Emirates’ Skywards Rewards Program has long been deemed at the top of its class. The award-winning Emirates Airline frequent flyer program takes its members beyond the usual features and benefits and rewards them for being loyal with free upgrades, free travel deals and other rewards goodies.
Two key aspects responsible for Skywards program success
The rewards program has been said to be the best there is because of the two key aspects, namely:
- Superior customer service
Skysurfer club targets young travellers
The Skysurfer club has found great interest among the younger and somewhat hip members of the program. Skysurfer concentrates on giving youngsters aged two to sixteen years a reason to be part of the Emirates rewards program with innovative rewards and features.
Skysurfers receive the same benefits as Skywards members. They get their own log book, luggage tags, membership card and password-protected web site at www.skysurfers.com. Parents or guardians have to sign any applications for the Skysurfers membership.
Skysurfers can redeem their Emirates Miles for flights to hundreds of worldwide destinations. They can also get trips to the Wild Wadi Water Park in Dubai or desert safaris and sand-skiing trips with Arabian Adventures. Further to the above they can redeem their Miles for toys, watches, books and pens from partner stores such as Rivoli and Magrudy’s.
Shop ’till you drop with Emirates High Street
The Emirates High Street is a members-only shopping experience that lets Skyward members shop from the comfort of their home. The currency is Skyward Miles, a combination between cash and Miles or cash only.
All the purchases made through the Emirates High Street product will be delivered directly to your door step. You can’t beat this for convenience and flexibility. You can choose from more than 200 products. These range from lifestyle objects and accessories to luxury global brands.
If you are a current Skywards member you can access this feature by going to www.theemirateshighstreet.com.
Skywards Program Awards
Having been recognised for its awards program countless times by third-party reviewers, the Emirates Skywards Program is synonym with quality and luxury. Among its accolades are:
- Best Loyalty Program by Middle East Traveller Magazine.
- Top honours at the annual Freddie Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of customer loyalty programs over the last four years.
- In 2007 Skywards was awarded a ‘Freddie’ for Best Frequent Flyer Programme in the following regions; Pacific, Japan, Asia and Australia regions.
- It was also awarded Best Bonus in Frequent Flyer Programme in the same regions.
- Best Bonus in Frequent Flyer Programme in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
- In the past, Emirates Skywards program received Freddie for Best Member Communications, Best Customer Service and Best Award Redemption, while twice securing Best Web Site and the coveted title of Programme of the Year.
How the Skywards Membership is structured
At present, Skywards offers three membership tiers – Blue, Silver and Gold. Each of these offers members a greater degree of privileges and benefits.
The membership is free and there are no qualifying criteria to get access to the program. The following will explain how you can get the individual tiers, based on the miles you fly with Emirates:
- Blue is attained once you decide to join the awards program
- You earn Silver status by flying 20 sectors on Emirates between 1st January and 31st December each year or by earning 25,000 tier miles.
- Gold status is awarded once you accumulate 50,000 tier miles or 40 sectors in a calendar year.
Members can progress to the next level with the help of tier miles. You can’t redeem these for rewards and you can only earn them while flying with Emirates Airline.
How Rewards are given
To earn one Skyward Mile you have to do the following:
- Fly 1 Mile in Economy
- Fly 1.50 Miles in Business
- Fly 2 Miles in First Class
When you progress to Silver and Gold membership status you can earn more miles – 25 per cent extra for Silver and 50 per cent more for Gold members. This will help you to accumulate rewards faster.
If you like you can also purchase Skywards Miles to top up your account; however, this only works when you make a reward booking. The minimum quantity is 2,000 Miles and the cost is US 2.5 cents per Mile.
