Buying miles & points strategically can represent a great value, especially for luxury travel. The Etihad Guest program has just launched a promotion on purchased miles. While this is the best promotion we’ve seen from the program in quite some time, it unfortunately won’t be worth it for a vast majority of people, especially in light of the recent Etihad Guest program changes.
In this post:
Promotion on purchased Etihad Guest miles
Through Saturday, June 24, 2023, Etihad Guest is offering up to a 50% bonus on purchased miles. The discount is tiered, as follows:
- Buy 2,000-10,000 miles, get a 25% bonus
- Buy 11,000-25,000 miles, get a 35% discount
- Buy 26,000-100,000 miles, get a 50% discount
How much does it cost to purchase Etihad Guest miles?
Etihad Guest ordinarily charges 2.0 cents per purchased mile, and there are no further taxes and fees. That’s before any bonuses or discount. With the 50% bonus, if you maxed out this promotion you’d receive a total of 150,000 Etihad Guest miles at a cost $2,000, which is a rate of 1.33 cents per Etihad Guest mile.
This is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on purchasing Etihad Guest miles in quite some time. That’s not to say it’s necessarily a great deal (given recent program changes), but at least the price is low.
How many Etihad Guest miles can you purchase?
Etihad Guest limits members to purchasing 100,000 Etihad Guest miles per account per calendar year, before any bonuses. The exception is Etihad Guest Platinum members, who can purchase up to 150,000 miles per year, before any bonuses.
If you do buy Etihad Guest miles, it can take up to 72 hours for them to post to your account, but they ordinarily post much faster than that.
Which credit card should you buy Etihad Guest miles with?
Etihad Guest mileage purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spending. Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spending, or otherwise a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending.
In this case the best option is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review) (Rates & Fees), which offers 2x miles and has no foreign transaction fees. Usually the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi Double Cash® Card (review) would also be good options for maximizing everyday spending, but the cards have foreign transaction fees, so wouldn’t be a good option in this case.
- Earn 3% Cash Back on Dining
- Earn 3% Cash Back at Drugstores
- Earn 1.5% Cash Back On All Other Purchases
Is buying Etihad Guest miles worth it?
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways doesn’t belong to any of the global alliances, but the airline does have quite a few airline partners, so there are several ways to redeem Etihad Guest miles. In the past the program had separate award charts for each airline partner, leading to some fantastic niche redemption opportunities.
Unfortunately as of March 2023, Etihad Guest overhauled its award pricing, and has introduced simplified award charts. Here’s the new Etihad Guest award chart for travel on Etihad:
Then here’s the new Etihad Guest award chart for travel on partner airlines:
This new pricing eliminates some of the fantastic partner redemption opportunities that previously existed. The award pricing on Etihad (particularly in business class) can still be reasonable, so there’s potentially value to be had, especially if you’re just topping off an account for a premium cabin redemption.
But if you ask me, there’s less value in outright buying miles for a redemption than there was before.
How much are Etihad Guest miles worth?
Everyone will value mileage currencies differently, but personally I value Etihad Guest miles at ~1.1 cents each. I tend to value points pretty conservatively, and there are many ways to get more value from Etihad Guest miles than that.
Do Etihad Guest miles expire?
Etihad Guest miles don’t expire as long as you have at least some account activity once every 18 months. Earning or spending miles (including outright purchasing them) would reset the expiration date of your miles.
What other ways can you earn Etihad Guest miles?
The cost to purchase Etihad Guest miles here is really attractive, though I’d note that there are many other ways to earn these miles. For those with credit cards in the United States, Etihad Guest is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Citi ThankYou, so those are some great alternatives for earning Etihad Guest miles.
However, at a reasonable cost, some people may prefer just outright buying miles, rather than transferring them.
For those who don’t have access to lucrative credit cards and/or who would rather pay 1.6 cents per mile than transfer points, buying Etihad Guest miles could represent a good deal.
Etihad Guest is selling miles with up to a 50% bonus, which translates to a cost of 1.33 cents per mile. That could be a good deal for premium cabin redemptions. However, I’d recommend only buying miles with a specific use in mind, especially given the recent program changes that we saw.
Does anyone plan on buying Etihad Guest miles with this offer?