Etihad launched their UK credit card back in May 2013. Even accounting for the fact that the card was free, the sign-up bonus was a little underwhelming – 5,000 Etihad Guest miles.
Last June they ran a temporary promotion which raised the bonus to 17,000 miles. That was pretty impressive.
This year the special offer is lower. Until 15th July, you will receive 12,000 Etihad Guest miles if you take out the cards (free) and spend a modest £1,000 within 90 days.
The card has a representative APR of 18.9% variable.
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 7,000 miles for spending £1,000 within 90 days
All in all, the targets are very reasonable.
Etihad is also a partner with plenty of other people including Heathrow Rewards. And, of course, they are partners with most major hotel and car rental programmes.
If you are starting from scratch, this promotion is probably best if you are a solo traveller and have access to some Amex Membership Rewards points to top up your account:
A one-way Economy ticket from Heathrow to / from Abu Dhabi is 31,022 miles
Business is 43,976 miles one-way
First is 55,226 miles one-way
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 last year 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 a second person or to come back.
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 £49.
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 (September 2022)
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.
Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:
- 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 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 10,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for life.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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.