14 Best Ways To Redeem Etihad Guest Miles for Max Value [2018]

Etihad In-Flight Lounge

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Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is famous for its new planes and luxurious experience such as the First Class Apartments.

From the United Arab Emirates, Etihad serves 68 countries around the world, including U.S. cities like Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Even if you don’t fly Etihad often, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by utilizing credit cards and a variety of other strategies.

The Best Ways To Boost Your Etihad Guest Miles

You can actually earn Etihad Guest miles without ever setting foot on their planes. Through partnerships with American Express, SPG and Citi, you can transfer points from various credit cards to Etihad Guest.

American Express Membership Rewards

Amex Membership Rewards points transfer and convert to Etihad Guest miles at a 1:1 ratio. There are sometimes bonuses that Amex run when transferring to Etihad, so keep an eye out for those as that’s just gravy!

This transfer takes a minimum of 3 business days.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDBENEFITS & INFO
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x).
  • Earn 20% extra points when you make 20 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period.
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.74%-25.74%.
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening, then a variable APR of 14.74%-25.74%. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • $100 Airline fee credit. Terms apply.
  • 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Access more than 1,100 airport lounges across 120 countries and counting, including the amazing Centurion® lounges.
  • Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $550

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDBENEFITS & INFO
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories.
  • Earn 2x points on the remaining 4 categories
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175. Terms Apply.
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99%. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Access more than 1,100 airport lounges across 120 countries and counting, including the amazing Centurion® lounges.
  • Up to $200 a calendar year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $450

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)

Etihad Guest also partners with the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program. You can earn points with an SPG credit card and convert them to Etihad Guest.

SPG Starpoints transfer to Etihad at a 1:1 ratio, and you get a bonus of 5,000 miles for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer in a single transaction.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn up to $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Earn an additional $100 statement credit after making a purchase at a participating hotel during your first 6 months. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn up to $200 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases.
  • Free Boingo Wi-Fi & Free Wi-Fi at SPG participating hotels. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Note that SPG Preferred members must transfer a minimum of 2,500 Starpoints. For SPG Gold members it is 1,500, and there is no minimum for SPG Platinum.

It can take up to a week for transfers to complete, so make your transfer as far in advance as possible.

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Earn ThankYou Rewards with your Citi ThankYou Premier Card or Citi Prestige Card and transfer them to Etihad Guest Miles at a 1:1 ratio.

It takes a minimum of 3 business days for Citi ThankYou points to transfer to Etihad.

The 15 Best Ways To Use Your Etihad Guest Miles

The Etihad frequent flyer program is popular among points-earners because it has some great redemption options. Here are some of our favorites!

1. Fly American Airlines at Pre-Devaluation Prices in Business and First Class

Flying American Airlines in business class at pre-devaluation rates is a steal!
Flying American Airlines in business class at pre-devaluation rates is a steal! Image courtesy of AA.com.

Beginning our list of the best ways to use Etihad miles is with American Airlines. In 2016, American Airlines significantly devalued their business and first class travel awards.

Fortunately, Etihad’s award chart for American still allows you to book flights on American Airlines at pre-devaluation levels.

You have some great options by flying American with Etihad miles:

  • Fly to Europe for 50,000 miles in business class or 62,500 miles in first class
  • Fly to Asia 1 (Japan, Korea, Mongolia) for 50,000 miles in business class or 62,500 miles in first class
  • Fly to Asia 2 (China, Thailand, Singapore, etc.) for 55,000 miles in business class and 67,500 miles in first class
  • Fly to the South Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, etc.) for 62,500 in business class and 67,500 in first class

2. Off-Peak to Europe, South America, and Asia on American Airlines

Etihad’s American Airlines award chart includes off-peak economy awards for certain destinations. From North America, off-peak prices include:

  • Europe for 20,000 miles (peak is 30,000 miles)
  • South America 2 for 20,000 miles (peak is 30,000 miles)*
  • Asia 1 for 25,000 miles (peak is 32,500 miles)**

*South America 2 = Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile (excluding Easter Island), Paraguay, Uruguay
**Asia 1 = Japan, Korea, Mongolia

3. Book Business Class to Europe on Brussels Airlines

brussels airlines
If you’re flying to Europe from the east coast, consider booking Brussels Airlines business class with Etihad Guest miles. Image courtesy press.brusselsairlines.com

In April 2017, Etihad massively devalued their award chart for flights on Brussels Airlines. While this was a disappointing blow for award travel, there are still some solid redemptions.

