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

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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.


Earning Flying Blue miles from credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (August 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:

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).

Comments (104)

  • David Butcher says:

    No Esso offer on any of my cards unfortunately – just a lot of esoteric stuff from companies I will never use in a million years!

  • Oz says:

    OT: Are there any restrictions on where the free night voucher obtained from the IHG Premium credit card can be redeemed? Couldn’t see anything on the Creation website but wondering if there’s a small print hidden somewhere? The thing is the US version of the voucher is limited to 40000 points and there’s a long list of properties excluded, mostly IC’s. Thanks

    • Rob says:

      No. This US change is a very recent one and – importantly – that voucher is given simply for having the card, no spend required. You were basically buying a free night at a top IC for $49 and that wasn’t sustainable.

  • czechoslovakia says:

    O/T, sorry.
    Got another email from Marriott today, inferring that from August I will go from Gold Elite to Platinum Elite. This conflicts with the email they sent me a few weeks ago. Is anyone the wiser how this pan out. I`m not grumbling either way, as I downgraded my Amex plat to Gold Credit 3 years ago. From the email:

    Right now you have Gold Elite status. Take a look below to see how our status levels evolve in the new program—and how you could reach an even higher level in August.*
    REWARDS ELITE STATUS TODAY ELITE STATUS IN AUGUST
    Silver Elite with 10-24 nights Silver Elite
    Silver Elite with 25-49 nights Gold Elite
    Gold Elite Platinum Elite
    Platinum Elite Platinum Premier Elite
    Platinum Elite with 100+ nights and $20K in annual qualifying spend Platinum Premier Elite with ambassador
    *Elite tier will be based on the status earned, not status granted via linking and status matching.

    • Rob says:

      It seems more like the UK and Oz staff were wrong and the US were right ….

      • Mark says:

        hmm time to rethink my Seould/Japan bookings, some of the hotels just aren’t worth the extra points without the lounge thrown in.

      • Czechoslovakia says:

        Thanks all. Either way going to grab a Marriott package before August, need the LH miles. Just curious how it will pan out…

  • Simon says:

    OT- Amex platinum. Just added a supp card and got 5k bonus instantly….. Is this only for the first support Plat card or can I add 4 more supp cards and get another 4 x 5k bonuses??

    • Genghis says:

      First only

      • Simon says:

        Thanks Genghis. Saves me a load of pointless applications!

      • Simon says:

        Genghis, do you know if the new Gold CC attracts a bonus for adding a supp card? Thanks.

        • Genghis says:

          No one has reported yet. But you’re not losing anything by trying out (and reporting back).

    • FlyingChris says:

      Interestingly when I did this the other week (after getting the 3K bonus on adding a Gold Charge Supp, hitting the 2k spend target, cancelling the Supp, waiting a week, upgrading to Plat, applying for a Plat Supp…) – didn’t get the additional 5K bonus (but did get the 20K upgrade bonus).

      In hindsight, perhaps the reason for not getting the 5K bonus is despite cancelling the Gold Supp and waiting a week before the Plat upgrade to make sure was fully cancelled – I didn’t remove the Gold Supp card from the Supp’s online card service account online. I noticed that, despite being cancelled, the account changed to a Plat account online. Perhaps this trace of the connection = no 5K bonus.

      • Louie says:

        Are you sure that your Gold supplementary cardholder wasn’t automatically sent a Platinum supplementary card when you applied for Plat (despite you having cancelled their Gold card)? If you see further down the comments, this has happened to quite a few people, me included.

  • FX says:

    OT – any good deals at the moment to earn Avios for Currency Exchange – need to change circa £1,500

  • Genghis says:

    OT – there was a comment / question last week about SPG transfers within household. We’ve just done one and it took 9 days. Much slower than before.

  • Jill says:

    Can anyone give me an idea how long it takes BA to credit my Avios back on a cancelled reward flight?
    Thanks

  • Andrew says:

    OT can you cancel just the return sector of an RFS? I guess it’d cost you £35?

    I’m still in the 24 hour cooling off period but am I right in thinking there’s no guarantee the availability comes back to just cancel and rebook the outbound by itself?

    • the_real_a says:

      Is there still availability for the sector you DO want to fly? If so, book it and then cancel the whole ticket under the 24 hours cooling off period. Note that the 24hour period is extended if the UK call center is closed when you call 🙂

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