Flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, today announces it is partnering with utu to provide more choice and value to travellers eligible for tax refunds as part of the biggest upheaval in the history of tax-free shopping. From December 16, 2021 passengers registered with Ethiopian’s ShebaMiles loyalty scheme will be able to supersize tax refunds - even when not travelling with the carrier - with a dramatic 25% uplift in loyalty scheme rewards.
Travellers access the uplift simply by using the new utu Tax Free Card in the utu Tax Free app when they make a tax-free purchase. utu provides a simple way to process tax refunds on purchases made abroad and convert them into ShebaMiles.
Ethiopian Airlines is the latest major carrier to join utu’s new service, which aims to revolutionize tax-free shopping. Travellers purchasing tax-free with the utu card gain a greater choice of rewards, an easier, more convenient reward claiming process, and significantly greater value in terms of reward points collected.
Drawing on its deep industry experience, utu believes travellers should be getting more value and a better experience when it comes to tax refunds. Tax-free shopping is available in 50 countries across the globe, including France, Italy, Germany, Singapore, South Korea, and the UAE. It allows travellers to claim back the Value-Added Tax (VAT) or Goods & Services Tax (GST) for purchases in countries they visit. By the time a refund is processed by VAT Refund Operators (VROs), shoppers typically only receive about half of the total value of the VAT refund they are due and need to fill out extensive paperwork.
By leveraging the virtual utu Tax Free Card in the utu Tax Free app, ShebaMiles members will now be able to upsize their VAT refund value by receiving 4,167 ShebaMiles for every USD100. To mark the commencement of this partnership, ShebaMiles and utu are offering a special promotion from now till January 31,2022 of 250 Bonus Miles upon just activation of utu Tax Free Card. There is no minimum spend requirement or maximum Miles earning limit. Ethiopian Airlines and utu will collaborate on more customer rewards and loyalty programs as part of the partnership.
Regarding the partnership, Ethiopian Group Marketing Vice President Mrs. Rahel Assefa said: “We are excited to bring another opportunity to earn miles for our esteemed members while traveling. With utu having tax refund services in 50 countries, our members worldwide will have various options to enjoy the service and benefit from the partnership. The seamless integration with our loyalty systems made the process of earning miles hassle-free. ShebaMiles members will now have the opportunity to reach their dream awards faster while also having the benefit of receiving their VAT refunds with utu.”
Asad Jumabhoy, co-founder and CEO of utu, comments: “utu is on a mission to shake up the world of tax-free shopping and we are excited to be joined by Ethiopian Airlines. We’re thrilled to open up a new world of choice and opportunities for ShebaMiles members, boosting their travel experiences by allowing them to get a much better deal on tax refunds and superize their loyalty rewards.”