Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Etihad Guest is moving to variable reward flight pricing with miles – how will it work?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

Etihad Guest moves to variable pricing

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.

Full details can be found on the Etihad Guest website here. If you are not already an Etihad Guest member, you can sign up here and receive 500 bonus miles.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (September 2023)

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.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

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.

Comments (104)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Daniel Macdonald says:

    Correct…but also you can buy Tesco gift cards…10% off future Tesco shop as well as FUEL ????

    • Mike says:

      Tesco no longer accept gift cards for fuel (c. 3 months).
      I had to hit a spending target and was a bit short so bought a gift card.
      Filled up once fine but very soon after was told there had been a policy change.
      I don’t do my main grocery shop at tesco so it might take time to spend.

      • lev441 says:

        Only certain Tesco PFS are not accepting gift cards. In North West London, only one of the four nearest to me have refused me paying by gift card.

      • johnny_c-l says:

        Normal Tesco gift cards are still fine (the type you can buy in Tesco), it’s the corporate ones through work discount schemes / reloadable cards that no longer work for fuel.

      • the_real_a says:

        Jonny is correct. They only gift cards that CANNOT be used are corporate If issued ones – usually bought through work schemes at a discount. The cards bought in store are fine to buy fuel. If stores say otherwise, then refer them to customer service who will put them right.

  • Nick says:

    Should the AMEX Esso offer work OK if “Tescos” rather than “ESSO” shows of the transaction? Have just Topped up at an ESSO (with attached Tesco shop) just over £50 but no mention of ESSO on the transaction.

    • lev441 says:

      This worked for me last time around when the offer was on.

      A good way to check would be to go to the offer on the app/website – and click nearby locations – if the esso is listed there then you’ll be ok! Sometimes there is a delay in the email saying that you’ve redeemed the offer

      • Nick says:

        Thanks, looks like it is listed as a nearby location.

        • Roger says:

          Same here.

          Used at Tesco Esso Express and shows up on App.
          Mostly get email straight away to say offer redeemed but not in this instance.
          Will wait and see

  • Nick says:

    Thanks, looks like it is listed as a nearby location.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    OT – Reading US blogs is sometimes depressing… New Amex offer in US : 20k MR points for spening $1000 in Air France!

  • Alex says:

    Can we assume that any purchase in the Esso shop works? So if you fill up £48 of petrol and also buy some food to push it over £50 that would trigger?
    Or if you just spent £50 on gift cards in Esso?

    • Mark2 says:

      These offers are triggered when the charge hits the American Express system and they will not know what you have bought except in exceptional circumstances. Any purchase of £50 or more at one of the Esso stations listed will trigger an email within a few minutes and the statement credit a few days later.

  • Adam says:

    OT: Anyone have the plat upgrade link handy if still working? Apologies as I know this is mentioned a lot on here.

    • Louie says: Worked for me (as in I now have the card) earlier this week. Too soon to say whether I will get the points though.

      Like others on here, I had cancelled the gold supplementary card some time ago but they sent a platinum supplementary card for that person. I have two problems with this – one, it was addressed to them. For all they know I could have cancelled the gold supplementary because I had fallen out with that person so sending them a card without my authority must be in breach of some rule/law. Secondly, I presumably now can’t get bonus points for a supplementary card for the person who I did want to get a supplementary card (for the lounge access). Has anyone else addressed this with Amex?

      • Craig says:

        Yes I have this week. They didn’t seem to understand my concern about the card being sent out to the ex-supp cardholder however they did credit me with the 5k points. I decided not to go any further with my complaint. She just said it was an error.

        • Craig says:

          Also I hadn’t realised that this had happened until I received a £170 fee for a supplementary card on the account as I applied for a new supp online the day it upgraded. I have been charged about 90p for the time I’ve had it despite them saying I wouldn’t be. It’s worth me ringing up though

        • the real harry1 says:

          user error, then 🙂

        • Tom1 says:

          Exactly the same happened to me.
          Amex call centre said they had no record of me cancelling the gold supp – which I don’t believe for one minute.
          I realised when I received another priority pass in the post.

      • G says:

        I had the same. Cancelled supp on Gold then upgraded. The Plat and supp Plat both turned up.

        Decided to add another supp (Gold one this time to avoid the cost of adding a second Plat supp) to see if it triggered the 5k MR. To my surprise this worked. The 5k was added almost straight away.

  • Craig says:

    ^That should say it’s NOT worth me ringing up

    • Craig says:

      Yeah they said they had no record of me calling either. It definitely cancelled though as it deactivated of the supp cardholders Apple Pay.

      • Louie says:

        Given they send me a letter confirming cancellation of the Gold supplementary card, that won’t work with me!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.