Etihad Guest is currently running another of its occasional transfer bonuses – see here for hotels and see here for the HSBC Premier offer.
There is good news and bad news this time around:
- the good news is that the bonus is a whopping 40%
- the bad news is that it only applies to hotel transfers where the conversion rate is bad value, and 40% doesn’t change much
- the HSBC Premier deal is more interesting but not a no-brainer given the current 25% Avios transfer bonus
The transfer bonus runs to 31st October.
Should you transfer hotel points to Etihad Guest for a 40% bonus?
Here are the options from transferring hotel points:
- 40% bonus on transfers from IHG One Rewards (usually 5:1)
- 40% bonus on transfers from World of Hyatt (usually 5:2)
- 40% bonus on transfers from Accor Live Limitless (usually 2:1)
- 40% bonus on transfers from Radisson Rewards (usually 10:1)
Here’s the snag. The only hotel programme where points transfers to airlines make sense is Marriott Bonvoy. The rate is 3:1, so based on our 0.5p valuation of a Bonvoy point, you would be ‘paying’ 1.5p per airline miles. This improves by 25% if you transfer in chunks of 60,000 Bonvoy points, and puts you very close to the HfP ‘fair value’ of 1p for most airline miles.
Marriott Bonvoy is not part of this offer, however.
Let’s do the maths here for the schemes which are taking part. How much value are you giving up in terms of free hotel stays to ‘buy’ Etihad Guest miles?
- We value an IHG point at 0.4p. At 5:1, you ‘pay’ 2p per Etihad Guest mile. With this offer, you ‘pay’ 1.43p. This is pricey but possibly acceptable.
- We value a Hyatt point at 1.3p. At 5:2, you ‘pay’ 3.25p per Etihad Guest mile. With this offer, you ‘pay’ 2.32p. This is far too high.
- We value an Accor point at 2 Eurocents (1.75p). At 2:1, you ‘pay’ 3.5p per Etihad Guest mile. With this offer, you ‘pay’ 2.5p. This is far too high.
- We value a Radisson point at 0.33p. At 10:1, you ‘pay’ 3.3p per Etihad Guest mile. With this offer, you ‘pay’ 2.35p. This is far too high.
There is also a 40% bonus from Shangri-La Circle but this isn’t a scheme we look at given the minimal European footprint. The programme is now revenue based (you get a fixed cash discount per point you redeem) so I doubt there is much value here.
Unless you have huge amounts of hotel points that you have no plans to use (and is it really impossible to use hotel points when you have as many hotels as the four chains above have?), this Etihad Guest transfer offer isn’t a great deal.
The only scheme where it may be worth considering at the margin is IHG One Rewards, but 1.43p is still a little high to ‘pay’ for an Etihad Guest mile unless you have a firm plan to use them.
Full details are on the Etihad website here.
Should you transfer HSBC Premier points to Etihad Guest for a 40% bonus?
This is where it gets more interesting.
As we explained in this article on the best ways to use HSBC Premier credit card points, airline miles are your best option.
You will get 0.5 airline miles per HSBC point, which we’d value at 0.5p. The hotel point options (0.2p into IHG One Rewards) and the option to take shopping vouchers or wine (0.33p per HSBC point) are far worse.
A 40% bonus on transfers to Etihad Guest would get you 0.7p per HSBC point instead of 0.5p. This is on the basis that you should get 1p per Etihad Guest mile if you redeem them in a premium cabin.
Your ‘return on card spend’ on this basis would be 0.7% on the free HSBC Premier credit card and 1.4% on the £195 HSBC Premier World Elite card. You can’t argue with that.
The real question is what you can get for those Etihad Guest miles. There are lots of options with partner airlines (Oman Air, Air Canada, American Airlines amongst others).
The most obvious redemption – Heathrow to Abu Dhabi in Business Class – is 125,150 miles plus around £700, compared to 100,000 to 120,000 Avios on British Airways to Dubai.
You also need to consider that there is currently a 25% bonus on transfers from HSBC Premier into Avios – see here.
It would be more of a slam dunk without the 25% bonus from HSBC to Avios currently running. The Etihad bonus from HSBC Premier points is worth considering but you should have a firm plan in mind to use the miles.
The T&C for the HSBC offer are on this page of the Etihad website.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (February 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:
- 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 four free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 40,000 Etihad Guest miles.
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 10,000 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.