Etihad has launched a new redemption option for their Etihad Guest program, allowing points to be converted into cash loaded on to a credit card which can be spent in the real world. And to celebrate they are giving away 100,000 points in the program. The contest doesn’t seem to have much in the way of rules published so it isn’t clear what you have to do to win other than write in a comment/post that they might use for promotional copy at some point in the future. And they probably really only want true stories about the program rather than people just making stuff up. Still, it is 100,000 points being given away; it doesn’t suck.
The PointsPay program is a cool idea and there is definitely some impressive technology involved to make it work. I am a bit worried about what it means for the future of points as providing travel rewards in the longer term. But I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.