Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get 12,000 Etihad Guest miles with their free UK credit card

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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.

Etihad card

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.

Full details are here.

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.

Of course, 12,000 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.

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:

Etihad 2

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

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (April 2024)

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:

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.

Comments (9)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Jason says:

    Hi Raffles

    Do etihad have promotion offers to buy miles, £500( BA’s price) is a good start towards buying some miles, if there are no taxes.
    What is the redemption availability like to AUH?

    • Rob says:

      Not sure about buy miles promos. Availability is limited to 2 business class seats per flight I think so not ideal for families, but fine for a couple. Not sure how easy it is to find seats – they have a decent reputation though.

    • Phillip says:

      They don’t have an outright purchase option but they offer Miles&Cash redemptions. I generally find availability at the saver level to be excellent, but as Raffles says, two at a time. Good availability also on the new A380 cabins unlike Qatar who are quite good/bad at blocking the A380/787 seats on the LHR route!

  • Howard says:

    My wife and I have about 45,000 AA points. Do you think its worthwhile getting this card for both of us?


  • Caroline says:

    Hi, if you first transfer the Etihad points to Amex rewards.

    Can you then make a further transfer at 1:1 from Amex MR to BA Avios?


  • Mark says:

    Hi, i am completly newby with this, just started traveling a lot. Funny is i do not have any credit cart and never collected any points, miles or avios. Can u advise me what card would be the best for me, for person starting from scratch. I will travel mostly in asia direction, and what most important what card would be the best to avoid high taxes.Sorrry english is not my first language, i hope my question make sense.thanks

  • Bev says:

    I’ve had this card last year, I didn’t manage to spend the qualifying amount last year. Could I cancel the card and reapply to get the bonus?

    • Rob says:

      In general MBNA does not let you have a bonus twice unless there is a big (years) gap. No harm in ringing to ask if there is a stated criteria here though.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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