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Get a 50% bonus when you buy an Etihad gift voucher!

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In an attempt to get you to choose it for your future bookings, Etihad has announced it is offering a 50% bonus when you buy a gift voucher.

This means that you would be getting a 33% discount on whatever flights you buy with it.

A 50% bonus is significantly more than the uplift we have seen on coronavirus refund vouchers offered by various airlines, which typically only offer a 10% bonus.  And, of course, those vouchers were not for open sale.  The Etihad vouchers can be bought by anyone.

The vouchers are on sale for a limited time only – between now and 24th June – and will be valid for two years. It will be implemented as ‘Travel Bank account’ credit on your Etihad Guest account. If you do not already have Etihad Guest membership you can sign up here.

The voucher can be used on flights, upgrades and other ancillaries from 1st August 2020.  They are available in increments of $250, up to a maximum $65,000.

Weirdly, you must call Etihad to purchase a travel voucher.  It is NOT available on the website.  This page has a list of phone numbers for various countries as well as the full terms and conditions.

50% bonus buying an etihad gift voucher

What are the terms and conditions?

There are not very onerous.  Here is the FULL list of terms and conditions taken from the Etihad site:

  • Bonus credit applicable to all Etihad Travel Vouchers purchased between 10 – 24 June 2020
  • This offer can only be purchased through our Contact Center
  • You must be an Etihad Guest member to be eligible
  • Valid for a period of two years, for travel from 1 August 2020
  • Minimum voucher value US $250
  • Maximum voucher value US $65,000
  • Vouchers are non-refundable and non-transferable 

There are a couple of questions:

Do you have to book by 1 August 2022 or complete your travel by then?

Can the credit be used to pay the taxes on Etihad Guest redemptions?

Can the credit be used if you part pay for an Etihad Guest redemption with cash, which can be excellent value?

Edit: Etihad appears to have added answers to a lot of these questions on its new ‘Travel Bank’ page which you can see here.

Because the ability to use your ‘Travel Bank’ credit is apparently going to be baked in to the etihad.com payment system, I would guess that the answer to the last two points is ‘Yes’.

The good news is that, since the credit can be used online, it can be used against ‘web special’ fares.  We have seen cases in the past with other airlines where vouchers can only be redeemed by telephone and this means paying more for your ticket than you would pay online.

Get a 50% bonus buying an Etihad gift voucher

Is the Etihad Travel Voucher good value?

On the face of it, yes.  A 50% uplift is not something to be sniffed at and could provide exceptional value.

It is also very flexible, being less of a voucher and more of a credit on your account that you can use how you please.  This suggests it can be used over multiple purchases if required..

Since it works as an account credit, there are also no blackout dates or restrictions for use on specific booking classes. From the sounds of it, it is as flexible as cash, except that it can only be used on Etihad purchases.  The FAQ confirm that you can also use the credit to pay for flights for someone else, should you decide against travelling.

This means that a voucher could be seriously good value if there is an aggressive price war in the next 12-18 months.

The cynical take is that Etihad is using this as bait to raise prices in the medium term. However, given the small window of availability this is relatively unlikely. I imagine the vast majority of travellers will not be aware of this offer and will be booking flights in the coming months based on the cash price. Etihad will still have to compete for these customers and, since the voucher acts as credit, it cannot discriminate against those who have it.

The only word of warning is that, if Etihad went bust – which is unlikely given that it is under Government control – you would lose your money if your voucher was not redeeemed in time.  You would not be covered by your credit card as your purchase was for a gift voucher, which was provided to you, rather than a flight.

You can purchase an Etihad Travel Voucher, or find out more, here.


Earning Flying Blue miles from credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (November 2020)

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, reviewed here) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent, reviewed here).

Comments (49)

  • meta says:

    If this could be used on taxes than it could be really great. I have an F redemption booking for next year. Anyone knows if Etihad releases award bookings back to inventory if you cancel or is it more like BA where there is a bit of gamble?

  • mr_jetlag says:

    1. Buy £42,500k voucher on Etihad,
    2. Get 85k MRs, then book Emirate suites
    3. ????
    4. Profit 🙂

    • Vit says:

      haha. Good idea. I think I need step 0 though. 😉

      0. Find £42,500k somewhere.

      • BJ says:

        3. Use the 85k to come home in EK Suite after Etihad has gone bust with £40250 of your money.

        • Callum says:

          Etihad is a government owned status symbol, I doubt they’d ever “go bust”.

          A face-saving phased shutdown possibly (which would of course reduce the attractiveness of the voucher), but I can’t imagine Abu Dhabi would ever accept the perceived humiliation of a collapsed state airline while Dubai’s thrives!

  • Vit says:

    Voucher / Gift card is always tricky. Back in Feb this year I thought I strike a good deal when purchasing lastminute.com with 10% off before covid hit. Trying to be “really-smart”, I made sure I covered 99% of the ticket price using the voucher and very little on my credit card.

    Now stuck with lastminute.com. They have not refunded me even though Qatar refunded the cash to them 6-7 weeks ago. Cannot even raise a chargeback / S75 claim.

    • BJ says:

      Given this current experience I think most of us will be much more cautious about how and where we book travel, and how we pay for it, in the future. The travel industry must be aware of that so it seems a bit odd that many companies are trying to tempt us with vouchers as opposed to straightforward discounts and sales. It would be really interesting to get some idea how successful all these voucher schemes are proving to be.

    • Pablo says:

      As long as the cost was £100+ and you paid some of it with a credit card, S75 applies. Raise a claim with your card company.

  • guesswho2000 says:

    If Etihad went bust then surely you would be able to raise a claim under s75, as they’ve taken money for a future service which hasn’t been provided?

    Which seems to think so too “Another route for getting your money back is to make a Section 75 claim under the Consumer Credit Act. The purchaser can do this if the gift cards or vouchers were bought on a card and the value of the single purchase was over £100.” They don’t mention the 35k upper cap, but the rest of it was my understanding too.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      The Martin Lewis site too:
      “Bought a gift card or voucher worth £100 or more on a credit card? Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, if you pay for goods that cost between £100 and £30,000 and you pay for any of it on a credit card, the credit company is jointly liable with the retailer if anything goes wrong. What that means is you don’t have to go to the retailer – you can choose to go to the credit card company and you have exactly the same consumer rights.

      There’s no guarantee a claim for a gift card will be successful but the Law Commission – which has made recommendations to the Government in this area – told us Section 75 rules DO apply to gift cards, so it may be worth a go. For full info on how to file a claim, see our Section 75 guide.”

  • William Avery says:

    How do you get to a 33% discount?

    • Rhys says:

      50% bonus = 33% discount on future spending. For example, £1000 voucher purchase gets you a £1500 voucher. This includes the £500 bonus – which equates to 33% of £1500. Therefore a future purchase of £1500 is a 33% discount.

  • John says:

    @Rhys see Etihad.com/travelbank on how you can use the credit in form of Travelbank

    Your questions are there responded to with:
    1. Book latest by the expiry date of the credit. Travel can be further in the future (normally max 330 days). No refund possible after an expiry date of a credit (equivalent of miles expiry).
    2. No.
    3. No.
    No redemption of miles or miles +cash ticket combinations are allowed with Travelbank. Travelbank can only be used in combination with card payment for ordinary fares.

    • John says:

      and you can pay for ancillaries such as seats an extra bags with Travelbank too.

    • Rhys says:

      Looks like that page has just been added, thanks

      • Yuff says:

        So I assume if you can use it to pay for extras you can also use it to pay for the miles and cash part of a reward ticket by the looks of it.