Emirates Airlines is the industry leader in in-flight entertainment, regionally inspired cuisines, and world-class service. It also believes in developing long-term relationships with its patrons. Their award winning frequent flyer program, Emirates Skywards, gives people a chance to earn Air Miles redeem them with a wide selection of partners.
There are two types of Emirates Skywards Miles that can be earned under the program.
- Skywards Miles – These can be earned through flight bookings, promotional offers, and partner offers. These miles can be redeemed for rewards.
- Tier Miles – These can be earned only when you fly with Emirates Airlines. These miles can help you reach the next tier of membership providing better benefits.
Let’s look at both skyward and tier miles separately.
Skywards Miles can be earned when you fly with Emirates or when you are a customer of one of their global partners. When you fly with Emirates, the Skywards Miles are calculated based on route, fare type, class, and tier. Emirates offers four types of fares; Special, Saver, Flex and Flex Plus. The Emirates Miles Calculator can help you check the number of miles you can earn based on your travel plan. The airline offers up to 175% bonus miles if you travel First Class or Business Class. Further, Silver tier members get 25% bonus miles, Gold tier members get 50% bonus miles and Platinum tier members get 75% bonus miles. Emirates has also partnered with various airlines, banks, car rental companies, hotels and retail and lifestyle companies to help you earn Skywards miles.
Tier miles, on the other hand, can be earned in addition to Skywards miles, every time you fly with Emirates. These miles are also calculated based on your route, fare type and class of travel.
In UAE, the most preferred product to earn Air Miles is a credit card that offers Emirates Skywards Miles as loyalty rewards. Many banks have tied up with Emirates to offer this facility to customers. Usually, transactions on credit cards can earn you loyalty points which can be converted into skywards miles.
The official website of Emirates Airlines lists seven banks in the UAE with whom they have a partner loyalty program. Here is the list:
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank [ADCB]
ADCB has a Touch Points loyalty program which allows its customers to earn points every time they use a product or service offered by the bank. These points allow customers to redeem them for amazing awards. In 2008, ADCB partnered with Skywards, the frequent flyer initiative by Emirates Airlines as a redemption partner for their Touch Points loyalty program. Currently, ADCB customers can convert 18 Touch Points for 1 Skywards Mile.
American Express [AMEX]
American Express has a Membership Rewards® loyalty program allowing customers to reward themselves every time they use the credit card. You can get 1 Membership Rewards® point for 1 USD spent on your AMEX card. These points can be redeemed for gift cards, vouchers, complimentary shopping or be transferred to a participating frequent flyer program. Conversion of Membership Rewards® to Skywards Miles is country dependent and can be checked by logging into your AMEX account.
Citi offers seven types of credit cards: Citi Prestige, Citi Premier, Citi Rewards, EK Ultima, EK Ultimate, EK World and Citi Simplicity. Their loyalty reward program, called Citi Thank You®, rewards card holders for transacting on their credit cards. Earning and spending these Citi Thank You® points vary according to the type of card and the list can be viewed here. Of these, EK Ultima, EK Ultimate, and EK World are co-branded cards. The Citi Simplicity card offers no loyalty rewards.
Commercial Bank of Dubai [CBD]
CBD has an Attijari Rewards program to reward the frequently transacting customers. A number of reward points earned differs according to the type of card held by you and the list can be viewed here . Currently, CBD’s customers can convert 14 Attijari points to 1 Skywards Mile.
Emirates Islamic Bank [EIB]
EIB offers various types of cards catering to individual requirements. All these cards have different loyalty programs wherein you can earn points which can be redeemed for products and/or services. EIB offers four types of co-branded Emirates Islamic Skywards Credit Cards which are compliant with the laws or Shariah and are free of Riba and Gharar. These are, Infinite, Signature, Platinum, and Gold. The details of earning and redeeming Skywards miles can be read here.
Emirates NBD [ENBD]
Emirates NBD offers a plethora of credit cards in the UAE. Each card is loaded with different benefits and reward programs to suit the individual needs of different customers. ENBD has a Plus Points loyalty program that rewards the cardholders for using their ENBD credit card. Plus Points are awarded depends on the type of card held by you. The conversion of Plus Points to Skywards Miles is also card-dependent and you must check the details before applying for a card. The Skywards Signature card by ENBD offers unmatched Skywards Miles among a host of other features.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi [NBAD]
NBAD has a Stars Loyalty Program which has great offers and flexibility as compared to the other rewards programs in the UAE. Among the long list of credit cards offered by NBAD, Classic, Gold, Internet Credit card, Platinum, GEMS Titanium, Visa Signature, Real Madrid World Elite, MC world and Infinite Credit Cards offer a chance to earn NBAD Stars for every purchase made. You can view the earning eligibility as per card type here. Existing Emirates Skywards members can convert their NBAD Stars to Skywards Miles at a rate of 10 Stars to 1 Skywards Mile.
There is a host of elements that need careful consideration before deciding on a credit card that offers the best Skywards benefits.
- Annual Fees
- Interest Rates
- Other charges
- Conversion rates
- Minimum Skywards miles needed for conversion
Analyzing your spending pattern and aligning it to the features of the credit card can go a long way in ensuring that you find the best Emirates Skywards card for you. Remember, Skywards program is a loyalty program and you must always calculate the cost of every Skyward Mile per Dirham spent to make it beneficial for you.
Since an Emirates Airline co-branded cards is a credit card offered by banks in collaboration with the airline, you can enjoy the privileges of the partnership between the bank and the airline while you reap the benefits of the normal credit card. Usually, co-branded cards are packed with benefits provided by the airline. However, you must read the fine print carefully and understand the schedule of charges before making this decision.
Most people think that air miles can only be redeemed against booking flight tickets, getting an upgrade or availing airport service. With Skywards, Emirates Airlines offers an option to redeem your Skywards miles with any of their global partners. This include flights with some partner airlines, accommodation at luxury hotels, buying tickets to concerts or sporting events, car rentals and entry to amusement or water parks.
- Emirates air miles or Emirates Skywards miles can be earned through regular flying with Emirates Airlines or by using the services of any of their partners.
- The Skywards credit card usually has a loyalty reward program that helps you earn Emirates miles for every Dirham spent.
- With Skywards, Emirates Airlines offers an opportunity for people to redeem their air miles for more than just travel-based expenses.
- You can also earn Emirates Skywards Miles by flying with their partner airlines, availing car rental services with partner companies, staying in partner hotels or spending money on retail and lifestyle outlets around the world which have partnered with Emirates. You can view the complete list here.
Q. For how long are Skywards Miles valid?
A. According to the website, Skywards Miles are valid for three years from the date you earn the miles. They are removed from your account on the last day of the month in which you were born in the year they are scheduled to expire.
So, if you earned your miles on March 15, 2017, and our birthday is on May 02, then the miles earned by you will expire on May 31, 2020.
Q. Can I have more than one Emirates Skywards account?
A. You can only have one Emirates Skywards account at any given time. You may also be aFamily Bonus memberapart from having an individual account.
Q. I have heard something about Skywards Skysurfers. What is that?
A. Frequent flyers aged between two and sixteen can join the Skysurfers club. The earning and spending of Miles happens in a similar manner as it does with the regular Skywards program. A parent or a guardian is appointed to authorize requests for redeeming miles. More detailshere.