Buy Etihad Miles With a 20% Bonus, Plus Get Tier Miles

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Etihad just launched an intriguing new buy miles promotion. Through December 22, 2020, members can buy Etihad Guest Miles and receive up to a 20% bonus. Moreover, for the length of this promotion, members will also earn one Tier Mile for every five Guest Miles purchased.

This promotion not only allows members to snag Etihad miles for as little as 1.67¢ each, but it also brings those chasing elite status closer to their next tier. Considering the fabulous premium-class redemptions possible with the Etihad Guest program, this has the potential to be an incredible deal. Let's dig a little deeper to show why it's worth considering.

A Note on Buying Miles

First, we need to address the elephant in the room. Now is not a great time to be speculatively buying miles or planning travel. In fact, we never recommend buying miles speculatively. Programs can devalue at any time, long-term travel plans can change, and the last thing anybody needs is a substantial investment in a currency they can't use.

However, that doesn't mean buying miles is always a losing proposition. If you're right at the cusp of being able to book your next redemption, buying miles can be an easy (and affordable) way to make it happen. Additionally, buying miles can sometimes be a fantastic way to book premium-cabin travel at a significant discount compared to paying cash. This is especially true with Etihad Guest, where partner award charts are full of sweet spots to leverage.

Key Terms

  • Buy miles promotion is valid through December 22, 2020
  • For every five Guest Miles purchased (excluding any applicable bonus miles), members earn 1 Tier Mile
  • Etihad Guest members (excluding Platinum members) can purchase a maximum of 100,000 miles annually
  • Platinum members can purchase up to a maximum of 150,000 miles annually
  • For this promotion, Etihad has reset all individual member annual limits to zero
  • Purchased miles typically post instantly, although some purchases may take up to 72 hours
  • Mile purchases are non-refundable

This promotion operates on a tier system, offering a different bonus depending on the number of miles you purchase:

  • Buy 0 – 19,000 Miles, receive a 0% Bonus
  • Buy 20,000 – 39,000 Miles, receive a 10% Bonus
  • Buy 40,000 – 100,000 Miles, receive a 20% Bonus

When Does It Make Sense to Buy Etihad Miles

One of the interesting things about Etihad is that it doesn't belong to any of the major airline alliances—such as Oneworld, SkyTeam, or Star Alliance. Instead, Etihad maintains individual partnerships with 24 other airlines, each with its own rules and award charts. As we alluded to before, a few of these partner award charts present distinct opportunities for attaining outsized value for your Etihad Guest miles.

Let's go through a few of these sweet spots to demonstrate how buying enough Etihad miles for an award redemption could save you a boatload compared to paying the cash fare.

Seattle — Tokyo in ANA Business Class

ANA's new business class ‘The Room'
  • Mileage Rate: 53,000 miles each way
  • Typical Cash Price: $6,551 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 6.18 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles: $1,780 round-trip

Buy 106,800 Etihad miles for $1780 after 20% bonus

Dallas — London in American Airlines Flagship First Class

AA Flagship First
  • Mileage Rate: 62,500 miles each way
  • Typical Cash Price: $10,825 one-way
  • Redemption Rate: 17.3 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles: $1,060 one-way

Buy 63,600 Etihad miles for $1060 after 20% bonus

New York City or Washington D.C. — Casablanca in Royal Air Maroc Business Class

Royal Air Maroc's 787-9 Business Class
  • Mileage Rate: 44,000 miles each way
  • Typical Cash Price: $5,229 round-trip
  • Redemption Rate: 5.9 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles: $1,480 round-trip

Buy 88,800 Etihad miles for $1480 after 20% bonus

New York City — Brussels on Brussels Airlines Business Class

Brussels Airlines' Business Class
  • Mileage Rate: 44,000 miles each way
  • Typical Cash Price: $7,786 one-way
  • Redemption Rate: 17.7¢ cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles: $800 one-way

Maximizing Your Purchase

Purchases of Etihad Guest miles are processed by Points.com. So, the purchase won't qualify for any applicable travel category bonus offered on some credit cards. With that in mind, the best option would be to use this purchase towards a minimum spend requirement or to use a great ‘everyday spending' credit card.

