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Buy Etihad Guest Miles from 1.7 Singapore cents each

With a wide range of partner redemption options, is it worth buying Etihad Guest Miles for 1.74 Singapore cents each?

EXPIRED This article relates to an offer or promotion which has now expired.

A380 Apartment (Etihad Airways)

With COVID-19 uncertainty it remains a strange time to be buying frequent flyer miles. Nonetheless this week Etihad has become the latest to launch a short five-day promotion, offering up to 60% bonus when you buy its Etihad Guest Miles between now and Friday.

While you might think that’s of little interest, the potential value here is not for redeeming Etihad flights themselves, but rather in the airline’s large array of partner carriers including Asiana, ANA, Bangkok Airways and Oman Air.

The Etihad Guest program also unlocks the airline’s First Class Apartments and Business Studio cabin products, assuming we see their Airbus A380s back in service soon, though it’s unfortunately not good value to secure these using their own miles.

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The June 2020 offer

Earlier this month the airline started offering a 50% bonus when you bought its travel vouchers valid for two years (an equivalent 33% discount), and now it’s Etihad Guest Miles on sale for up to 60% bonus (a 37.5% discount).

60 Promo Jun20

EYtrans

Etihad Guest Bonus Miles
Miles Bonus USD SGD
1,000 – 5,000 No bonus 2.00¢ / mile 2.78¢ / mile
6,000 – 20,000 20% 1.67¢ / mile 2.33¢ / mile
21,000 – 40,000 40% 1.43¢ / mile 1.99¢ / mile
41,000 – 100,000 60% 1.25¢ / mile 1.74¢ / mile

SGD based on approximate exchange rates as of 15th June 2020

To tap in to the best rate here, you’ll have to purchase at least 41,000 miles, which will give you 65,600 miles including the 60% bonus.

At the top end, purchasing 100,000 Etihad Guest miles will give you 160,000 in total with the same 60% bonus.

What are Etihad Guest Miles worth?

Like with any frequent flyer programme, it depends on how you use them, or intend to use them.

To that extent miles valuations are always slightly arbitrary and also personal, but to give you an idea One Mile at a Time values Etihad Guest miles at 1.2 US cents each (1.7 Singapore cents), whilst The Points Guy settles on a 1.4 US cents each (2 Singapore cents) valuation.

With the ability to purchase a fairly reasonable number of miles in this promotion at 1.25 US cents each, close to the general valuation, this proposition is therefore worth a look provided there are good value redemption options you can take advantage of when travel picks up again.

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Etihad isn’t good value

The strange thing about Etihad Guest Miles is that they aren’t particularly good value when used to redeem Etihad flights.

EY A380 In Flight 2 (Airbus)
Etihad flights themselves aren’t where the value lies in the Etihad Guest programme. (Photo: Airbus)

The key to this programme is the superior value you’ll get when redeeming on the airline’s many partners.

Nonetheless here are some examples of the miles rates you’ll pay when redeeming Etihad flights from Singapore:

EYtrans

Route / Miles Effective cost buying at 60% bonus
Singapore to Abu Dhabi
First Class
96,334
miles
S$1,676
Singapore to Abu Dhabi
Business Class
84,867
miles
S$1,511
Singapore to London
First Class
181,981
miles
S$3,166
Singapore to London
Business Class
158,034
miles
S$2,750

As you can see, there is absolutely no sense in buying Etihad Guest Miles to redeem on the airline’s own flights to and from Singapore.

The effective cost is more or less what you’d usually pay in cash for a typical fare.

Partner airlines

The key to value in this programme is the wide range of 24 partner airlines, each of which has its own award chart when redeeming Etihad Guest Miles for redemption tickets.

Partners

Check here for links to the individual award charts.

American Airlines

No Singapore option here, but there are a few Etihad Guest Miles deals on American Airlines that may interest our readers.

AAtrans

Route / Miles Effective cost buying at 60% bonus
Hong Kong to New York
Business Class
50,000
miles
S$870
Sydney to Los Angeles
Business Class
62,500
miles
$1,088
Frankfurt to Dallas
Business Class
50,000
miles
$870

ANA

Using Etihad Guest Miles to fly ANA Business Class is great value on several routes, including from Singapore to Tokyo.

NHtrans

Route / Miles Effective cost buying at 60% bonus
Singapore to Tokyo
Business Class
43,000
miles
S$748
Tokyo to Seattle
Business Class
54,000
miles
$940
Tokyo to Sydney
Business Class
54,000
miles
$940
NH 787 J (ANA)
ANA Boeing 787 Business Class. (Photo: ANA)

It’s also possible to redeem most domestic flights in Japan for 6,500 Etihad Guest Miles in Economy Class or 8,500 miles in Business Class, excellent value under this promotion and much better value than using KrisFlyer miles.

Air Serbia

JUtrans

You can take intra-Europe flights on Air Serbia from as little as 5,000 Etihad Guest Miles one-way in Economy Class.

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Asiana

Redemptions on Asiana using Etihad Guest Miles are only available for return itineraries on Asiana, however there are still some competitive rates on offer.

OZtrans

Route / Miles Effective cost buying at 60% bonus
Singapore to Seoul
(return)

Business Class
60,000
miles
S$1,044
Singapore to Los Angeles
(return)

Business Class
176,000
miles
$3,062
Asiana A350 J Overview (Asiana)
Asiana Airbus A350 Business Class. (Photo: Asiana)

Singapore to Seoul return in Business Class is particularly good value, the equivalent of 30,000 Etihad Guest Miles each way.

Bangkok Airways

Most of our readers know that the Singapore – Koh Samui duopoly (comprising Bangkok Airways and SilkAir) makes for expensive fares on this short but popular route.

PGtrans

Route / Miles Effective cost buying at 60% bonus
Singapore to Koh Samui
Economy Class
7,500
miles
S$131
Singapore to Koh Samui
Business Class
10,000
miles
$174

Using Etihad Guest Miles to redeem on Bangkok Airways, which has better timings than SilkAir for minimising your leave days, is a very cheap option from around S$130 each way (cash fares in Economy are often S$350+).

Brussels Airlines

Crossing the Atlantic will set you back 72,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles between Manchester and Houston or Frankfurt and New York.

Etihad Guest has an alternative that sounds almost too good to be true.

SN

Route / Miles Effective cost buying at 60% bonus
Brussels to New York
Business Class
44,000
miles
S$766
SN A330 New J Span (Brussels Airlines)
Brussels Airlines Business Class. (Photo: Brussels Airlines)

Korean Air

One-way itineraries are allowed under the Etihad Guest programme, a rarity when flying on an award ticket with Korean Air.

KEtrans

Route / Miles Effective cost buying at 60% bonus
Singapore to Seoul
Business Class
49,000
miles
S$853

Unfortunately this is more miles than Singapore Airlines is charging on the route (47,000), so it’s unlikely to be the best use of your Etihad Guest Miles unless award space is better on Korean Air.

Oman Air

We’re big fans of Oman Air’s ‘Apex Suite’ Business Class product, flying on almost all the airline’s long-haul routes.

We tried it out last year and found this rare product to be a spacious experience more akin to First Class, with ample opportunity for either privacy or socialising depending on your preference.