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American Express is running a 30% bonus on transfers to Etihad Guest through June 15. This is more valuable than you may realize. Etihad’s points aren’t just useful for booking premium cabin award tickets on Etihad itself.
Etihad First Class Apartment
Points from your Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express are even more leveraged than usual.
In addition to American Express points transferring to Etihad, you can also transfer Citi ThankYou Rewards from their premium cards like the Citi Prestige Card as well. (Here are 15 Things I Love About the Citi Prestige Card.)
There are some unique features of Etihad Guest.
- Etihad offers award holds. Not every agent will offer them, but many agents will, for up to a week. You may have to hang up and call back or try another call center to get it.
- Etihad has some strong value partner awards. American Airlines awards cost the same number of points that AAdvantage used to charge their own members before the March 22 devaluation, for instance.
The rules for each partner vary, including whether or not there are fuel surcharges collected on redemptions.
The redemption chart for travel on Brussels Airlines is really quite amazing. All prices are roundtrip, they do not offer one-way redemptions on Brussels Airlines.
Etihad only charges 10% of an award’s miles for a lap infant on Brussels Airlines. Many airlines, especially US airlines, charge 10% of the paid fare for a lap infant on an international award ticket. An award for a trip that would have cost $9,000 would yield an infant fare of $900 plus tax!
Short-haul roundtrips are absurdly cheap:
Even their longest flights, for instance here are a few Africa roundtrips, are very cheap.
Brussels – Kigali, Rwanda is less than 40,000 miles roundtrip in business class, and that’s just shy of 4000 miles of flying in each direction.
Brussels – New York JFK is an exceptional value:
- 21,972 miles roundtrip in economy
- 36,620 miles roundtrip in business class
You can search for Brussels Airlines award space using a Star Alliance frequent flyer program website like Aeroplan.com and then call Etihad Guest to book. You may need to hang up and call back a couple of times to get an Etihad Guest agent well versed in partner award bookings (the Reddit thread talks about ringing up the call center in Manchester, UK for this which is 44 0345 6081225). And note that you can only book award flights that are on their redemption chart. Washington Dulles – Brussels isn’t on the chart, so you cannot book it.
You think that’s good? How about booking American Airlines awards at the ‘old’ pre-devaluation pricing using your American Express or Citibank points? The Etihad Guest redemption chart for travel on American Airlines is fantastic.
Here’s one-way pricing between North America and other regions:
- First class between the US and Europe is still 62,500 miles each way. If you find a first class seats to London and back that’ll save you 45,000 miles on a roundtrip.
- First class between the US and ‘Asia 1’ is still 62,500 miles each way. If you find a first class seats to Tokyo and back that’ll save you 35,000 miles on a roundtrip.
- First class between the US and ‘Asia 2’ is still 67,500 miles each way. If you find a first class seats to Hong Kong and back that’ll save you 85,000 miles on a roundtrip.
- First class between the US and Australia is still 72,500 miles each way. If you find a first class seats to Sydney and back that’ll save you 75,000 miles on a roundtrip.
Off-peak economy travel dates are also still super-generous.
Etihad of course has a wide variety of airline partners, each with its own chart, and some charts are more lucrative than others.