One-way in Etihad First Class for £865 or Less

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One of the more interesting ways of “travel hacking” First Class flights is to combine several overlapping promotions and sweet spots into one itinerary. This autumn, we’re seeing an American Airlines 25% hotel point conversion bonus overlap with Marriott Bonvoy selling points at a 30% discount.

Stage 1 – Buy 120,000 Marriott points

Click here for details of Marriott’s latest promotion.

Now… I know that the annual limit is 100,000 points per account. But you probably have family members who can be “gifted” points, only for those points to be combined into your account.

120,000 Marriott points will cost you $1,050 (£840).

Stage 2 – Convert Those Marriott points into AAdvantage Miles with a 25% Bonus

Until 30 October, 2019, AA members can receive a 25% bonus when converting Marriott points into AA miles.

There are two really important details to note:

  1. Registration is required. You can do that by clicking here.
  2. Miles transferred as part of a “Travel Package” do NOT receive the bonus

You want to convert in chunks of 60,000 Marriott points, which will get you a 5,000 mile bonus. i.e. 25,000 miles. Add the 25% bonus on top and you’ll end up with 31,250 miles.

Do it twice and you will have 62,500 miles.

If you like “per mile” calculations, you’d be acquiring AA miles for 1.35p each, which is hard to beat (at least without buying hundreds of thousands of miles in the best AA sales).

Step 3 – Book Your Etihad One-way Flight from Abu Dhabi to London

Now that Etihad flights can be booked online at – click here for details – you can spend your 62,500 miles on a one-way award flight in First Class. Taxes amount to a mere £26 when departing the UAE.

You can fly Etihad First Class for even less, provided you travel between Abu Dhabi and Asia. Click here for details.


Etihad’s “Apartment” in First Class is a really special treat. Perhaps you already have 120,000 Marriott points and don’t need to buy them, or perhaps you just need a little top up of your AA account. But thanks to the 25% conversion bonus between Marriott and American Airlines, you could easily find yourself with an Apartment “bargain” for your next trip to/from the Middle East / India…


  1. Andrea says

    Maybe I got this wrong because I’m kind of new on hotel points (much more into air miles). But when you convert marriott points to AA miles with ratio 3:1 plus 25% bonus you get from 60000 Marriott points 20000 AA miles plus 5000 bonus which is 25000 bonus included and not 31250 as posted. Am I wrong?

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Andrea,

      We should probably have been a bit clearer in the article, so apologies for the confusion! The good news is that the 31,250 figure is definitely correct.

      Whenever you transfer a block of 60,000 Marriott Points to (pretty much) any of its airline partners, you receive a 5,000 miles bonus as standard. So you normally get 25,000 rather than 20,000.

      American is offering an additional time-limited 25% bonus on transfers, and that bonus is applied to the full 25,000 miles, meaning you would currently end up with 31,250 miles.

  2. Tilly71 says

    Need 20K AA miles to upgrade to F, Marriott coming in at approx £350.
    Are there any better deals out there?

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I always struggle with acquiring smallish amounts of AA miles cost-effectively. Marriott looks best at the moment, assuming you’ve already done all of the potential first time promos from Rocketmiles, AA hotels, Pointshound, etc.

      • Tilly71 says

        I’ve tried your link to the Rocketmiles offer but I can’t find any hotels covering the 5000 aa miles, only 1000 unless once you’ve booked the room the 5k pts show on your booking?

        I will take a look at AA hotels & Rocket hound now, is not turning up at AA hotels booking as I’m cautious with AA portal after they took back points for a cancelled sub.

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