The Etihad Guest award chart for Brussels Airlines shows pricing for one-way flights. Even with the devaluation, there are some competitive awards to book.

You can fly between New York (JFK), Toronto, or Washington, D.C. (IAD) and Brussels round-trip in business for 88,000 miles. That is not much more than most airlines charges one-way in economy! Round-trip economy costs 56,000 miles.

Availability is hard to find and does not match other websites such as united.com. Be persistent in calling Etihad Guest until you get an agent who is helpful and competent.

Bottom Line: Etihad’s devaluation of the Brussels Airlines award chart hurts, but there is still value to be had.

 

4. U.S. West Coast to Tokyo on ANA in Business Class

Seattle-Tokyo one-way on ANA is 54,000 miles in business class or 30,000 miles in economy.

Because Etihad’s ANA award chart is distance-based, San Francisco or Los Angeles to Tokyo is more: 63,000 miles in business class or 37,000 miles in economy.

ANA Business Class
Fly to Tokyo on ANA, which has one of the premier business class experiences in the world. Image courtesy of ana.co.jp

5. U.S. West Coast to Beijing on Hainan Airlines in Business Class

Hainan Airlines is a Skytrax 5-star airline with flights from Seattle, San Jose (CA), and now Las Vegas to Beijing. On the Hainan Airlines distance-based chart, those will go for a competitive 81,000 miles in business class or 41,000 in economy.

Hainan Airlines Business Class
Hainan Airlines business class. Image courtesy hainanairlines.com

6. Brazil’s Most Pristine Beaches for 3,000 miles!

Etihad’s Gol award chart is distance-based. Flights of 500 miles or less cost just 3,000 miles in economy or 6,000 in economy comfort. (Gol does not have business class.)

Gol flies from Recife to the magical islands of Fernando de Noronha. This ticket is often $500 each-way!

Fernando De Noronha
Experience Brazil’s most pristine beaches at Fernando de Noronha. Image courtesy Michal Staniewski/shutterstock.com

Many other Brazil flights are also super-cheap with Etihad Guest miles.

7. Fly Around Eastern Europe on Air Serbia

Air Serbia’s short flights from Belgrade start at just 5,000 miles in economy. Business is 7,150 miles.

Many of these flights are cheap to pay outright in cash also, so always compare.

Hot Tip: Utilize benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express to make all your travels a little more comfortable. Perks include airport lounge access, worldwide Boingo WiFi, hotel elite status, and more!

8. Fly Prague to Seoul on Czech Airlines in Business Class

Fly Czech Airlines with Etihad Guest Miles
Use Etihad miles to fly business class at economy class prices! Image courtesy of czechairlines.com.

Etihad frequent flyer program has a few super low prices on their partner travel awards, and this is one of them. Czech Airlines business class from Prague to Seoul is only 25,610 miles. That’s less than most airlines charge for economy!

9. Fly to Casablanca With Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc airline using Etihad Guest miles
Royal Air Maroc might not be an airline you are overly familiar with, but when business class flights from the U.S. cost only 44,000 miles, you should take the time to learn! Image courtesy flight-report.com.

Royal Air Maroc has a distance-based award chart. With distance-based charts, travel award value can depend on slight distance differences that put a flight into a lower or higher price bracket.

Even so, at the longest distance for Etihad Guest awards on Royal Air Maroc (2,001+ miles), New York to Casablanca costs just 22,000 miles one-way in economy, or 44,000 miles one-way in business class.

In 2016, Royal Air Maroc launched nonstop service from Washington-Dulles to Casablanca for the same price.

10. Fly Oman Air in Business Class

Fly Oman Air via Etihad Guest
A great business class product on an under-the-radar airline is Oman Air. Image courtesy of omanair.com.

There are 2 great Etihad Guest award values on Oman Air:

  • London to Muscat in business class is 44,000 miles
  • Singapore to Muscat in business class is 42,000 miles

Oman Air’s business class is not as internationally well-known as Etihad, but it receives high marks from travelers in the know.

11. Bali to Australia on Virgin Australia in Business Class

Bali, Indonesia to Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane are 6+ hour flights. These go for 33,800 miles in business or 16,900 in economy.

12. Hop Around Australia and New Zealand on Virgin Australia

Etihad Guest has a distance-based award chart for Virgin Australia. This is perfect for short, expensive flights to incredible destinations such as Brisbane-Hamilton Island for the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays. This flight is only 6,900 miles in economy, and getting to Sydney-Ayers Rock is 10,900 miles.

