25% bonus on Amex and hotel point transfers into Etihad Guest

(EDIT:  The end date for this promotion has been extended to 30th June.  The miles quoted below do NOT reflect the Etihad devaluation which was announced after this article was published.)

Etihad Guest has launched a 25% bonus on points you transfer in to their scheme.  They have run this promotion before but never with a bonus as large as 25%.

You can find details of participating Etihad’s partners on the Etihad website here.  Annoyingly, this bonus does not seem to be specifically mentioned online but members were emailed yesterday.

Relevant partners for UK readers are:

American Express Membership Rewards
HSBC Premier
Heathrow Rewards
Club Carlson
Hilton HHonors
Hyatt Gold Passport
IHG Rewards Club
Le Club Accorhotels
Marriott Rewards
Shangri-La Golden Circle

The bonus also applies to NBAD, Emirates Islamic Bank, Mobily and Etisalat Rewards transfers.

Starwood Preferred Guest is the obvious ‘missing’ partner, perhaps because they offer their own year-round 25% bonus when you transfer points to Etihad, or any other airline, in chunks of 20,000.

To build up a big Etihad balance, you can combine this with the current special offer on the Etihad Guest credit card which I discussed here.  If you apply for this free card before 10th July you will receive 25,000 Etihad miles for spending £2,000 within 90 days.

You only need to have 75% of the miles for a redemption in your account.   You can effectively ‘buy’ the additional 25% at the low price of 0.58p per mile by doing a ‘cash and points’ redemption.  This is a very good deal as I outlined in this article.

Here is an example of how you could book am A380 First Class Apartment one way between London and Abu Dhabi:

Just 55,126 miles are required

…. but you only need 75% which means 41,345 miles

You get 500 bonus miles for opening an Etihad Guest account with your first activity

Opening the credit card and spending £2,000 to trigger the bonus gets you 28,000 miles

…. leaving just 12,845 miles to earn from Amex Membership Rewards transfers – which would only require a transfer of 10,300 points with the 25% bonus (or earn the extra via spend on the Etihad card) 

The tax would be £15 from Abu Dhabi or £190 from London, plus roughly £80 for the 13,781 miles you would be ‘buying’ by doing a ‘cash and points’ redemption.

Business Class is a doddle one-way!  You need 44,034 miles to get to Abu Dhabi but, because of ‘cash and points’ you only need to have 35,228.  The credit card sign-up bonus gets you 25,000 (plus 3,000 for the £2,000 of spend to trigger the bonus) leaving  you just 7,228 short!  A modest Amex transfer or some more card spend fills this gap.

Here is my review of the Business Class Studio on the new A380My review of First Class on the older Boeing 777 aircraft is here – this is not as good as the First Class Apartment on the A380 but is still a good product.

By August, Etihad will be running a ‘100% A380’ fleet out of Heathrow, three flights a day.

The deadline for transfers is 6th June. It is not clear if points need to arrive at Etihad Guest by this date or if you simply need to initiate the transfer. To be safe, I would try to get any transfers made by late May.

Here is the small print from the email:

Etihad Guest Miles transferred may take up to 7 days to be reflected within the Etihad Guest account. Bonus Etihad Guest Miles will be posted to your Etihad Guest Programme account within 7 days of the standard miles being transferred. Once the Miles transfer request in initiated it cannot be reversed. 25% Bonus Etihad Guest Miles transfer offer is valid from May 6th to June 6th 2015 (inclusive). This offer is subject to the Terms & Conditions of the Etihad Guest Programme.   The following point exchange partners are excluded from this campaign: ADCB TouchPoints, Citi PremierMiles and Starwood Preferred Guest.

Is it worth buying hotel points to transfer to Avios or Etihad for the 25% bonus?
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Comments

  1. Lorca says:

    I was going to redeem some AMEX points for money via tripflex, but would it now work out better to convert to Etihad points and then cash via PointsPay? Does anybody know the conversion rate? And does this promotion stipulate any limitations on using PointsPay with the 25% bonus? Thanks.

