For the month of October, you can transfer your hotel loyalty points to Etihad and earn 20% bonus Etihad guest miles. Most hotel partners, such as Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt, besides some local UAE based partners seem to be participating. You can check out the full list and the transfer rates over here.
Should you transfer points at this rate?
Generally, transferring hotel points to airline partners represent poor value. Hotel points are optimised when redeemed for hotel stays at luxury properties during busy times, such as Christmas/New Years period. The one exception to this unwritten rule though, is when you transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to one of it’s airline partners.
Ordinarily, Marriott points transfer to most airline partners (incl Etihad) at 3:1, ie, 3 Marriott points to 1 airline miles/points. Then for every 60,000 points you transfer, Marriott pitches in with a chunky 5,000 miles/points bonus, making the effective transfer rate 2.4:1, which can be good value on certain airlines. So 60,000 Marriott points effectively convert to 25,000 airline miles/points.
If you take advantage of the current bonus offer and transfer points to Etihad, you will receive a further 20% bonus, meaning, for every 60,000 points you transfer, you will receive 30,000 Etihad guest miles.
Best Use of Etihad Miles
Arguably, the best use of Etihad Miles is on partner airlines. For Australians, that would be Virgin Australia. For instance, you can fly Virgin Australia from Sydney to Queenstown (NZ) or Melbourne to Hamilton Island, in business class, return for just 27,600 Etihad miles. By comparison, the same flights redeeming Velocity points will set you back a ridiculous 71,000 Velocity points for either of those routes.
Virgin Australia Business Class Seating
Another good value redemption is flying Virgin Australia from Melbourne to Perth in business class (one way) for just 21,800 Etihad miles. Again, the same flight redeemed with Velocity points will have you shelling-out 35,500 points. You can check out the full Etihad redemption chart for Virgin Australia over here.
I don’t recommend transferring hotel points to airline programs in most cases, more so when the airline is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards programs, which Etihad is. You can transfer Membership Rewards points to Etihad at 2:1 from all directly issued Amex cards issued in Australia. This makes access to Etihad miles relatively straight forward.
For this reason alone, it’s probably best to save hotel points for hotel stays. It may however occasionally make sense to transfer them to airlines selectively, or to top-up your account if you are short a few thousand points for an upcoming redemption. Personally, I will be giving this offer a wide berth.
Do you plan to take advantage of this promo? Leave a comment.