Here are some of the best cards to buy miles with:

Other Ways to Earn Etihad Miles

While this is a spectacular buy miles offer, you don't have to buy Etihad miles to take advantage of these sweet spots. Etihad Guest miles are pretty easy to come by. Other than flying on cash fares or buying miles, Etihad is a transfer partner of four of the major transferable currencies:

Shareable Miles

Etihad Guest has recently introduced the ability for loyalty members to share miles with one another. So, whether you're just short of your next redemption or your friend doesn't have enough miles to use, you can initiate a transfer with a small fee. Just keep in mind that:

  • To give miles via a transfer, accounts must have at least 1,000 miles.
  • Etihad levies a 10% service fee for mile transfers. For example, if you want to transfer 50,000 miles, Etihad will charge an additional 5,000 miles as a fee.

This is a useful way to pool miles between friends and family. Now, you don't have to worry about accounts with small numbers of miles collecting dust, or worse, expiring needlessly. Even better, when you and a partner travel together on a cash fare, you can both earn miles for the same flight and pool them together.

Bottom Line

Paying 1.67¢ per Etihad mile is a deal, especially considering all the possibilities for outsized value. But, it's not the best promotion we've seen. Etihad sold miles for 1.2¢ apiece as recently as April 2020. Still, if you have a redemption in mind, this promotion could save you quite a bit of money.

Moreover, earning Tier Miles for purchasing Guest Miles is a nice perk if you're chasing Etihad elite status. However, it's not all that enticing for those who don't reside in the middle east or fly Etihad on a regular basis.

Are you buying Etihad miles at 1.67¢ a piece?

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Comments

  • Avatar

    There is always going to be good deals with miles but you have to travel at specific dates /flights where the deal is available. But in these times I wont buy miles nothing is certain covis19 cases are up ,part of europe is going to lockdown and if it takes a while that you can’t use the miles and the airline decide to devalue the miles. It was all for nothing.

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    Unless you need the miles right now for a specific plan, it would be better to wait for when they can be bought at 1.2c each.

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    A decent enough promotion. So many people ignore how useful a program Etihad is.

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    Is it safe though engaging right now in buying miles that we don’t necessarily know we will be able to use?

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    Very rare Etihad gives such bonus, only problem is when you want to use these miles in biz class you will not find a seat unless you are their elite member

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    Overall – how would you rank Etihad safety wise? (Covid-19 percautions, as well as the usual)

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    Normally I would have considered it, as their first class Apartment is such a great deal (flew it from Australia once on AA miles) but since they are not using their A380 for a while and there is even a risk of a total restructure of the airline looming, I’ll pass.

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    Nice deal there. Still doesn’t beat the $200 round trip mistake fare I bought a few years ago from the US to Abu Dhabi. Let’s get another one of those!

    • Avatar

      I remember that mistake fare and being frustrated that my schedule didn’t allow me to take advantage of it. I’ve gotten other ones though,

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    JFK-BRU is a really cool redemption, but Brussels Airlines hardly releases award seats on this route IME.

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    This airline is good , actually their on board service very good compare to the many garbage airlines like united delta american etc…

    The problem with Etihad is when you want to use your points(miles) say between JFK-AbuDhabi-JFK, the rate they want is over 750,000

    They might as well add one kidney (for one way) both kidneys for round trip …..PATHETIC !!

    • Avatar

      Standard award rates have really gotten out of hand. In case you aren’t aware, they have a subset of awards called SaverGuest that are much more reasonably priced—but they have limited availability. You might also want to look at partner airlines. Etihad has a great lineup of partners and the pricing is also quite good with many of them.

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    the bonus miles seems to be a good deal. they give ample amount so thats good. Never flown with Etihad before, so I am looking forward to it

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    I’ve always wondered if these purchase deals were worth it. Thanks for the great write up!

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    Although this might be a good deal for redemptions right now, and I would love to experience their in flignt offerings, I just don’t think it is worth the risk.

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    Is this applys in wich countries?

    • Avatar
      JT Genter says:

      This promotion doesn’t seem limited to particular countries. Let us know if you see something different!