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The Etihad Guest program is offering a 20% bonus when you convert points from over a dozen of Etihad’s partner programs between October 1 and October 30, 2016.
Here’s a full list of the partner programs that are eligible for this transfer bonus:
This transfer bonus is entirely on Etihad’s side, which means that you won’t see the bonus reflected when you go to the partner programs’ websites to transfer points. As a result, the 20% bonus doesn’t post instantly. Instead the 20% bonus will post within 15 days of the end o the promotion, though in practice it should post faster than that. There’s no registration required to take advantage of this bonus.
While not the biggest percentage wise, this is one of the most extensive transfer bonuses we’ve ever seen from Etihad Guest. In the past we’ve seen bonuses for transferring points from individual partners, like a 25% bonus from Citi ThankYou to Etihad Guest, or a 30% bonus from Amex Membership Rewards to Etihad Guest, but we haven’t seen such a widespread bonus in a while.
As you may know, the most useful transfer partners here are American Express Membership Rewards (only the US version of the program is eligible), Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Those points convert at the following rates:
- Amex Membership Rewards points ordinarily convert into Etihad Guest miles at a 1:1 ratio, so this is a great way to convert points earned on cards like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, etc.
- Citi ThankYou points ordinarily convert into Etihad Guest miles at a 1:1 ratio, so this is a great way to convert points earned on cards like the Citi Prestige® Card
- Starwood Preferred Guest points ordinarily convert into Etihad Guest miles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred; this is a great way to convert points earned on cards like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
Best uses of Etihad Guest miles?
As far as non-US airlines go, Etihad Guest actually has fairly reasonable redemption rates. The program had a devaluation in June of last year, but there are still some good values to be had. Etihad has a roughly distance based award chart, so your best way to look up prices is to just go to the Etihad award search tool and look up what they’re charging.
Just to give a few examples of business & first class redemption rates for potentially useful routes:
- New York to Abu Dhabi — 88,391 miles in business class, 117,560 miles in first class
- London to Abu Dhabi — 65,964 miles in business class, 87,732 miles in first class
- Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi — 108,076 miles in business class, 143,741 miles in first class
American AAdvantage used to be the best way to redeem for Etihad premium cabin awards, but since their devaluation, Etihad Guest miles are the best option in many cases.
Also keep in mind that redeeming Etihad Guest miles on partner airlines can represent a great value.
For example, Etihad Guest miles can efficiently be redeemed for travel on American, typically at costs similar to what American charged before their devaluation. Perhaps the challenge is American’s lack of saver level award availability.
Similarly, Etihad Guest miles can be redeemed at outrageously low costs on Brussels Airlines, which can represent a hell of a value. For example, a roundtrip business class ticket from New York to Brussels costs just 36,620 Etihad Guest miles.
Air Serbia also recently started flying between New York and Belgrade, and they’re an Etihad Guest partner. I recently booked this award myself at the cost of 64,082 Etihad Guest miles one-way, which I’m quite excited about. Award availability on the route tends to be excellent, so this is a great use of points.
This is a great way to boost your balance of Etihad Guest miles, assuming you’re looking to book travel on Etihad or one of their partner airlines. Etihad Guest is one of the best programs for booking actual Etihad awards, and also has some great partner redemption rates.
I wouldn’t speculatively transfer points under this offer, since we do see transfer bonuses fairly often. However, with a specific use in mind this could represent a very good deal.
Anyone planning on taking advantage of this 20% bonus for transfers to Etihad Guest?