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The name Emirates has essentially become synonymous with the airline’s legendary first-class product. The carrier advertises its first-class cabins with the phrase “as close as it comes to your own private jet” and it’s not much of an exaggeration.
These seats come with your own private shower spa, a comfortable lie-flat bed, complimentary skin care products and access to a bar lounge. Emirates undoubtedly offers one of the best first-class products in the entire airline industry.
However, Emirates doesn’t offer only premium private cabins. Emirates is known for providing an excellent in-flight experience even when flying in economy. These seats come standard with entertainment systems as well as a ton of accommodations for children, such as stuffed animals, special kids’ meals and travel-themed activity packs.
Historically, there have been much cheaper ways to book Emirates award flights than through the Emirates Skywards program. Specifically, booking Emirates awards through JAL Mileage Bank was (and still is) oftentimes much cheaper than booking Emirates awards through Emirates Skywards. However, in recent years, Emirates miles have become easier to earn, making Emirates Skywards a more noteworthy frequent-flyer program.
Let’s cover Emirates Skywards elite status, how to earn Emirates Skywards miles, how to redeem those miles and more. And, yes, we’ll touch on how you can book a first-class award ticket for cheap.
Emirates Skywards Program Overview
Emirates is one of the largest airlines in the world by several metrics and operates routes to all of the world’s inhabited continents. Their hub city is Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and most of their routes are across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. However, it also operates routes to several major U.S. cities, including Boston, New York City, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Orlando, Washington and Miami.
Members of the Emirates Skywards program can earn miles in several different ways, including flying on Emirates itself or flying with certain partner airlines. Below is a full list of Emirates’s partner airlines:
|Air Canada||Bangkok Airways|
|Air Mauritius||Copa Airlines|
|Japan Airlines||South African Airways|
|Jetstar||TAP Air Portugal|
|Korean Air||United Airlines|
Out of all the aforementioned partner airlines, the only airline on which you can’t earn Emirates Skywards miles is easyJet. All the others allow you to earn Emirates Skywards miles when you fly with them. And you have the option to spend your miles on any of the previously listed airline partners.
Unfortunately, Emirates doesn’t allow you to earn Tier Miles (the metric used to earn elite status with Emirates Skywards) on partner airlines.
Emirates Skywards Elite Status
The Emirates Skywards program has four elite status tiers: Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The first tier, Blue, is earned as soon as you sign up for the Emirates Skywards program. To earn the higher tiers, you’ll need to either earn a certain number of Tier Miles, take a certain number of flights or make purchases with an Emirates Skywards co-branded credit card.
Tier Miles are calculated using the fare type, the route and the fare class. This can be a bit complicated. So, to make things easier, Emirates has a Miles Calculator tool that can tell you how many Skywards miles and Tier Miles you’ll earn for taking a specific flight.
For example, if you were to take a round-trip flight from Seattle to Dubai on Emirates in Economy Special class as a Blue member of the Skywards program, you’d earn 2,100 Skywards miles and 2,100 Tier Miles. However, if you were to take the same exact flight in Economy Saver class, you would instead earn 4,200 Skywards miles and 4,200 Tier Miles.
As you can see, the number of Tier Miles that you earn heavily depends on the fare class that you’re booked in. However, the number of Tier Miles that you earn isn’t influenced by the elite status that you have in the Emirates Skywards program. The number of Skywards miles that you earn, on the other hand, is affected by your elite status.
As previously mentioned, you can move up in elite status by completing a certain number of flights. However, only flights operated by Emirates or Flydubai will count towards your total.
You can also earn Emirates Skywards elite status by signing up for one of the Emirates Skywards co-branded credit cards. You’ll automatically earn either Gold or Silver elite status for signing up for one of these cards and then you can earn even more Tier Miles through spending.
