Do Etihad Guest Miles Expire? Do Etihad Guest Miles Expire?

Do Etihad Guest Miles Expire?

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Yes, Etihad Guest miles expire after 18 months of no qualifying activity for Bronze, Silver, and Gold members. Per the Etihad Etihad FAQs page:

“Etihad Guest Bronze, Silver and Gold members – From 1 August 2020, your miles are valid for 18 months plus an additional 18 months with any eligible miles transaction.”

If you are an Etihad Guest Platinum member, your miles will never expire. Again, per the Etihad Guest FAQs page:

“Etihad Guest Platinum – Your miles will never expire.”

When it comes to what activity qualifies to extend the validity of your miles, Etihad is generous. Earning, spending, or even buying miles will extend the validity of your mileage balance. One thing to note is that you can only extend your miles once per month, regardless of how many qualifying activities you have.

Image of Etihad Airways plane flying

Reset Expiration with Points Earned from Credit Cards

Unfortunately for U.S.-based members, you can't just apply for an Etihad Guest co-branded credit card to extend your miles — unless you also hold residence in the United Arab Emirates. However, that doesn't mean you don't have options. You can transfer the following types of points to Etihad Guest:

These all transfer at 1:1 ratios and within an hour — often immediately.

Additionally, you can transfer 3:1 from Marriott Bonvoy (with a 5,000-mile bonus for each 20,000 miles received in your Etihad Guest account).

American Express Membership Rewards (Immediate Transfer – 1:1 Ratio)

These are among my favorite, because there are so many different ways to earn them. Amex transfers are a great way to reset your Etihad Guest miles and ensure they don't expire. Transfers are instant.

American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
American Express® Gold Card
Annual Fee$250
Welcome Offer Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 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.
  • Updated $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.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 4X Membership Rewards® Points at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X)
  • 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 1X on other purchases
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.

Capital One (Immediate Transfer – 1:1 Ratio)

Like Amex, Capital One Rewards transfer to Etihad instantly. Moreover, heavy spenders will earn rewards faster than with Amex, since many of the Capital One miles-earning cards earn 2x miles on purchases. If your goal is simply to reset your mileage expiration, Capital One is a great first choice.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Annual Fee$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Welcome Offer Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles - equal to $500 in travel - once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is one of just a handful of business rewards cards offering at least a 2% return on business expenses (issued as 2x Miles). Your rewards never expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening; worth $500 in travel if redeemed for a fixed-value, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
  • 2 Miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® (up to $100)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account

Citi ThankYou (Less Than 1 Hour Transfer – 1:1 Ratio)

If you can put the award on hold or are confident those seats won't disappear, Citi is another option. You can use these transfers to ensure your Etihad Guest miles won't expire. You can find more detail on the other Citi transfer partners in our dedicated post.

On the earning side, there are several good options for accumulating points, but not all cards have access to Etihad as a transfer partner. Be sure to review the post linked above.

Citi® Double Cash Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Offer For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. Plus, get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. (After that, the (Variable) APR will be 16.99% - 26.99% based on your creditworthiness.)
The Citi Double Cash is a dynamic, no-annual-fee cash-back rewards card that allows you to earn 2% traditional cash back, or convert your rewards to ThankYou Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio (2x ThankYou points per $1). When paired with a premium ThankYou Rewards earning card, the Citi Double Cash is now the best card available for everyday, non-bonus purchases.

If you're looking to pay down debt or finance a larger purchase, this card also comes with one of the best available introductory APR offers on balance transfers.
  • For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • 2% cash back on every purchase - 1% when you buy + 1% when you pay
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the (Variable) APR will be 16.99% - 26.99% based on your creditworthiness
  • Intro fee 3% of each transfer ($5 min) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, 5% of each transfer ($5 min).
  • No annual fee
This card makes earning rewards simple with no need to worry about keeping track of bonus categories for purchases with specific types of merchants. You'll earn 2% cash back on every purchase—1% when you buy and 1% when you pay. Citi cash rewards now also convert to ThankYou points at 1:1 ($10 = 100 ThankYou points).

Marriott Bonvoy (3-5 days Transfer – 3:1 Ratio)

Transfers from Marriott Bonvoy won't happen immediately. Marriott has by far the largest list of transfer partners. Plus, for many programs, it is the only option to transfer points. In addition to being the slowest option, Marriott transfers are at the worst ratio.

With that said, you get a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer in increments of 60,000 points. For example, 60,000 Marriott points would become 25,000 Etihad Guest miles after a transfer. Here's our roundup of the credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!
  • Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Reset Expiration by Earning or Redeeming on Travel

Redeeming or Earning on Flights

Although Etihad's own flights can be a great way to spend or earn miles, the airline also has a superb lineup of partner airlines. To keep your miles active, just enter your Etihad Guest member number into one of the partners below, and you'll earn more miles according to their terms/charts when flying. Redeeming your miles via Etihad Guest to fly on these partners will also ensure your miles don't expire.

Image shows Etihad partner airlines, which you can fly on to extend Etihad Guest miles so they don't expire

Image shows Etihad partner airlines, which you can fly on to extend Etihad Guest miles so they don't expire

You can redeem Etihad Guest miles on all of these partners. Each airline has its own award chart (you can find them here), so there are lots of sweet spots to be found.

