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Etihad is back with a new mileage sale and although it’s not the best sale that we’ve seen this year, the deal being offered is still pretty good. Through 21 December, members of the Etihad Guest program can buy miles with a bonus of up to 45% thrown in so, with Etihad offering a flyer-friendly award chart for redemptions on American Airlines, this could be a good chance to buy miles cheaply with a view to booking American Airlines premium cabin saver awards (if you can find them).
- Buy 1,000 – 4,000 miles and get no bonus
- Buy 5,000 – 20,000 miles and get a 25% bonus
- Buy 21,000 – 40,000 miles and get a 35% bonus
- Buy 41,000 – 100,000 miles and get a 45% bonus
- Buy Etihad Guest miles by 23.59 GST on 21 December 2022 and receive up to 45% bonus miles.
- Additional GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents.
- The Maximum miles that a member can purchase in a calendar year will be based on their Membership Tier at the time of making a purchase. For Platinum members the maximum will be 150,000, and for Bronze, Silver and Gold Tier members the maximum will be 100,000 Etihad Guest Miles.
- Purchased miles are not refundable and are applicable towards all Etihad Guest awards.
- Miles purchased using this option will post instantly, in some cases it can take up to 72 hours until the miles are credited.
- Purchased miles do not count towards status upgrades.
- All standard Etihad Guest program rules and conditions apply.
Full terms and conditions can be found on the sale page.
The price per mile doesn’t vary within the bands so if you buy 41,000 miles…
… or 100,000 miles…
… you’ll find yourself paying ~1.38 cents/mile.
That’s good news because it means you don’t have to buy the maximum number of miles to get the best rate.
Note: If you only need a handful of miles to top up your account, the cost/mile in the lower bands isn’t too bad either.
Using Etihad Guest Miles on American Airlines
This sale is one of the better sales that we see Etihad offering and as I’ve shown before, Etihad Guest miles can be used to book American Airlines saver awards at a very attractive rate.
This is thanks to the fact that Etihad’s award chart for American Airlines redemptions is essentially American’s pre-devaluation award chart dating back to the glory days of the AAdvantage program.
Here’s what the chart looks like:
Etihad’s award chart highlights:
- USA – Europe round-trip, Business Class award: 100,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – Europe round-trip First Class award: 125,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – Australia/New Zealand round-trip, Business Class award: 125,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – China/Hong Kong round-trip, Business Class award: 110,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – China/Hong Kong round-trip First Class award: 135,000 Etihad Guest Miles
In further good news, this sale allows Etihad Guest members to buy enough miles for every award listed above and if you need even more miles, keep in mind that Etihad is a transfer partner of Citi’s ThankYou program, Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, and Amex Membership Rewards so it’s not very hard to top up an Etihad Guest account.
You could also just book a one-way award and use a different airline’s currency for the remainder of your trip.
Here’s how these awards would price up (approximately) if you bought miles in this sale (one-way/round-trip):
- USA – Europe Business Class award: ~$690/$1,380
- USA – Europe First Class award: ~$863/$1,725
- USA – Australia/NZ Business Class award: ~$863/$1,725
- USA – China/Hong Kong Business Class award: ~$759/$1,518
- USA – China/Hong Kong First Class award: ~$932/$1,863
Taxes and fees would need to be added in but they should be insignificant for flights to/from the US as long as you avoid the UK (where departure taxes are particularly high).
The one big issue here is the fact that finding American Airlines saver awards can be very tough.
American is very bad at releasing premium cabin saver awards on its own flights so no one should be buying Etihad Guest Miles before checking that the award they’re planning to book is actually available.
Which credit card to use?
Etihad sells its miles through Points.com so there’s no scope to earn a travel/airline bonus by using a credit card that offers bonus points for shopping in either of those categories. This makes this a good opportunity to use a credit card on which you’re working towards a welcome bonus (like the great bonus currently available on the Citi Premier® Card) or a card that earns you points that you value highly (e.g. the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express which earns cardholders 2 Membership Rewards Points/dollar spent on the first $50,000 of spending every year – terms apply).
If you’re someone who prefers to earn cash back over miles and points, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card would be a good option.
If you can find saver award availability on American Airlines the current Etihad Guest mileage sale could offer a great way to book those awards at rates we haven’t seen since the big American Airlines devaluation of quite a few years ago.