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Bits: 15% off Leading Hotels, Etihad buying Air Malta

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News in brief:

15% off Leading Hotels of the World with American Express

American Express has teamed up with Leading Hotels of the World to offer a 15% discount on stays of two or more nights.

Stays must be completed by 12th August and you need to book a specific rate code. Full details are on the Leading Hotels website here.

Etihad to buy a major stake in Air Malta

The Maltese Government is expected to sign contracts with Etihad over the next couple of days to sell a ‘substantial’ stake in Air Malta.  This is likely to be the maximum 49.9% allowed under European Union rules.

This does seem a little bizarre.  There is some logic in their investments in airberlin, Alitalia, Jet, Air Serbia etc which can provide regional ‘feed’ into an Etihad hub.  Passengers can then be whisked off to Abu Dhabi and from there to pretty much anywhere.

Malta, population 400,000, is unlikely to provide huge amounts of ‘feed’.  The Air Malta fleet of, erm, 10 aircraft is unlikely to justify the time and money that Etihad will invest.

The upside is that Air Malta flights will become available for Etihad Guest redemptions.  You can, of course, already redeem Avios for Air Malta flights via as I discussed here.

More details on the deal can be found here.

Earning Flying Blue miles from credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (September 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 cardsThese are:

  • American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes. 30,000 points is a special offer which expires on 9th November 2021.

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).

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