When talking about the best airlines in the world, the name of Emirates Airlines has to come up, who is known for its superior service and luxury especially in first and business classes. The fees for that higher luxury, however, would deter most people, although a way to get to such fancy service at 40,000 feet can still be reached through their Emirates Skywards program, the loyalty program of Emirates Airlines and FlyDubai. Here are the basics of the program and its value.
There are 4 different tiers of membership:
Needless to say, the higher tiers have greater benefits, and all tiers are enjoyed for 14 months even if the same flight activity isn’t maintained in the annual tier review.
Blue Tier benefits:
Silver Tier benefits:
Gold Tier benefits
Platinum tier benefits:
How to earn Emirates Skywards miles?
There are several ways to earn Emirates Skywards miles, such as:
Booking flights on the Emirates of Flydubai
The Emirates Skywards miles earned on each flight is determined by the route, the amount spent, the Skywards tier, and the fare class. Routes are divided into different regions based on distance, with the potential of earning up to 175% more Emirates Skywards miles when booked in first or business class for example. Higher tier members also have a significant multiplier of 25-75% on fares. Members can always buy miles as well at anytime!
One advantage that Emirates Skywards compared to its piers is the ability to earn on a family account as well, where the travels of the entire family on Emirates Airlines or FlyDubai can be pooled and shared in one Emirates Skywards account.
Booking flights on partner airlines
Emirates Skywards can also be earned with Emirates partner airlines, which would still contribute to your Emirates Skywards account even if passengers are not based close to where Emirates Airlines of FlyDubai flies to. Of the partner airlines are:
The amount of miles earned on each partner also differs based on their respective agreements, with Korean Air and Air Mauritius being the most generous with 2 Emirates Skywards for each mile flown on their airline, while JetBlue simply matches the earning rate of 1 Emirates Skywards mile for each mile flown. Passengers still need to present their Emirates Skywards card or number at the time of booking or check-in on partner airlines to be identified and their miles credited.
Emirates Skywards earning partners
Emirates Skywards also has partnerships with some of the major hotel and hospitality chains and platforms around the world to enable the earning of points on hotel and leisure reservations such as at the Atlantis The Palm or One and Only resort, Fairmount, Crown hotels among others. In addition to that, Emirates Skywards can be earned on platforms such as booking.com, RocketMiles, and Careem ride hailing as well. Here is a complete list of all the hotel earning partners as well.
Similarly to airline partners, the rates of earn also differ from one hotel to another, where a stay at Atlantis The Palm, Jumeirah Hotels, Vida or the Address Hotels would earn you 1 Emirates Skywards for each dollar spent, other hotels such as those of Crown Hotels for example would reward you with 5 Emirates Skywards for each $1 spent on your booking.
Converting miles from other reward programs to Emirates Skywards
One other way to benefit from the earning of the Emirates Skywards regardless of hotel bookings is the mere exchange of points from one program to the other. Hilton Points, for example, could also be converted to Emirates Skywards miles at a rate of 10,000 points for 1,000 Emirates Skywards miles, whereas other programs such as bank points also give the same earning opportunities. American Express cardholders, for example, are also able to generously convert their air miles into Emirates Skywards miles at a 1:1 ratio.
Co-branded Credit Card spend
Emirates Skywards has many credit card partners across the world that also enable their holders to earn Emirates Skywards miles based on the credit card spend. In the United Arab Emirates, Citibank, EmiratesNBD, Emirates Islamic Bank and offer co-branded cards where members can earn anywhere from 1 Emirates Skywards mile per $2 spent on Citi cards to 1 Emirates Skywards for each $1 on Emirates Islamic bank. Most banks also have a signup bonus that ranges from 25,000 Emirates Skywards to 100,000 Emirates Skyward.
How to redeem Emirates Skywards miles?
There are several ways to redeem Emirates Skywards points, each coming with its own benefits and exchange rates. Here are the options provided to Emirates Skywards members:
Booking award flights with Emirates Skywards
Emirates Airlines website has a very handy calculator to give an indication of how many Emirates Skywards is needed for a certain flight based on the route, class, etc. Just as all airline reward programs, only certain seats are allocated for reward program members and not on all routes, so availability may vary from one flight to another. Emirates Airlines does, however, have a cash + miles option on the majority of its flights, whereas members are able to complement their Emirates Skywards balance with a card payment to book a certain flight. Remember however that taxes and fees are always excluded from Emirates Skywards payments should be paid separately.
Upgrades to higher classes on Emirates and FlyDubai trips
This option gives members usually the best value per Emirates Skywards mile, where members can use their Emirates Skywards miles to upgrade to business or first class on some routes. Redemption for upgrades starts at just 9,000 miles and thus is regularly the most preferred option among Emirates Skywards members.
Spending on Emirates High Street Store
Emirates Skywards also launched its dedicated rewards store called Emirates High Street, where members can spend their Emirates Skywards miles on merchandise such as watches, perfumes, electronics, and accessories, and pay directly with their Emirates Skywards miles. The Emirates High Street offers a variety of items often exclusive to the store and ships all over the world.
Redemption via partners
Emirates Skywards has several partners as well to spend miles such as Careem ride hialing, restaurants, etc. Emirates Skywards also allows members to donate their miles to charities, and buy concert tickets for Emirates Airlines sponsored events.
Overall Emirates Skywards counts as one of the best loyalty and reward programs around the world, and with over 22 million members worldwide it is also one of the largest. Emirates Airlines is actively working on improving and growing its earning and redemption partners so it is poised to keep its dominant and prestigious position for years to come.