Note: certain Western Australia routes, including from Perth to several popular diving destinations, are served by Virgin Australia Regional. Etihad may not be able to book awards on these flights. You can try alternate programs such as Delta SkyMiles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Whitsundays Australia
Visit the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays. Image courtesy ronnybas/shutterstock.com

13. Australia and New Zealand to the Pacific on Virgin Australia

Getting to the Pacific islands is rarely cheap. Using Etihad Guest on Virgin Australia, though, Auckland to Tonga and Brisbane to Vanuatu are just 6,900 miles in economy. Other Pacific islands that cost more are Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

14. Travel With an Infant

baby travel on Etihad Airlines
Be careful of those infant in arms fees that some airlines charge. Etihad won’t take an arm and a leg from you! Image courtesy travelagentcentral.com

Traveling with an infant lap child using Etihad Guest awards is really reasonable. You will only be charged an additional 10% of the original mileage cost of your ticket to add your infant.

On that Brussels Airlines New York to Brussels flight in business class, adding an infant is only 3,663 miles extra!

Bottom Line: Etihad Guest’s greatest values come not for redeeming on Etihad flights. Rather, take advantage of great values with several of its many partners. For Etihad flights including the famed First Class Apartments, use American Airlines AAdvantage miles or Korean SkyPass miles to book.

15. Buy Miles as Cheap as 0.9 Cents to Save on Etihad Flights!

Plenty of airlines will sell you miles at high prices. None may be as cheap at the roughly 0.9 cents/miles Etihad charges for its Miles Plus Cash option.

For an online award on Etihad flights only, you can purchase as many as 25% of the total miles needed for an award flight. The price varies slightly by trip, though is usually around 0.9 cents/mile. In perspective, most airlines sell miles for 1.7-2.5 cents/mile.

At this favorable rate, the overall cost in miles and cash for an award ticket on Etihad can be a great value!

Final Thoughts

Etihad Guest provides many ways to redeem your miles so you can enjoy that well-deserved vacation! We outlined some of what we feel are the best ways to use Etihad Guest miles, but the best redemptions for you will depend on your travel goals.

Happy redeeming!

Photo Credits
Etihad Airways A380 Feature Photo: Dmitry Birin/Shutterstock.com

FAQ

How do I join Etihad Guest?

Do I need to be an Etihad Guest member to search for awards?

No, you can search without an account or logging in.

How many Etihad Guest miles do I have?

Check your Etihad Guest miles balance by logging in to your account here.

When do Etihad miles expire?

Etihad Guest miles expire based on date earned, regardless of subsequent activity. Miles expire 2 years/2.5 years/3 years from date earned for General/Silver/Gold & Platinum members, respectively.

Can I transfer miles to Etihad Guest from other loyalty programs?

Yes. Etihad has several credit card and travel partners, including Citi ThankYou Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and American Express Membership Rewards.

How many Etihad Miles are required for a trip reward?

For travel on Etihad flights, use the mileage calculator. For travel on partner airlines, consult the partner award chart for each.

Which credit cards can I use to earn Etihad Guest Miles?

How can I contact Etihad Guest?

Call Etihad Guest at 1 (888) 8-ETIHAD 24 hours a day. For partner awards, you may have better success calling Etihad Guest in the U.K. at +44 (0) 345 608 1225.

You can also email the Guest Service Center using the address for your status tier: guest@etihadguest.com, guestsilver@etihadguest.com, guestgold@etihadguest.com, guestplatinum@etihadguest.com.

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2 comments

  1. PR steels · June 28, 2018 · Reply

    Etihad just charged me 30k miles one way from Europe to USA in economy flying American airlines May 1 ( off peak period). I was expecting only 20k miles one way. Could you please comfirm if this is a mistake? Many articles suggest 20k miles one way from USA to Europe during off peak period (Oct 15 – May 15) but is it a different mileage requirement when flying from Europe to USA?

    • Michael McHugh · June 29, 2018 · Reply

      Hi PR steels

      The way I understand the Etihad AA award chart, a OW Europe > U.S. economy flight will be 30k Etihad miles. I am not seeing off-peak pricing from Europe to the U.S.

      For flights from the U.S. to Europe either one-way or round-trip in economy, Etihad charges 20k one-way off-peak or 40k round-trip off-peak on the dates that you noted.

      I would call Etihad to clarify as I can see how this would be confusing. The Europe award chart states 30k one-way while the U.S. award chart states 20k off-peak. The Europe pricing would seem to conflict with the notes at the bottom of the award chart that state “Between North America and Europe.”

      Please let us know what you find out.

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