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A new alliance between Etihad Airways and the Coles Flybuys scheme will see shoppers earning not just frequent flyer points with the airline's Etihad Guest program, but also status credits for fast-tracking towards Silver, Gold and Platinum membership and perks.
The deal covers Coles Supermarkets, Coles Online, Coles Express, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor stores.
Here's what you need to know.
Turning Flybuys points into Etihad Guest miles
There's no direct earning of Etihad Guest miles (Etihad's version of Qantas or Virgin Australia points) at the checkout.
However, Flybuys points can be converted into Etihad Guest miles for booking free flights and upgrades.
You'll need 10,000 Flybuys points to convert them into 4,000 Etihad Guest miles, and Flybuys points can be redeemed only in blocks of 10,000.
Earning Etihad status while you shop
This seems to be a world first: collecting not only points but valuable 'status credits' in the form of Etihad Guest Tier Miles through everyday spending.
The earn rate is one Etihad Guest Tier Mile for every dollar spent at FlyBuys outlets, up to a maximum of 2,500 Tier Miles per month.
Given that Etihad Guest Silver requires 25,000 Tier Miles across a 12-month period, you could gain Silver status in ten months at the maximum spend of $2,500 per month – although we're the first to admit that's not the most likely scenario!
The Tier Miles angle is going to be most useful in helping close the gap to retaining your current status if your flying has tapered off.
Note that you need to link your Etihad Guest membership to your Flybuys account (via the Flybuys website) to earn Tier Miles when shopping.
Earning Flybuys points when you fly
There's also the opportunity to collect Flybuys points when booking Etihad Airways flights, at a rate of 1 point per dollar – provided the booking is made through the Flybuys website.
There's an obvious opportunity for some 'triple dipping' here: you can also earn Etihad Guest miles during the flight, as well as funnel your additional Flybuys points into your Etihad Guest miles account.
Etihad/Flybuys launch deals
To kick off the partnership, Etihad Airways is amping up the Flybuys:Tier Miles 'exchange rate' to three Tier Miles for every dollar – capped at a maximum of 5,000 Tier Miles per month – through to December 31st, 2015, instead of the standard mile-per-dollar rate.
Flybuy members can also collect five points per dollar spent on Etihad Airways flights (booked through the Flybuys ‘My Offers’ page) through to December 31st, and snare up to 25 per cent off Etihad Airways business class and economy fares for bookings made by November 3rd for travel until December 4th 2015.
For more information, click through to flybuys.com.au/partners/etihad.
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