as one would earn 5,250 miles (1,500 base miles + 3,750 bonus miles).
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Old Nov 24, 09, 8:07 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExitRowAisle View Post
No matter how the promotion is interpreted by US Airways, it seems to me that one should be able to front load his/her activity with low value partners (e.g., Thanks Again, DM Shopping, Bose, etc.) and then sign up for Sharebuilder as one of your 5th-10th partners and earn 10,500 miles (3,000 standard miles + 7,500 bonus miles). Assuming one has never used Sharebuilder before and can time the postings properly, what would be wrong with that strategy?

Sentry would be another good selection for Partner Nos. 5-10, as one would earn 5,250 miles (1,500 base miles + 3,750 bonus miles).
Nothing at all wrong with that strategy so long as you didn't use either of those partners for the Grand Slam promo.

Dividend Miles Wireless would be a better deal if you needed a new phone and were willing to commit to the contract. 4,000 base plus 10,000 bonus.

Same for Netflix - 1,500 base + 3,750 bonus.
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Old Nov 24, 09, 8:40 am   #9
 
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Got this via email last night.

Under other participating merchants it lists the DM Shopping Mall. Does that mean all merchants under the DM Shopping Mall would qualify for this offer? I would think so. I need to make a Dell purchase this evening and am wondering if I should go the original route of cashback or DM Miles.

-Kinglobjaw
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Old Nov 24, 09, 9:30 am   #10
 
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Seems Track-it-back is the most lucrative for the highest mileage count? There are only so many "freebies" of thousands of bonus miles for a few dollars that it then comes down to Track-it-Back at 40 miles per $1 or FTD at 20 miles per $1 - correct?

FTD effectively becomes 50 miles per $1 - 2 cpm not so good. Track-it-back becomes 100 miles per $1, or 1 cpm. Cheaper than then buy miles promo. Not taking into account the other 4 shopping purchases you also must make, of course.
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Old Nov 24, 09, 9:31 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExitRowAisle View Post
After reading back through the wording of this promo, these excerpts seem to contradict one another:

"We'll add your final big bonus to every purchase you make throughout the entire promotion period, up to 10 individual purchases."

AND

"Bonus amounts will be assigned in order of posting date(s) for qualified transactions."

The first implies that 5 different partners will generate a 250% bonus on all 5 transactions. The second suggests that the first transaction posted will earn a 50% bonus, the second will earn a 100% bonus, and so on.

This should be fun to sort out!
The way I read it is the second rule applies to the limit of 10 transactions, so if you have 15 transactions over the promotion period only the first 10 based on posting date will get the bonus.
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Old Nov 24, 09, 9:51 am   #12
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I'm almost afaid to post this, because honestly it's too good to be true. I would implore any Flyertalker reading this thread to not disseminate what I'm about to post beyond this thread because I can't imagine this will last. (Well I know I can't control it, I will be very disappointed in any Flyertalker who disobeys my stated wishes and posts this anywhere beyond this thread).

Folks, this is a BONANZA. Knock out four cheap transactions, say a Gaiam $2 donation through DM mall, cheap item from Bose, cheap item from Barnes & Noble, and a Restaurant.com gift certificate through Thanks Again, you're in for maybe $20.

You can now purchase miles at a rate of approximately 140 miles/dollar from Track-It-Back (40 miles/dollar plus 250% bonus). $300 small business pack from Track-It-Back ... 12,000 miles + 30,000 mile bonus = 42,000 miles. 3 of those small business packs = 126,000 miles, a First Class ticket on Lufthansa to Europe for $900 + taxes/fees.
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Old Nov 24, 09, 10:49 am   #13
 
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Okay, for those interested in doing this (and sincere thanks to Beckles for the review), here's what I did:
  1. $2.00 - US Airways Shopping Mall (GAIAM) - donated a tree
  2. $2.00 - ThanksAgain (restaurant.com) - purchased a $10 gift certificate using coupon "THANKS"
  3. $4.27 - Bose - purchased the 18" headphone extension cable (incl. tax/shipping)
  4. $10.95 - Barnes and Noble - purchased $10 gift card (incl. $0.95 shipping).
  5. $304.94 - TrackItBack - purchased $299.99 Small Business Pack (incl. $4.95 shipping)

Total miles earned:
  • GAIAM - 8 + 4 = 12 (50%)
  • ThanksAgain - 6 + 6 = 12 (100%)
  • Bose - 8 + 12 = 20 (150%)
  • Barnes and Noble - 30 + 60 = 90 (200%)
  • TrackItBack - 12,000 + 30,000 = 42,000 (250%)
  • TOTAL: 42,134 for $324.16, or .7 CPM ($0.00769)

So in the final tally, this is cheaper than the sharing or buying of miles under the 100% bonus plan. It's not as good of a deal as the Grand Slam, but still nothing to sneeze at.
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Old Nov 24, 09, 11:11 am   #14
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I'm pretty sure you'll get 250% bonus on everything, not that it changes your calcs much. However, if you're really worried about that I would space your transactions out to make sure the lower mileage ones post first.
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Old Nov 24, 09, 11:19 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckles View Post
I'm pretty sure you'll get 250% bonus on everything, not that it changes your calcs much. However, if you're really worried about that I would space your transactions out to make sure the lower mileage ones post first.
An excellent idea, and why I haven't yet pulled the trigger on the TrackItBack purchase. I'm going to wait until Monday or Tuesday to do so. Plus I'm trying to figure out if I should go ahead and buy two of them for an extra 42,000 miles.

I note with extreme caution the fine print on the promo that notes US Airways isn't responsible for the date at which miles are credited.
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