Etihad Airways Renews Visa Credit Card Partnership For 7 Years

Visa will continue to issue Etihad Guest cobrand cards in the UAE.

Etihad and Visa have renewed their co-brand card partnership in the UAE for another seven years. With nine million global members and six banking partners in its home country, Etihad Guest members have plenty of choice when it comes to choosing a new miles-earning credit or debit card.

Staying strong

One might think flying is the most lucrative part of an airline’s business, but in reality, credit card partnerships have become essential to a successful operation. Etihad Guest offers co-brand cards with six banks in the UAE, including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, and Emirates NBD Bank. With 18 credit cards and plenty of debit card options as well, Visa’s relationship with the airline is a massive one.

The renewal will see Visa remain Etihad Guests’ exclusive card issuer into 2030, warding off any competition from rivals like MasterCard or American Express. These partnerships give airlines more flexibility in planning future products, and with loyalty only expanding in the next few years, expect to see more cards and benefits.

On announcing the extension, Etihad Chief Revenue Officer Arik De noted,

“With more than 9 million members globally, the Etihad Guest programme offers our members and guests a richly rewarding travel and lifestyle experience. As two leading and trusted global brands, we’re proud to renew our exclusive partnership with Visa, giving us further ability to enhance and evolve the Etihad Guest programme for our members in the UAE both locally and as they travel the world with Etihad. These are part of the exciting array of offerings we are adding as we further cement Etihad Guest’s position as a leading loyalty programme across regions.”

More for members

Gone are the days of card services companies only offering payment services. In a competitive market, Visa now offers plenty of travel benefits as well, ranging from priority security at major airports to lounge access at dozens of locations. All credit cards issued by the company will be Classic, Platinum, Signature, or Infinite, each carrying its own set of benefits, in addition to those stated with a co-brand partnership.

For example, if you received the ADCB Etihad Guest Infinite card, you would 60,000 miles as a sign-up bonus and the chance to receive four upgrade vouchers for every $35,000 spent on the card. As a Visa Infinite product, you’ll also have access to 1,200 lounges and free card replacement globally in case you lose one in the future. Add free golf tee-offs, airport transfers, and more and you quickly realize that Visa brings its own perks to the table to remain competitive.

Outside the UAE, Etihad Guest’s only co-brand partner is the State Bank of India (SBI), but the program does offer transfer capabilities from several others. All major US banks like American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Capital One allow you to transfer miles into Etihad, which is helpful given the airline’s long list of partners and award space.

By Mian Saeed Ahmed Khan