Emirates Skywards Frequent Flyer Program


As you may have guessed from the name, Emirates Skywards is that airline’s frequent flyer program. It rewards members with Skywards Miles when they travel with Emirates and its partners, spend with a rewards credit card or stay with a partnered hotel (just to name a few). You can then redeem your Miles for flights, upgrades and more. The Emirates Skywards program is free to join, but how does it compare to other frequent flyer programs?
You can use this guide to discover how you can earn Emirates Skywards Miles and some of the best ways to redeem them. We’ll help you weigh up the program and compare it with other popular frequent flyer schemes.

How do I earn Emirates Skywards Miles?

Flights

You’ll earn Skywards Miles every time you fly with Emirates. The number of Miles you’ll earn is calculated based on your route, fare type, class and tier. For example, you can earn up to 175% more Miles when you fly in First Class and Business Class.

Let’s say you’re an Emirates Skywards Blue member and you’re flying one way from Sydney to Dubai. You could earn between 1,350 and 9,000 Skywards Miles depending on the ticket you chose for Economy. If you were flying in Business Class, this would increase to between 9,000 and 17,100 Miles.

You can use the miles calculator on the airline’s website to see how rewarding your next Emirates flight will be.

Flights with partner airlines

You can also earn Skywards Miles with Emirate airline partners including Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin America. You can compare how much you could earn with each airline below:

Airline Earn rate in Skywards Miles
Air Mauritius Earn up to 2 Miles per mile flown
Alaska Airlines Earn up to 1.5 Miles per mile flown
GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes Earn up to 1.5 Miles per mile flown
Japan Airlines Earn up to 1.5 Miles per mile flown
Jet Airways Earn up to 1.25 Miles per mile flown
JetBlue Earn up to 1 Mile per mile flown
Jetstar Earn up to 1.25 Miles per mile flown
Korean Air Earn up to 2 Miles per mile flown
Malaysia Airlines Earn up to 1.5 Miles per mile flown
Qantas Earn up to 1.5 Miles per mile flown
S7 Airlines Earn up to 1.25 Miles per mile flown
South African Airways Earn up to 1.5 Miles per mile flown
TAP Air Portugal Earn up to 1.5 Miles per mile flown
Virgin America Earn up to 2.5 Miles per mile flown

Emirates Credit Card Offer

Emirates Citi World Mastercard

Receive up to 60,000 bonus Skywards Miles

Offer ends 31 December 2018

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Emirates Credit Card Offer

Receive up to 60,000 bonus Skywards Miles, plus pay half the annual fee for the first year.

  • $149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter).
  • 20.99% p.a. on purchases
  • Cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free
  • Minimum income requirement of $75,000 p.a.
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You can reward your spending with a credit card that earns Emirates Skywards Miles. Citi is currently the only card issuer that allows you to earn Emirates Skywards Miles directly. However, other products such as different Citi cards and American Express cards allow you to exchange your credit card rewards for Emirates Miles too.

For example, you can exchange your Membership Rewards from your American Express Platinum card at a 1:1 conversion rate for Emirates Skywards Miles. Other cards like the American Express Platinum Edge and Essential card have a 4:3 conversion rate. If you have another Citi card that collects Citi Rewards, you can also exchange these points for Skywards Miles at a conversion rate of 3:1.

Compare credit cards that earn Emirates Skywards Miles

Rates last updated September 26th, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 9 months
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Receive up to 60,000 bonus Skywards Miles, pay half the annual fee for the first year and indulge in curated local and global experiences.

Compare up to 4 providers

Hotels and accommodation

If you’re earning Emirates Skywards Miles on your flights, you may as well earn them on your accommodation costs too. Compare the partnered hotels and earn rates you can expect in the table below:

