I am an Aegean Airlines loyalist – love the flights, the crews, and the award program is pretty good also. Their Aegean Gold status (Star Alliance Gold) is actually really easy to retain if you find a reason to fly with them each year and their redemptions have some great sweet spots. This latest sale (first this year) will give you the opportunity to buy Aegean miles with up to a 40% bonus.
Buy Aegean Miles with Up To a 40% Bonus
Here is how the bonus breaks down with the purchases:
- From 1,000 – 2,000 | 20% bonus
- From 3,000 – 10,000 | 25% bonus
- From 11,000 – 20,000 | 30% bonus
- From 21,000 – 30,000 | 35% bonus
- From 31,000 – 50,000 | 40% bonus
- Miles cost 25€ per thousand (before the bonus)
This is almost the exact sale as last year at this time but they split the bonus to 35% instead of 40% for purchases from 21,000 – 30,000 miles.
These are not the cheapest miles around but with this sale at the max bonus (the 40% bonus), you will be paying €.0178 each. At the current exchange rate today, that would equal 1.98 cents each. Again, that is not the cheapest but there are some ways that it can be worthwhile to buy these miles – but, should you?
This bonus on purchased Aegean miles runs from today (May 23) until May 27, 2019 at 23:59, Greece time. You are still limited to buying 50,000 miles in a year but the bonus is not counted towards that. The good news is that non-elite members can also buy up to 50,000 miles. In the past, that was limited to 30,000 miles.
Also, Aegean processes these mileage purchases themselves so use a credit card that offers bonus points for travel.
Aegean Award Booking Rules
- You are limited to one connection (with a 24 hour maximum stopover)
- Airlines that pass on fuel surcharges will apply here (Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, Turkish at a smaller amount)
- Low cost to cancel awards – just €20
- Awards can be booked online or over the phone – even phone bookings are pretty quick
- No close-in booking fees
- You can transfer up to 50,000 miles from other accounts for a flat €15
Tip: If redeeming for Lufthansa in premium cabins, choose to depart FROM Europe to the US as the surcharges will be much less than starting in the US.
Should You Buy Aegean Miles or LifeMiles?
Right now, you can get LifeMiles (also for Star Alliance carriers) through OMaaT for only 1.375 cents each. That is a great deal indeed! Go here to check out that deal. Note: the 1.375 cents is if you buy the maximum of 100,000 miles or more. If you buy just what you need for these awards, it will be 1.534 cents each. The tables below will reflect both costs.
Here is the comparison of what it would cost to buy miles for a business class flight from the US – Europe (note: the Aegean purchase price leaves you a couple hundred under what is required but if you sign-up for an Aegean account, you will get 1,000 miles free):
- Aegean | 45,000 Miles | $891
- LifeMiles | 63,000 Miles | $866 (if you max out the LifeMiles bonus purchase)
- LifeMiles | 63,000 Miles | $966 (if you buy at the minimum amount for the award)
Not only is it cheaper to buy LifeMiles right now, but you also don’t have to pay surcharges when flying carriers like Lufthansa, SWISS, or Austrian. With Aegean, that will add at least a couple hundred dollars more to your award purchase.
Let’s check the comparison for first class award redemptions between the US and Europe:
- Aegean | 60,000 Miles | $1,197
- LifeMiles | 87,000 Miles | $1,196 (if you max out the LifeMiles bonus purchase)
- LifeMiles | 87,000 Miles | $1,334 (if you only buy what you need for this award)
Again, LifeMiles wins out with this, especially for Lufthansa First class since LifeMiles won’t charge you the fuel surcharges.
Which Miles for US – Europe?
So, which miles should you buy if you want an award between the US and Europe? LifeMiles is probably best but only if you have an immediate use for them and the availability is there! That is because I cannot believe they haven’t devalued their program after adding transfer partners and frequent sales and also because not all availability shows up on their website. If it isn’t there, calling LifeMiles can be a pain.
On the Aegean side, if you are good with one connection and flying something like LOT, SAS, United, or Turkish (which has lower surcharges), Aegean is great. However, since we did see two better sales than this last year (a 50% bonus and 100% bonus for Black Friday), I would hold off on buying Aegean miles right now since you are limited to 50,000 in a year.
But, if you are only a bit away from an award and you want to book that soon, at least you get some bonus miles for the purchase!
One Exception in Aegean’s Favor!
There is one great exception and that is if you want to fly between the US and Israel. Aegean counts Israel as part of Europe/North Africa so that would also only cost 45,000 miles one way! Paying just $891 for business class to Israel is a pretty great deal!