There are a lot of great sweet spots when redeeming Etihad Guest miles.
You can use your miles to fly on 23 different airlines worldwide, even in luxurious business or first class.
This post will cover everything you need to know about the best ways to use your miles.
We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dive right in.
Using Etihad Miles for Partner Airlines
The best way to redeem Etihad miles is via their partner airlines because Etihad charges very high prices for their own flights.
For example, the lowest price for a business class flight from Washington D.C. to Abu Dhabi is about 140,400 Etihad Guest miles, but it can go up to 600,000+ miles.
But you could book that same flight with American Airlines miles for only 70,000 AAdvantage miles.
A few things you should know about partner awards are:
- Each partner has their own award chart with their own terms and conditions for awards.
- Most award charts are distance-based, so the longer you fly, the more miles are required.
- The only way to book partner awards is by calling Etihad at 877-690-0767 or another Etihad call center.
- You cannot mix and match partners (e.g., flying both ANA and American).
- The flight must be operated by that partner airline. It cannot be a codeshare flight.
- Many partners charge the full award price for infants, but some partners only charge 10% of the miles.
1. ANA Business Class from the West Coast
My favorite way to use Etihad Guest miles is for ANA business class from the U.S. west coast.
The ANA partner chart is distance-based, so the longer you fly, the more miles are required.
Seattle or Vancouver to Tokyo costs only 54,000 Etihad miles for a one-way business class ticket.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose are also good deals at 63,000 miles for business class.
You can also add a stopover in Tokyo on your route, but the number of miles may go up based on the trip’s total distance.
However, ANA’s own mileage program is the best way to redeem miles for ANA business class.
It only costs 75,000 miles round-trip for the U.S. to Japan in the low season, whereas Etihad costs between 108,000 and 126,000 miles round-trip.
2. American Airlines to Asia
Another great way to use Etihad miles is on American Airlines.
One of my favorites is flying to Asia 1 (Japan and South Korea) for:
- 50,000 miles in business class
- 62,500 miles in first class (Dallas to Tokyo)
Or flying to Asia 2 (China or Hong Kong) for:
- 55,000 miles in business class
- 67,500 miles in first class (Dallas or Los Angeles to Hong Kong)
However, this pricing applies only to direct flights.
If your flight requires a connection, Etihad will typically add 12,500 miles for economy class or 25,000 miles for business class for a domestic connection.
3. American Airlines to Australia and New Zealand
Another good use of Etihad Guest miles for American Airlines is from the U.S. to Australia or New Zealand.
These flights only cost 62,500 miles in business class. (First Class is not offered on these routes.)
The biggest hurdle is finding award space because it is a high demand route.
American releases their award seats 331 days in advance, so it is best to try and book this route at the start of the calendar.
American flies to:
- Sydney (SYD) from Los Angeles (LAX)
- Auckland (AKL) from Dallas (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX)
- Christchurch (CHC) from Los Angeles (LAX)
4. Asiana Airlines from the West Coast
Etihad’s distance-based award chart for Asiana allows you to book business class from Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles for only 59,000 miles one-way.
Or Seoul to Honolulu for only 48,000 miles one-way.
Additionally, stopovers are allowed, but if the total distance is between 6,001 and 10,000 miles, the price jumps up to 88,000 miles.
But that higher price could be a good deal if you wanted to do New York (JFK) or the West Coast to India, Singapore, or Southeast Asia, with a stopover in Seoul.
5. Royal Air Maroc to Morocco
If you want to travel to Morocco, a good option is redeeming Etihad miles for Royal Air Maroc.
You can fly from New York, Boston, Washington D.C., or Montreal to Casablanca for 22,000 miles in economy class or 44,000 miles in business class one-way.
Stopovers are allowed, but connecting flights will be priced separately. (Previously, connecting flights were price together.)
It is essential to book an award on the Boeing 787-9 instead of the Boeing 787-8.
The 787-9 has modern business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, but the 787-8 has a more dated 2-2-2 configuration.
6. American Airlines to Europe
Another good deal using Etihad miles on American Airlines is flying to Europe for 50,000 miles for business class and 62,500 miles in first class.
You can also book “off-peak” economy awards for 20,000 miles in economy class or 30,000 miles during peak times.
The “off-peak” dates for Europe are October 15th to May 15th.
7. Brussels Airlines Business Class
A pretty good option for flying to Europe is on Brussels Airlines.
You can fly business class from New York (JFK), Toronto (YYZ), or Washington D.C. (IAD) for 44,000 Etihad miles for a one-way business class ticket.
This redemption used to be a steal for only 36,620 miles round-trip, but Etihad increased the price by 144% in 2017.
8. Air Serbia for New York to Belgrade
Etihad prices each destination for Air Serbia at different rates, but you can fly from New York to Belgrade for 64,082 miles one-way for business class.
Air Serbia operates the route with an A330 in a 1-1-1 herringbone layout similar to Virgin Atlantic and Air New Zealand.
9. American Airlines to South America
American Airlines’ economy and business class to South America is very reasonably priced.
Etihad divides South American into two zones:
- Central /South America Zone 1 = Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru.
- South America Zone 2 = Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.
You can fly to Central / South America Zone 1 for 17,500 miles in economy or 30,000 miles in business class.
You can also fly to South America Zone 2 for 20,000 miles for off-peak economy, 30,000 miles for peak economy, and 50,000 miles for business class.
The off-peak dates are March 1st to May 31st and August 16th to November 30th.
For almost all of these flights, your departure points will be either Dallas (DFW), Miami (MIA), or New York (JFK).
10. American Airlines to Hawaii
Another sweet spot using Etihad miles for American Airlines is to Hawaii.
