Airlines

Aegean Miles+Bonus devalues without notice; sweet spot to Japan gone

Aegean has put its award chart to the sword, devaluing Singapore to Japan awards by more than 50%- all without notice.

Well this sucks.

In the run up to Black Friday/Cyber Monday, we were all keeping a close eye on Aegean Miles+Bonus, hoping that they’d run another 100% bonus sale. This would allow you to buy miles at 1.96 SG cents each, fantastic value given a round-trip Business Class redemption to Japan cost just 42,000 miles.

Perhaps it’s good we were keeping an eye on them, because Aegean has gone and done a no-notice devaluation of its award chart, hiking Star Alliance redemption costs overnight.

What’s changed?

Here’s the old Miles+Bonus award chart:

And here’s the new award chart:

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I’m going to focus specifically on the impact for those of us based in Singapore, although flying point to point outside of Singapore (e.g US to Europe) has also been hit.

Round-trip Business ClassOld ChartNew ChartDevaluation
Far East to Far East42,00065,00055%
Far East to Europe110,000130,00018%
Far East to Hawaii110,000110,0000%
Far East includes China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. You can see the full listing of Aegean’s geographical groupings here.

As you can see, there’s been a huge devaluation of the intra-Far East Business Class sweet spot. Singapore to Japan/South Korea once cost only 42,000 miles round-trip, and now it’s 65,000 miles. That’s a 55% loss in value.

Singapore to Europe was another potential sweet spot at 110,000 miles round-trip (versus 184,000 miles round-trip on KrisFlyer, albeit with no fuel surcharges), but that’s now been devalued 18% to 130,000 miles.

Although Singapore to Hawaii has been untouched, there are cheaper ways of getting there (see below).

Is it still worth buying Aegean Miles?

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Assuming Aegean Miles+Bonus holds another Black Friday sale with miles at 2 cents each, should you buy them?

In a word, no.

You can fly to Japan in Business Class for 50,000 miles round-trip through EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, a transfer partner of AMEX, SCB, and Citibank. Even if you don’t have enough miles with those banks, you can buy them through SC EasyBill and Citi PayAll from 1.43 and 1.25 cents respectively. That’s better than buying 32,500 Miles+Bonus miles at ~1.96 SG cents each.

Miz on the comments has pointed out that the connections for EVA Air between Singapore and Japan require you to stay one night in Taipei. That could be a good or bad thing, depending on what your vacation plans are.
Miles Req.Cost Per MileCost of Round-Trip Flight
Buy SC points via EasyBill, redeem via EVA50,0001.43-2 SG centsS$715-S$1,000
Buy Citi points via PayAll, redeem via EVA50,0001.25-1.67 SG centsS$625-S$835
Buy Aegean Miles+Bonus65,0001.96 SG cents (2018 price)S$1,274
Above working ignores fuel surcharges and taxes, which will be the same across EVA and Aegean

If you wanted to go to Europe, then Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles (a Citi transfer partner) would have you covered.

Miles Req.Cost Per MileCost of Round-Trip Flight
Buy Citi points via PayAll, redeem via Miles&Smiles90,0001.25-1.67 SG centsS$1,125-S$1,503
Buy Aegean Miles+Bonus130,0001.96 SG cents (2018 price)S$2,548
Above working ignores fuel surcharges and taxes, which will be the same across Miles&Smiles and Aegean

Hawaii may have been untouched by these changes, but it’s still cheaper to buy LifeMiles instead, either during a sale or transfer bonus offer.

Miles Req.Cost Per MileCost of Round-Trip Flight
Buy LifeMiles102,0001.3-1.375 US centsUS$1,326-US$1,403
Buy Aegean Miles+Bonus110,0001.96 SG cents (2018 price)S$2,156
LifeMiles does not charge fuel surcharges, so the actual savings are even higher than the above working suggests
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So I just don’t see any value left in the Miles+Bonus program.

Conclusion

No-notice devaluations are one of the worst things that FFPs can do to members. It instantaneously wrecks the value of past loyalty, while telling them “yeah, but what have you done for us lately?”

If anything, this should serve as a reminder of the golden rule: never buy miles speculatively. I know a few people who jumped in during the last Black Friday sale, but never got round to spending them- imagine how they feel this morning.

Aegean Miles+Bonus used to be a great little program, with its 20,000 miles Star Gold status and generous sweet spots. That’s all gone now, and there’s almost zero reason for those in Singapore to take an interest in it.

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(HT: OMAAT)


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Aaron WongAlexWhateverDKChris Recent comment authors
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DK
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DK

Hi Aaron, SIN-TYO return on EVA attracts a $430 tax which I think is expensive. Any idea how much taxes Agean will charge for the same itinerary?

freedom
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freedom

The only worthwhile are the tricks. no actual use case for any normal routing.

Miz
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Miz

But to take EVA Air to Japan (any cities) means you have to spend 2 nights at Taipei (1 night on the way to Japan, and 1 night back from Japan). The connections just doesn’t really match that well.

DK
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DK

I actually find this arrangement attractive as I can also visit Taipei but not sure if I can stay for more than a day – ie stopover. The only hassle is the transfer from airport to city and return

Another FFP bites the dust
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Another FFP bites the dust

Another FFP bites the dust. With aegean striked off the list for us miles Travelers in Asia/Singapore, looks like you have to update your Advanced FFP workshop slides. Wonder where do we credit to now?

Chris
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Chris

Ah well… another one gone. Was looking forward for the sale actually.
Back to the steady way of accumulating mile by mile now lol

Alex
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Alex

Sigh… same here, though I have benefited from last year promo, once for Hanami and another trip for Koyo in Japan.

Alex
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Alex

Hi Aaron,
What do mean by “buying miles through Citi PayAll”? Citi payall can only use to pay rent,taxes,education fee and condo management only right? But what if I do not have such payment? Then how do I “buy miles”?
thanks