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Etihad is back with a new mileage sale and it’s a similar sale to the one we saw the airline offer in September of last year. That’s good news because September’s sale was very good and 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 – 5,000 miles and get no bonus
- Buy 6,000 – 20,000 miles and get a 10% bonus
- Buy 21,000 – 60,000 miles and get a 20% bonus
- Buy 61,000 – 100,000 miles and get a 40% bonus
- Buy Etihad Guest miles by 23:59 PST on 31 March 2021 and receive up to 40% bonus miles (link to sale)
- 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 61,000 miles…
….you’ll end up with 85,400 miles (after the bonus) at a total cost of $1,220 or ~1.43 cents/mile.
And if you buy the full permitted amount of 100,000 miles…
…..you’ll end up with 140,000 miles (after the bonus) at a cost of $2,000 or ~1.43 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.
Using Etihad Guest Miles On American Airlines
This sale is one of the best 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 that’s 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’ 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
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/roundtrip):
- USA – Europe Business Class award: $715/$1,430
- USA – Europe First Class award: $894/$1,788
- USA – Australia/NZ Business Class award: $894/$1,788
- USA – China/Hong Kong Business Class award: $787/$1,573
- USA – China/Hong Kong First Class award: $966/$1,931
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 they’re planning to book is 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 good bonus currently available on the Amex Gold 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 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.