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Etihad has been offering a valuable 20% bonus on the sale of its miles since mid-February but the offer runs out tonight so you have just a few hours left if you need/want to top up your Etihad Guest account.
If you’re sitting at home or at work wondering why you should be interested in buying miles from an airline you may have never flown with the answer is simple: Etihad Guest miles can be put to great use on American Airlines (if you can find award availability) – I’ll explain further in a moment.
Etihad Guest Miles Sale
Note: this is a recap of what was posted when the sale started
Buy Etihad Guest miles by the end of today, 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
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 the award chart American Airlines used before it was devalued a few years ago.
The 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
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 if you were to purchase 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.
Be aware that there have been rumors circulating that the Etihad/American Airlines partnership will be ended soon (possibly because Etihad will join Star Alliance) and this would prevent Etihad Guest members from redeeming miles for travel on American Airlines.
This actually shouldn’t affect anyone who buys miles in this sale (with the view to booking and American Airlines award) because you shouldn’t be holding on to the Etihad Miles in the first place.
The sequence of events should go something like this:
- Find an available award (or multiple awards) you’d like to book on American Airlines
- Buy Etihad miles to use towards that award
- Call up Etihad to book the awards you’ve found
The time between action (1) and action (3) should be measured in minutes (a few hours at most) so there shouldn’t be any opportunity for Etihad to cut off American Airlines award availability between a miles purchase and an award booking.
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.
However, overall, the best value for most readers (in my opinion) is to be found by booking American Airlines awards…as long as you can find some American Airlines awards to book.