Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Fly Etihad’s fantastic First Class Apartment or Business Class Studio for 30% fewer miles

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

Etihad Guest has launched a mileage redemption sale, with ALL flights in ALL classes reduced by 30%.

Given that Etihad Guest is a 1:1 transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards as well as the HSBC Premier credit cards, you may be able to take advantage of this even if Etihad Guest is not a programme you normally look at.

Let’s look at the small print first:

You need to book by 27th August 2020

You need to fly by 31st May 2021

You can book one-way or return flights

You cannot book redemptions on partner airlines

You can only book standard priced rewards, not the revenue-based premium rewards (not that you’re ever likely to book those!)

If you want to read my Etihad flight reviews:

Here is my latest review of Etihad’s First Class Apartment 

Here is my review of Etihad’s Business Class Studio 

Is this a good deal?

Etihad Guest charges by segment for redemptions, in the same way as Avios.  This means that the best value – if you live in the UK – is for non-stop redemptions to Abu Dhabi.  Remember that Dubai is a £40, 1 hour taxi ride from Abu Dhabi airport.

Flights involving a connection, eg London to Abu Dhabi to Tokyo, start to look expensive compared to a direct Avios redemption because each leg is priced separately.

Of course, Etihad’s business class seat is substantially better than Club World (Club Suite is a different story).  Their amazing First Class Apartment is only comparable to the new Singapore Airlines First Class Suite we toured here but you need to book an A380 – and hope Etihad doesn’t downgrade your aircraft later on – to get this.

Save 30% of Etihad Guest redemption flight bookings

What do Etihad Guest redemptions cost?

There is a mileage calculator on the Etihad Guest website here.  This has NOT been adjusted to reflect the 30% discount.

Here is the cost of a ONE WAY flight from London to Abu Dhabi.  Remember that Etihad also flies from Manchester.

Economy – was 32,500, in the sale it is 21,245 miles + £160

Business – was 62,501, in the sale it is 40,866 miles + £333 

First – was 87,750, in the sale it is 57,375 miles + £371

Don’t ask why the discount is not exactly 30%!  I have no idea.

For comparison, an Avios seat would be (off peak vs peak):

World Traveller – 13,000 / 20,000 Avios + £115

Club World – 50,000 / 60,000 Avios + £384

First – 68,000 / 80,000 Avios + £384

Taxes for a return flight would NOT be double the amounts above because these figures include UK Air Passenger Duty.

As you can, Etihad Guest offers excellent value in Business Class and First Class, compared to Avios, during this sale.  The gap is especially large on Avios peak dates.

(The 2021 calendar of Avios peak and off-peak dates is in this HfP article.)

Etihad Guest first class

British Airways has suspended flights to Abu Dhabi until the end of March, so you would need to fly via Dubai if Abu Dhabi was your final destination.

Here is an example of why indirect flights on Etihad are poor value:

London to Abu Dhabi to Tokyo, Business Class, one-way, is (62,501 + 86,250 =) 148,751 Ethad Guest miles, reduced to 97,924 miles in the sale

London to Tokyo, Club World, one-way, is 75,000 (off-peak) or 90,000 (peak) Avios

You also get whacked on the taxes.  For a one-way, London to Tokyo in Business Class:

Etihad – £455

British Airways – £381

Japan Airlines (using Avios) – £219 but a higher 92,750 Avios required

You might think the higher quality Etihad seat is worth the difference, but you also need to factor in the change required in Abu Dhabi.  If you live near Manchester, of course, you may prefer changing in Abu Dhabi to changing in Heathrow.


If you’ve always wanted to give Etihad a try, there are some good deals to be had here.

With 12 days to book, you should have no trouble transferring American Express Membership Rewards points over in time, although clearly there is a risk involved.

Remember that the United Arab Emirates is currently on the UK quarantine list so any trip to or via Abu Dhabi will require you to quarantine for 14 days on your return.

At present, Abu Dhabi is closed to incoming tourist air traffic.

The UAE also requires you to present a negative coronavirus test at both ends of your journey.  Not only must you be tested in the UK before you fly, but you must get a 2nd test in the UAE before you fly home.  Whether these restrictions are still in place next Spring (this offer is good until May 2021 remember) is a different matter.