So, now that you know how to earn Tier Miles to achieve elite status, let’s talk about why you’d want to earn elite status in the first place. The following table outlines how to earn each elite status tier and the benefits of each status tier.
|Status tier||Requirements||Notable benefits|
|Blue||• Sign up for the Emirates Skywards program||• Special members-only offers and travel packages|
• Waiting list priority
• Paid lounge access
• Buy instant upgrades with miles at check-in or on board
• Wi-Fi access
|Silver||• Earn 25,000 Tier Miles OR|
• Take 25 eligible flights
|• All benefits included with Blue status|
• Complimentary seat selection
• Excess baggage allowance
• 30% bonus miles when flying with Skywards and Flydubai
• Priority check-in and boarding
• Complimentary Emirates lounge access
• 4 p.m. late checkout, access to Elite check‑in and complimentary in‑room enhanced Wi‑Fi at Marriott Bonvoy properties
|Gold||• Earn 50,000 Tier Miles OR|
• Take 50 eligible flights
|• All benefits included with Silver status|
• 75% bonus miles when flying with Skywards and Flydubai
• Priority service through contact centers
• Guaranteed seats, even on full flights
• Priority baggage delivery with Emirates and Flydubai
• Complimentary Emirates and Flydubai lounge access
|Platinum||• Earn 150,000 Tier Miles AND |
• Take at least one qualifying flight in First Class and Business Class
|• All benefits included with Gold status|
• 100% bonus miles when flying with Skywards and Flydubai
• Last Seat Classic Flex Plus reward tickets
• Gold Partner nomination
• No expiration of Skywards miles
Once you achieve a status tier, you’ll enjoy that elite status tier for the next 14 months even if you don’t earn enough Tier Miles or take enough flights to retain the status tier in your annual review. For instance, if you achieve Gold elite status in June 2024, you’ll retain that elite status until August 2025 (which is 14 months from June 2024) regardless of how many Tier Miles you earn during that 14-month period.
However, if you want to keep that status for another 14-month period, you’ll need to earn enough Tier Miles or complete enough eligible flights to retain that status within 12 months. For instance, if you first earn Silver elite status in June 2024, you have until June 2025 to earn another 25,000 Tier Miles or complete another 25 flights to retain Silver elite status. If you don’t meet those requirements, you’ll still enjoy silver elite status through August 2025.
Unlike most other airline loyalty programs, Emirates has a loyalty program for kids between the ages of 2 and 17 that allows them to earn Skywards miles and even earn elite status. Parents can enroll their children in the program by simply logging into their own Skywards account, creating a Skywards Skysurfers account for their child and then linking the accounts.
Skywards Surfers earn Skywards miles and Tier Miles on flights just like any adult Emirates Skywards member. However, Skywards Skysurfers members are eligible to earn Silver and Gold elite status only. They can’t become Platinum elite members.
Skywards Surfers can’t book award flights on their own. Their parent or guardian must log in to their own account and request to make an award booking in the name of the Skywards Skysurfers member.
How to Earn Emirates Skywards Miles
There are many ways to earn Emirates Skyward miles, some of which are more worth paying attention to than others. Of course, the most straightforward way to earn miles is by taking flights with Emirates (or Flydubai). However, you can also earn miles at varying rates by flying with all of Emirates’s airline partners, except for easyJet.
There are also less obvious ways to earn Skywards miles, such as spending on Emirates co-branded credit cards, shopping online or in-store with retail partners, renting cars, booking hotels and more.
Let’s take a look at all of the different ways to earn Emirates Skywards miles and which ones can really help you earn that next award flight.
Flying with Emirates or Flydubai
Unlike many U.S. airlines that base their miles earnings on the amount you pay for your ticket, the number of miles that you’ll earn while flying with Emirates or Flydubai is based on your fare type, the route and your fare class. Both Emirates and Flydubai offer the same number of miles for every flight (since Flydubai uses Skywards miles as its native rewards currency).
However, neither Emirates nor Flydubai publish an earnings chart. So, the only way to accurately predict how many miles (and Tier Miles) you’ll earn on a flight is by using their online Miles Calculator tool.
