If Etihad joins Star Alliance, 75k points may put you in First/Apartment to the Middle East

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If Etihad joins Star Alliance, 75k points may put you in First/Apartment to the Middle East

Yesterday OMAAT published a post saying, on good authority, Star Alliance was potentially welcoming a new member: Etihad. My mind started spinning. Would this mean the end of the AA partnership? Should I make another speculative placeholder redemption for Etihad First Class with my AA miles? See, I’m an AA Exec Plat, and am working on retaining it and Alaska’s MVPG 75k this year. If they joined *A who knows how long AA miles could lock down a ticket? I don’t really have many miles in Star Alliance. I have access to them via Chase, Amex, and Citi, but I don’t actively pursue Star Alliance revenue fares. Then I looked at Singapore Airlines award chart for the Middle East. HOLY COW. If Etihad joins Star Alliance, 75k points may put you in First/Apartment to the Middle East.

Yes, I’m talking the Apartment and Diamond First/ First Suite


Where am I getting 75k?

Singapore Airlines award chart. First class is 150k roundtrip for partner awards.

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 12.53.27 PM

Why is this a “MAY put you in First/Apartment?”

Etihad opens up their first class awards to partners right now. In fact it costs 115k AA to fly it from JFK to AUH. However, this deal is a maybe right now, and we have no idea what the terms will be…Etihad could restrict availability to partners for their most coveted awards. Singapore holds back First Class/Suites from it’s partners and makes them only avail to their own loyalists. Swiss Air restricts as well. Air France, albeiet SkyTeam, only releases to their Top Tier status holders! You get my point…

Put out those good vibes!

What are some other rates?

American at 115k

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 1.31.26 PM

Aeroplan at 115k

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 1.30.47 PM

United is a whopping 140k!!!

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 2.22.21 PM

To end on a high note…this would also mean that the INCREDIBLE Etihad Business Studio would come in at only 57,500 Singapore Krisflyer from the States to the middle east.

Etihad 787 Business Stuido - 5 of 153

To go even further…look at Europe to the Middle East?! 35k!!!!

You can fly the Apartment on the A380 from AUH to LHR. THAT IS RIDICS!!!!

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 2.02.53 PM


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The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

Super solid welcome offer.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 


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  • Ryan February 1, 2017

    Lufthansa F experience destroys EY!! I can already book that for 75K. and keep in mind SQ charges big bucks in fuel surcharges. Usually $650 to the Middle East. I can book 110K united and save the $650

    • Miles February 1, 2017

      Ryan – not sure everyone would choose Lufthansa First with a layover to a direct Etihad Apartment, but to each their own…we’ll see what fees are added if the deal happens. How are you getting 110k? United partner is 80k+60k in First.

    • Angel February 2, 2017

      Ryan – I’m not sure LH “destroys” EY. I’ve flown both in F and, yes, LH is awesome but EY service was even better (“chef” was excellent and crew were super attentive). Both are amazing products IMHO!

  • ZO February 1, 2017

    and if my grandmother had balls she would be my grandfather. a whole post based on ifs, maybes, and total conjecture about something that hasn’t happened. sott.

    • Miles February 1, 2017

      hahaha thanks for reading!

  • choi February 1, 2017

    what about fuel surcharge ?

    • Miles February 1, 2017

      Hey Choi – I’d assume there would be some…

  • Charlie February 1, 2017

    It would actually be 140k united miles. The rate you have is for UA metal, the partner miles are way higher!

    • Miles February 1, 2017

      AHHHH good catch – Thank you! I’ll make the switch

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