    • It used to be 0.41p. However, that was before the US$ weakened against the £ so it may be lower now. Frankly, I would use Tripflex because it will only be a fraction poorer than PointsPay and a lot less faffing about.

  2. Matthew says:

    First statement from my new Etihad card arrived this morning in my online account – and only has the 5000 bonus miles showing – joy! I have written confirmation that the 25,000 will apply to my account so a few phone calls required….

    • I just got my statement but no points posted at all. Is there a way of checking they have the right guest card number associated with the card online or do I have to phone? (Pretty sure I put the correct one in on application

      • Matthew says:

        My points haven’t posted yet but they have appeared on the paper statement. I’d imagine they will appear in my etihad account this week.

        I messaged them online to check they had the right etihad number a few weeks back which they confirmed.

        Did you hit the 2k spend this month Tom? If so, did the bonus 25000 points appear on your statement? Thanks.

    • Matthew says:

      Update…been told I will need to wait another month until my next statement Despite hitting to 2k spend in good time. Bye bye award seat I had my eye on :-(

      • Even worse, despite spending 3k in the month zero bonus miles recorded on my statement! Looks like I will be calling aswell!

        • Update, called the offer they have on file is 10k points after 4k spend in 180 days!! The chap I spoke to couldn’t help and will get someone from marketing to call by 18/05/2015!

          • James67 says:

            Etihad went public with the 25k link before it officially started. MBNA were unaware of this and those applying before official start were registered for the 10k for £4k spend. I forwarded them link to Etihad page, Robs article and screenshots. They got back to me stating I would receive the 25k along with a number of other people similarly affected; good cs, no drama from them. They even confirmed this is writing by post. Sometimes I have received MBNA bonuses with first statements but it is not uncommon to have to wait a extra month. Probably a good idea to drop them a secure message to bring any issues to their attention.

          • Thanks James much appreciated

          • Matthew says:

            Just been told my account is not eligible for the 25000 miles and only the 5000 despite signing up via the 25000 miles offer link promoted on the etihad website. Absolutely disgusting. Don’t suppose you have a copy of the letter James? I had it confirmed by phone and a secure message that my account was signed up for the 25000 miles and now it’s a no?

            It’s just not on…I feel like this won’t be resolved soon.

  3. I’m interested in doing a transfer, but got a handful of miles left over in my MR account for my Amex Gold Credit Card that I would ideally want to transfer to my MR account for my Amex Gold Charge Card. Is that possible at all? A quick search turns up nothing..

  4. Dannyrado says:

    Has anyone actually had a bonus? If so how long did it take? I received my base points to etihad yesterday….

    • Matthew says:

      My base points arrived in my Etihad account yesterday too from a MR transfer but no bonus points yet. I think the terms say up to 7 days for the bonus points to arrive. Fingers crossed :-)

      • James67 says:

        They are most often on the second statement, even if you qualify before the first.

  5. What's the Point says:

    AMex MR transfer points arrived yesterday. Bonus 25% arrived today.
    First Amex Etihad card bill paid on Monday. Points arrived today.

    Have enough for one first class redemption already!

    • Matthew says:

      Did you get the bonus 25,000 from the etihad card?

      • James67 says:

        Mathew send them a secure message headed formal complaint. Copy the HfP post link to prove it was advertised from 5 April at Etihad. State the ad made no reference to applicable dates and was linked to an active mbna secured application page so you applied in goid faith. Request that they honour the 25k bonus or you will refer the matter to the ombudsman. It will unlikely be resolved until senior team hangle it as formal complaint.

        • James67 says:

          PS. If they already confirmed it in writing by secure message it is likely ok. I expect you will get points on next statement same as me. Just be sure to spend something this month to get a statement.

          • Matthew says:

            Ok great, thanks for the info James. I’m waiting for a call from the marketing team, which is already late but will send them another message. Fingers crossed.