You can simply input whether you’re flying with Emirates or Flydubai, your origin and destination, your cabin class and your elite status with Emirates Skywards. Once you hit the “Calculate” button, you’ll see the number of Skywards miles and Tier Miles that you’ll earn with each fare type.
For instance, if you enter your cabin class as “Economy Class,” you’ll see how many miles and Tier Miles you’ll earn for the Economy Special, Economy Saver, Economy Flex and Economy Flex Plus fare types.
Flying with Partner Airlines
You can earn Skywards miles with any of Emirates’s partner airlines, except easyJet. Unfortunately, each of these partner airlines has their own specific set of rules for how many Skywards miles you can earn. Unlike with Emirates and Flydubai, there’s no calculator tool to tell you how many miles you’ll earn for a partner flight.
So, if you want to know how many Emirates Skywards miles you can earn for flying with a partner airline, you’ll need to go to the “Our Partners” page on the Emirates website and find the specific partner that you’re flying with. Then, click the “Learn more” button to see how that airline earns Skywards miles.
When earning Skywards miles with partners, the number of miles depends on the specific partner, fare class, fare type and distance flown.
For instance, when flying with Air Canada, you can choose to earn Skywards miles. You’ll earn 1 mile per mile flown in economy class, 1.1 miles per mile flown in economy premium and 1.5 miles per mile flown in business class.
Unfortunately, Emirates isn’t particularly generous when issuing Skywards miles for partner flights (most partners are capped between 1 and 2 miles per mile flown in every fare class). So, you’re probably better off just earning that airline’s native rewards currency (unless you’re a major Emirates loyalist).
Spending with an Emirates Co-Branded Credit Card
Currently, Emirates offers two co-branded personal credit cards to U.S. consumers, both of which are issued by Barlclays.
The Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard® has an annual fee of $99 and is the airline’s entry-level card whereas the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® is the airline’s top-tier card with an annual fee of $499.
Both cards are currently offering welcome bonuses that you can earn after meeting certain minimum-spending requirements. This is a fantastic way to rack up a bunch of Skywards miles quickly.
Both cards also come with automatic Emirates Skywards elite status and offer the ability to earn Skywards miles for everyday spending.
The following chart breaks down these two Emirates co-branded credit cards and their respective features.
|Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard®||Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard®|
|Automatic elite status tier||Gold||Silver|
|Spending bonuses||• 3X miles on purchase made on emirates.com or at the Emirates sales office|
• 2X miles on other airfare, hotels and rental cars
• 1X mile on all other purchases
|• 3X miles on purchase made on emirates.com or at the Emirates sales office|
• 2X miles on other airfare, hotels and rental cars
• 1X mile on all other purchases
|Other notable benefits||• Save up to $499 per ticket (on up to four tickets) on eligible routes (for a total of $1,996 in possible savings)|
• 10,000-mile anniversary bonus every cardmember year
• Unlimited Priority Pass Select lounge access
• Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit of up to $100 every four years
• 25% discount when you buy miles or gift miles
• No foreign transaction fees
|• Save up to $99 per ticket (on up to four tickets) on eligible routes (for a total of $396 in possible savings)|
• 25% discount when you buy miles or gift miles
• No foreign transaction fees
The Skywards miles that you earn with either card won’t expire, and there’s no limit to the number of Skywards miles that you can earn.
As you can see, both cards offer the exact same spending bonuses despite having vastly different annual fees. However, the Emirates Skywards Premium Card makes up for its higher annual fee with automatic Gold elite status, the application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and unlimited complimentary Priority Pass lounge access.
Having Gold elite status means you’ll earn 75% more miles when flying with Emirates or Flydubai, and you’ll receive other perks like guaranteed seating and priority baggage delivery.
Both of these cards offer a 25% discount when purchasing or gifting miles. However, purchasing and gifting points is a bad deal. Even with a discount, you probably don’t want to purchase or gift points.
