I mentioned in an article on Saturday that Marriott Rewards is now an Etihad Guest partner. This means that you can convert Marriott Rewards points to Etihad and credit future stays directly into Etihad miles.
What I had not seen when I wrote that piece is that Etihad has launched a generous Marriott promotion.
Until 31st October, you will receive 2000 bonus Etihad Guest miles per stay.
You need to use a special Marriott promotional code when booking via marriott.com – ‘MPR’ – and set your Marriott account to credit your stay to Etihad Guest instead of awarding Marriott Rewards points.
“Where does this £8 come from?” I hear you say.
The conversion rate is linked to the US$ but is approximately 0.4p per Etihad Guest mile. I got 0.41p when I last used it. This means that the 2000 bonus Etihad Guest miles you receive from your stay would convert into £8. You would also have extra money from the Etihad Guest miles earned from your standard hotel spending.
Your Virtual Visa card number functions like a 3V card. You can use the money to make an online purchase. The easiest options are to buy Amazon gift certificates online for the entire amount of your PointsPay balance or (as I do) pay it to the Inland Revenue via BillPay as a tiny contribution towards your next tax bill.
It is also possible to order a physical Visa card which can be used in shops. There is a fee for this, however, and it is not worthwhile unless you are using up a large number of Etihad miles.
The only snag in this plan is if the Marriott ‘MRP’ promotional code – which must be used to trigger the bonus – brings up unfavourable rates. This is likely to vary on a property by property basis.
PS. Etihad Guest is also running a decent offer with Viceroy hotels at the moment. You will receive quadruple miles for stays up to December 19th. Details on the Etihad site here. The Yas hotel in Abu Dhabi, which is integrated into the Formula 1 circuit, is one of their properties amongst others.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (September 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 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes. 30,000 points is a special offer which expires on 9th November 2021.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 60,000 Etihad Guest miles. 60,000 points is a special offer which expires on 2nd November 2021.
- 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).