Etihad launched their UK credit card back in May. Even accounting for the fact that the card was free, the sign-up bonus was a little underwhelming – 5,000 Etihad Guest miles.
Etihad has now launched the first ‘open to all’ promotion. Until the end of October, you will earn 17,000 Etihad Guest miles when you sign-up.
Here are the key facts:
The cards are a double pack of American Express and Visa
There is no annual fee
You earn 1.5 miles per £1 on the Amex and 0.75 miles per £1 on the Visa
The issuer is MBNA, so no churning – it is likely you won’t be able to get another bonus in the future on this card if you apply now
And the rules for this promotion:
You receive the standard 5,000 miles for spending £250 within 90 days
You receive an additional 12,000 miles for spending £1,500 within 90 days
All in all, the targets are very reasonable.
Of course, 17,000 Etihad Guest miles won’t get you too far. However, they are partners with American Express Membership Rewards, so you can top up your account via them at 1:1.
The Rocketmiles promotion I discussed yesterday can get you a further 4,000+ Etihad Guest miles with one hotel stay.
And, of course, they are partners with most major hotel programmes.
If you are starting from scratch, this promotion is probably best if you are a solo traveller:
A one-way Economy ticket to / from Abu Dhabi is 31,115 miles
Business is 44,245 miles
First is 55,396 miles
For comparison, BA would ask 20,000 / 40,000 / 60,000 Avios, with higher taxes.
Remember that Etihad has very nice First Class private suites:
Some other points to think about:
Remember that Business Class and First Class redemptions come with free chauffeur transfers in Abu Dhabi (they will take you to Dubai if you want) and at 25 of their other outstations, including London.
Etihad does not charge fuel surcharges – the First Class ticket I booked from Dubai to Istanbul this week required just £13 to be paid
Etihad is a partner with airberlin, although the redemption rates are higher than you get with Avios, plus American and others
You can use American Airlines miles to book Etihad flights. If you got enough miles via this promotion for one ticket, you could potentially use any AA miles you have for another.
Etihad has PointsPay. If you can’t redeem for a flight, you can transfer them to a ‘virtual’ (or indeed physical) Visa card at the rate of 0.41p per mile. Not great, but you are effectively trading them for cash, making the sign-up bonus worth £70.
This clearly isn’t the card for everyone. Take a look at my original article again before applying. However, the required spend is not huge and the miles could be handy.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (June 2021)
Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card. However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards. These are:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Etihad Guest miles
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 5,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for life.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.
Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent).