Etihad Guest has launched a 20% bonus on points you transfer in to their scheme. They ran this promotion last year but this year it is bigger and better with more partners involved.
You can find full details on the Etihad website here.
Relevant partners for UK readers are:
American Express Membership Rewards
Hyatt Gold Passport
IHG Rewards Club
Le Club Accorhotels
Shangri-La Golden Circle
The bonus also applies to Mobily, CitiMiles, Emirates Islamic Bank and Etisalat Rewards transfers.
Starwood Preferred Guest is the obvious ‘missing’ partner, perhaps because they offer their own year-round 25% bonus when you transfer points to Etihad, or any other airline, in chunks of 20,000. Marriott Rewards is also missing.
Remember that Etihad has PointsPay. You can transfer your miles to a ‘virtual’ (or indeed physical) Visa card at the rate of 0.41p per mile. With the 20% bonus, this effectively means you are getting just under 0.5p per Etihad mile at the original conversion rate. This is still unlikely to be a great deal, of course.
To build up a big Etihad balance, you may be able to combine this with the current special offer on the Etihad Guest credit card which I discussed here. If you apply for this free card before 30th November you will receive 20,000 Etihad miles for spending £4,000 within six months.
It is worth remembering that a one-way ticket from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow – in the private First Class Suites pictured above – costs just 55,000 Etihad Guest miles and whopping £18 (yes, £18) of tax. Tax in the other direction is higher due to APD but you still only pay £200 return.
This is an excellent deal and blows an equivalent Avios redemption out of the water. Etihad will even throw in a chauffeur transfer at both ends on business and first class redemptions. Having now experienced Qatar Airways and being a semi-regular Emirates flyer, I am very tempted to give this a go in the dark days of January or February!
The deadline for transfers is 31st November. It is not clear if points need to arrive at Etihad Guest by this date or if you simply need to initiate the transfer. To be safe, I would try to get any transfers made by mid November.
You can find out more on the Etihad website here.