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Etihad is back with another mileage sale and it’s the same sale we’ve seen the airline offer in the past…but with a twist. 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’s saver awards (if you can find them).
The Sale Structure
- Buy 1,000 – 19,000 miles and get no bonus
- Buy 20,000 – 39,000 miles and get a 10% bonus
- Buy 40,000 – 100,000 miles and get a 20% bonus
In addition (this is the twist), Etihad Guest members will earn 1 Tier qualifying mile for every 5 Etihad Guest Miles purchased.
- Buy Etihad Guest miles by23:59 PDT on 22 December 2020 and receive up to 20% bonus miles (link to sale)
- Miles may be purchased for $0.02 USD per mile (does not include the bonus miles which bring this price down)
- Additional GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents.
- A maximum of 100,000 miles can be purchased within a single calendar year (not including bonuses)
- Purchased miles are not refundable and are applicable towards all Etihad Guest awards.
- Miles purchased using this option will post within 24 hours.
- 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 40,000 miles…
….you’ll end up with 48,000 miles (after the bonus) at a total cost of $800 or ~1.67 cents/mile.
And if you buy the full permitted amount of 100,000 miles…
…..you’ll end up with 120,000 miles (after the bonus) at a cost of $2,000 or ~1.67 cents/mile.
That’s good news because it means you don’t have to buy more miles than you actually need.
Earning Tier Credits In The Sale
This latest sale allows Etihad Guest members to earn 1 Tier qualifying mile for every 5 Etihad Guest Miles purchased so, as you can buy up to 100,000 miles in this sale, there are 20,000 Tier Miles on offer.
Etihad Guest offers Silver Status at 25,000 Tier Miles, Gold Status at 50,000 Tier Miles, and Platinum Status at 125,000 Tier Miles so you can buy status outright just by purchasing miles in this sale…but you can give yourself a good boost.
Using Etihad Guest Miles On American Airlines
This sale isn’t quite as good as the best sale that we’ve seen Etihad run(where a 25% bonus was offered) but it can still be put to very good use if you know how.
As I’ve shown before, Etihad Guest miles can be used to book American Airlines saver awards at a very attractive rate as Etihad’s award chart for American Airlines is essentially American’s pre-devaluation award chart dating back a few years.
Here’ what the chart looks like:
Etihad’s award chart highlights:
- USA – Europe roundtrip Business Class award: 100,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – Europe roundtrip First Class award: 125,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – Australia/New Zealand roundtrip Business Class award: 125,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – China/Hong Kong roundtrip Business Class award: 110,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – China/Hong Kong roundtrip First Class award: 135,000 Etihad Guest Miles
Unfortunately, this sale doesn’t allow you to buy enough miles for every award I’ve listed above (it’s close!) but as Etihad is a transfer partner of Citi’s ThankYou program, Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, and Amex Membership Rewards 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/roundtrip):
- USA – Europe Business Class award: $835/$1,670
- USA – Europe First Class award: $1,044/$2,088
- USA – Australia/NZ Business Class award: $1,044/$2,088
- USA – China/Hong Kong Business Class award: $919/$1,838
- USA – China/Hong Kong First Class award: $1,127/$2,254
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 tough…even in the midst of a pandemic.
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(s) they’re planning to book is (are) actually available.
Also, bear in mind that the number of routes that American Airlines is offering right now is greatly reduced, so make sure the airline is actually flying to wherever it is that you’d like to visit.
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 excellent bonus currently available on the World of Hyatt credit 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).
If you’re someone who prefers to earn cash back over miles and points, the newly refreshed Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card would be a good option.
If you can find saver award availability on American Airlines this sale could offer a great way to book those awards at rates we haven’t seen since the big American Airlines devaluation a few years ago.