On July 8th, Etihad Guest devalues its reward chart sharply – by over 50% in some cases. This came as a major shock to members when it was announced last month.
What is NOT changing, allegedly, is the cost of redemptions with Etihad partner airlines. The online Q&A regarding the devaluation states:
“No. The changes to earning rates only affect Etihad Airways’ marketed flights. The changes to GuestSeats, OpenSeats and Upgrades affect Etihad Airways’ marketed and operated flights.”
You should that with a pinch of salt, especially as a new redemption chart for Jet Airways, Etihad’s Indian partner, was released this week with no notice whatsoever.
Etihad Guest offers some fantastic redemption deals via its airline partners
If you don’t want to, or can no longer afford to, redeem on Etihad itself, there are some great opportunities elsewhere. It is impossible to highlight them all but I have picked out one from each partner airline.
All partner redemptions must be booked by telephone
Availability cannot be checked online. If an airline is offering a reward seats in its own programme to its own members (ie if American Airlines has a saver level reward seat available for its own members when you look at aa.com) there is a decent chance that Etihad can book it for you.
Here are some highlights (to see details, click the link above and then select the relevant airline)
Air Serbia – found under the ‘Preferred Airline Partners’ tab, 13,429 miles for a one-way in Business Class from London to Belgrade
Air Seychelles – found under the ‘Preferred Airline Partners’ tab, 125,672 miles for a return Business Class flight from Paris (they do not fly to London)
airberlin – 49,000 miles one-way Berlin to New York in Business Class
Air New Zealand – seems pricey, eg 273,000 miles one-way London to Auckland in Business Class
Alitalia – 12,000 miles return in Economy and 24,000 return in Business from the UK to Italy. You can also book Alitalia partner airlines with miles, interestingly.
American Airlines – confusing chart but looks like 50,000 miles one-way in Business and 62,500 one-way in First from the UK to North America. These would not incur fuel surcharges unlike identical AA redemptions made using Avios points.
ANA – 15,000 to 23,000 miles return for domestic redemptions in Japan
Asiana – 138,000 miles return from London to Seoul in Business Class
Bangkok Airways – economy redemptions look poor value but 20,000 miles for domestic flights, return, in Business Class is a better deal
Brussels Airways – the jackpot! 36,620 miles for a return Business Class flight from Brussels to New York (seat pictured below)
Czech Airlines – more crazy figures – 13,900 miles for a one-way flight in Business Class from Prague to Abu Dhabi, or 25,610 miles one-way in Business Class from Prague to Seoul
Etihad Regional – based in Geneva, nothing costs more than 6,343 miles one-way in Economy and 8,991 miles one-way in Business
FlyBe – it looks as if Etihad can book any revenue ticket that is for sale. The rates are poor but flexibility could be fantastic if this were correct.
Garuda Indonesia – 7,000 miles one-way for Business Class between Gatwick and Amsterdam, as I reviewed recently (and you get a flat bed seat!)
GOL / Varig – Latin American airlines, pricing looks reasonable given mileage covered
Hainan Airlines – a Chinese airline, pricing looks reasonable especially for First Class
Jet Airways – not sure what domestic Indian flights cost for cash but Business Class redemptions appear good value compared to economy
Korean Air – there is no information on redemption rates on the website although there are some terms and conditions!
Malaysia Airlines – London to Kuala Lumpur on an A380 would be 190,000 miles return in Business Class
Oman Air – 44,000 miles one-way from Muscat to London in Business Class looks interesting. First Class is expensive at 80,000 miles one-way.
Philippine Airlines – expensive at 124,000 miles one-way in Business Class from London
Royal Air Maroc – similar to BA at 20,000 miles one-way in Business Class from London to Marrakech
South African Airways – pricier than BA at 80,000 miles one-way in Business Class from London to Johannesburg
SriLankan Airlines – 76,000 miles one-way in Business Class from London to Colombo
Ukranian International Airlines – 25,000 miles for a one-way First Class flight from London to Kiev looks interesting
Virgin Australia – from 13,000 miles for a one-way domestic Business Class flight
As you can see, there are some very interesting prices in the chart above. If you have some Etihad Guest miles to burn – and you can still get 25,000 miles by taking out their FREE credit card – you should spend some time looking at your options. Those miles may be more flexible than you thought.
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).