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Transfer/Buy AA or Use UA points
I currently live in the Middle East (not the Gulf) and after much back and forth am heavily leaning towards going to South Korea for the last week of August.
I only have ~43,000 American Airlines points, most of which were SPG points that I transferred during the recent hotel transfer promotion. I had ~77,000 miles in my UA account before the redemption I mention below and a few hundred thousand Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
My original plan was to book Etihad business class one way (two segments on 789) for 40,000 AA points. To avoid close-in fees I just booked a 60,000 one way business class reward on United for the return flight on Asiana and Turkish, both on the A330.
United is 50% more for travel between the same regions. I can use a combination of transferring SPG points and/or purchasing AA miles with the current promotion and would also consider one way on economy. I plan to use my SPG points to transfer to JAL for Emirates business class back to the US in the future.
I still have 22ish hours left of my 24 hour cancellation. Should I cancel my United award and book the return on Etihad through AA as well or is it better to burn the miles I already have?
On a side note, I now realize that ANA (unlike UA) is quite useful from the Middle East. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have any Amex MR or Citi cards.
What about Singapore? How does their award chart look for the Star Alliance flights you want? Better than UA? They’re a transfer partner of many of the transferable currencies.
Singapore is more than united for business- 65k one way. Also, from my understanding, SQ is pretty strict about not backtracking. Wouldn’t flying through Istanbul be considered backtracking? There are really no options that wouldn’t have any backtracking since there are no star alliance flights coming from the east.
You may be right, I didn’t look at their charts, just knew they had all the transfer partners. And yeah, flying via IST might be backtracking.