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.
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 etihad.com. 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 (June 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 free 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.
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).