Etihad Offering 30% Bonus On Purchased Miles

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I write all the time about opportunities to buy miles with programs like Alaska Mileage Plan, American AAdvantage, and Avianca LifeMiles, though at the moment there’s another airline loyalty program selling miles that some might find useful.

Etihad Guest is offering up to a 30% bonus on purchased miles through December 31, 2018. That might not sound like a huge bonus, but the cost to purchase Etihad miles is much more reasonable to begin with than what some other programs charge.

With this promotion, Etihad is offering a tiered bonus, as follows:

  • Buy 6,000-20,000 miles, get a 10% bonus
  • Buy 21,000-40,000 miles, get a 20% bonus
  • Buy 41,000-60,000 miles, get a 30% bonus

With Etihad Guest you can purchase up to 100,000 miles per calendar year, and up to 60,000 miles per transaction. Etihad ordinarily charges two cents per purchased mile, so during this promotion you can buy miles for as little as 1.54 cents each.

This would happen if you purchased exactly 60,000 miles, which would turn into 78,000 miles, and would cost $1,200.

This is an excellent deal. Note that in November Etihad sold miles with a 25% bonus, which was one of the first times they offered a bonus on purchased miles. So this time the promotion is even better than last time.

Note that Etihad mileage purchases are processed by, meaning they don’t count as airfare spend for the purposes of your credit card. If you buy miles you’ll want to first use a card where you’re meeting minimum spend, and then use a card that maximizes your return on everyday, non-bonused spend.

While I wouldn’t proactively pick up Etihad Guest miles at this cost, there are several excellent niche redemptions with Etihad where this price could be worthwhile. For example:

  • You can redeem just 44,000 Etihad Guest miles for a one-way business class ticket anywhere Royal Air Maroc flies
  • You can redeem just 25,610 Etihad Guest miles for a one-way business class ticket on Czech Airlines between Prague and Seoul Incheon
  • There are some solid redemption values for travel on Etihad flights, though they have a roughly distance based award chart where the cost varies based on the exact city pair

Royal Air Maroc’s 787 business class

I do think buying Etihad Guest miles for 1.54 cents each could represent a good value, though I should also mention that Etihad Guest is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Capital One, so for those with access to US credit cards, there are other useful ways to accrue these miles.

Earn Etihad Guest Points

But for those who don’t have access to US credit cards and/or who would rather pay 1.54 cents per mile than transfer points, buying Etihad Guest miles could represent a great deal.

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  1. I think you also should mention those miles expire after 3 years and unlike soem program, adding new miles does not expend the life of old miles.

  2. I’m a gold member in Emirates and this year they increased maximum purchasable miles from 25K to 100K. The cost per mile was reduced and they had offers as well during the year like discounts and 20% extra miles in a minimum of 5000 miles purchase.

    Now they just offered the ability to by extra 100K by 31st December with 30% bonus even beyond the original 100K. Would this have any coleration with Etihad and what’s your thoughts on Emirates miles offer?

  3. Do you know if the 30% bonus miles count towards the 100K miles purchase limit per year? I.e. could this promotion be used to buy 130K in total before December 31?

  4. @Lucky thanks for the heads up, no email from EY Guest about this so could have missed it.

    @ Abdullah I think EY may have inadvertently given members the opportunity to buy an additional 130k miles over the annual 100k. I have already purchased 100k miles this year, taking advantage of the 25% bonus offers earlier this year, but was able to buy another 60k + 18K bonus today, I try periodically and usually get denied, not this time 🙂

    @Sam The bonus miles are in addition to the 100k per year, so yes you could buy 130k before 31 Dec ’18.

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