The best Star Alliance frequent flyer program in the world is hidden in plain site. What if I told you that you could book first class to Europe for 60,000 miles, or first class to Africa for just 75,000 miles? That’s what Aegean Miles & Bonus offers.
They are a Starwood Preferred Guest transfer partner. They just started offering online booking of (some) Star Alliance awards. And they’re now selling miles at a discount.
Here are some of their awards:
- 42,000 miles roundtrip for United domestic first class (within the lower 48)
- 90,000 miles roundtrip for US-Europe business class, and North Africa is included at the same price as Europe and this includes Israel, too. First class is 120,000 miles roundtrip.
- 110,000 miles roundtrip for US-Middle East business class, 150,000 miles roundtrip for first class
- 150,000 miles roundtrip in business class between US and all of Asia and the South Pacific
- 90,000 miles roundtrip in business class between the US and South America
- 110,000 miles roundtrip for US-Africa business class, 150,000 miles roundtrip for first class
One-way awards are available at half these prices. You can book one-way Lufthansa first class for just 60,000 miles (plus fuel surcharges). You can book US-South America for 45,000 miles one-way (and no fuel surcharges).
The biggest drawback besides fuel surcharges is that you can only have one connection in each direction of your award. More than one connections is an additional award.
You can purchase a limited number of elite qualifying miles, but here we’re interested in redeemable miles. You can normally buy up to 50,000 miles per membership year (12 months from enrollment or last tier status upgrade or retention). Purchased miles are posted instantly. And they normally cost 24 euros per 1000 miles.
With this offer you can buy 70,000 miles (50,000 + 40% bonus) for 1250 euros.
- 20% bonus on purchases of 1000 – 2000 miles
- 25% bonus on purchases of 3000 – 10,000 miles
- 30% bonus on purchases of 11,000 – 20,000 miles
- 40% bonus on purchases of 21,000 – 50,000 miles
If you can find first class transatlantic space, that would be 43,000 miles (with bonus yields 60,200 miles). That’s 1075 euros, or US$1268. That can be strategically worthwhile, even including Lufthansa fuel surcharges for instance.