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5 Best Etihad Flights To Book With Etihad Guest Miles [Transfer from American Express® Membership Rewards Points]

Juan Ruiz's image
Juan Ruiz
Juan Ruiz's image

Juan Ruiz

Senior Editor & Content Contributor

104 Published Articles 702 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 41U.S. States Visited: 28

Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...
Edited by: Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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Etihad Guest recently made updates to its loyalty program to reduce the price of award tickets — with a particular emphasis on some of the airline’s busiest routes.

Let’s look at some sweet spot redemptions you might wish to explore with the best Etihad routes to book.

American Express Membership Rewards® Points* and Etihad Guest Points Transfer — Details

Etihad Guest employs a distance-based award chart to calculate the minimum number of Miles you’ll need to redeem for a flight based on the distance of the route. Here’s an overview of the chart when redeeming Miles on Etihad’s flights:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Distance (in miles)EconomyBusinessFirst
0 to 5005,00015,00030,000
501 to 1,00010,00020,00040,000
1,001 to 1,50013,00030,00055,000
1,501 to 2,00015,00035,00080,000
2,001 to 2,50020,00045,00090,000
3,001 to 4,00030,00070,000120,000
4,001 to 5,00037,00075,000135,000
5,001 to 6,00045,00095,000140,000
6,001+60,000120,000160,000

As Etihad has recently announced loyalty program changes, including the reduction in the Miles necessary on several routes.

Fortunately, eligible American Express Card members can transfer American Express Membership Rewards® points to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio. Here are a few of our favorite Amex consumer cards:

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip:

Interested in booking The Apartment, Etihad’s swanky first class suite on its Airbus A380? Read our guide on the best ways to book Etihad First Class, including American Express Membership Rewards® points!

5 Award Flights To Book With Etihad Guest

1. First Class From Abu Dhabi to London (and Vice Versa) for 140,000 Miles

Etihad Airways operates its jumbo Airbus A380 aircraft with its luxurious first class suite known as “The Apartment” on the Abu Dhabi (AUH) to London (LHR) route. Traveling in style on this 7-hour flight and enjoying an onboard shower, caviar, and a fully flat bed would cost you 140,000 Miles.

Etihad First Class AUH LHR Screenshot
Image Credit: Etihad Airways

It’s worth mentioning that this route costs 120,000 Miles one-way, according to Etihad’s distance-based award table. However, it is operated by the airline’s Boeing 787-9, which does not include Etihad’s renowned The Apartment First Class suite.

As a result, you’ll want to pay a few extra Miles and book the Airbus A380 at a rate of 140,000 Miles, including $395 in taxes. The one-way first-class ticket between the 2 cities would typically run you around $5,000 on average.

Based on our estimation of Etihad Guest Miles, you would achieve a great redemption value of 4 cents per Membership Rewards® points by redeeming Miles via Etihad Guest for this bucket-list-worthy flight.

2. Business Class From Abu Dhabi to Istanbul (and Vice Versa) for 35,000 Miles

Despite the significant changes made to the Etihad Guest program over time, it continues to offer solid value, particularly when booking Etihad business class.

Etihad’s flights between its Abu Dhabi and Istanbul hub are serviced by an Airbus A321 and Boeing 787-9. The Boeing 787-9 features a luxurious business class offering direct aisle access, lie-flat seats, and on-demand dining, allowing passengers to select from the menu and dine at their convenience.

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Business Class Aisle Seat Privacy Screen
Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Business Class Aisle Seat Privacy Screen. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

You can book this 5-hour journey between the 2 cities in style for 35,000 Miles and $34 in taxes.

Etihad AUH to IST Screenshot Award
Image Credit Etihad Airways

With the flight costing nearly $2,500, you’re effectively netting an impressive 6.8 cents per Membership Rewards® points on your redemption with our valuation of Etihad Guest Miles.

AUH IST Etihad J Cash Cost
Image Credit: Google Flights

3. New York to Abu Dhabi in First Class for 200,000 Miles

Do you think 13 hours on an airplane is painfully long? It might be in the back of the bus, but we can almost guarantee it won’t feel that way when flying in Etihad first class from New York to Abu Dhabi.

Etihad First Class Apartment Interior
You can fly Etihad’s First Class Apartment from New York to Abu Dhabi using Etihad Guest Miles. Image Credit: Juan Ruiz

The direct journey from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Zayed International Airport (AUH) is 6,892 Miles long, so you’ll need to redeem 200,000 Miles to fly The Apartment from the U.S. to Abu Dhabi.

JFK to AUH First Class Etihad Cash Fare
Image Caption: Google Flights

With cash rates for this flight soaring over $13,000, using your Etihad Guest Miles to enjoy luxury in the sky for 13 hours is a great option.

4. Muscat, Oman, in Business Class for As Little as 12,000 Miles

One place that doesn’t have direct flights from the U.S. is Oman. You can fly to the Middle East and get to Muscat from nearby major cities, such as Abu Dhabi.

Etihad business class is one of the best ways to get to Muscat, Oman (MCT). For the short 1-hour trip, award rates start at 15,000 Miles in business class and $181 in taxes.

AUH MCT 15k Miles Award Etihad
Image Credit: Etihad Airways

Although the flight to Oman is quick, you’ll reach your destination comfortably with Etihad’s A320 business class. As such, you’d nab close to 4 cents per Membership Rewards® point on your award compared to $775 cash rates (estimated from our valuations of Etihad Guest Miles).

AUH MCT Cash cost
Image Credit: Google Flights

5. Chicago to Cairo for 150,000 Miles One-Way in Business Class

Booking award flights with Etihad Guest directly offers a great benefit — the Etihad free stopover program in Abu Dhabi. This program provides passengers up to 2 complimentary hotel nights before continuing to their final destination, courtesy of Etihad Airways.

Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Juan Ruiz

That means if you find award space, you can travel from Chicago to Abu Dhabi, visit the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, explore the city for a few days, and then take off to witness the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo if you wish, all for 150,000 Miles in business class.

Hot Tip:

The Etihad Guest loyalty program can be valuable in many different ways. Check out our guide on the best ways to redeem Etihad Guest Miles for maximum value!

Final Thoughts

The Etihad Guest loyalty program has experienced various updates over time, yet there remains significant value in using Etihad Guest Miles for travel on the airline. Even better, eligible card members can transfer Membership Rewards® points to the Etihad Guest program.


*Membership Rewards® Program

Terms and Conditions for the Membership Rewards® program apply. Visit membershiprewards.com/terms for more information. Participating partners and available rewards are subject to change without notice.

The value of Membership Rewards points varies according to how you choose to use them. To learn more, go to www.membershiprewards.com/pointsinfo.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Etihad a part of an airline alliance?

Etihad Airways is not part of any airline alliances. However, you can earn Etihad Guest Miles by flying with any of the airline’s 20+ partners, representing all 3 main airline alliances.

Do Etihad Guest Miles expire?

Yes, Etihad Guest Miles expire after 18 months of no qualifying activity.

How long does it take for Etihad Guest Miles to appear in your account after transferring Membership Rewards points to Etihad Guest Miles?

Once you transfer points from Membership Rewards points to Etihad Guest, the Miles can take up to 48 hours to appear.

 

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About Juan Ruiz

Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been featured in various prestigious publications, such as USA Today, CNN Underscored, Forbes and The Points Guy. Juan is the visionary behind JetBetter, a premier award booking concierge service.

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