April 20, 2024

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14 Best Ways To Redeem Etihad Guest Miles for Max Value [2024]

16 min read

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is famous for its lavish planes and luxurious experiences such as the First Class Apartments.

Hailing from the United Arab Emirates, Etihad serves more than 60 destinations around the world, including U.S. cities like Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Even if you don’t fly Etihad often, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by utilizing credit cards and a variety of other strategies.

The Best Ways To Boost Your Etihad Guest Miles

Etihad Guest is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, and  Citi ThankYou Rewards at a 1:1 rate, or from Marriott Bonvoy at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra bonus of 5,000 Etihad miles.

The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex’s secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you’re approved with no credit score impact

If you’re approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

$1,760

Good to Excellent (670-850)

Pros

  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to Amex International Airline Program
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

Cons

  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)

  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex’s secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you’re approved with no credit score impact

If you’re approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

$1,320

Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

If you’re a business owner, see Amex’s business credit card options.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

Learn More(at Capital One’s secure site)

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

$1,350

19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.

Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.

Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.

 

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

$1,350

19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)

Good to Excellent Credit (670-850)
Citi Premier® Card

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.

Learn More(at our partner’s secure site)

Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.

$960

21.24% – 29.24% Variable

Good to Excellent (670-850)

Etihad Guest Award Chart for Etihad Flights

When you redeem Etihad Guest miles for Etihad Airways flights, you’ll follow a distance-based award chart according to the below table:

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Distance Range Economy Business First
0-500 7,000 20,000 40,000
501 to 1,000 11,000 25,000 50,000
1,001 to 1,500 13,000 30,000 60,000
1,501 to 2,000 17,000 45,000 90,000
2,001 to 2,500 22,000 50,000 100,000
2,501 to 3,000 27,000 60,000 120,000
3,001 to 4,000 32,000 70,000 140,000
4,001 to 5,000 37,000 75,000 150,000
5,001 to 6,000 45,000 100,000 200,000
6,001+ 60,000 110,000 220,000

For example, if you want to redeem Etihad Guest miles for an economy flight from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New Delhi (DEL), which measures 1,418 miles in distance, you’ll expect to redeem 13,000 miles each way.

Etihad Guest Award Chart for Partner Flights

If you want to redeem Etihad Guest miles for any partner-operated flights, you’ll follow this award chart below:

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Distance Range Economy Premium Economy Business First
0 to 500 6,000 7,500 10,000 14,000
501 to 1,000 12,000 13,000 20,000 27,000
1,001 to 1,500 15,000 19,000 30,000 40,000
1,501 to 2,000 23,000 25,000 40,000 54,000
2,001 to 2,500 28,000 31,000 50,000 67,000
2,501 to 3,000 34,000 37,000 60,000 80,000
3,001 to 4,000 45,000 49,000 80,000 107,000
4,001 to 5,000 60,000 62,000 100,000 134,000
5,001 to 6,000 67,000 74,000 120,000 160,000
6,001+ 75,000 90,000 140,000 200,000

For example, to book an economy class ticket on Royal Air Maroc from Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Casablanca (CMN), which spans 3,830 miles in each direction, you’ll redeem 45,000 Etihad Guest miles one-way.

The 14 Best Ways To Use Your Etihad Guest Miles

The Etihad Guest frequent flyer program is popular among point-earners because it has some great redemption options. Here are some of our favorites!

1. Fly American Airlines in Business and First Class

American Airlines 777 Flagship Business Class GIG MIA
Flying American Airlines in business class at pre-devaluation rates is a steal! Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Beginning our list of the best ways to use Etihad miles is with American Airlines.

Etihad’s award chart for travel on American Airlines is actually better, for the most part, than American Airlines’ own award chart.

You have some good options by flying American with Etihad miles according to the distance-based award chart above.

