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I wrote recently about how I had a chunk of Etihad Guest Miles that were due to expire (thanks to Etihad‘s unfriendly ‘hard expiry’ policy) and that my plan to convert them into cash via PointsPay was thwarted, because setting up a PointsPay account can take over a week – time I didn’t have left.
I mentioned that despite my PointsPay travails, I did manage to come up with a reasonable solution in the end and that I’d share what I did , so if you find yourself in the same situation hopefully this post might be useful!
With PointsPay, you can turn your Etihad Guest Miles into cash at a rate roughly somewhere between 0.4p-0.55p, (seemingly dependent on what the USD/GBP conversion rate is at the time), so that’s the sort of value I was hoping to achieve from my Miles. If they weren’t expiring, I’d expect to get at least 1p+ per Mile booking flights.
One option was the vast ranks of assorted tat you can spend your Miles on in the Etihad Guest Reward Shop.
I wasn’t really in the mood for Swarovski tulips or drill bits though, so carried on looking for a better option…
Hotels (and car hire) sounded much more like my sort of thing! But, I was fully expecting the conversion rate and/or range of options to be abysmal. Fortunately, I was wrong.
The selection of hotels was excellent (pretty much the same as most major booking sites) and when I compared the Miles price for a stay to the cash cost available elsewhere, it usually resulted in a valuation of about 0.5p-0.55p per Mile, which was the most I could have hoped from PointsPay regardless.
I was slightly concerned that there might be a last minute verification process like with PointsPay, but there wasn’t. I simply selected a hotel I needed to book for a future trip and clicked through until I got the confirmation – getting 0.55p of value from each Point compared to the cheapest rate available elsewhere.
Of course, I’m not expecting to earn any Points from my stay and I couldn’t go through a cashback site, so the ‘real’ value is a bit less – but for 21,000 Miles that were otherwise going to be worth nothing (or drill bits…) I was fairly happy with the result.
It’s certainly not a high-value way to redeem your Etihad Guest Miles, but if they would otherwise expire and you don’t have time for your PointsPay account to be verified, redeeming for a hotel stay is an option well worth knowing about!