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Etihad is currently offering a 20% 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 go on to explain about booking American Airlines awards with Etihad Guest miles here’s a look at Etihad’s latest mileage sale.
Etihad Guest Mileage Sale
Buy Etihad Guest miles by 5 March 2019 and receive up to 20% bonus miles (link to sale)
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 15% Bonus
- Buy 41,000 – 60,000 miles and get a 20% Bonus
The price per mile doesn’t vary within the bands so, if you buy 41,000 miles….
….you’ll end up with 49,200 miles (after the bonus) at a total cost of $820 or ~1.67 cents/mile.
And if you buy the full permitted amount of 60,000 miles…..
…..you’ll end up with 72,000 miles (after the bonus) at a cost of $1,200 or ~1.67 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
This sale isn’t quite as good as the sale Etihad was running through 31 December last year but it can still be put to very good use….if you know how.
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
Unfortunately you can’t purchase enough miles in the current sale for all of those awards 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….or you could just book a one-way award and use a different airline’s 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: ~$835
- USA – Europe one-way First Class award: ~$1,044
- USA – Australia/New Zealand one-way Business Class award: ~$1,044
- USA – China/Hong Kong one-way Business Class award: ~$919
- USA – China/Hong Kong one-way First Class award: ~$1,127
Taxes and fees would need to be added in but they should be insignificant for flights to/from the US.
The one big issue here is the fact that finding American Airlines saver awards can be tough. Incredibly tough….but they do become available so don’t despair 🙂
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 great way to book those awards at rates we haven’t seen since the big American Airlines devaluation a few years ago.
There are plenty of other uses of Etihad Guest Miles too (here’s a link to the Etihad partner page) and, if you’re flying within Australia, you should be able to get good value by using Etihad miles for Business Class redemptions on Virgin Australia.
Overall, however, but the best value for most reader (in my opinion) is to be had through booking American Airlines awards…as long as you can find some to book.