Etihad is offering a 20% bonus when you convert hotel points into Etihad Guest miles between April 1 and April 30, 2017. There’s no limit to how many bonus miles you can earn, and the bonus miles should post within 15 days of the end of the promotion. There’s no registration required for this promotion, so as long as you have a qualifying transaction you should earn the bonus points.
Eligible hotel programs for this promotion include Club Carlson, Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club, Le Club Accor, Marriott Rewards, Shangri-La Golden Circle, Starwood Preferred Guest, and World of Hyatt. Points transferred from the Amex Membership Rewards program or US Citi ThankYou program aren’t eligible for this promotion.
Etihad Guest is a reasonably good program, though still not one of the most valuable programs out there. However, there are two circumstances where converting hotel points into airline miles is an especially good value, and where it could make sense to take advantage of this bonus:
Convert Starpoints into Etihad Guest miles
Starpoints convert into Etihad Guest miles at a 1:1 ratio, and for every 20,000 points transferred you get 5,000 bonus miles. So if you transferred 20,000 Starpoints you’d earn a total of 30,000 Etihad Guest miles, which is a 1:1.5 transfer ratio.
Earn Etihad miles with Marriott’s Hotel + Air Packages
Another decent option is Marriott’s Hotel + Air Packages, of which Etihad Guest is a partner.
Through Hotel + Air packages you receive a set number of free nights plus a set number of miles as part of the package. These packages are in my opinion the best use of Marriott Rewards points to begin with, so the value only gets better when you add in a potential conversion bonus.
To put this into perspective, seven nights at a Category 1-5 property plus 85,000 miles will run you 270,000 Marriott Rewards points.
If you did that, you’d receive a total of 102,000 Etihad Guest miles, plus seven nights at a Category 1-5 property.
However, that’s not actually one of the better Hotel + Air packages. Some of the others give you 120,000-132,000 miles for the same number of Marriott Rewards points, which would be a better value.
Personally this isn’t a promotion I would take advantage of, since I don’t think Etihad Guest miles are that valuable. However, if you’re someone who values Etihad Guest miles more, or has a specific use in mind, this promotion could be worthwhile. For example, redeeming Etihad miles for travel on Air Serbia between New York and Belgrade is a good value — it costs ~64,000 miles one-way, and Air Serbia has an excellent business class product.
Does anyone plan on converting hotel points into Etihad Guest miles to take advantage of this offer?