Here are some example redemptions we have in mind:

  • Charlotte (CLT) – London-Heathrow (LHR) one-way in business class for 80,000 miles
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Madrid (MAD) one-way in business class for 100,000 miles
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD) one-way in first class for 200,000 miles
  • New York (JFK) – Athens (ATH) one-way in business class for 100,000 miles

The main challenge here will be finding award availability, particularly on routes operated by the 777-300ER featuring Flagship First and business class. The best advice we can give is to be flexible and keep searching for award availability, especially closer to departure.

2. Off-peak Economy to Europe, South America, and Asia on American Airlines

AA Main Cabin 777
Use your miles to fly American economy class. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

You can utilize Etihad Guest miles for great value by flying on economy class tickets aboard American Airlines.

Here are some great flights we have in mind:

  • Charlotte (CLT) – Dublin (DUB) one-way in American Airlines economy class for 60,000 miles
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Santiago (SCL) one-way in American Airlines economy class for 60,000 miles
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Shanghai (PVG) one-way in American Airlines economy class for 75,000 miles
  • Miami (MIA) – Buenos Aires (EZE) one-way in American Airlines economy class for 60,000 miles

3. Book Business Class to Europe on Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines business class
If you’re flying to Europe from the East Coast, consider booking Brussels Airlines business class with Etihad Guest miles. Image Credit: Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines offers great business class flights from the U.S. East Coast with nonstop service to Brussels (BRU).

You can fly from New York (JFK), Toronto (YYZ), or Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Brussels (BRU) round-trip for 80,000 miles one-way. Economy costs 45,000 miles.

Availability is hard to find and does not match other websites such as United. Be persistent in calling Etihad Guest until you get an agent who is helpful and competent.

Bottom Line: You can book niche Brussels Airlines awards from North America to Brussels for 45,000 miles one-way in economy and 80,000 miles one-way in business.

4. U.S. West Coast to Tokyo on ANA in Business Class

ANA Business Class Seat
Enjoy the comfort of ANA business class. Image Credit: Stephen Au

One of the best value ways to redeem Etihad Guest miles is for U.S. West Coast flights to Japan.

Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo (HND or NRT) one-way on ANA is 100,000 miles in business class or 60,000 miles in economy.

Because Etihad’s ANA award chart is distance-based, San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (HND or NRT) is more: 120,000 miles in business class or 67,000 miles in economy.

5. Fly Around Eastern Europe on Air Serbia

Air Serbia economy
Enjoy affordable awards for Air Serbia economy class. Image Credit: Air Serbia

Air Serbia’s short flights from Belgrade start at just 6,000 miles in economy.

Many of these flights are cheap to pay outright in cash also, so always compare the cash prices to the award cost.

Hot Tip: Utilize the benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express to make all your travels a little more comfortable. Perks include airport lounge access, worldwide hotel elite status, and more!

6. Fly to Casablanca With Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc B787 business class cabin
Fly to Casablanca in Royal Air Maroc business class. Image Credit: Ryan Smith

With distance-based charts, travel award value can depend on slight distance differences that put a flight into a lower or higher price bracket.

Even so, New York (JFK) to Casablanca (CMN) costs 45,000 miles one-way in economy or 80,000 miles one-way in business class. You can also book the nonstop service from Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Casablanca for the same price.

This pricing falls under the 3,001 to 4,000 miles bracket.

However, if you book the Miami (MIA) to Casablanca (CMN) nonstop flight, it would cost 60,000 miles in economy and 100,000 miles in business class each way.

This is due to the fact that this flight spans 4,321 miles, which falls under the 4,001 to 5,000 miles bracket.

7. Fly Oman Air in Business Class

Oman Air B787-9 Business Class Cabin - Cherag Dubash
A great business class product on an under-the-radar airline is Oman Air. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

There is 1 great Etihad Guest award value on Oman Air:

  • London (LHR) to Muscat (MCT) in business class is 80,000 miles

Oman Air’s business class is not as internationally well-known as Etihad, but it receives high marks from travelers in the know.

8. Bali to Australia on Virgin Australia in Business Class

Virgin Australia 777 the business Cabin
Fly around Australia in style with Virgin Australia in business class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Virgin Australia operates flights from Bali (DPS) to Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), or Brisbane (BNE). All of these flights fall under the pricing from the 2,501 to 3,000 miles distance band.

