Etihad’s fourth alliance and its uses

photo by curlmedia

The Idea

  • Although not officially an alliance, Etihad’s diverse range of reciprocal mile earning and benefits arrangements make Etihad Guest a potential accrual option outside of Krisflyer
  • Due to is wide range of partners, oprhan miles can be accured in an Etihad Guest account and cashed out via PointsPay virtual Visa cards
  • Etihad Guest miles can be earned in Singapore through Citibank PremierMiles Cards

The Details

We mentioned previously that there were 3 airline alliances- Star Alliance, OneWorld and SkyTeam. These airlines have previously courted Etihad, informally or otherwise. What’s worth noting is that until Qatar joined OneWorld, none of the Big 3 Middle Eastern airlines (Emirate, Etihad, Qatar) was aligned with any alliance. The closest candidate would be Saudia with SkyTeam, but that’s hardly a prestige partnership.

But Etihad has never shown any serious interest in joining one of these alliances. Instead, it’s been working to form networks and partnerships of its own. These partnerships are not alliances in the strictest sense of the word- there’s no reciprocal benefits given to elites in Etihad’s FFP for example (with some exceptions- see below). However, the basic blueprint of reciprocal mile earning has been established, and that’s why Etihad’s “Fourth Alliance” is so useful. It can be a dumping ground for orphan miles which would otherwise go to waste. Miles deposited here can either be used to redeem Etihad awards or cashed out via PointsPay

Mile Accruing Partnerships

Etihad currently has reciprocal mileage earning agreements with 22 other airlines. Yes, that’s right- 22 other airlines, which would put ahead of SkyTeam and OneWorld if this were a proper alliance on its own. This large network is also the reason why Etihad Guest is one of the best FFPs to dump and cash out on orphan miles, because you’re quite likely to be able to find an airline going your way that partners with Etihad.

Reciprocal Benefits Partnerships


With the partners listed in the previous section, you’ll be able to cross-credit miles but your status doesn’t carry over. Which means that an Etihad Guest elite flying with ANA won’t get extra baggage allowance or lounge access.

Etihad has equity partnerships with several other airlines. These go one step further than mere mile earning. When you fly with

  • Airberlin
  • Jetairways
  • Aer Lingus
  • Virgin Australia
  • Air Serbia
  • Alitalia
  • Air Seychelles

Etihad Guest elite members are eligible to enjoy perks like lounge access, priority boarding and priority baggage.

Remember that if you’re an existing elite member in an FFP, you can get an Airberlin status match, as mentioned here in  a previous post I’ve done.

Earning Etihad Guest Miles in Singapore

The only way to earn Etihad Guest Miles with Singapore-issued credit cards is via Citibank PremierMilesCitibank PremierMiles cardholders will earn Etihad Guest miles at a rate of S$1=1.2 miles locally and S$1= 2 miles overseas. Citibank PremierMiles has some lucrative bonus earning opportunities with Kaligo (S$1= 10 miles) and Agoda (S$1= 8 miles)

However, you can also boost your Etihad Guest miles account by writing a hotel review at Hotelcheck for 200 miles (maximum 12 reviews per year)

Etihad Guest Status Match

From time to time Etihad has a status match offer for members of other FFPs. The last offer was in Feb 2015. It’s no longer available but if it goes live again I’ll be sure to update you. I got my Krisflyer Gold matched to Etihad’s Gold tier, which gives me a mileage earning bonus on Etihad flights as well as the usual elite perks.

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Hi Aaron, can I please double confirm that there is no way to use Kris flyer or Asia Miles to redeem for Etihad first class Apartment? I am aware that Citibank premier miles allow transfer to Etihad Guest but I am not keen via this route. I read online that we can use American Airline miles to book on Etihad Apartment, how do we get AA miles? Thanks.



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