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A fact that’s often overlooked is that American Airlines and Etihad are still partners and not only is the partnership ongoing but you can use Etihad Miles to book American Airlines awards at very good rates.
Etihad is currently offering a 30% bonus on the sale of its miles and this could signal a good opportunity to buy miles cheaply with a view to using them on American Airlines for great value saver awards….if you can find availability.
Before I explain about the good value awards let’s take a look at the Etihad sale.
Etihad Guest Mileage Sale
Buy Etihad Guest miles by 31 December 2018 and receive up to 30% bonus miles
Here’s how the sale is structured:
- Buy 6,000 – 20,000 miles and get a 10% Bonus
- Buy 21,000 – 40,000 miles and get a 20% Bonus
- Buy 41,000 – 60,000 miles and get a 30% Bonus
The price per mile doesn’t vary within the bands so, if you buy 41,000 miles….
….you’ll end up with 53,300 miles (after the bonus) at a total cost of $820 or ~1.54 cents/mile.
And if you buy the full permitted amount of 60,000 miles…..
…..you’ll end up with 78,000 miles (after the bonus) at a cost of $1,200 or ~1.54 cents/mile.
That’s good news because it means you don’t have to buy more miles than you actually need.
Using Etihad Guest Miles On American Airlines
As I discussed back in November, Etihad Guest miles can be used to book American Airlines saver awards and, what makes this particularly good, is that Etihad’s award chart for American Airlines is essentially American’s pre-devaluation award chart.
- 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
Clearly you can’t buy enough miles in this sale for all of those awards but as Etihad is a transfer partner of Citi’s ThankYou program, Chase’s Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards you can always top up an Etihad account from one of those programs….or you can just book a one-way award and use a different currency for the remainder of your trip.
Essentially this is how the pricing would work out of you bought miles in this sale:
- USA – Europe one-way Business Class award: ~$770
- USA – Europe one-way First Class award: ~$962
- USA – Australia/New Zealand one-way Business Class award: ~$962
- USA – China/Hong Kong one-way Business Class award: ~$847
- USA – China/Hong Kong one-way First Class award: ~$1,040
Taxes and fees would need to be added in but the should be insignificant.
The fly in the ointment here is the fact that finding American Airlines saver awards can be tricky…very tricky.
Please do not buy Etihad Guest Miles with the view to using them for an American Airlines redemption before you check that awards are actually available.
If you can find saver award availability on American Airlines this sale could offer a fantastic way to book those awards at rates we haven’t seen for quite some time.
There are plenty of other uses of Etihad Guest Miles too (here’s a link to the Etihad partner page) but I’d try to find American Airlines awards before looking elsewhere – that’s where some of the best value lies.