Earning with Partner Hotels and Car Rental Agencies

Hotels and car rental agencies can help keep your Etihad Guest miles from expiring. These partners include Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Radisson, and Shangri-La. You can even use OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) — such as Booking.com, Tripadvisor, and Rocketmiles. With car rentals, well-known partners include Avis and Budget.

Image of logos for hotel and car rental partners of Etihad Guest, which will ensure your miles don't expire when you have earning activity

Reset Expiration by Buying Miles

Purchasing miles — from Etihad Guest or any other airline — is rarely cost-effective for booking awards. However, it can reset your expiration date so your miles don't expire. Miles typically cost two cents each with Etihad Guest. Also, there's a minimum purchase of just 1,000 miles. However, Etihad does occasionally sell miles with a discount or bonus. Mile purchases are limited to 100,000 miles per year, but you'll only need the minimum to reset your expiration.

Bottom Line

While 18 months is not the most generous expiration policy, it still is better than other airlines that only give you 12 months of validity. That being said, Etihad Guest is very generous with what it classes as an eligible activity for the purpose of helping your miles not expire.

As a worst-case, if you have been unable to extend your points by other means, you can simply transfer some points from any number of credit card currencies. Then, the validity of your miles is extended from the comfort of your desk. With so many ways to extend their validity, there is no excuse for letting your Etihad Guest miles expire.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees)

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Comments

  • Even though I had one activity in mid December some miles expired at the end of the year!

  • Finally, they are making changes that make sense for the customers. Waiting for Emirates to follow suit.

  • Certainly good news, once changing from a worse system, but the AA style is still not quite the traveler’s dream yet.

  • Easy enough to keep them

  • I will definitely be more likely to use this program knowing I can keep my miles longer.

  • If only this had been implemented last year before I had to waste some valuable miles on a mastercard redemption

  • I know they have a great range of partners, but I width they would join an alliance, preferably oneworld. Unfortunately it couldn’t happen with Qatar being in oneworld.

  • For airlines participating in OneWorld, such as Etihad, I find it simpler to earn miles using AAdvantage, and not their individual programs. One can always redeem the AAdvantage miles on their partners, including Etihad.

  • Keeping miles valid is worth a bit of effort

  • This looks like a positive change for once.

  • Miles or points should never expire if there is activity. 18 months should have stayed at 24 months. Two years is not an unreasonable expectation.

  • Will bookmark this post for use when I need it.

  • Could it be that airlines are starting to realize that to maximize the value of a FF program (to the airline) there is a point too far for customers to continue with that program? We hope this continues with other FF programs.

  • Amazing how they change the rules just after a bunch of my miles expired!

  • The list of the hotel / accommodation partners is impressive.

  • Hard expiry rules are unfair from loyalty programmes, luckily there are usually ways around them.

  • Wow. They used to have a hard date for expiration? How archaic. Glad to see it’s changed but I don’t think this will ever affect me.

  • ron_vaughn@hotmail.com says:

    Finally, some good news.

  • That’s good news. The old policy made no sense. I lost miles a few times under those rules.

  • The ideas in this post are great for earning miles. However, I live in Canada and the credit cards are not available. I am also currently disabled and cannot travel for awhile. If my comment is approved, I can earn 5 miles from Award Wallet and extend the expiration for my airlines program until I am able to travel again.

  • Tamar Felsteiner says:

    They should have made their miles unexpired like United and Delta.

  • This change from 24 month to 18 month miles expiration sounds reasonable.

  • With all the airline devaluations recently, it is nice to see a positive change to an airline award program!

  • This definitely changes my view of thus program. I avoided them completely before due to this expiration policy. I might be willing to use them now. Thanks for the update.

  • Nice when miles don’t expire

  • Although redemptions with EY miles on EY metal can often be astronomically high, this is nonetheless a nice, positive change by a loyalty program, which are all too infrequent these days. An 18 month window for activity is one of the more generous allowances out there.

  • For better or worse these programs will always change…. more often than not for worse

  • I wish they made this change a little earlier.
    I had 20K Etihad miles expired a few months ago. 🙁

  • “Etihad Guest Miles will no longer expire and will remain valid as long as one eligible transaction is made every 18 months.” — Okay, so they do expire. Got it. It’s just like AA’s policy. Why must they be dishonest?

    • Well when they used to straight up expire, I think it’s still an accurate headline.

    • At first, I was going to say it’s hard to call them dishonest when the full, accurate policy description is in the same sentence. However, since there are programs where miles simply never expire, without an activity requirement, like say United, I’d agree that this description is indeed weak sauce. No, your miles do expire, if we don’t take action. That’s substantially different than simply having a straightforward no expiration policy.

  • I have credited some miles from American Express Membership Rewards and when I visit my Etihad Guest account it’s still showing some miles expiring at the end of the year even though the miles have reached correctly my Etihad Guest account.
    So I don’t understand if the new rules are valid from next year or if it’s a glitch in their system.

  • Change can be good for some things!! Sounds like this a plus!! +

  • This is indeed a positive change from a ME airline. I can’t wait for Qatar and Emirates to follow suit.

    • That is a good point that hadn’t occurred to me, it probably will put pressure on the other two big Middle East airlines to follow suit. I’ve flown Emirates a few times but credited to Qantas, partly due to the fact I would never get enough Emirates miles to redeem before they expired.