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You can earn Etihad status when you transfer in Amex points — but should you?

Nov. 15, 2021
5 min read
Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner landing
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Etihad Guest has just launched an easy shortcut to elite status.

For a limited time, you can earn tier-qualifying miles when transferring points to Etihad Guest from a participating partner program. But, as with anything in life, there are some important rules to be aware of. Specifically, there's a limit to the number of tier tier-qualifying miles you can earn, and not all transfer partners are eligible.

In this article, we'll take a quick look at the promotion, discuss Etihad Guest elite-status benefits and help you decide whether this fast-track opportunity is right for you.

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Earn tier-qualifying miles when transferring points to Etihad

Etihad 787-9 business class (Photo by Javier Rodriguez / The Points Guy)

Now through Dec. 15, 2021, when you transfer points to Etihad Guest from a qualifying partner program, you can earn one tier-qualifying mile toward elite status per point transferred.

You must transfer a minimum of 5,000 points to be eligible for this promotion and you can earn up to a maximum of 20,000 tier-qualifying miles.

Here's the catch: the only U.S. transfer partner eligible for this promotion is American Express Membership Rewards. Although Etihad Guest is also a transfer partner of Capital One, Citi ThankYou Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy, transfers from those programs will not earn tier-qualifying miles.

Per the terms of this promotion, only the following partners are eligible:

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"IMIA (Air Miles), AMEX MR (*All), Al Hilal Joud, Citibank UAE/Globa, Emirates Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, FAB Rewards, HSBC UK, ADCB TouchPoints, ADNOC, SHARE Rewards, Boubyan Bank, Saudi British Bank and National Commercial bank."

TPG has reached out to Etihad Guest to confirm whether "Citibank UAE/Globa" was a typo and should be global. For the time being, we'll assume Citi transfers are not eligible for U.S. members.

There's no registration required to participate in this promotion. Etihad says that the tier miles will post within 10 business days of when the promotion ends (Dec. 15, 2021), and as usual, transfers are irreversible.

Related: From reduced requirements to best-ever promotions: Why this is the year of easy elite status

Is it worth it?

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

There are three elite tiers in the Etihad Guest program:

  • Etihad Guest Silver: 25,000 tier miles to earn, 20,000 to maintain
  • Etihad Guest Gold: 50,000 tier miles to earn, 40,000 to maintain
  • Etihad Guest Platinum: 125,000 tier miles to earn, 100,000 to maintain

Given the 20,000-mile cap, you won't be able to earn status solely by transferring in points. However, you can knock out 80% of the requirement for earning Silver status from scratch, which is significant.

Unfortunately, Silver status isn't all that valuable for U.S.-based travelers. The biggest benefits are free standard economy seat selection on Etihad flights, additional baggage allowance and lounge access at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

Higher tiers of status come with additional benefits like chauffeur service on business- and first-class awards, fast track immigration, premium check-in with partner airlines, worldwide lounge access, a 75% to 100% discount on in-flight Wi-Fi and Avis Budget tier match. Although higher tiers of status, also come with priority check-in with partner airlines, other benefits when flying partners are still quite limited.

It's worth noting that you must earn the tier miles required for an elite status tier within a 12-month period, so you can transfer points in now and still have 12 months left to earn the remaining tier miles required for your desired status tier. The 20,000 tier points you can earn from this promotion could be a good way to jumpstart your progress toward a higher status tier in 2022.

Related: Etihad Guest miles continue to fly under the radar

Bottom line

Overall, we'd recommend you treat this promotion like a transfer bonus and only transfer miles if you have a specific use for them in mind. Unless you're a frequent Etihad flyer and are just short of qualifying or requalifying for status, it likely won't be worth transferring miles solely for the sake of earning tier miles.

If you do decide to transfer points to Etihad, keep in mind that there are a number of great uses for these miles, besides just Etihad flights. For instance, Etihad miles can be great for booking cheap American Airlines and Royal Air Maroc flights.

Featured image by NurPhoto via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023