Etihad Guest has launched a 25% bonus on points you transfer in to their scheme. They have run this promotion before but never with a bonus as large as 25%.
You can find details of participating Etihad’s partners on the Etihad website here. Annoyingly, this bonus does not seem to be specifically mentioned online but members were emailed yesterday.
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 NBAD, Emirates Islamic Bank, Mobily 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.
To build up a big Etihad balance, you can 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 10th July you will receive 25,000 Etihad miles for spending £2,000 within 90 days.
You only need to have 75% of the miles for a redemption in your account. You can effectively ‘buy’ the additional 25% at the low price of 0.58p per mile by doing a ‘cash and points’ redemption. This is a very good deal as I outlined in this article.
Here is an example of how you could book am A380 First Class Apartment one way between London and Abu Dhabi:
Just 55,126 miles are required
…. but you only need 75% which means 41,345 miles
You get 500 bonus miles for opening an Etihad Guest account with your first activity
Opening the credit card and spending £2,000 to trigger the bonus gets you 28,000 miles
…. leaving just 12,845 miles to earn from Amex Membership Rewards transfers – which would only require a transfer of 10,300 points with the 25% bonus (or earn the extra via spend on the Etihad card)
The tax would be £15 from Abu Dhabi or £190 from London, plus roughly £80 for the 13,781 miles you would be ‘buying’ by doing a ‘cash and points’ redemption.
Business Class is a doddle one-way! You need 44,034 miles to get to Abu Dhabi but, because of ‘cash and points’ you only need to have 35,228. The credit card sign-up bonus gets you 25,000 (plus 3,000 for the £2,000 of spend to trigger the bonus) leaving you just 7,228 short! A modest Amex transfer or some more card spend fills this gap.
Here is my review of the Business Class Studio on the new A380. My review of First Class on the older Boeing 777 aircraft is here – this is not as good as the First Class Apartment on the A380 but is still a good product.
By August, Etihad will be running a ‘100% A380’ fleet out of Heathrow, three flights a day.
The deadline for transfers is 6th June. 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 late May.
Here is the small print from the email:
Etihad Guest Miles transferred may take up to 7 days to be reflected within the Etihad Guest account. Bonus Etihad Guest Miles will be posted to your Etihad Guest Programme account within 7 days of the standard miles being transferred. Once the Miles transfer request in initiated it cannot be reversed. 25% Bonus Etihad Guest Miles transfer offer is valid from May 6th to June 6th 2015 (inclusive). This offer is subject to the Terms & Conditions of the Etihad Guest Programme. The following point exchange partners are excluded from this campaign: ADCB TouchPoints, Citi PremierMiles and Starwood Preferred Guest.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (November 2020)
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.