The cost is:
- 17,500 miles for economy off-peak
- 22,500 miles for economy peak
- 37,500 miles for business class
Off-peak times for Hawaii are January 12 to March 8th and between August 22nd and December 15th.
I would consider this redemption only a sweet spot if you departed from Chicago, Dallas, or Charlotte because you can book flights from the west coast for fewer points or cheaply using cash.
11. Regional Flights on Virgin Australia
Etihad prices each Virgin Australia route using this award chart.
Long-haul flights are quite expensive, including 120,000 miles from Brisbane or Sydney to Los Angeles.
But short-haul prices are fairly reasonable if you can find short, but expensive flights.
For example, you could fly from Perth to Christmas Island for 10,900 miles in economy, typically a $400+ flight each way.
12. American Airlines Transcontinental
American Airlines offers lie-flat seats on several domestic transcontinental routes, including:
- New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX)
- New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO)
- Miami (MIA) to Los Angeles (LAX) [only flights with a Boeing 777-300].
These routes can be a good option for redeeming Etihad miles for 25,000 miles Flagship business class or 32,500 miles for Flagship first class.
13. Oman Air Business or First Class
One of the very few ways to book Oman Air’s luxurious business or first class with points is using Etihad miles.
Etihad prices each destination from Muscat at different rates, but there are some good deals:
- Muscat to Doha or Dubai in lie-flat business class for 6,000 miles one-way (one-hour flight)
- Muscat to Mumbai in lie-flat business class for 12,000 miles one-way (3-hour flight)
- Muscat to Cairo in lie-flat business class for 22,000 miles one-way (4-hour flight)
- Muscat to Milan or Munich for 38,000 miles in business class.
- Muscat to Singapore or Paris for 42,000 miles in business class.
- Muscat to London for 44,000 miles in business class or 80,000 miles in a first-class suite.
14. Fly on ANA's A380s
ANA operates three of the massive Airbus A380s on the Tokyo to Honolulu route, which can you book one-way for:
- 24,000 miles for economy class
- 43,000 miles for business class
- 86,000 miles for a first-class suite
I think 43,000 miles for business class for an 8-hour flight is a good deal.
15. Intra-Asia Flights on ANA
Etihad’s award chart for ANA is also great for intra-Asia flights. You can fly from:
- Tokyo to Hong Kong, Manila, and Tapei for 12,000 Etihad miles in economy class or 21,000 miles in business class.
- Tokyo to Bangkok or Vietnam for 18,500 miles in economy class or 34,000 miles in business class.
16. Short Flights on Gulf Air
Gulf Air is another Middle-Eastern airline with very fancy business class, even on short flights.
Business-class can be a good deal for flights under 500 miles for 10,000 Etihad miles because many of these flights offer lie-flat seats, and you can experience the lounges.
Example destinations include Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait City.
Unfortunately, the prices for longer flights quickly become too expensive to justify.
17. Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines is another good option for travel to Asia, and also has a distance-based chart.
You can book a flight from the U.S. or Canada to Bejing for 41,000 miles for economy class or 81,000 miles for business class.
Plus, you can book a stopover in one of Hainan’s hubs.
18. Flights on SriLankan Airlines
Etihad prices SriLankan flights based on this award chart. Some of the sweet spots are:
- Colombo to Beijing or Shanghai for 23,000 miles in economy class or 46,000 miles in business class.
- Colombo to Dubai or Abu Dhabi for 16,000 miles in economy class or 29,000 miles in business class.
19. Short Economy Flights on Air Canada
The award chart for Air Canada can be a good deal for short flights in economy class under 1,500 miles, but it quickly becomes too expensive for long-haul flights.
You could even add a stopover in Toronto and continue to Ottawa for the same price (420 miles one-way).
20. Short-Haul Flights on Korean Airlines
Short flights under 2,000 miles can be a pretty good deal on Korean Airlines.
The best deals are at the 1,501 to 2,000-mile range, which includes routes like Seoul to Da Nang, Hanoi, Manila, and Cebu.
21. Economy Class on GOL
You can book cheap economy class tickets on GOL for travel to or from Brazil using Etihad miles based on the award chart below.
However, I would avoid booking “Comfort Economy” awards because you would pay almost double the miles for 4 extra inches of legroom.
You should always double-check the cash price versus the miles price to see if it’s a good deal.
GOL is a low-cost carrier, so it is not worth the hassle of trying to redeem miles for flights on many routes.
Transfer Partners to Etihad Guest
You can transfer points to Etihad Guest from:
American Express Transfers
American Express transfers instantly to Etihad Guest at a 1 to 1 ratio, and there have been transfer bonuses in the past from Membership Rewards to Etihad Guest.
Although there are some nice sweet spots with Etihad Guest, I usually prefer to transfer Membership Rewards points to ANA Mileage Club, Avianca’s LifeMiles, or Iberia Avios (for business class to/from Madrid).
If you need more Membership Rewards, check out the cards below.
Capital One Transfers
Capital One points transfer to Etihad miles at a 1000 points to 750-mile ratio. The points transfer takes about 24 hours.
If you need more Capital One points, check out the credit cards below.
Citi ThankYou Transfers
Citi ThankYou Points transfer at a 1 to 1 ratio instantly to Etihad Guest.
If you need more ThankYou points, check out the credit cards below.
Marriott Bonvoy Transfers
Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Etihad Guest a 3 to 1 ratio with a transfer time of around three days.
You also earn a 5,000 airline mile bonus when you transfer in increments of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
If you take advantage of the bonus, 60,000 Marriott points will convert to 25,000 Etihad Guest miles.
If you need more Marriot Bonvoy points, check out the credit cards below.
Redeeming Etihad Guest miles can be quite complicated, but there are some nice sweet spots all around the globe that you can take advantage of.