Of all the stories I wrote last year, the one which you would most expect to be an April Fool is probably this one – that Emirates and easyJet have formed a partnership to let you redeem Skywards miles on easyJet flights.
Yet, oddly, it is true! If you can’t find a First Class Suite from London to Dubai available, you can redeem for an economy easyJet ticket from London to Ibiza instead.
Even more oddly, Etihad has felt it must retaliate!
This is wrong in SO many ways I find it hard to describe.
For a start, taxes are not included. Flybe has a VERY, ahem, ‘flexible’ policy on taxes. The underlying taxes number is huge. So huge, in fact, that their cash tickets often have a negative base price in order to bring down the end price to the consumer to an acceptable level.
(Flybe’s own rewards scheme actually contains this warning about redeeming your points: “Discounted web fares may occasionally be available at a lower cost (including taxes & charges) than equivalent reward flights.”)
We then move on to the miles required.
The miles needed varies depending on the cheapest ticket currently for sale in the Flybe system for that flight. For a UK domestic flight, this can be as much as 22,300 miles. Plus the taxes – which, as I mentioned above, can be higher than a cash ticket anyway.
For comparison, I flew someone FIRST CLASS on Etihad from Abu Dhabi to Istanbul recently. That cost me, IIRC, 32,000 miles plus £13 tax, one-way.
I suppose this may be of some use to some people – especially for short notice flights (albeit that Flybe needs 14 days notice for a redemption) where the cash equivalent is huge.
However, for most people, a more effective route of redeeming on Flybe would be to cash in their Etihad Guest points for cash, via PointsPay and use that money to buy a Flybe ticket.
You get 0.41p per Etihad Guest mile with points pay. Factoring in the fact that Flybe redemption seats come with added taxes, using PointsPay to ‘buy’ a normal Flybe ticket is probably a better deal.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (May 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).