These Are The Two Best Etihad Transfer Deals Right Now (And A Reason To Be Careful)

a large airplane on a runway

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Earlier this week, Etihad announced that it’s offering bonuses of up to 30% on points transferred into the Etihad Guest program from (mostly) various hotel and credit card programs. There are a lot of familiar names on the list of bonused transfer partners but for most readers of this blog two, in particular, stand out and one should be avoided.

Key Terms & Conditions

  • The offer is valid for all Points to Miles conversions made between 01 October 2020 (00.00am) and  31 October 2020 (23.59pm) both days inclusive.
  • Partners included: Citibank (UAE), ADCB Touchpoints, Emirates Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, FAB Stars, AIMIA (Air Miles/My Reward Points), Hyatt, Le Club Accor Hotels, Shangi-La, Marriot, Etisalat, ADNOC, Joyalukkas, SHARE points, SCB UAE, SCB Bahrain, SCB Brunei, SCB Singapore, CITIC China, Ping An China, JD Coin China, Hana Korea, Inbursa Mexico, Cathay United Taiwan, Krungthai Thailand, Capital One USA.
  • Once the Miles transfer request is initiated it cannot be reversed.
  • The promotion is applicable for any member who transfer’s their points from a qualifying Partner loyalty programs to Etihad Guest Miles. The eligibility of the bonus miles for a specific member will be done based on the validity of the promotion and the date of conversion provided by the partner for that respective member.
  • Base Etihad Guest Miles transferred by the member will be awarded as per the applicable conversion ratios of each respective partner.
  • Bonus Etihad Guest Miles earned during this promotion will reflect in the member’s Etihad Guest membership account within 10 working days of the end date of the promotion.

Full terms and conditions can be found on the promotion page.

Best Use Of Etihad Guest Miles

A little ironically, Etihad Guest Miles aren’t a particularly economical currency with which to book the premium cabins that Etihad is best known for (American Airlines AAdvantage miles are probably the best currency to use for those) but Etihad Guest miles can still be put to great use. Here’s how I generally redeem my miles:

  • American Airlines premium cabin awards (Etihad’s award chart for American Airlines is excellent and better than American’s own award chart)
  • ANA one-way Business Class awards between the West Coast and Japan (from just 54,000 miles)
  • Asiana Airlines one-way Business Class cabin awards between the West Coast and Seoul (from just 59,000 miles)
  • Royal Air Maroc premium cabin awards between the US and the Middle East (44,000 miles one-way)

Etihad Guest miles could be used to great effect on Virgin Australia before the current crisis hit but as Virgin Australia is not able to offer many flights right now, this isn’t currently really a particularly useful option.

The Better Transfer Options

Capital One

Capital One is a relative newcomer to the world of transferable rewards currencies but its miles (earned by cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card) can now be transferred to 15 different loyalty partners. One of these is Etihad Guest.

Through 31 October, Etihad Guest is offering a 30% bonus on transfers from Capital One and that changes the transfer ratio from 1000:750 to 1000:900 and that’s as good a transfer ratio as you’ll see offered for Capital One miles regardless of which program you’re transferring miles into.

60,000 Capital One Miles for a Business Class flight between Seattle and Tokyo or 65,556 Capital One Miles for a Business Class flight between Los Angeles and Seoul are both very good deals.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy points are the most flexible currency issued by a hotel loyalty program because they can be transferred across to a multitude of airline programs at a ratio of 3:1. Not only that, but Marriott will also sweeten the deal by offering a 5,000 miles bonus for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred.

Through 31 October, Etihad Guest is offering a 20% bonus on transfers from Capital One and that changes the standard transfer ratio from 30:10 to 30:12. if, however, you’re in a position to transfer over 60,000 Bonvoy Points, the effective transfer ratio gets a lot closer to 2:1.

  • 60,000 points will transfer over at 3:1 = 20,000 miles
  • Etihad will add a 20% bonus (courtesy of this promotion) = 4,000 miles
  • Marriott will add 5,000 miles (because you transferred out 60,000 points)

A transfer of 60,000 points will convert to 29,000 miles.

I’m not about to say that this is a fantastic deal that everyone should be jumping on (I’m only trying to highlight the better deals that this promotion is offering) but it’s certainly a deal worth considering…especially as you can book an American Airlines Saver Business Class award between the US and Europe (one-way) for just 50,000 Etihad Guest miles (assuming you can find the award in the first place).

Be Careful

There’s one transfer that I think people should be especially careful with and it’s a transfer that I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere. I’m 99.99% sure it’s a transfer that will not work.

Etihad Guest is a Citi transfer partner (along with a number of other airlines) and its a transfer partner that I’ve used a number of times in the past when looking to make the most of my Citi ThankYou points. But that’s for Citi USA. The Citi transfer bonus that Etihad is promoting right now is very clearly for Citibank in the UAE.

It says so in the headline information:

a screenshot of a credit card

It says so in the terms and conditions:

a white text with black text

And the details of the transfer specifically discuss “Citi PremierMiles” and “Citibank Reward Points” which are not currencies issued by Citi USA

a screenshot of a credit card

If Etihad was offering a transfer bonus from Citi USA (ThankYou Points) it would say so in the terms and conditions so as it does not, transfers from Citi’s ThankYou program to Etihad Guest will not trigger a 20% bonus (no matter what you may have read elsewhere).

Bottom Line

The Etihad Guest program is currently offering bonuses of up top 30% for members who transfer miles/points in to the program from a variety of the program’s partners. For most readers of this blog, the two partners to concentrate on are Marriott Bonvoy and Capital One and the partner to avoid is Citi (because the Citibank that’s participating in this promotion is Citi UAE and not Citi USA).