Amex Membership Reward (MR) points are one of the highly valued flexible currency in the points and miles world. We can transfer to a variety of frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty programs. You can find more about on Amex Membership Reward points in this post.
You can now transfer your Membership Reward points to a new frequent flyer program – Etihad Guest at 1:1 ratio. With this addition, we can now transfer MR points to a total of 17 frequent flyer programs along with 3 hotels loyalty programs and 1 retail program – Plenti.
It is a little disappointing that Amex did not announce a transfer bonus to celebrate the launch.
Is this a good deal?
Etihad Guest is a distance based rewards program with moderate taxes and fees. This fees is also dependent on the class of travel. Etihad charges $50 per sector in economy class, $100 per sector in Business class & $150 per sector in First class.
For example, you would pay $100 in fees for an one way economy award from USA to India as it involves 2 sectors
In my opinion, Etihad Guest is best suites for short haul flights. For example, below award from AUH to BOM costs 40,000 AAdvantage miles + nominal taxes and fees versus 32,073 Etihad guest miles + AED 640.
The other best use of Etihad Guest miles is the ability to upgrade paid economy tickets on Etihad airways. You could also upgrade even if the ticket is issued by your company for business travel, as long as there is saver availability.
There are no fees to upgrade a ticket, as long as there is a guest seat availability. You can find more about upgrading paid seats to next level in this post.
Etihad Guest miles can also be used for redeeming award tickets on American Airlines flights as per this redemption table. Next time, you can redeem Etihad Guest miles instead of AA miles if you are planning to redeem AA miles within USA. You have to book these awards to Etihad call center and the redemption rates are similar to AA.
You can now transfer Amex Membership Reward points to Etihad Guest at 1:1 ratio. This is a great addition making MR points even more valuable.
Etihad guest rewards is great for short haul travel on Etihad flights or upgrading paid seats on Etihad flights to next cabin. You can also use Etihad Guest miles for redeeming award tickets on American Airlines flights as per this redemption table. If you do not mind calling Etihad Guest rewards, you could use Etihad Guest miles to book awards on AA flights next time
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Editorial Note: Opinions, analysis and any calculations shown are authors alone. Information in this post is not reviewed, approved and endorsed by any airlines, frequent flyer programs or financial institutions