The Premium version of the card offers $499 off the price of four tickets (for a total of $1,996 in savings), and the Rewards version of the card offers $99 off the price of four tickets (for a total of $396 in savings). Unfortunately, these deals aren’t as valuable as they might seem. There are so many conditions and exclusions around these offers that it will make your head spin. Still, if you hold either one of these cards, it’s worth reading the terms and trying to take advantage of whatever savings you can.
Overall, if you’re a U.S. traveler, then neither of these cards are attractive. First of all, you’re probably better off going with a co-branded credit card from an airline that you fly with more often. And, second, neither of these cards (and particularly the Premium Card) offer impressive spending bonuses and benefits for their annual fees.
Emirates Skywards allows you to earn miles by renting cars from their partners. However, the number of points you earn depends on the specific partner that you’re renting from. Here are the Skywards program’s rental car partners and their respective earnings rates.
|Rental car partner||Earnings|
|Avis||• 2X miles on your rental|
• Bonus 4X miles when you book through the Emirates Skywards website
|Budget||• 2X miles on your rental|
• Bonus 4X miles when you book through the Emirates Skywards website
|CarTrawler||• Up to 2X miles on all rentals|
|Europcar||• 600 miles for standard car bookings|
• 1,000 miles for premium car bookings
• Bonus 200 miles for booking through the Emirates Skywards website
|Hertz||• 5X miles on all rentals|
|Sixt||• 1,000 miles for premium car bookings|
• 500 miles for booking all other car types
• Bonus 200 miles for booking through the Emirates Skywards website
If you choose not to book your car rental through the links on the Emirates Skywards, make sure that you inform your rental company that you wish to earn Emirates Skywards miles for your rental.
Booking Hotel Stays
Emirates Skywards gives members the opportunity to earn miles for booking hotel stays through their own hotel-booking portal called Emirates Skywards Hotels. By booking through this portal, you can earn up to 10,000 miles per night on every booking. Plus, you’ll earn an additional 2,500 miles if you pay for your booking with an Emirates Skywards co-branded credit card.
To use this portal, you can go to the Emirates Skywards Hotels website and enter your destination, your desired travel dates and the number of guests.
Then, you’ll be displayed a list of hotels that match your search and the number of miles you’d earn for the stay.
You can also earn Skywards miles for booking hotel stays with Emirates’s hotel partners. The following chart includes the different hotel partners that allow you to earn Skywards miles and their respective earnings rates.
|Atlantis The Palm, Dubai||1X mile on stays at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai|
|Booking.com||1X mile per €1 spent through Booking.com|
|Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts||2X miles at Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts properties|
|Holiday Inn||2X miles at Holiday Inn properties|
|Hyatt Hotels and Resorts||500 miles per eligible stay at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts properties|
|InterContinental Hotels & Resorts||2X miles at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts properties|
|Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts||1X mile at Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts properties|
|Marriott Bonvoy||1X mile on eligible stays at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels|
|One & Only Resorts||1X mile at One & Only Resorts properties|
|Rotana Hotels and Resorts||500 miles per eligible stay at Rotana Hotels and Resorts|
It’s also worth noting that you can convert certain hotel rewards currencies to Skywards miles. Here are the currencies that you can convert to Skywards miles and their respective transfer ratios:
- Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
- Hilton Honors (10:1)
- IHG One Rewards (5:1)
- Marriott Bonvoy (3:1)
- World of Hyatt (2.5:1)
As you can see, none of these hotel partners offer a favorable transfer ratio. So, you’re probably better off redeeming these currencies in their native programs rather than transferring them to Emirates Skywards and instantly eroding their value.
One great way to boost your Skywards miles balance is to transfer points from one of the major transferable credit card points programs. Emirates Skywards partners with all of the major transferable point programs, all of which convert to Skywards miles at a 1:1 ratio.
Here are the major transfer partners of the Emirates Skywards programs:
- American Express Membership Rewards
- Bilt Rewards
- Capital One Rewards
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Citi ThankYou Rewards
- HSBC Rewards
It’s worth noting that American Express Membership Rewards points convert to Emirates Skywards miles at a 1:1 ratio only for consumers living in the U.S., the U.K. and Greece. A different transfer ratio will apply to American Express Membership Rewards members in other countries.