Etihad has recently improved its mileage expiration policy.  Miles won’t expire unless you have 18 months without any activity on your account.  This means that you are highly unlikely to lose them to expiry if you end up having to cancel your redemption flight.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (April 2024)

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 (21)

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

  • Qrfan says:

    This article misses a critical piece of covid info. Not only is there the UK quarantine requirement but Abu Dhabi is not currently admitting visitors full stop according to the FCO website. You have to enter the UAE via Dubai. The border between Emirates is also non trivial right now. It’s NOT a simple 40 minute taxi at the moment. Last info was a test was required to move between Emirates, not just to enter.

    • Sukes says:

      Agree this should DEFINITELY be in the article as it tempts people to book when the air border is closed for tourists, UAE has no date for lifting. It, and etihad does not expressly write this anywhere on their website. There was an interview in I think gulfnews last week with a tourism official for Abu Dhabi staying 2020 would be targeting only local and GCC tourism and international return wouldn’t be looked at until 2021. As per FCO page on UAE ‘Visit and tourist visas are currently being issued by the Dubai authorities only. Tourists and visitors cannot travel to Abu Dhabi by air.’.

      • meta says:

        I believe if you want to fly from Abu Dhabi, it’s fine. You can enter Abu Dhabi from Dubai by booking a laser covid test appointment (costs $13), but apparently for now it’s difficult to get an appointment. Also this offer is until end of May. I wouldn’t go to UAE now anyway weather wise. Measures will inevitably be relaxed. I think everyone needs to accept that for quite some time if they want to travel, there will be various different requirements.

  • southlondonphil says:

    Etihad’s published terms and conditions on its website actually state that miles earned after 1st February 2019 expire after 18 (NOT 24) months without activity. If no miles have been earned since 01/02/2019 miles will ‘hard expire’ 24 months after date of earning for Bronze (entry) level members, 30 Months for Silver and 36 Months for Gold /Platinum.

    Not sure where you got 24 months from. All the other bloggers appear to have got it right.

  • Dominic says:

    Great offer; had the pleasure of F on the A380 for a 14hr flight a few years back. Approx 100k miles and £150ish in tax, from memory.

    Think the price has since gone up, but should be under 90k with this offer.

  • Mart says:

    Better value using AA miles 42.5k business to middle East/Indian Ocean

    • Andrew M says:

      Or Asiana Miles – 40000 from the Middle East to Europe in First.

      • meta says:

        How easy is to find award space on Asiana? Do you have experience?

        • Andrew M says:

          You mean how easy is it to find space on Etihad and booking with Asiana points? That’s what I was talking about. Asiana don’t fly from the Middle East to Europe.

          I booked Muscat – Abu Dhabi – London in The Apartment First on the A380 for 40000 Asiana points. I just looked for availability on the Etihad website and then phoned Asiana in the USA to book – fairly painless and a great use of 40000 points!

          • meta says:

            That’s what I meant. Thanks. It would better use of my Marriott points then. I’ll do it next time.

  • Jason Wiltshire says:

    Is there an easy way to find reward space in first? I have just tried 20 different dates from Nov to Jan and cannot find a single first seat available out of Abu Dhabi….

    • meta says:

      No F availability until 8 January or so.

      • Rob says:

        ….. because no A380 presumably.

        • Jason Wiltshire says:

          Shows 787 flights, no availability

          • Tom says:

            Etihad isn’t even selling cash F tickets to LHR until January. Not at all certain EY will offer F again before this offer expires. Great pricing, but very much for a reason, which is that you might find yourself transferring miles and then having to use them for something else. Plus the testing requirements, UAE border closure, etc.

  • Ryan Gill says:

    I have 160,000 miles. I need just shy of 4,000 more for 2 x business redemptions to Abu Dhabi. I can buy these for $80 from Etihad. I guess that is what I should do. It would have been nice to use the Rocket miles promo 5,000, but they wouldn’t post in next few days would they? I do have marriot points. Does anyone know roughly how long a transfer to etihad takes?

    • Oli says:

      4,000 amex membership rewards points would cost you £60 (1.5p/MR) if you haven’t already reached your annual purchase cap and the transfer time is instant with Amex MR if I recall correctly.

    • Rob says:

      Doesn’t Etihad still do cash and miles? You only need 75% of the miles – the other 25% you used to be able to buy very cheaply during check-out. Not heard this has been scrapped.

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.