A couple of months ago, Etihad Guest was added as an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner. Previously Citi ThankYou points could already be transferred to Etihad Guest, in addition to Starwood Preferred Guest points, so that means that three of the major transferable points currencies can now be converted into Etihad Guest miles.
However, one reason to transfer Amex points to Etihad Guest has been a 30% transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards to Etihad Guest since early May. That transfer bonus ends on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. So if you want to transfer Amex points to Etihad with a 30% bonus, you only have a couple more days to do so.
Historically I’ve always used American AAdvantage miles for travel on Etihad, though unfortunately many of those redemptions were devalued as of March 22, 2016. However, in conjunction with a transfer bonus (as we’re seeing for a couple more days), transferring Amex points could represent a great deal.
Here are some examples of the cost of premium cabin redemptions on Etihad using miles:
- 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
That means through this transfer bonus, 68,000 Membership Rewards points are enough for a business class award between New York and Abu Dhabi, and 91,000 Membership Rewards points are enough for a first class award between New York and Abu Dhabi. Given that American now charges 115,000 miles for first class between the US and the Middle East/India, I’d say that’s a very good redemption value under many circumstances. Do keep in mind that connections on either end would cost you extra.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartments
This is an especially good value when you consider how easy it is for many to accrue Membership Rewards points. The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card can earn 1.5x points on everyday spend (and up to 4.5x points on US supermarkets and 3x points on US gas), while the American Express® Gold Card earns 4x points at restaurants, 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year) and 3x points on airfare purchased directly with the airline or at amextravel.com. In other words, you can earn points at a really fast pace.
Etihad has one of the world’s best first-class products, in particular on the A380, where they have First Class Apartments. These are great redemption rates for such an awesome product.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment
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.
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.
Perhaps what I’m most tempted by, though, is redeeming Etihad Guest miles on Air Serbia’s new flight between New York and Belgrade, which launches next week. A one way business class redemption costs 64,082 Etihad Guest miles, meaning with the current 30% bonus you’d pay just 50,000 Membership Rewards points for the ticket.
With a bonus, transferring Amex Membership Rewards to Etihad Guest represents a very good deal. If you’ve been considering transferring miles from Membership Rewards to Etihad Guest, you only have a couple of days left to do so.
I probably wouldn’t speculatively transfer points to Etihad without a near term use in mind, given that a large part of the value of transferable points currencies comes from the flexibility of being able to use them for all kinds of things. I suspect we’ll see another transfer bonus at some point in the not too distance future. But if you are planning on redeeming for Etihad in the next six or so months, I’d probably go ahead and transfer some points.
Personally I’m tempted to transfer some points for the purpose of a redemption on Air Serbia between New York and Belgrade, so I guess it’s time I decide.
Do you plan on transferring Amex points to Etihad before the 30% bonus expires?
@Lucky, hoping you can help provide some guidance for me before this offer goes away! If I transfer MR to Etihad, can I use the points for an AA marketed codeshare flight? The flight I have in mind is operated by CX. Also, I have read some comments about these redemptions being hard to execute. If even possible, is this something you think is feasible on a codeshare or do you think that would cause issues for booking? Thank you!
I transferred 17,000 points to Etihad a few days ago to book JFK-BRU-JFK on Brussels Air (economy). Business availability on SN is pretty limited, but 17k for a roundtrip to Europe in Y isn't bad!
I just redeemed my 230k Amex miles and got 330k - transfer was instantaneous. My likes disappears my my Amex and appeared in my etihad guest right away. Yay
It's worth sharing that I transferred some AMEX MR to EY a few days ago to book AUH-CAI to connect to a cheap paid biz ticket. At checkout they allowed me to reduce the number of miles required and top up with cash. I was able to buy 25% of the required miles at a USD equivalent of $0.0095. Wonder if people have the same experience.
The website says you have to call 14 days in advance of travel to book the flight. Does that means you can't book any further in advance? Say booking now in June 2016 for travel in October 2016?
PLEASE review the JU flight JFK-BEG!! This could possibly become my most favorite route ever.
Is A380 F availability better using Etihad Guest miles vs American miles?
@ Sach -- Should be the same availability.