Should You Use Miles And Cash For Etihad Guest Awards

Should You Use Miles And Cash For Etihad Guest Awards

Etihad Guest is the rewards program of Etihad Airways and is a program that doesn’t get talked about much. This is mainly because the award rates are uncompetitive and have high fees due to fuel surcharges. However, it can still be useful when booking great awards like Etihad’s first-class apartments.

What Is The Miles and Cash Option

Etihad allows members to book award flights with a combination of Etihad Guest miles and cash. According to their FAQ, members can book a GuestSeat with a minimum of 50% of the required miles for the flight.

Etihad Guest allows members to book a GuestSeat with a minimum of 50% of the required miles for the flight
Book Awards With 50% of Required Miles

So if you’re trying to book the Etihad First Class Apartment that costs 200,000 Guest miles, you can use a minimum of 100,000 Guest miles and pay the difference in cash.

You can book Etihad's first class apartment through Etihad guest for 200,000 Etihad Guest Miles
Book Etihad’s First Class Apartments

The nice thing about this option is that you can specify whatever percentage split you want for miles and cash as long as it’s above 50%. So you could even do something random like 84% miles and 16% in cash.

Is Using Miles and Cash A Good Deal

As mentioned earlier, Etihad’s award pricing is very expensive compared to other programs. So at first glance, saving 50% of miles seems like a great deal. However, looking at the numbers, it’s actually not as good of a deal as it seems.

Using the 200,000-mile award as an example, we get the option of paying only 100,000 Etihad miles and $2,393.70 in cash. The 100,000 Etihad miles price is very attractive for first class but the $2,000+ price tag is not. If I subtract the fees of $544 from the $2393.70, I’ll end up paying $1849.70 for 100,000 Etihad miles. Paying that much in cash is equivalent to buying 1 Etihad mile at ~1.8 cents. This isn’t the worst deal out there but is on the more expensive side and is not worth it.

Using Etihad's miles plus cash option will cost you an additional $2,393.70 USD if you only want to spend 100,000 Guest miles
Pay An Additional $2393.70 In Cash!

For reference, airlines often have mile sales and you can purchase miles for as cheap as 1.27 cents per mile. Even Air Canada’s miles plus cash option comes out to purchasing Aeroplan miles at a very reasonable 1.4 cents per mile.

Compared to these options, opting for the miles plus cash option through Etihad Guest is not a good deal and I’d recommend trying to pay the full fare minus taxes in miles. The only scenario where this would make sense is if you’re short on Etihad Guest miles and don’t mind paying more in cash.


Etihad Guest gives members some flexibility when making their bookings to pay for a flight award with a mixture of miles and cash. However, the cash rate when choosing this option is not competitive and it’s more worth it to pay for the entire flight with miles.

What award redemptions have you made through the Etihad Guest program?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *