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Etihad has a new mileage sale running for the next 7 days in which it’s selling its currency at 1.6 cents per mile. In comparison to some of the sales we saw during the pandemic, this isn’t a particularly amazing offer but because Etihad’s Miles can be used to book American Airlines awards at a very good rate, this sale is still worth a closer look.
Etihad Guest mileage sale
The premise of the sale is straightforward: Buy Etihad Guest miles by 27 March 2022 and get a discount of up to 20%:
Here’s how the sale is structured:
- Buy 1,000 – 4,000 miles and get no discount
- Buy 5,000 – 19,000 miles and get a 10% discount
- Buy 21,000 – 38,000 miles and get a 15% discount
- Buy 41,000 – 100,000 miles and get a 20% discount
- Miles may be purchased for $0.02 USD per mile (pre discount).
- 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. For Platinum members the maximum will be 150,000, and for Bronze, Silver, and Gold Tier members the maximum will be 100,000 Etihad Guest Miles.
- 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.
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 41,000 miles…
….you’ll end up paying $656 or 1.60 cents/mile.
And if you buy the full permitted 100,000 miles…
…..you’ll end up paying $1,600 or 1.60 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’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 big devaluation of 2016.
Here’s what the Etihad award chart for American Airlines redemptions looks like:
Etihad’s award chart highlights:
- USA – Europe roundtrip Business Class: 100,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – Europe roundtrip First Class: 125,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – Australia/New Zealand roundtrip Business Class: 125,000 Etihad Guest Miles
- USA – Asia 1 (Tokyo) Business Class: 100,000 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 for Capital One, Citi, and Amex it shouldn’t be too 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 assuming a cost of 1.60 cents/mile (not including taxes and surcharges):
- USA – Europe roundtrip Business Class award: $1,600
- USA – Europe roundtrip First Class award: $2,000
- USA – Australia/New Zealand roundtrip Business Class award: $2,000
- USA – Asia 1 (Tokyo): $1,600
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)
There’s one big issue here and it’s one 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.
Also, considering significant parts of the world aren’t fully reopened yet, it’s important for anyone considering buying miles to make sure that they’re aware of any restriction in place at their chosen destination(s).
Etihad sells its miles through Points.com so there’s no scope to earn a travel/hotel 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 excellent Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card) or a card that earns you points that you value highly (e.g. the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review) which earns cardholders 2 Membership Rewards Points/dollar spent on the first $50,000 of spending every year – terms apply).
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 of 2016.
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.