Transferring points from one of these credit card programs is an excellent way to top off your Skywards miles balance for a specific redemption or even pay for an entire award flight through the Emirates Skywards program.
Shopping for Miles
Emirates Skywards allows you to earn miles for making shopping purchases both online and in-store. Like many other airline loyalty programs, Emirates Skywards has its own online shopping portal called Skywards Miles @mall. You can use your Emirates Skywards credentials to log in to this shopping portal and then earn Skywards miles for making online purchases from more than 1,500 of your favorite brands.
The number of miles you’ll earn per dollar spent depends on the specific merchant, so make sure to check each merchant’s earnings rate before making your purchases.
If you often make online purchases anyway, you may as well pick up some extra Skywards miles (if that’s your frequent-flyer program of choice) by making your purchases through the Skywards Miles Mall.
Emirates Skywards also gives you the ability to earn miles while shopping in-store with the Skywards Everyday program. To use this program, simply download the Skywards Everyday app and link up to five Visa debit or credit cards to your account. You’ll automatically earn Skywards miles when you make eligible purchases with your linked credit cards.
Any Skywards miles you earn through the Skywards Everyday program will be in addition to any rewards that you already earn with your credit card. So, you can essentially earn double rewards when shopping with one of hundreds of Skywards Everyday partners across shopping, dining, beauty and wellness, leisure and entertainment, pharmacy and grocery.
You’ll earn 1 mile for every 3 United Arab Emirates dirham spent with all partners, except for partners that code as grocery or pharmacy (which earn 1 mile for every 5 dirham). At the current conversion rate, $1 is equal to about 3.70 dirham. So, the earnings rate for most partners would be slightly about 1 mile per dollar spent, except for grocery and pharmacy partners.
Unfortunately, many of these partners are based in the United Arab Emirates and have little or no presence in the United States. So, this program probably won’t earn you many miles if you live in the United States. Still, there’s really no downside to just linking your credit cards, forgetting about it and then being presently surprised when you earn some miles whenever you happen to shop with a Emirates Everyday partner.
On top of the two aforementioned programs, Emirates Skywards also has several other shopping partners that allow you to earn Skywards miles for eligible spending. The following chart includes all of these shopping partners and their respective earnings rates.
|Arabian Adventures||• Shopping partners|
|ASMALLWORLD||• 250,000 miles when you sign up for a Prestige Membership with ASMALLWORLD|
• 500,000 miles when you sign up for a Signature Membership with ASMALLWORLD
|The Bicester Collection||1X mile per 1 British pound, 1 euro or 10 Chinese yuan spent at The Bicester Collection|
|Dubai Mall||• Emirates Skywards Blue members earn 0.5 mile per $1 spent on receipts over 100 United Arab Emirates dirham (about $27.23)|
• Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on receipts over 100 United Arab Emirates dirham (about $27.23)
|Emirates Official Store||• 1X mile for purchases made through the Emirates Official Store|
|Emirates Vacations||• 1 mile per $4 spent through Emirates Vacations|
|GetYourGuide||• 1 mile per 1 euro spent through GetYourGuide|
|Heathrow Rewards||• Convert 250 Heathrow Rewards points to 250 Skywards miles.|
|utu||• Earn 4,167 miles for every $100 of tax refund that you receive from your utu Tax Free Card.|
• 500 bonus miles on your first tax refund of $100
Buying Emirates Skywards Miles
As with most frequent-flyer programs, Emirates Skywards gives you the option to purchase miles with cash. However, doing so is typically not a good idea. You can purchase miles starting at $30 for 1,000 miles, which means you’d be paying 3 cents per mile.
You have the option to purchase up to 100,000 miles or 200,000 miles per year, depending on your membership tier. Once again, we don’t recommend it.
