Pay now, book later: Get a 50% bonus when you buy an Etihad travel voucher
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Airlines have taken a particularly hard hit during the coronavirus pandemic and are doing whatever they can to help pad their cash flow. Nearly all airlines have introduced flexible change and cancellation policies for new bookings, including some that seem too good to be true. But the promotion Etihad is currently offering is perhaps the best one yet.
Through June 24, 2020 Etihad is selling travel vouchers with a 50% bonus. That means if you buy a voucher worth $1,000, for example, you’ll get a $1,500 credit. The credit will be valid for two years and can be redeemed starting Aug. 1, 2020. You can use your credit toward booking flights and paying for extras, such as seat selection or bag fees.
For more TPG news and deals delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
How to buy an Etihad travel voucher
The only way to purchase a travel voucher and take advantage of this promotion is by contacting Etihad over the phone. The minimum voucher amount you can purchase is $250 and the maximum is $65,000. Your voucher will be issued in the form of a Travel Bank credit tied to your Etihad Guest account. So if you’re not a member yet, be sure to set up your free account before calling. The deal ends on June 24, 2020.
To maximize your savings, you’ll want to be strategic about how you pay for your voucher. Assuming the purchase codes as airfare, you can use The Platinum Card® from American Express to earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent (a 10% return based on TPG valuations) (on airfare booked directly with the airline). Starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Otherwise, you can use a card that earns bonus points on general travel spending like the Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x points) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x points). The purchase may even trigger a travel credit if you have one available.
How to redeem an Etihad travel voucher
Etihad travel vouchers will be valid for two years and can be redeemed starting Aug. 1, 2020. They will be redeemable online and over the phone. Since they will be linked to your Etihad Guest account, you can seamlessly apply them without needing to keep track of any certificate numbers or physical vouchers. You can even use the voucher to book travel for others.
In addition to flights, you can use your credit toward extras like seat selection and extra bags. And since these are still paid tickets, you’ll earn Etihad Guest miles as usual when booking a flight with a voucher.
Is it worth it?
This promotion can provide phenomenal savings to anyone planning to book travel with Etihad in the next two years. It is especially enticing for anyone wanting to splurge on premium cabins.
Just beware that purchasing the voucher isn’t completely risk-free. While you purchase the voucher, you are essentially locking yourself into a binding loan with the airline. If you use the credit to book a flight that ends up being canceled, for instance, you can rebook but you won’t be eligible for a cash refund. Also, while Etihad’s CEO is optimistic about the future of the airline, your voucher will effectively lose all value if the airline ends up going under.
Many hotel companies recently introduced promotions with similar “pay now, book later” models. For instance, the travel app Porter & Sail launched a Hotel Credit store that offers discounted gift cards for major hotels around the world. There’s also the Buy Now, Stay Later initiative, which lets travelers purchase bonds for independent hotels and book a stay at a $150 value for every $100 spent. Marriott and Fairmont previously sold discounted gift cards as well, but only for a limited time.
These promotions are great for those looking to save on post-pandemic travel. Just be mindful of the risks during these uncertain times.
Featured image by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy UK.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees