If you need to head out to Australia before the end of March, Etihad Guest is offering a decent double miles deal.
You will receive double Etihad Guest miles when you fly to Sydney, Perth, Melbourne or Brisbane with Etihad or Virgin Australia. You will also receive double Etihad Guest miles for all domestic flights on Virgin Australia.
Etihad has a 10% equity stake in Virgin Australia, although it is not part of the Etihad Airways Partners alliance, which explains the rationale behind this offer.
The window to take advantage of the deal is quite narrow:
you need to book by December 25th (I assume this only applies to Etihad flights as they would not know when you booked any Virgin Australia flights)
you need to fly between January 26th and March 31st
your Etihad Guest account must be registered in the UK, France, Italy or Germany
you need to register in advance at this website
Etihad Guest is a sensible place to park any Virgin Australia miles. Their own frequent flyer scheme, Virgin Velocity, is only open to people who live in the Asia-Pacific region. You can also redeem Etihad Guest miles for cash via PointsPay at the ‘not terrible’ rate of 0.41p per mile.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (January 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 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.