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.
Table of contents
- The Best Ways To Boost Your Etihad Guest Miles
- The 15 Best Ways To Use Your Etihad Guest Miles
- Fly American Airlines at Pre-Devaluation Prices in Business and First Class
- Off-Peak to Europe, South America, and Asia on American Airlines
- Book Business Class to Europe on Brussels Airlines
- U.S. West Coast to Tokyo on ANA in Business Class
- U.S. West Coast to Beijing on Hainan Airlines in Business Class
- Brazil’s Most Pristine Beaches for 3,000 miles!
- Fly Around Eastern Europe on Air Serbia
- Fly Prague to Seoul on Czech Airlines in Business Class
- Fly to Casablanca With Royal Air Maroc
- Fly Oman Air in Business Class
- Bali to Australia on Virgin Australia in Business Class
- Hop Around Australia and New Zealand on Virgin Australia
- Australia and New Zealand to the Pacific on Virgin Australia
- Travel With an Infant
- Buy Miles as Cheap as 0.9 Cents to Save on Etihad Flights!
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- The Best Ways To Boost Your Etihad Guest Miles
- The 15 Best Ways To Use Your Etihad Guest Miles
- 1. Fly American Airlines at Pre-Devaluation Prices in Business and First Class
- 2. Off-Peak to Europe, South America, and Asia on American Airlines
- 3. Book Business Class to Europe on Brussels Airlines
- 4. U.S. West Coast to Tokyo on ANA in Business Class
- 5. U.S. West Coast to Beijing on Hainan Airlines in Business Class
- 6. Brazil’s Most Pristine Beaches for 3,000 miles!
- 7. Fly Around Eastern Europe on Air Serbia
- 8. Fly Prague to Seoul on Czech Airlines in Business Class
- 9. Fly to Casablanca With Royal Air Maroc
- 10. Fly Oman Air in Business Class
- 11. Bali to Australia on Virgin Australia in Business Class
- 12. Hop Around Australia and New Zealand on Virgin Australia
- 13. Australia and New Zealand to the Pacific on Virgin Australia
- 14. Travel With an Infant
- 15. Buy Miles as Cheap as 0.9 Cents to Save on Etihad Flights!
- Final Thoughts
The Best Ways To Boost Your Etihad Guest Miles
Etihad Guest miles can be transferred from American Express Membership Rewards and Citi Thank You Rewards (both at a rate of 1:1), from Capital One at a 2:1.5 rate, or from Marriott at a transfer rate of 3:1.
Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)
|The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months, worth at least $600. |
This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $2,700+ in value from the card every year.
The card can get you up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage or seat selection fees). There's even a $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, annually. For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
|American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.|
With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.
Recommended American Express Cards (Business)
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 after you spend an additional $10,000, on purchases within the first 3 months. |
We get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks.
This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
|American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a simple card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year! The card has no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.|
Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Personal)
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - This card is packed with a lot more benefits and perks. Earn a 50,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $500 toward travel) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. We recommend this as a no-brainer card if you even semi-regularly stay at hotels.|
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This is an excellent card for those looking to earn 1.25x miles per $1 on every purchase. With a 20,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $200 toward travel) after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months and no annual fee, it's a strong choice.|
Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Business)
|Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business - This no annual fee card earns unlimited 1.5x miles per dollar on every purchase and has a 20,000 mile sign up bonus [worth $200 in travel] after meeting the minimum spend of $3,000 within the first 3 months. Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.49% - 22.49% variable APR after that.|
|Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business - Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 200,000 bonus miles worth up to $2,000 to spend on travel. Earn 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening. Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.|
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
Beginning our list of the best ways to use Etihad miles is with American Airlines.
Etihad’s award chart for travel on American Airlines is actually better, for the most part, than American Airlines’ own award chart.
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
The main challenge here will be finding award availability, particularly on routes operated by the 777-300ER featuring Flagship First and Business Class. The best advice we can give is to be flexible and keep searching for award availability, especially closer to departure.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
8. Fly Prague to Seoul on Czech Airlines in Business Class
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 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
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.
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
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!
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!
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.