PremierMiles Transfer: Etihad Guest

The year started on a not so great note, with Citibank announcing the devaluation of the PremierMiles transfer options. Over the next few days I am hoping to write posts evaluating in brief the options for transferring your PremierMiles, in case you are not happy with the new redemption rates of (2:1).

Let us go straight off the bat with evaluating Etihad Guest. Since Jet Airways pulled out from the redemption options of PremierMiles in 2012, the only option for PremierMiles transfer for flying around India on award tickets was Air India or Kingfisher (since defunct). But Etihad joined the PremierMiles transfer options a while ago, and this seems like a great option to be able to fly in India, considering they own 50.1% of the JetPrivilege program.

I did a post a few weeks ago, where you can see that it makes great sense if you want to redeem tickets for travel around India on Jet Airways. The Etihad redemption chart is much sweeter than the JetPrivilege redemption chart, and as long as you can book 14 days out, you get almost all the sectors on the cheap. For instance, just last week, I made a Lucknow-Mumbai trip for all of about 5600 miles and INR 563 in taxes, while my parents travelled to Delhi from Lucknow for all of about 2000 miles and INR 700 or so in taxes. This gave me an average redemption value of INR 1 or so per mile.

While if I would have booked the same tickets using JetPrivilege, I would have had to spend 8500 miles for LKO-BOM and 5000 miles for LKO-DEL.

Also, on international segments, Etihad’s chart has a much lower redemption rate than Jet Airways. I’m not sure if they charge a fuel surcharge on booking international segments on Jet Airways, but even if they do, it is just like the old days of booking up with Jet Airways where you paid a fuel surcharge. Consider this, while it costs 15000 JPMiles for an AUH-BOM one way on JetPrivilege, it only costs 9500 Etihad Guest miles to redeem on Jet Airways using EY.

Update: A few readers have pointed to me that you cannot redeem for flights which are operating as S2 codeshare still (flights with 4 digit flight numbers such as 9W xxxx). You should be aware of this as well.

And do not forget, with EY, you can book on various other airlines using EY miles as well, such as Air Berlin, Air Seychelles and others. The full list is up on www.etihadguest.com.

My rating is 4.5/5 for Etihad Guest as a transfer partner. The 0.5 I am taking away is for the 14-day limit to be able to book a JP ticket.

What are your thoughts on Etihad Guest as a transfer partner for PremierMiles?

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Comments

  1. Has anyone converted EG miles for international travels? Just wanted to make sure whether fuel surcharges are applicable or not.

  2. The first thing to do seems quite obvious. Transfer your premier miles IMMEDIATELY to your preferred frequent flyer program so that you still get a 1:1 conversion. If you travel overseas then Using miles for domestic travel is a waste!

  3. I had called Etihad a while back to know if any activity on EY is necessary to redeem EtihadGuest Miles on Jet domestic travel. What was told to me was that all you need are the necessary EG Miles to pay for the trip. No previous activity on EY is necessary. However, it would be wise to reconfirm before transferring PMs to your EY account.

  4. Hi AJ,

    I had a small doubt for converting my PMs into Etihad.

    I have never flown Etihad. If i now open a new account in EY, will i be able to immediately redeem the transffered miles or do i need to fly ethihad first.

    Thanks

  5. Look forward to more redemption options after the devaluation. Was saving up a long trip, but now am stuck with almost 45K miles that I dont want devalued.

    Would appreciate views on people who dont fly much or would be registering on partner programs apart from AI or Jet first time. As Vishal says, While we can register and transfer points to an Airline FFP, do you need to fly with them atleast once to redeem the points?

  6. Hi Vishaal, when you say, “physically fly with Etihad”, is it ok, If I fly Etihad, I earn JPMiles for miles flown and still eligible for redeeming Etihadguest points(trnsfd frm PM) for a JetAirways tickets in future? I hve my first Etihad flight next week, and I plan to earn JPM on that.

    Also, I observed that Etihad Call Center is a pain. Their hold time is close to 20-45 mins to get you through an executive. But once you get through, they are efficient.

  7. unable to register for etihad. etihad keeps saying ” Error
    Sorry we are currently facing some technical issues. Please try again “

  8. If i register with ethihad now i can shift citi pm to ethihad and striaght away go for redemption or do i need to physically fly with ethihad first before they allow redemltions

  9. What is the EtihadGuest mileage expiry T&Cs? Do they have an expiry date or can you keep going? If the latter, then it’s a great alternative to JetPrivilege, and do you get Etihad status from flying Jet Domestic?

  10. thanks for this post…i am looking forward to more in this series. i have arund 30K points on my premiermiles card and was wondering after “the mail” from Jet what should i do about them…would it be better to transfer or to keep.

    • @abhishek I never said you fly Etihad in domestic, I meant use Etihad’s program to book domestic tickets on Jet.

  11. I consider Delta as number 1 given the low fuel surcharges purely for international travel. Etihad comes a close second given the things that you outlined

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