These 6+ hour flights can be booked for 34,000 miles in economy.

9. Hop Around Australia and New Zealand on Virgin Australia

Whitsundays Australia
Visit the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays. Image Credit: iacomino FRiMAGES via Shutterstock

Etihad Guest’s award chart for Virgin Australia flights is perfect for short, expensive flights to incredible destinations such as Brisbane (BNE) to Hamilton Island (HTI) for the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays. This flight is only 12,000 miles in economy, and booking flights between Sydney (SYD) and Ayers Rock (AYQ) will cost 15,000 miles.

Hot Tip: Certain Western Australia routes, including from Perth (PER) to several popular diving destinations, are served by Virgin Australia Regional. Etihad may not be able to book awards on these flights. You can try alternate programs such as Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

10. Australia and New Zealand to the Pacific on Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia economy class beverage service
Fly to the Pacific Islands in economy for 15,000 miles. Image Credit: Virgin Australia

Getting to the Pacific Islands is rarely cheap using miles.

Using Etihad Guest miles will only cost 15,000 miles in economy on Virgin Australia on routes like Brisbane (BNE) to Vanuatu (VLI).

Other Pacific Islands that cost more are Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

11. Travel With an Infant

Etihad infant bassinet
Be careful of those infant-in-arms fees that some airlines charge — Etihad won’t take an arm and a leg from you! Image Credit: Etihad Airways

Traveling with an infant lap child using Etihad Guest awards is really reasonable. You will only be charged an additional 10% of the original mileage cost of your ticket to add your infant.

On that Brussels Airlines New York (JFK) to Brussels (BRU) flight in business class, adding an infant is only 8,000 miles extra!

12. Fly Air Serbia Business Class from New York to Belgrade

Air Serbia A330 Business Class Seat
Enjoy a lie-flat seat in business class aboard an A330. Image Credit: Air Serbia

Air Serbia’s sole U.S. flight is between the capital city of Belgrade (BEG) and New York (JFK).

You can book this niche business class flight for 100,000 Etihad Guest miles. If economy is more your tastes, you can redeem 60,000 miles for a one-way flight in coach.

13. Access Enhanced Etihad Premium Cabin Availability

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 First Class Middle Seats
Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 first class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

One of the latest developments in Etihad’s premium cabin availability is that Etihad will not release all of its availability to partners.

For example, if you’d like to book a high-season vacation in December aboard Etihad first or business class, you’ll have much better luck redeeming Etihad Guest miles. So you can access better availability, but it will usually cost you more points.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Malé (MLE) for 220,000 miles in Etihad Airways first class or 110,000 miles in business class
  • Chicago (ORD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Johannesburg (JNB) for 110,000 miles one-way in Etihad Airways business class
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) for 220,000 miles one-way in Etihad Airways first class or 110,000 miles in business class

14. Buy Miles as Cheap as 0.9 Cents to Save on Etihad Flights!

Plenty of airlines will sell you miles at high prices. None may be as cheap at the roughly 0.9 cents per mile Etihad charges for its Miles Plus Cash option.

For an online award on Etihad flights only, you can purchase as many as 25% of the total miles needed for an award flight. The price varies slightly by trip, though is usually around 0.9 cents per mile. In perspective, most airlines sell miles for 1.7 to 2.5 cents per mile.

At this favorable rate, the overall cost in miles and cash for an award ticket on Etihad can be a great value!

Final Thoughts

Etihad Guest provides many ways to redeem your miles so you can enjoy that well-deserved vacation! We outlined some of what we feel are the best ways to use Etihad Guest miles, but the best redemptions for you will depend on your travel goals.

Some of the program’s greatest values come by redeeming flights with several of its many partners. For Etihad flights including the famed First Class Apartments, use American Airlines AAdvantage miles or Korean SKYPASS miles to book.

Happy redeeming!

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.

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