I’d previously been ignoring the Grand Slam promotion from US Airways, but a recent post from View from the Wing spurred me into action – and I figure it could be an easy and cheap way to add to my US balance with minimal effort and cost. The full rules of the promo are here.
The promotion is based around gaining a series of ‘hits’ into your US account from program partners. 36-40 hits nets you 100k+ miles. Looking through the partners, I reckon I can net 8 or 12 hits as an Australian resident, for a total of bonus of 10k or 15k miles.
This is the plan…
Hit 1 and 2 – hotel program transfers
I have a usable excess of SPG and Priority Club points, both of which can be transferred over to Dividend Miles. 10,000 Priority Club points is the minimum out of that program, to 2000 Dividend Miles, and 2,500 SPG points to 2,500 Dividend Miles.
Hit 3 – Buying 1000 US Miles
Easy one – $27.50 US for the purchase, one hit.
Hit 4 – Dividend Miles Toolbar download / searches
Downloading the toolbar (if you haven’t done so already) nets you 500 miles. 3 searches gives you another mile, and a hit.
Hit 5 – Dividend Mall Purchase
Most likely, this will be something I actually want from Amazon, at one point per dollar on spend.
Hit 6 – Super Shuttle
Apparently you can buy an easy one way from a US airport to a US airport hotel – e.g. LAX to Four Points LAX for $15. Whether a no-show counts and credits to your account is another matter, but I’ll take the risk. Take $3 off using discount code UYR59, and then add a $3 tip for the driver’s inconvenience.
Hit 7 – Sharing Miles
Set up another account in a family members name; buy points, share them to yourself. You both get the hit. Cost – $40 after the share.
Hit 8 – Track It Back
A service that sends you some stickers with a unique code in case they get lost. $24.95 including free shipping to Australia.
This nets me 10,000 miles plus the 2000 from buying and sharing, and the 4,500 from hotel transfers. Not a bad way to end up with more than 1/2 the miles needed for a return trip anywhere in the South Pacific in Business Class on Air New Zealand from Australia. Total Cost = ~$110. Bit of a no-brainer really.
Also on the table for Australians could be…
- A points.com transfer – points.com sucks, but if you have a few unwanted miles in a program somewhere you could move some over to US for another hit.
- A 1-800-Flowers purchase – cheapest shipped purchase in Australia is $65.
- A car rental – most rentals from all the major providers will count as another hit. Gain up to 6 hits with these.
- A hotel stay – most hotel chains can credit to US. Again, up to 6 hits available.
The following will need a shipping address in the US – whether real or not is another matter. I’ve checked and each should take a foreign credit card for billing.
- A Skymall purchase – cheapest items are batteries for a few dollars. Add in $10 shipping.
- Magazines for miles – costs around 500 miles for something like Fast Company delivered to a US address.