Travel Deals

How You Can Fly the Etihad First Apartments From Just 61K Amex Points (or Citi Points)

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Written by Charlie

If you want to try and fly the awesome Etihad First Apartment sometime in the next 9 months, here is a way to do it from just 61K Amex points – as long as the world opens up again.

I wrote this morning about the great sale that Etihad is having on awards and wanted to specifically highlight the incredible deal that the Etihad First Apartments is with this deal. Now, of course, we are all thinking about coronavirus closures/limitations but you can choose to fly up until May of 2021 with this sale so think ahead!

Fly Etihad First Apartments From Just 61K Amex Points

The American Express (or Citi) to Etihad Trail

First of all, you would need to transfer your American Express Membership Reward points to Etihad (or from Citi) to actually book these tickets. This is because the sale is being run by Etihad when using Etihad miles.

But, do not transfer just yet! If the First Apartment is the goal, you will want to make sure that there is plenty of availability for the flights you are thinking about – or, better yet, exercise a little flexibility when searching. The good thing is that Membership Reward points typically transfer over to Etihad instantly so you shouldn’t have to wait long for the miles to be there (just login again to Etihad after you have transferred to see them there).

To transfer these points, login to Membership Rewards and select to Transfer Points. At this point, you will select Etihad Guest as your program to transfer to and then go ahead with how many you need (that transfer is done at 1:1 with a minimum of 1,000 points). You will need to have already set up your account/synced with Amex. If not, go ahead and do that first.

The Etihad Award Sale

Here is the post with all the details but here are the highlights – this sale is a straight 30% discount on award tickets in economy, business, and first class at the saver levels. You have until August 27 to book and up until May 31, 2021 to fly.

Booking the Tickets

The cheapest route is the Abu Dhabi to London route. Of course, you can do that in reverse but the taxes are higher. That will ring in at 61,706 Etihad miles for one-way in the First Apartment. That is a pretty nice deal! Plus, going Abu Dhabi to London gives you a little more time in the air as well as access to the First Class lounge in Abu Dhabi.

The cost for London – Abu Dhabi in the First Apartment during this Etihad award sale

The next popular route would be JFK to Abu Dhabi. This one is an even better deal when compared to what American Airlines charges for this route – it is 95,584 miles one way during this sale. That is a huge drop from the normal cost. Yes, this would be 95,000 Amex points but if you wanted to fly the First Apartment at some point, this is a great way to do it without burning a bunch of AA miles (115,000 miles) which are harder to get.

The cost for the First Apartment between JFK and Abu Dhabi during this sale

So, look for GuestSeat pricing as this is what has the discount. You will be able to spot it when you see the lower cost in the week view for the class you are searching (it is about 10% as much as the OpenSeat pricing).

Bottom Line

I know that most people are not thinking about traveling to/from Abu Dhabi right now but if you want to put an aspirational award on your calendar, this is a great way to do it. The downsides? You cancel it (which will cost 10% of the miles used) and then you may not have a use for those miles again.

At some point, the Airbus A380 that the Etihad First Apartment is on will go away. So, if you want a chance to fly it, this could be a nice way to do it! But, if you want better flexibility as far as the miles if things go awry, American Airlines may be your better bet.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • yeah that’s the biggest issue with this. Even if you are able to 100% commit to the travel plan, Etihad can pull A380s out of schedule, cancel the flight all together or you can’t make the trip due to travel restriction etc etc. Yeah you may get 100% miles back but with this 30% sale over, you may suddenly find your self with useless Ethad miles. Yeah there are ways to use Etihad miles.. especially on AA but I think it will be safer to hold onto MR points at this time.

    • Definitely a valid point. I will not be doing this sale but only because I have NO idea what next year is bringing for travel for me. 🙂 My guess is that as long as travel improves in the new year and Etihad already has the 380s on the schedule, I think they will fly them. They may drop a frequency or two to London but, especially for the AUH-LHR route, every time I have flown it, they are full in the Apartment section with finance people so I think they expect.
      Of course, it could just be wishful thinking. 🙂