Emirates Business Rewards
Emirates has its own corporate loyalty program called Business Rewards that allows you to earn “Business Rewards Points” for your business travel. You can enroll in the program no matter how many people you have in your business organization and earn 1 point per dollar spent on business travel with Emirates. Just like Skywards miles, Business Rewards points can be spent on flights and upgrades.
Any Business Rewards Points that you earn will be in addition to any Skywards miles that you earn. Unfortunately, Business Rewards Points and Skywards miles can’t be combined. So, you’ll have to spend your Business Rewards Points and Skywards miles separately.
If you have an eligible business organization and you often book travel with Emirates for business, then you should definitely sign up for Emirates Business Rewards and start earning points for your spending.
How to Redeem Emirates Skywards Miles
There are many ways to redeem Emirates Skywards miles. However, if you want to get good value out of your hard-earned miles, you’ll probably want to stick to redeeming them for award flights with either Emirates or one of their airline partners. Nevertheless, we’ll still cover all of the different ways to redeem Skywards miles.
We’ll also cover some of the best ways to maximize the value of your Skywards miles by identifying some sweet spots within the Emirates Skywards program.
Emirates allows you to redeem Skywards miles for hotel stays through the Emirates Skywards Hotels portal. To do so, you can go to the Emirates Skywards Hotels website and select the “Redeem Skywards Miles” tab. Enter your destination, travel dates and number of guests.
Once you hit the “Search hotels” button, you’ll see a list of all of the hotels that match your search and the cost of the stay in miles. You’ll also have the option to pay with a combination of miles and cash.
As you can see above, a two-night stay at The Manhattan Hotel at Times Square would cost you 101,087 Skywards miles. Alternatively, you could pay 69,058 miles and $144 in cash, 37,029 miles and $288 in cash, or 5,000 miles and $432 in cash.
Unfortunately, redeeming your Skywards miles for hotel stays usually provides low value. For instance, if you were to book the same two-night stay at The Manhattan Hotel at Times Square with cash, you would pay $199 per night, which comes out to $398 for the entire stay. So, if you were to book this stay with miles, you’d be getting about 0.4 cent per mile in value ($398 x 100 cents / 101,087 miles = 0.4 cent per mile).
In almost every case, you’re better off booking your hotel stays with cash and earning Skywards miles and then saving those miles for award flight redemptions.
Shopping with Miles
Not only can you earn miles for shopping online, you also can redeem your Skywards miles for merchandise and experiences through certain partners.
First of all, you can make online purchases with miles through the Emirates Official Store when you log in with your account information. This online store sells electronics, luggage, toys, tons of Emirates-branded gear and more.
There are also several other shopping partners that you can redeem your Skywards miles with, including:
- Arabian Adventures
- Emirates Vacations
- Heathrow Rewards
To book Emirates Vacations packages with miles, you have to call the Emirates Vacations call center or visit one of the Emirates Vacations retail outlets.
Unfortunately, none of these redemption methods offer good value per mile. In general, you’ll want to stick to redeeming your miles for award flights and stay away from shopping partners.
Award Flights with Emirates
Seeing as Emirates isn’t part of any airline alliance, most redemptions that you make with Skywards miles will probably be on Emirates-operated flights. Luckily, Emirates has a massive fleet and route network. In fact, Emirates has the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft as well as the world’s largest fleet of Airbus A380. So, Emirates has a whole lot of jumbo jets, each with a ton of seats.
The location of Emirates’ hub in Dubai also makes this a great airline to connect passengers flying between Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.
Unfortunately, Emirates no longer publishes an award chart and switched to a dynamic pricing model several years ago, making it more difficult to identify sweet spots within the program. To find the price of a specific award flight, you’ll need to search for that specific flight on your desired date.
One of the best uses of Emirates Skywards miles for U.S. travelers is booking award flights from the U.S. to Europe in one of the airline’s famous premium cabins. Unfortunately, finding award availability in premium Emirates cabins can be difficult. However, if you’re able to find award seats, you should get excellent value per point as well as an experience that you can’t get on any other airline.