            Kind regards

          • James67 says:

            I wouldn’t push it too much Mathew. They already stated you would get them so for now I would await your next statement and if they are not there you can tell them you are raising via ombudsman.

      • What's the Point says:

        Got the 5,000 for spending £250 last month. Will hit the £2,000 this month to trigger the 20,000

        • I phoned yesterday as they hadn’t called back and said they would honour the 25k on my next statement. Now wondering whether to transfer some MR’s over even though I didn’t get the email of the bonus. I contacted EG who said they did not know what I was talking about!

          • Haven’t had an Etihad statement yet, transferred MR and Premier rewards over on Monday, points and bonus in account by Wednesday.
            Contemplating referring my wife for an Amex plat, but she’s had a Lloyd’s Amex, high premium and Etihad Amex this year akready( after a bit if arguing) might be pushing it.
            May give it a go and if unsuccessful cancel her tesco and ihg card, and wait a couple of months

          • Matthew says:

            I didn’t get the email either Tom but got the bonus points a few days after the initial MR transfer.

            Also… Phone call from mbna today apologising and remaining 20,000 etihad points will be in my etihad account within 7 days :-) which is great.

          • James67 says:

            Mathew, please report back if that happens. I do not recall ever hearing anybody say they got points from MBNA outside a statement run. Unlike you I was told I would need to wait for statent to get miles.

  6. I have just transferred MR into my Etihad silver but didn’t get the 25%
    Am I missing something?

    • The bonus goes on separately – give it a day or so.

      • The bonus does go in separately, I’ve got only one transaction that posted the day after, but I have three other (from different sources) that has yet to post. I’m nowquite worried as some I’ve waited for more than 7 days now!

        • Same here. I didn’t receive the offer by email so made a 1,000 MR transfer to see if it would work for me. Happily, I received the 25% bonus after three days, so I transferred another 30,000 MRs. That was eleven days ago and I’m still waiting on the bonus…

          • Akhil Gupta says:

            Same, my first transfer of 60,000 MR points got the bonus. But I made a second transfer and no bonus. Emailed customer services about 4 days ago but no reply yet

          • Bonus now arrived :-)

  7. Edisson says:

    I have just asked their Twitter team and been informs they’re not running the 25% bonus promotion how bizarre! And just earlier today they actually sent me a broken link and it was shown global 25%bonus promotion but with no other context. How strange, can anyone share their email or the terms and conditions in the email please?

    • JamesW says:

      What is going on ?!

      • Just to let you guys know, I got my 25% bonus today and I didn’t receive an offer email. In fact I only signed up to Etihad Guest a couple of days ago and transferred over 36,000 AMEX poiints.

        Received the base points on 22/05 and got the bonus points on 26/05.

        Not sure why some people are having problems. Maybe, only the first transfer receives the bonus points?

        • Unlikely that it is just the first transfer given that they are encouraging you to transfer from multiple programmes.

          Offer was repeated in my monthly Etihad statement yesterday.

  8. JamesW says:

    I have a few AMEX cards already and am wondering if I’d be approved for the Etihad cards at the moment. Don’t know if getting turned down (it never happened to me before) is recorded on your credit report or shared with other lenders who will then become more likely to turn you down too further down the line ????

    I have an Amex BAPP (few years), Amex Gold Card (couple of months only), the Diamond Club pair (ages) and the Lloyds TSB DUO PLUS (forever !!).
    Will this collection of cards mean I’ll be rejected for this Etihad card pack ?

    Don’t really know why I still have the Lloyds TSB DUO PLUS cards as I never use them anymore.

    • Only the BMI card would have a major impact because it is MBNA issued. If you get turned down, ring MBNA and offer to split the credit limit on your BMI card across the Etihad card – this often works.

  9. I have just transferred a load of points over from MR to etihad to take advantage of the bonus offer.

    They have arrived in my etihad guest account but it says they expire after 30 April 2016. That’s not even a year away!

    Is this normal? I was expecting to get 2 years validity minimum.

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