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You might be able to use US Airways miles on both American and United at the same time

by on Wed November 20, 2013 • No Comment

American US Airways milesFrequent Business Traveler is reporting that US Airways plans to leave Star Alliance on March 1, 2014, and join American Airlines‘ OneWorld alliance about one month later, around April 2014. This is all part of US Airways and American merging into one airline.

At that time you’ll be able to use US Airways miles on OneWorld partners like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and more.

That’s a little later than some people hoped, but it may not be the only angle here…

January 7 is still noted by American to be a big day for combining the American and US Airways frequent flier programs and benefits together. With that as the case, here’s what could still happen starting in January and *until* March / April…

  • US Airways miles may be permitted for redemption on American Airlines flights. They don’t need to formally join OneWorld to do this, and American and  US Airways could be temporary ‘partners’ to make it happen. Though it’s possible there is a clause in the Star Alliance agreement that prevents them from partnering with an airline in a competing alliance. In which case this can’t happen until US Airways leaves Star Alliance in March.
  • US Airways and American could allow the transfer of miles between each other. This would be the most lucrative route. Because in that case, American miles could be transferred and used for travel on US Airways as well as United and Star Alliance partners for a brief period from January to March 2014. And US Airways miles could be used on both Star Alliance and OneWorld flights for a brief period.
  • US Airways miles could be transferred into American accounts, but American miles must stay in American accounts. This would be less generous. In that case current AAdvantage members would see no difference and have no opportunity to use their miles on Star Alliance flights for a brief period. But US Airways miles would have a brief period of incredible flexibility, being able to be used for both Star Alliance and One World flights.

Or, we may just have to wait until March for US Airways and American miles to be fully interchangeable. In that case all that will happen on January 7 may be making it clear any miles earned on US Airways flights from then on will be counted toward new American status, along with a layout of what the new membership tiers will look like.

Official announcements will be made on American’s merger website.

Either way, the US Airways / American merger will make the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Ultimate Rewards points a lot more interesting – as you’ll be able to take advantage of lucrative short haul British Airways Avios awards on US Airways flights starting next Spring.

As for US Airways credit cards…

Our advice is to apply for one now – there is a 35,000 mile bonus with no purchase required and no annual fee the first year. They will disappear sometime in the next 1-2 years. And once they do, it’s possible Citibank will be offering special bonuses to get former US Airways credit card holders to sign up for credit cards with the new American Airlines.

See the latest deals here.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

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