I wrote the other day about Aegean allowing elite members to purchase Tier (or elite) miles in order to requalify for Silver or Gold status for the next year. Since it only takes 12,000 miles (and 4 Aegean segments) to requalify for Gold status (and thereby the valuable Star Alliance Gold), the 2,000 Tier mile limit is actually pretty generous.
Now You Can Buy Aegean Award Miles
But, in addition to the purchase of Tier/Elite miles, Aegean is also allowing all Miles+Bonus members to purchase award miles – up to 50,000 miles per year. While it is not a great rate at €.025 per mile (about 2.7 cents US per mile), it is a great opportunity for many people to top-up their account in preparation for an award.
Here are the details about purchasing these Aegean award miles:
- Award miles can be purchased by all active Miles+Bonus Members, regardless of their tier.
- Members are eligible to purchase up to 50000 Award miles within their membership year (twelve consecutive months from their enrollment or last tier upgrade/retain).
- Purchase of Award miles cannot be canceled after completion, thus the transaction value is non-refundable.
- Award miles are sold in sets of thousand (1000) at the price of 25.00€ per set.
- Award miles are credited to the Member’s Account immediately after the completion of the transaction.
- See more here
- Make sure you use a credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee!
Why This Might Be Great For You
So, why are these miles worth 2.7 cents each? By themselves, they are not. To purchase enough for a one way business class flight from North America to Europe, it will cost you $1,245 (at today’s exchange rate) plus any taxes and fees on the award ticket. While some may be willing to pay that for a one way like the one ways described in the Israel section below, it is not a good deal for 99% of travelers.
What is great about it is that it finally gives you a way to top off your Aegean award miles account for a redemption that you have been shy of. Yes, Aegean allows elites to pool miles with friends and family (and even earn an easy 5,000 miles just by creating accounts), but other than flying or using their shopping portal (which is not a good deal), there is no way to accrue these miles.
That means that you are stuck with what you have in your account. If you flew the minimum to get Gold under the old program, that means you have just a little over 20,000 Aegean award miles sitting in your account. With this new option, you can get to the 25,000 mile level that would give you travel around North America (including the Caribbean). That extra 5,000 miles would cost you about $130 but could be worth it.
To be able to top off your account quickly and easily for great award redemptions may be worth it for many people. I know that some people I know of with Aegean award miles will be taking advantage of this to get the extra couple/few thousand miles needed.
Using Aegean Miles
Aegean Airlines is a part of the Star Alliance which opens up members to a lot of award redemptions. While many are similar to other award charts by partners, there are some sweet spots (some of which you can find in this post). One of the best for US travelers is the 45,000 miles oneway in business class from the US to Europe. With Aeroplan (Air Canada’s frequent flyer program) changing their redemptions later this year, Aegean really presents the best opportunity to fly from anywhere in the US to anywhere in Europe for only 45,000 miles in business.
Note: You will have to pay fuel surcharges if the carrier charges them so take that into account. Carriers like United do not charge them so check for their availability if you want to avoid paying the fuel surcharges.
US-Israel For Only 45,000 Miles In Business
Not only that, but they include Israel in their European region. That is by far the cheapest option to fly Newark to Tel Aviv on United in business class – that same flight award costs 70,000 United miles! To make it even more interesting, you could (in theory) fly from the Caribbean to Israel for only 45,000 miles in business class. Aegean limits you to one connection so such a trip would have to go through Newark, but that is possible to do something like Trinidad – Newark – Tel Aviv – all in business and for only 45,000 miles!
Another nice option is to fly business between Europe and the Middle East for only 30,000 miles one way. Again, you do need to pay fuel surcharges, but they are not that bad depending on the carrier. Since turkish Airlines has a great presence in this part of the world, it opens up a lot of possibilities and a great business class cabin to some regions (like a recent trip I took from Istanbul – Dubai).
While it is never a good idea to just buy miles speculatively, especially miles at regular prices, buying Aegean award miles might just make sense for the thousands of you who collected Aegean miles during the period of their easy to get Gold status. If that is you, now you have an option to top off your account to redeem for that great trip and make those miles about more than just the status you had!