Flybuys will officially terminate its Etihad Guest partnership on 31 July 2018 – seven months after Etihad Guest transfers were suspended. From this date, it will also no longer be possible be earn Etihad Guest Tier Miles at Coles, or to collect Flybuys points by booking flights on the Flybuys-Etihad travel portal.
Flybuys already suspended the ability to transfer Flybuys points to Etihad Guest miles in December 2017 without warning. It has not been possible to transfer Flybuys points to Etihad miles since then anyway. This announcement is just the final nail in the coffin for the long-suffering Flybuys-Etihad Guest partnership.
Previously, 10,000 Flybuys points could be converted to 4,000 Etihad Guest miles. The Etihad Guest partnership was popular because Etihad Guest redemptions for Virgin Australia flights are great value. Etihad also has a wide range of partner airlines that aren’t otherwise accessible to most Australians.
Although new Flybuys members were also unable to link their Etihad Guest accounts since last year, those with accounts already linked have continued to earn Tier Miles. Currently, 1 Etihad Guest Tier Mile can be earned for every $1 spent at Coles, up to 2,500 Tier Miles per month. But this too will end on 31 July.
While this is a disappointing development, the termination of the Flybuys-Etihad Guest partnership doesn’t come as a surprise. The good news is that it is still possible to convert Flybuys points to Velocity Frequent Flyer points. Velocity points can be redeemed for flights on Virgin Australia and its partner airlines, or be converted to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles.
It is still possible to transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards – and several other Australian credit card reward programs – to Etihad Guest. Etihad does also sell miles for USD20 per thousand.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: How to redeem Etihad Guest miles for Virgin Australia flights