Discover 7 easy ways to boost your Etihad Guest balance and fly business

Etihad Guest is the Etihad Airways reward programme for frequent flyers and non-frequent flyers willing to change their behaviour. If you follow our top 7 ways to boost your Etihad Guest balance, you can quickly bag yourself enough Etihad miles to fly business class. This award-winning cabin offers passengers chauffeur driven airport transfers, fast-track lounge access, flat bed seats and access to a social area on A380s. Quite simply, why would you opt for economy class when you can earn Etihad Guest miles fast enough to fly business class? If you need more convincing, check out the two-minute video below and see what a fantastic way this is to travel.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles

There are a ton of ways to earn Etihad Guest miles that do not need you to go anywhere near an Etihad Airways plane. I want to fly Etihad Airways business class when we return to Abu Dhabi for the F1. The following 7 tips are the exact ways I plan to build my Etihad Airways miles balance to achieve this.

Quickly boost your Etihad Guest miles with the AMEX Gold

Let me introduce you to the AMEX Gold card. This is the quickest way for you to earn a possible 115,000 Etihad Guest miles in less than 3 months.

  1. Sign up for the AMEX Gold card and qualify for the sign-up bonus of 22,000 reward points. All you need to do is spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of membership. If this is likely to be a struggle do not sign up, or delay until you know you have a big purchase coming up.
    1. Membership rewards points convert into 22,000 Etihad Guest miles when you are ready to transfer.
    2. The £3,000 of spend will also generate 3,000 membership rewards which you can convert into another 3,000 Etihad miles.
  2. If you can also persuade 10 of your friends to do the same, you will earn a further 90,000 AMEX reward points. Simply share your referral link with your pals and every time one signs up for a card, you will earn a bonus of 9,000. These will convert into a further 90,000 Etihad Guest miles.
  3. Every £1 you spend on the card thereafter will also earn you 1 membership reward to boost your Etihad Guest balance.

If you can do all of the above in the first 3 months, you will earn a minimum of 115,000 Etihad Guest points. You need roughly 125,000 Etihad miles to fly from Manchester to Abu Dhabi. Note, there is a cost for the card after year one so you may wish to cancel before the anniversary to avoid this. You will then be able to repeat this process in a few years. Pay attention to the AMEX 24 month rule.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE, courtesy of Pixabay

Other cards to boost your Etihad Guest miles quickly

If you would prefer to opt for a different American Express card, you will be spoilt for choice. For every £1 you spend on any of the following cards you will earn 1 AMEX membership reward. These also convert to Etihad Guest miles on a 1:1 basis and you earn the sign up bonuses shown provided you have not held a AMEX card in the last 24 months.

  1. AMEX Gold card (22,000 points bonus with this referral link)
  2. AMEX Platinum Card (30,000 points bonus)
  3. American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 points bonus), AMEX Business Gold card(20,000 points bonus) and AMEX Business Platinum (40,000 points bonus)

Please do not sign up for any new credit cards without reading the full terms and conditions of the sign-up bonus. The last thing I want is for you to be disappointed that you do not qualify for the bonus because you failed to read the terms.

As you can see, AMEX cards allow you to earn tons of Etihad Guest miles but this is not the only way to earn miles. Simply change some of your spending habits and before long you will have enough miles to fly business class.

Etihad Airways plane
Courtesy of Etihad

Fly Etihad

When you fly with Etihad Airways you will earn miles depending on the distance you travel, the class of travel and the ticket type. You can however build enough miles to fly Etihad Airways business class without ever jumping on an Etihad Airways plane beforehand.

How to earn Etihad rewards with partner airlines

You can earn Etihad Guest miles when you fly with lots of other airlines. The amount of miles you earn usually depends on the class of travel and type of ticket and you can find details of your chosen airline here.  You simply need to insert your Etihad Guest frequent flyer number into the relevant field when you check in for your flight.

The airlines you can earn Etihad Guest miles from are;

  • Air New Zealand, Air Canada, Air Serbia, Air Europa and ANA
  • American Airlines
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Gulf Air
  • Korean Air
  • Oman Air
  • Malaysian Airlines
  • Hainan Airlines
  • SAS
  • Saudi
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Sri Lankan Airlines
  • Virgin Australia

Do not miss out on valuable Etihad Guest miles by forgetting to input your frequent flyer number.

Flight over UAE
Earn miles with lots of airlines

How to earn Etihad miles from hotels

If you book your hotels via the Etihad Guest portal, you can earn a set amount of miles per night of your stay. For instance, the Innside Melia Manchester rewards you with 1,100 Etihad Guest miles. The Holiday Inn Express Manchester East costs £91 for a one night stay in April and earns you 1,000 miles. However, if you book into the Holiday Inn Express at Manchester airport, it costs £15 more and you earn 2,000 miles.

If you regularly travel for work, book through the Etihad Guest website and you could bag thousands of airmiles without it costing you a penny!

Manchester Airport
Book hotels at Manchester Airport via Etihad Guest

How to earn miles from the Etihad Guest shop

When you shop at any of the stores on the Etihad Guest Portal you will also earn Etihad Guest miles. For instance, for every £1 you spend in Montblanc, you earn 1 Etihad guest mile. Do check the site for details of how many Etihad Guest miles you earn before you commit as you may get a much better deal elsewhere.

How to earn Etihad miles in Abu Dhabi International Airport

You can earn Etihad Guest miles at all participating Duty Free stores, restaurants and parking facilities in Abu Dhabi International Airport. Simply use the Etihad Guest app and a linked Visa card to spend in over 100 retail outlets and restaurants. You earn 1 Etihad Guest Mile for every AED 3 spent.

To take advantage of this option;

  • Download the Etihad Guest app
  • Link up to 5 Visa payment cards to your Etihad Guest app
  • Spend using your linked card
Duty free shopping
Shop for miles

Step by step guide to bag your first Etihad reward flight

So now I have covered the 7 ways you can earn lots of Etihad Guest miles, let’s summarise what you need to do. Follow this plan of action to boost your Etihad Guest balance with enough Etihad miles to book your first business class Etihad reward flight.

  1. Sign up for the Etihad Guest programme here if you are not already a member.
    1. If you plan to fly with other family members, set up Etihad Guest accounts for everyone in the family who you would like to earn points for.
    2. Once everyone has registered, set up a family membership so you can pool your Etihad miles. This will also make it much easier to book reward flights for family members.
  2. Sign up for the AMEX Gold card with this referral link and qualify for the sign-up bonus of 22,000 reward points. These will convert into 22,000 Etihad miles when you are ready to transfer.
  3. Persuade 10 of your friends to do the same to earn a further 90,000 AMEX reward points. These will convert into a further 90,000 Etihad miles once you are ready to plan a trip.
  4. To continue increasing your Etihad Guest miles balance, use the Etihad Airways portal to earn Etihad Guest miles when you spend with Etihad Airways partners.
Etihad Airways business class cabin
Etihad Airways business class cabin

Book your first Etihad Guest reward flight in business class

Of course, once you successfully earn enough Etihad miles to book a flight, the exciting bit begins. But first, log into the Etihad Guest programme on your home page and set a goal. This allows you to calculate how many Etihad Guest miles you need for your trip.

My goal is to fly from Manchester to Abu Dhabi in business class. We need 62,500 each way for each guest, a total of 250,000 Etihad Guest miles.

We will need to pay for taxes too which will not be cheap. However, for little more than what you would pay for an economy flight, you will be able to fly business class. You will save thousands on the cost of those business class fares compared to the cash price. If you do not believe me, simply search for the cash fare on Kiwi.

Etihad Guest miles expiry

One huge word of warning in relation to the Etihad frequent flyer programme. If you do not remain active on your account, your Etihad miles will expire after 18 months. You will need to redeem them quickly.

Passengers who have Etihad Guest Platinum status can ignore this section as your miles never expire. However, the terms and conditions state that for all other tier members, from 1 August 2020, your miles are valid for 18 months. However, for every qualifying activity, you can extend the expiry date by a further 18 months. A qualifying activity includes any eligible transaction, including earning, spending or buying miles.

Do not spread yourself too thinly

Note, one big error to avoid is to try to build airmiles balances in too many programmes simultaneously. Instead, focus on one or two airlines at a time. If you try to spread yourself too thinly, it might be a never-ending crusade and your miles will expire. You need to be strategic to bag frequent flyer reward seats!

Are you ready to boost your Etihad miles balance?

If you want to visit Abu Dhabi in style, plan ahead and earn enough Etihad miles to book Etihad Airways reward flights in business class. You simply need to use as many of the 7 ways to earn Etihad Guest miles as possible and do not allow your miles to expire. Start with the most rewarding and sign up for your AMEX Gold card here. I would then love to hear how you get on and where you go with your miles so let us know in the comments.

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About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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