Hotel Earn rate in Skywards Miles
Aloft Hotels Earn up to 3 Miles per US$1 spent
Anantara Hotels Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai Earn 1 Mile per US$1 spent
AVANI Earn up to 500 Miles per eligible stay
Booking.com Earn 1 Mile per 1 Euro spent
Conrad Hotels & Resorts Earn 1 Mile per US$1 spent
Coral Hotels & Resorts Earn 1 Mile per US$1 spent
Courtyard by Marriott Earn 1 Mile per US$1 spent
Crown Hotels Earn up to 5 Miles for every AUD$1 spent
DoubleTree by Hilton Earn 1 Mile per US$1 spent
Fairmont Earn up to 1,000 Miles per eligible stay as a Fairmont President Club Member
Four Points by Sheraton Earn up to 3 Miles per US$1 spent
Hilton Hotels Earn 1 Mile per US$1 spent
Hyatt Hotels Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
ibis Hotels Convert 4,000 AccorHotels points into 2,000 Miles
InterContinental Hotels Group Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Earn 1 Mile per US$1
JW Marriott Hotels Earn 2 Miles per US$1
Kempinski Hotels Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Langham Hotels & Resorts Earn 500 Miles per night (up to 1,800 Miles per eligible stay)
Le Méridien Earn up to 3 Miles per US$1
Marriott Hotels & Resorts Earn 2 Miles per $1
Mercure Hotels Convert 4,000 AccorHotels points into 2,000 Miles
Novotel Convert 4,000 AccorHotels points into 2,000 Miles
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
One&Only Resorts Earn 1 Mile per US$1
Park Inn by Radisson Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Protea Hotels by Marriott Earn 1 Mile per US$1
Pullman Hotels & Resorts Convert 4,000 AccorHotels points into 2,000 Miles
Radisson Blu Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Raffles Hotels Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Renaissance Hotels Earn 2 Miles per US$1
Rocketmiles Earn 2 Miles per US$1
Rotana Hotels & Resorts Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Earn up to 3 Miles per US$1
Sofitel Hotels & Resorts Convert 4,000 AccorHotels points into 2,000 Miles
St. Regis Hotels & Resorts Earn up to 3 Miles per US$1
Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces Earn 1 Mile per US$1
The Address Hotels + Resorts Earn 1 Mile per $1
The Luxury Collection Earn up to 3 Miles per US$1
The Ritz-Carlton Earn 2 Miles per US$1
Tivoli Hotels & Resorts Earn up to 500 Miles per eligible stay
Traders Hotels Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Trident Hotels Earn 500 Miles per eligible stay
Vida Hotels and Resorts Earn 1 Mile per US$1
W Hotels Earn up to 3 Miles per US$1
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts Earn 1 Mile per US$1
Westin Hotels & Resorts Earn up to 3 Miles per US$1

Car rentals

If you’re going on a road trip or need a rental car while yours is at the mechanic, you can also earn Skywards Miles with partnered rental companies.

Partnered service Earn rate per eligible rental
Avis, Budget Earn 500 Miles
Dollar Rent A Car, Europcar, Hertz Up to 1,000 Miles
Sixt Up to 2,000 Miles

Retail and lifestyle

You can also earn Skywards Miles on everyday costs with partnered retailers and services including The Wall Street Journal, marhaba lounges, Emirates Holidays and more.

How to claim missing Skywards Miles from flights

If you’ve taken a flight and noticed your Skywards Miles haven’t appeared on your account, you can login to your KrisFlyer account and fill in a missing miles claim form. You can expect the Miles to appear in your account immediately so long as the name on the ticket matches the name in your Emirates Skywards profile.

If you have only just joined the Skywards program, you can claim Miles for Emirates flights flown up to two months prior to registering with the frequent flyer program.

What are Skywards Miles tiers?

As you earn more Skywards Miles, you can advance through the Skywards tiers and take advantage of exclusive membership benefits. There are four membership tiers: Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum. All Emirates Skywards members start at Blue status and then ascend the tiers as they earn the following Miles requirements:

  • Silver. 25,000 Miles
  • Gold. 50,000 Miles
  • Platinum. 150,000 Miles

The benefits of Silver, Gold and Platinum last for 14 months and tier upgrade assessments usually take place after 12-13 months.

From bonus Skywards Miles to complimentary lounge access, here are the perks you can expect as you ascend the tiers.

Tier benefit Blue Silver Gold Platinum
Personal preferences remembered Yes Yes Yes Yes
Complimentary seat selection No Yes Yes Yes
Excess baggage allowance No Yes (12 kg) Yes (16kg) Platinum (20kg)
Waitlist priority Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonus Skywards Miles when flying No Yes (25% more) Yes (50% more) Yes (75% more)
Priority service through contact centres No No Yes Yes
Guaranteed seats No No Yes Yes
“Last seat” Classic Flex Plus reward tickets No No No Yes, includes benefits such as no fees for changes and can be upgraded for fewer Miles
Gold Partner nomination No No No Yes, you can share your privileges with a partner, spouse, colleague, etc.
Buy instant upgrades with Miles at check-in Yes Yes Yes Yes
Priority check in and boarding No Yes Yes Yes
Complimentary lounge access No Yes, complimentary access to any Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai Yes, complimentary access for themselves and one eligible guest at any Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai and at lounges in the Emirates network Yes, complimentary access for themselves, one adult guest and two guests under the age at 17 at any Emirates Business Class Lounge in Dubai and at lounges in the Emirates network
Paid lounge access Yes Yes Yes Yes
Buy instant upgrades with Miles No Yes Yes Yes
Special member offers by tier Yes Yes Yes Yes
Priority baggage delivery No No Yes Yes

What can I redeem my Skywards Miles for?

