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Etihad Guest miles are becoming increasingly relevant, given that the program is now transfer partners with both American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou. This means points earned on great cards like the Citi Prestige® Card, Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, etc. can be transferred to Etihad Guest.
Etihad Guest miles are of course valuable for redemptions on Etihad, which has one of the world’s best first class products.
Redeem Etihad Guest miles for travel in the A380 First Class Apartment
On top of that, Etihad has quite a few airline partners, many of which have great redemption rates. For example, I’ve written in the past about the great value of redeeming Etihad Guest for travel on American, as many of Etihad’s redemption rates reflect American’s pre-devaluation rates.
Redemption rates can vary significantly depending on the partner airline on which you’re redeeming. Some partner redemptions are terrible deals, while others are great deals.
There’s one partner award opportunity which is outrageously generous. Specifically, redeeming Etihad Guest miles on Brussels Airlines is an incredible deal. The rates are so low that it almost doesn’t make sense. Here’s the Etihad Guest award chart for redemptions on Brussels Airlines, quoting roundtrip redemption rates:
Again, the rates listed are for roundtrip travel (one-way travel isn’t permitted on some partner airlines). That’s right, a roundtrip business class award between Brussels and Paris will cost you just 1,550 miles.
Perhaps best of all, a roundtrip business class award between New York and Brussels will cost you just 36,620 Etihad Guest miles. Factor in the 30% transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards at the moment, and that’s like paying just 29,000 Membership Rewards points for the award.
That’s the cheapest roundtrip transatlantic business class award cost I know of.
Keep in mind Brussels Airlines has an extensive route network to Africa as well, and the rates there are largely equally good. Brussels Airlines isn’t a huge airline, but for the markets they serve, these redemptions represent an outstanding value.
Reader Sean shared the following experience he had with booking Brussels Airlines using Etihad Guest miles:
I can confirm JFK- Brussels round trip in J for 36,620 etihad miles. Booked today. If you travel with infant they only charge 10% of award miles not 10% of the normal fare. For myself, my wife and 1 yr old 60k MR points after 30% transfer bonus + $290 in taxes. Unbelievable deal for a business class product that I’ve heard numerous good things about.
As you can see, there are some surcharges, but they don’t seem too bad. You’ll have to call Etihad Guest to book these awards, which is always an experience, as their agents are quite hit-or-miss. Availability should match what’s available to other airlines, so I’d recommend using a Star Alliance award search tool to access space.
I’ve reviewed Brussels Airlines business class between New York and Brussels in the past, and it’s a solid product.
While a niche redemption, using Etihad Guest miles for travel on Brussels Airlines is a heck of a value, regardless of whether you’re looking at traveling in economy or business class. Brussels Airlines award availability isn’t great at the moment, though it does seem to go in waves. If you’re looking at traveling to/from Europe, this is an opportunity to consider.
(Tip of the hat to Mac)