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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
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:
- Registration is required. You can do that by clicking here.
- 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 aa.com – 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…