With cashflow as tight as it is, we’ve seen numerous hotels offering bonuses on gift cards or discounted vouchers for future stays. However, I can’t think of too many airlines which have started selling bonus travel credits.
Etihad Airways looks set to buck that trend with a 50% bonus on travel vouchers.
Etihad is selling travel vouchers with a 50% bonus
From now till 24 June 2020, Etihad is selling travel vouchers with a 50% bonus. Travel vouchers can be bought in any denomination from US$250 to US$65,000 (!)
All vouchers are valid for a period of 2 years, and can be used for travel from 1 August 2020 onwards. Vouchers cannot be refunded, and are non-transferable. However, you can use a voucher to pay for someone else’s travel.
Vouchers can only be purchased through the Etihad contact centre (i.e not online), and you’ll need to be an Etihad Guest member to buy one. Your voucher balance (plus the bonus) will be reflected in your Etihad Guest Travel Bank account.
Any flights booked with Etihad travel vouchers will earn regular mileage credit as per normal.
Should you buy Etihad travel vouchers?
This is effectively a 33% discount off any future Etihad travel, and seems to be a good deal given the fairly long time period you have to use it.
The concern of course is whether Etihad will still be around to honor the credits. If the airline goes belly up you’ll become an unsecured creditor, which probably won’t end well. That said, Etihad is the pride of Abu Dhabi, and I can’t see the government not stepping in should it be necessary. Stranger things have happened before, I suppose.
What card should you use to buy Etihad travel vouchers?
I’m guessing these transactions will be processed over the phone with the CSO, so they’ll count as offline foreign currency airline spending. You can use the cards below to maximize the miles on your purchase.
|UOB Visa Signature
|Min S$1K FCY per s. month, cap at S$2K FCY per s. month
|UOB Lady’s Card
|Cap S$1K per c. month
|UOB Lady’s Solitaire
|Cap S$3K per c. month
|SCB X Card
|Until 30 Jun 20. Min S$2K per c. month
|SCB Visa Infinite
|Min S$2K per s. month
|BOC Elite Miles
|Until 15 Jun 20
|Max S$5K per c. month
|S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month
*Must declare travel as quarterly 10X category
Etihad’s 50% bonus on travel vouchers is as generous as airline promotions come, and I’ll be giving it some thought over the next few days.
I’m seeing round-trip Etihad Business Class fares between Singapore and Athens for S$2,900, which with a further 33% discount would be mighty tempting. For those of you with deeper pockets, it’d also be an opportunity to try The Apartments or even The Residence for…somewhat less.
Will you be buying Etihad travel vouchers?