Just a few months after their last round of reward price changes, Etihad Guest is launching another belt-tightening measure – variable redemption pricing.
From 30th June, the mileage price shown in the redemption charts or the online mileage calculator should be seen as the ‘starting price’. This is what you will pay if you book well in advance and for a quiet period. The only exception is First Class where redemption rates will apparently be fixed.
The price you actually pay will be inflated depending on how near you are to departure and how busy the flights are.
You could arguably say that this method could encourage Etihad to make more reward seats available on full flights, although in those circumstances it would usually make sense for them to simply sell the seat instead. Increasing pricing close to departure only makes sense to the extent that cash fares will be higher too, but if the aircraft is still half-empty then there is no real justification for it.
What we don’t know is the extent of these increases. It will also be a problem for anyone looking to transfer miles into Etihad Guest, as there is no guarantee that the price will remain the same by the time the miles arrive.
Fundamentally, it is a bad idea. With regular devaluations it is already difficult to have certainty over what a particular reward may cost you in 12 months time, but I don’t see how taking away the ability to know what a reward will cost in 24 hours is meant to encourage anyone to credit to Etihad.
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).