The Aegean Miles+Bonus (M+B) programme used to be the easiest way to earn Star Alliance Gold. At 24k miles per year or 12k with 4 Aegean flights for renewal, it is still one of the easiest programmes to retain Star Gold. Recently, the ability to search and redeem Star Alliance flights online was added and this seems exciting!
The recent Cyber Monday Sale (which has been extended to 27 Dec) promises up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles.
The M+B programme also allows buying of elite (tier) miles for elite status in additional to award miles at the limits of 3,000 and 50,000 per year.
Buying the maximum miles at the maximum bonus will cost 1250E for 70k miles which 0.017857E per mile. That is actually quite a reasonable price but how can one use Aegean miles in Singapore?
Looking at the M+B award chart, an obvious sweet spot for Singapore is with Far East at 42k miles for a business return ticket. This could theoretically get you to Japan at 750E (about SGD1.2k) + surcharges and taxes.
Doing a random search in May 2018, award space was readily available with many many options. Clicking around, I found the taxes could vary quite a bit, and in this case, from 78E to 240E. Therefore your redeemed ticket could cost from SGD1.3k to SGD1.6k.
Using the same dates, I could find Malaysia Airlines going for $484, Scoot $500 (both with 1 stop each direction) and a non-stop Singapore Airlines for $672 for Economy seats.
For Business seats, Scoot is going for $833, Malaysia Airlines at $1069, China Eastern at $1856 and the cheapest Star Alliance is Asiana at $2013.
Let’s look at the same redemption with other FFPs with the same dates. Using Lifemiles for a flight to Japan will cost 72k miles, which definitely seems a lot more, but Lifemiles usually cost less per mile.
If you had bought Lifemiles during the recent 145% sale, 72k miles would have cost you SGD1.3k and with a USD 75 taxes, surcharges and fee, the ticket would be about $1.4k SGD.
Which is not bad as well. Provided you did buy the miles at that unprecedented bonus.
Interestingly the options are glaringly far lesser than Aegean despite both programmes draw availability from Star Alliance.
Alternatively, we can use Alaska miles which is currently going at a 40% bonus.
I was given 1 option of JAL and with the 40% bonus, a return Biz would come up to $1.5 SGD after taxes and surcharges.
Well, there is a way to get cheaper JAL tickets written previously, but with an open jaw.
Thus, it does seem that Aegean is a little superior as it can go down to $1.3k SGD and the engine gives far more options for redemption.
In summary, I do think it is a good deal to buy the miles at this price if one can use it, although I had looked only at Japan as a redemption option here.
I was indeed rather skeptical before writing this article and now I’m sold after my own research!
Would you be buying the miles too?