Score Amazing Star Alliance Redemptions by Buying Aegean Miles With a 50% Bonus
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Even though Star Alliance, the largest of the three major airline alliances, has a total of 28 partner airlines, they don't all get an equal amount of attention. You might not be familiar with greek carrier Aegean Airlines, but you'll want to pay attention to its latest promo on purchased miles.
Through August 8th, 2019, you can get a 50% bonus on purchased miles, up to 30,000 purchased miles. Aegean charges 25 euros (~$28) per 1,000 miles, and while that's a little pricier than most airlines, its award chart makes up for it.
If you max out this promotion, you'd end up paying 750 euros (~$844) for 45,000 miles after factoring in the bonus. That's exactly enough to book a one-way business class award between the US and Europe, on Star Alliance partners including United, Lufthansa, Swiss or Austrian. For the same 45,000 Aegean miles you could fly business class from Europe to India or the Maldives.
You can also use Aegean miles for domestic United flights, with economy awards starting at 12,500 miles each way. That still comes out to about $280 per flight though, so you'd probably be better off saving these miles for longer flights. However, domestic business class awards start at 21,000 miles each way — or $394 if you maximize the promotion. That could get a transcon flight on United's 787-10 in Polaris business.
The low cap on the number of miles you can purchase makes it tricky to use this sale for destinations farther away than Europe, but there are other ways to top up your Aegean mileage balance. Marriott Bonvoy offers points transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, and you could also consider crediting paid Star Alliance flights to your Aegean account to earn more miles.
If you're able to get your hands on more Aegean miles, there are some other great values in the carrier's award chart to consider. Arguably the best is Lufthansa First Class between the US and Europe for only 60,000 miles each way, though Lufthansa doesn't release any first class award space to partners until 15 days before departure. Note that Aegean does tack on fuel surcharges for some carries, like Lufthansa, Swiss or Austrian.
For those looking to fly from the US to Asia, business class awards cost 75,000 miles each way and first class awards cost 100,000 miles each way. These are both great prices, and pretty much in line with what other top Star Alliance programs like Avianca LifeMiles charges.
Reports also indicate the when buying miles from Aegean, it codes as an airline purchase, so using a card that earns bonus points on the airfare can help maximize your purchase. The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare purchased directly from the airlines), Citi Prestige (5x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel) are likely your best bets.
Aegean is a niche airline for sure, but if you're planning a trip to Europe this limited time promo on purchased miles might be a great deal for you. As always, we recommend only purchasing miles if you have a specific trip in mind and have already found award space and not doing so speculatively. You can purchase Aegean miles here.