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It’s the week of Black Friday and that means that we should see deals coming at us from all directions and Etihad has got things off to a great start with a fantastic flash mileage sale. It looks like the sale started yesterday and only runs through to the end of today so you only have a few hours to make the most of this deal.
This is what the sale looks like in my account:
- Buy 1,000 – 3,000 miles and receive a no bonus
- Buy 4,000 – 14,000 miles and receive a 40% bonus
- Buy 15,000 – 30,000 miles and receive a 50% bonus
- Buy 31,000+ miles and receive a 70% Bonus
Platinum members can purchase up to 150,000 miles/year while all other Etihad Guest members may buy a total of 100,000 miles/year.
- Promotion runs to 23:59 PST on 22 November 2021
- 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.
- 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 cost per mile varies depending on the bonus on offer (obviously!) but within each bonus band, the cost remains constant. What this means is that, regardless of whether you buy 31,000 miles…
…or 100,000 miles…
…or a number of miles in between, you’ll always be buying miles at the cheapest rate this sale offers – 1.18 cents.
Is this a good deal?
As I say every time I write about a mileage sale…
- No one should be stockpiling miles
- No one should be buying miles without a plan for how to use them
- No one should be buying miles without understanding what kind of value they’ll be able to get out of them
- No one should assume that awards will be easy to find
Right, now that that’s out of the way, here’s something a bit more positive:
This is the best Etihad mileage sale that we’ve seen in the last two years (it just beats the sale we saw in April 2020 where miles cost 1.2 cents each) and although I struggle to get great value by using miles for flights on Etihad, the partnership with American Airlines offers real scope to score some fantastic deals.
Using Etihad Guest Miles on American Airlines
As I’ve shown in the past, Etihad Guest miles can be used to book American Airlines saver awards at a very attractive rate thanks to the fact that Etihad uses an award chart which is very similar to an American Airlines award chart dating back before the disastrous devaluation of 2016.
These are the highlights from this 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
Thankfully (an unusually for most Etihad mileage sales), it’s possible to buy enough miles in this sale for any of the awards listed above. If you still need more miles, it’s worth remembering that Etihad is a transfer partner for Chase, Citi, and Amex so it isn’t hard to top up an Etihad Guest account.
Here’s how these awards would price up assuming a cost of 1.18 cents/mile (not including taxes and fees):
- USA – Europe roundtrip Business Class award: $1,180
- USA – Europe roundtrip First Class award: $1,475
- USA – Australia/New Zealand roundtrip Business Class award: $1,475
- USA – China/Hong Kong roundtrip Business Class award: $1,298
- USA – China/Hong Kong roundtrip First Class award: $1,593
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).
These aren’t just good or great deals, they’re amazing deals…as long as you can actually find award availability.
There’s a big issue here that’s very important to flag – finding American Airlines saver awards can be 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.
I’ve written about the one essential rule to follow when buying miles or points before and it’s a rule that’s worth bearing in mind before buying any miles in this sale.
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 bonus currently available on the American Express® 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 – 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 premium cabin saver award availability on American Airlines this Etihad mileage sale could offer a fantastic way to book those awards at truly amazing rates – As long as you don’t buy miles without checking that the award you’d like to book is available, it’s hard for you to go wrong here and that’s a very nice position to be in.