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Why you should never use 100% miles for an Etihad redemption

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With Etihad still running – for another 5 days – its 25% bonus on transfers from American Express Membership Rewards, you may have become interested in using it.  My ‘in-progress’ reviews of their business and first class products may also tempt you.

One little-known feature of Etihad Guest is ‘cash and miles’.  Many airlines, including British Airways, offer a feature like this.  NONE are as generous as Etihad Guest.

As long as you have at least 75% of the miles required for a redemption, Etihad will sell you the rest at a knock-down rate.

Etihad 350

Let’s take an example of Business Class from London to Abu Dhabi, one way.

A standard redemption costs 44,158 Etihad Guest miles plus £189.96 of tax (if you were flying in the other direction, the tax is just £15 or so).

You can use ‘cash and miles’ on a sliding scale.  If you use the smallest possible number of miles, you need 32,981 miles plus £255.01.

A quick wave of the calculator shows that Etihad is selling you the additional miles for just 0.58p each.  That is exceptionally good value.

If you are thinking of transferring points from Amex, you may want to cap your transfer at 75% of what you will need.  You would then retain the additional Amex points for a potentially more lucrative redemption elsewhere.

In order to use ‘cash and miles’, simply make your redemption booking as usual via  When you get to the last page, you will be shown a slider which lets you select your preferred combination of miles and cash.

Etihad and its cancellation policy

Whilst on the subject of Etihad Guest, there is some confusion over its cancellation policy on reward seats.   When you book, you are initially told that your ticket will be non-refundable and non-changeable.

Click on the detailed fare rules and you are told something different – and more reasonable.

This page on the Etihad website seems to clarify that you definitely can cancel Etihad Guest seats with no problems.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (December 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

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 (32)

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  • Tom euflyer says:

    This is a great deal, and works particularly well given the extraordinarily good value “starting price” you can get on the “GuestSeats”.

    E.g. 55k miles First Class one-way between LHR and AUH is a steal.

  • Brendan says:

    Tangey – obv they don’t fly the a380 from DUB – can you fly from DUB but connect in LHR to get on the a380? If so, is it more miles / cash? It doesn’t appear to be bookable online if its possible but thats presumably because of the connection being operated by EI

  • jason says:

    Are there any disadvantages of enrolling for the Family membership?

  • Jason says:

    Doh, I forgot about the max 2 J seats being released for redemption.
    Do they release 2 redemptions in F as well, so a total of 4 in J & F per flight?

    • Jason says:

      Ignore my question, I’ve found the answer 🙂

    • Rob says:

      F is less predictable. You can search without having the miles once logged in so have a play around.

      • Jason says:

        Hi Raffles,
        Does the Etihad business connect promotion happen annually?

        • Rob says:

          Some version of it comes around every few months although it has never been as generous as it was when I signed up (I think it was 10,000 miles per person just for linking the accounts!).

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

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