For instance, a one-way Emirates-operated flight in first class from New York (JFK) to Milan (MXP) would cost you 142,500 miles plus $1,580 in taxes and fees.
However, while those taxes and fees are extremely high, when you consider that this same flight would cost you $11,140.20 in cash, then you realize that it’s a pretty amazing deal.
Even with the taxes and fees, this redemption still gives you a value of about 6.7 cents per mile, which is outstanding. Plus, this is one of the most affordable ways to experience Emirates’ first-class product, one of the most luxurious and technologically advanced in the industry.
However, as previously mentioned, you may be able to book Emirates first class for even less through JAL Mileage Bank, the loyalty program of Japan Airlines. Although rates are usually lower through this program, it’s going to be much more difficult to find availability as Emirates is known to restrict availability through its partners. And no major bank program transfers to JAL Mileage Bank at the moment.
If you have your heart set on flying in Emirates first class, then the most reliable way to find an award ticket is by booking directly through Emirates Skywards.
Award Flights with Partners
You can redeem your Emirates Skywards miles for award flights with any one of its partners. Each of these partners has its own distance-based award chart within the Emirates Skywards program, meaning that you’ll need to visit the Our Partners page on the Emirates website, then click the “Learn more” button to see the redemption rates for each partner.
For example, here’s the award chart for Air Canada-operated flights booked through Emirates Skywards.
The rates that you see in this chart are for one-way flights. If you want to know the price of a round-trip flight on the same route, you can simply double the rate you see above. As you can see, flights are organized into zones by distance. Of course, prices vary by fare class as well.
In general, booking partner award flights through Emirates Skywards doesn’t provide a ton of value (because Emirates isn’t part of an airline alliance). However, there are a few partner redemptions that are worth noting.
For instance, you can usually find decent value on Japan Airlines-operated flights between Japan and Australia. We found a one-way flight from Tokyo to Sydney (SYD) in economy class for 38,000 miles and 12,090 Japanese yen in taxes and fees (which is about $85 at the current conversion rate).
This is a pretty good price for a route of almost 8,000 miles. The same flight costs $738.
At that cash rate, this redemption would give you a value of about 1.9 cents per mile, which is fairly good. It’s not as much value as you’d get as an Emirates redemption in first class, but it’s considerably more affordable.
Another partner that you may want to pay attention to if you’re looking for more affordable award flights is TAP Air Portugal. You may be able to book some affordable routes through Emirates Skywards on this airline between Portugal and the United States or between Portugal and other European countries.
You can also book well-priced flights between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and London on Malaysia Airlines. Or you may want to consider taking domestic GOL-operated flights around Brazil.
However, for the most part, if you’re looking to get the most value out of your Skywards miles, then your best bet is to stick to booking award flights on Emirates metal.
The Bottom Line
In general, if you live in the United States, then the Emirates Skywards program probably isn’t the first frequent-flyer program on your mind. Emirates is based in Dubai and operates a large portion of its route network to the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Plus, Emirates isn’t part of an airline alliance, so it doesn’t offer much in the way of partner award redemptions (particularly for U.S. travelers).
However, if you’re interested in trying out Emirates’s world-famous first class product, then booking with Emirates Skywards miles is probably the most accessible way to do so. You can often book Emirates first-class awards for fewer miles through JAL Mileage Bank. However, finding award availability through this program is going to be far more difficult than through the Emirates Skywards program.
Although it’s possible to find some decent value on partner awards through the Emirates Skywards program, for the most part, you’ll want to stick to redeeming your miles for Emirates-operated flights. Since Emirates’s route network in the United States is fairly limited, you’ll probably want to prioritize earning other airline miles over Emirates Skywards miles.
Still, there are some things to like about the Emirates Skywards program. It’s one of the few programs that allows kids under the age of 18 to earn miles and even earn elite status. Emirates Skywards is also a transfer partner of every major transferable credit card rewards program including American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Brex, Capital One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.
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Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.