Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is famous for its lavish planes and luxurious experiences such as the First Class Apartments.
Hailing from the United Arab Emirates, Etihad serves 68 countries around the world, including U.S. cities like Chicago, New York, 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
Etihad Guest miles can be transferred from American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Capital One at a 1:1 rate, or from Marriott Bonvoy at a transfer rate of 3:1.
Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)
If you’re a business owner, see Amex’s business credit card options.
Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Personal)
Marriott Bonvoy Transfers
You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to Etihad at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra bonus of 5,000 Etihad miles.
The 17 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, Hong Kong SAR, 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 Economy 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
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 from New York (JFK), Toronto (YYZ), or Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Brussels (BRU) 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 54,000 miles.
Availability is hard to find and does not match other websites such as United. Be persistent in calling Etihad Guest until you get an agent who is helpful and competent.
Bottom Line: You can book niche Brussels Airlines awards from North America to Brussels for 27,000 miles one-way in economy and 44,000 miles one-way in business.
4. U.S. West Coast to Tokyo on ANA in Business Class
Etihad Guest uses a distance-based award chart for redemptions on ANA flights. And the best value is for U.S. West Coast flights to Japan.
Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo (HND or NRT) 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 (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (HND or NRT) 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 (SEA), San Jose (SJC), and now Las Vegas (LAS) to Beijing (PEK).
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 offer 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 the cash prices to the award cost.
Hot Tip: Utilize the benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express to make all your travels a little more comfortable. Perks include airport lounge access, worldwide hotel elite status, and more!
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 (PRG) to Seoul (ICN) is only 25,610 miles. That’s less than most airlines charge for economy!
Czech Airlines leases old planes from Korean Air for this route, so that’s why the business class looks similar to Korean Air’s regional product.
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 (JFK) to Casablanca (CMN) costs just 22,000 miles one-way in economy or 44,000 miles one-way in business class.
You can also book the nonstop service from Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Casablanca for the same price.
10. Fly Oman Air in Business Class
There is 1 great Etihad Guest award value on Oman Air:
- London (LHR) to Muscat (MCT) in business class is 44,000 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
Virgin Australia operates flights from Bali (DPS) to Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), or Brisbane (BNE).
These 6+ hour flights can be booked for 33,800 miles in business or 16,900 in economy.
However, you won’t see a lie-flat business class product, only a recliner-style business class seat.
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 (BNE) to Hamilton Island (HTI) for the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays. This flight is only 6,900 miles in economy, and booking flights between Sydney (SYD) and Ayers Rock (AYQ) will cost 10,900 miles.
Hot Tip: Certain Western Australia routes, including from Perth (PER) 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 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 miles.
Using Etihad Guest miles will only cost 6,900 miles in economy on Virgin Australia on routes like Auckland (AKL) to Tonga (TBU) or Brisbane (BNE) to Vanuatu (VLI).
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 (JFK) to Brussels (BRU) flight in business class, adding an infant is only 3,663 miles extra!
15. Fly Air Serbia Business Class from New York to Belgrade
Air Serbia’s sole U.S. flight is between the capital city of Belgrade (BEG) and New York City (JFK).
You can book this niche business class flight for 64,082 Etihad Guest miles. If economy is more your tastes, you can redeem 44,970 miles for a one-way flight in coach.
16. Access Enhanced Etihad Premium Cabin Availability
One of the latest developments in Etihad’s premium cabin availability is that Etihad will not release all of its availability to partners.
For example, if you’d like to book a high-season vacation in December aboard Etihad first or business class, you’ll have much better luck redeeming Etihad Guest miles. So you can access better availability, but it will usually cost you more points.
Here are some great example redemptions you can make:
- New York City (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Malé (MLE) for 207,341 miles in Etihad Airways first class or 152,386 miles in business class
- Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Johannesburg (JNB) for 186,251 miles one-way in Etihad Airways business class
- New York City (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) for 136,090 miles one-way in Etihad Airways first class or 99,885 miles in business class
- Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) for 136,251 miles one-way in Etihad Airways first class or 120,000 miles in business class
17. 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 per mile 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 per mile. In perspective, most airlines sell miles for 1.7 to 2.5 cents per 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.
Some of the program’s greatest values come by redeeming flights 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.