Flights

Starting at 15,000 Miles, you can redeem your Skywards Miles for Classic Reward flights with Emirates. If you don’t have enough Miles to redeem your chosen reward or if you don’t want to splurge them all in one go, you can also pay for your reward flight using a mix of cash and Skywards Miles. If you choose this option, you need to use a minimum of 2,000 Skywards Miles.

You can also redeem your Emirates Skywards Miles with some partnered airlines including:

Airline Minimum Miles spend
Air Mauritius Start redeeming at 25,000 Miles
Alaska Airlines Start redeeming at 15,000 Miles
easyJet Start redeeming at 7,500 Miles
GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes Start redeeming at 4,500 Miles
Japan Airlines Start redeeming at 20,000 Miles
Jet Airways Start redeeming at 15,000 Miles
JetBlue Start redeeming at 7,500 Miles
Jetstar Start redeeming at 7,000 Miles
Korean Air Start redeeming at 10,000 Miles
Malaysia Airlines Start redeeming at 10,000 Miles
Qantas Start redeeming at 6,000 Miles
S7 Airlines Start redeeming at 15,000 Miles
South African Airways Start redeeming at 20,000 Miles
TAP Air Portugal Start redeeming at 15,000 Miles
Virgin America Start redeeming at 7,500 Miles

Upgrades

If you’ve already booked an Emirates flight, you can also use your Miles to upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class or from Business Class to First Class. The number of Miles you’ll need will depend on which cabin you’re upgrading to and the route of your flight, but it’ll cost you a minimum of 9,000 Miles.

Accommodation

You can also redeem your Emirates Skywards Miles to cover the cost of accommodation with partnered hotels and resorts. The price in Skywards Miles will vary between hotels, rooms and the length of your stay, but you can compare the minimum price amounts below.

Hotel Minimum Mile spend
Courtyard by Marriott Start redeeming at 22,000 Miles
JW Marriott Hotels Start redeeming at 29,000 Miles
Le Méridien Convert 1 StarPoint to 1 Skywards Mile
Marriott Hotels & Resort Start redeeming at 22,000 Miles
Protea Hotels by Marriott Start redeeming at 31,000 Miles
Renaissance Hotels Start redeeming at 29,000 Miles
Rocketmiles Start redeeming at 5,000 Miles
The Ritz-Carlton Start redeeming at 59,000 Miles

Car rental

While you can earn Skywards Miles with a number of car rental organisations, you can only redeem your Miles with Budget in the UAE starting at 5,000 Miles.

How does Skywards Miles compare with other frequent flyer programs?

The right frequent flyer program (or programs) for you largely depend on your travel behaviours and preferred airlines. But if you want to weigh up some of the benefits of Emirates Skywards with other programs, we’ve compared it with Qantas’ Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer below.

Points expiry

Emirates Skywards Miles are valid for three years from the date of travel or earning. In the year that your Skywards Miles are due to expire, they’ll be removed from your account at the end of your birthday month. However, Qantas and Velocity Points expire if your account is inactive for 18 months and 36 months respectively. This means you can simply extend the life of your frequent flyer points just by earning or redeeming points.

Status comparison

Emirates Skywards, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity members can climb status tiers as they earn points or Miles. To give you an example of how they compare, let’s look at the perks of Silver status and the Status Credits earned on a one-way economy class flight from Sydney to Dubai with these programs:

Program Status Credits/Miles earned on flight Number of Status Credits needed for Silver membership Other requirements Annual requirement to maintain Silver status
Emirates Skywards 4,500 tier Miles 25,000 tier Miles Earn tier Miles or take 25 eligible flights N/A
Qantas Frequent Flyer 90 300 Take at least four eligible Qantas, QantasLink or Jetstar flights in a membership year. 250 Status Credits and take at least four eligible Qantas, QantasLink or Jetstar flights in a membership year.
Velocity Frequent Flyer 80 250 Flown to eligible sectors. 200 Status Credits and fly two eligible sectors within your 12 month benefit period.

Status benefits

Now let’s look at some of the benefits you can expect in Silver status with the three programs:

Feature Emirates Skywards Qantas Frequent Flyer Virgin Velocity
Bonus points 25% 50% Up to 50%
Priority reservation waitlist Yes Yes Yes
Airline alliance No Oneworld Ruby status No
Priority phone service No Yes Yes
Preferential seating Yes Yes Yes
Extra baggage allowance Yes Yes Yes
Priority check in Yes Yes Yes
Lounge access Yes, paid access at a reduced rate for self and guests to all Emirates First and Business Class lounges in Dubai international airport Yes Yes

Frequently asked questions

Pictures: Shutterstock

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