My wife took a domestic flight in Korea last week, on Korean Air. Korean is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, but she does not have an active account with any SkyTeam airline. It seemed that the – admittedly small number of – miles would be wasted.
I never like to admit defeat, though, so I set out to find any partnerships that Korean may have outside of SkyTeam, And I found what I wanted – Etihad.
Etihad Guest is a good dumping ground for any miles you may accrue on obscure airlines.
The reason for this is that, via PointsPay, you can cash out the miles for 0.41p each on a Virtual Visa card.
You can find out more about PointsPay on the Etihad website here. I also wrote about it last year. You can very easily cash out your miles for a Virtual Visa card which – in my case – I immediately use to pay some money onto my Inland Revenue account.
You’re not going to make a huge amount of money with this, of course. The Korean Air flight generated 930 Etihad Guest miles (which posted amazingly quickly) which gives us PointsPay credit of £3.80. However, it is better taking £3.80 than a handful of pointless SkyTeam miles.
Here are the airline partners that allow you to earn Etihad Guest miles and therefore, via PointsPay, effectively take your airline miles as hard cash:
Etihad and Etihad Regional
Air New Zealand (Star Alliance)
Air Serbia (no alliance)
Air Seychelles (no alliance)
ANA (Star Alliance)
American Airlines (oneworld)
Asiana Airlines (Star Alliance)
Bangkok Airways (no alliance)
Brussels Airline (Star Alliance)
Czech Airlines (SkyTeam)
Garuda Indonesia (SkyTeam)
Hainan Airlines (no alliance)
Jet Airways (no alliance)
Korean Air (SkyTeam)
Malaysia Airlines (oneworld)
Oman Air (no alliance)
Royal Air Maroc (no alliance)
SriLankan Airlines (oneworld from May)
Ukranian International Airlines (no alliance)
Virgin Australia (no alliance)
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (August 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).