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One of the most challenging parts about award redemptions is understanding where you can redeem miles and points for the maximum value. For example, if you want to travel from New York to Paris and [Airline A] requires 60,000 miles but [Airline B] requires 40,000 mile to fly on [Airline A], would you spend 20,000 extra miles for the same seat and same plane? I sure hope not.
One major lesson I’ve learned over the years is to take a hard look at the programs that offer transfer bonuses. Generally, there is a gem waiting to be discovered, particularly through Etihad.
If you are planning to fly soon, you may be able to score a ton of miles after converting hotel points to Etihad Guest Miles. Etihad is currently running a new promotion where you’ll earn a 20% bonus when you convert hotel points to miles through October 31.
The offer is valid for all hotel points transfers made through October 31 (inclusive) and the participating hotels include Accor, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt, Radisson, Hyatt, Marriott, etc.
Generally converting hotel points into airline miles doesn’t represent a great deal, however, there is one exception: Marriott Bonvoy. When you convert Marriott Bonvoy points into airline miles, they transfer at a 3:1 ratio and you receive a 5,000 mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred.
In this case, a 60,000-point transfer from Marriott Bonvoy becomes 25,000 miles but after the 20% bonus, you’d end up with 30,000 Etihad miles.
IS THAT A GOOD DEAL?
If I received a dollar every time I was asked that question, I’d be a rich man. It truly depends on your travel goals.
Let’s a take a look at a few Etihad sweetspots:
Sweetspot #1: You can fly one-way, transcontinental (JFK-LAX), business class, on American’s A321T for 25,000 miles.
Sweetspot #2: Speaking of American Airlines, you can fly one-way to Europe, Japan or Korea in American Airline’s business class for 50,000 miles.
Sweetspot #3: You can fly from the west coast to Japan in ANA’s business class for 54,000 miles.
Sweetspot #4: Muscat to Frankfurt (or vice versa) for 39,000 in business class? Muscat to Singapore (or vice versa) for 42,000? Oman Air is a phenomenal product and 7 hours in business class for ~40k miles is hard to beat!
If you are searching for other sweet spots, take a look at their partner award charts HERE.
HOW DO I GET ETIHAD MILES?
If you find yourself short of the miles needed for your redemption after the hotel transfer, Etihad Guest Miles are pretty easy to obtain with transferable points programs like Amex Membership Rewards (READ MORE), Citi ThankYou, and Capital One. In the past we’ve even seen transfer bonuses from those programs too which, ultimately, make the transfer even sweeter.
Etihad continues to fly under the radar. There are so many gems within their partner award chart. Yes, it can be challenging to book an award flight (i.e. you have to pick up the phone and actually speak to a human…ugghh) but you will obtain great value from 10 minutes of effort.
Anyone planning to take advantage of this transfer bonus?