|Skywards||Skywards Silver||Skywards Gold||Description|
|Yes||Yes||Yes||Family Bonus scheme – Members can earn Skywards Miles on their family’s Emirates flights|
|Yes||Yes||Yes||www.skywards.com – Members can access their account details and receive news and
personalised offers online
|Yes||Yes||Yes||Waitlist priority over non-members on fully booked flights|
|Yes||Yes||Yes||Members can nominate a travel co-ordinator to handle their Skywards account|
|Yes||Yes||Yes||Check-in at self service kiosk: Members travelling with hand baggage only can use their
Skywards card to enjoy hassle-free check-in
|Yes||Yes||Priority check-in at the Business Class counter, even when flying Economy Class|
|Yes||Yes||Tier bonus Miles at 25% for Silver and 50% for Gold members, of distance flown plus any
applicable class of service bonuses
|Yes||Yes||Excess baggage privileges – Silver members can enjoy an additional 12kgs and Gold members
16kgs above the IATA baggage allowance
|Yes||Yes||Exclusive lounge access when travelling Economy Class – Silver members, may visit the
Business Class lounges in Dubai when departing on Emirates flights. Skywards Gold members
can take advantage of Emirates and other affiliated lounges across the network when flying
|Yes||Yes||Skywards Alumnus – an innovative business club allowing members to network both in the air
and on the ground
|Yes||Gold Desk – This one-stop service, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week through the
Dubai service centre, will take care of reservations, personal preference updates and reward
|Yes||Guaranteed reservations even on fully-booked flights – Skywards Gold members making a
Business or First Class reservation on Emirates will be guaranteed a seat in Economy, should
the higher classes be waitlisted, up to 48 hours prior to departure
|Yes||Guaranteed excess baggage: When travelling with Emirates, Gold members are allowed 16 kgs
in excess baggage above the limits on their tickets (Not available on flights to the US).
|Yes||Priority baggage delivery -Gold members’ baggage, where possible, will be delivered to the
carousel with the Business Class luggage
|Yes||Skywards – Opening Doors for privileged access to exclusive clubs/events|
Available Airline Services
All Emirates passengers can access the following services:
- Pre-assigned seating
- Special meals
- Sports equipment carriage
- Chauffeur drive (applies for J and F passengers only)
- Fast Track
- Dubai Visa service
- Stop-over service
Two unique benefits that go beyond the Emirates Skywards travel experience are offered at the higher tiers – Skywards Alumnus and Skywards Opening Doors.
Skywards Alumnus: This service offers members a chance to enjoy online networking with like-minded professionals. It is an innovative business club to allow those lucky enough to access it to receive valuable Middle East business intelligence plus much more. Alumnus members can participate in special Alumnus business events via special invite only and attend presentations.
Skywards Opening Doors: This service provides a range of premium offers and privileges. It includes access to private clubs, resorts and spas worldwide thanks to the help of Emirates’ partner programs.
How to keep track of your earned Miles
Active Skywards members get a quarterly statement that shows them in details where they stand t that point in time. This helps you to keep track of your status and will tell you how close you are to reaching the next level.
You can also choose to receive an e-statement for increased convenience and promptness. To do so you need to register your interest at ‘My Statement’ on www.skywards.com.
When logged into your account you can check your mileage balance, have access to a mileage calculator and update your preferences.
With the Emirates Skywards rewards program you will never feel unappreciated as there are extensive rewards and bonuses on offer.
- Airlines: Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines, Korean Air, South African Airways, United
- Car Rental: Avis, Budget, Hertz, Sixt
Leisure and Lifestyle: Arabian Adventures, Danat Dubai Cruises, Damas, Dubai Autodrome, Emirates Holidays,
Emirates Tours UK, Language Direct, Magrudy’s, Rivoli, Ski Dubai, Skywards Golf Fee Card, Wild Wadi Water
- Financial Services: Ahli United Bank, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Citibank, Emirates Bank International, Standard
- Hotels: Emirates Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Coral International, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Family of
Hotels, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Marriott,
Raffles International, Rotana Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Swissotel
Hotel and Resorts, Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, Rezidor Hotel Group
How to redeem your points online
Skywards offers members an online reward booking system. You can book any Emirates flight through www.skywards.com and use your accumulated Miles for the purchase. To do so, look for the ‘Earn & Spend’ feature when logged in and then navigate to the ‘Book Online’ section.
You can make bookings for up to nine passengers, including stopovers. Your tickets can then be delivered directly to each accompanying passenger’s door. These facilities are available to Skywards members of over 50 countries worldwide.
If you want to travel with an Emirates partner airline you can fill out an online redemption form to submit your request. Your request will then be routed to its nearest service center after which you will be contacted.
How to buy Skywards Miles
As a member you can buy your Skywards Miles online where Miles will be automatically added to your account. You also have the option to gift Miles to other Skywards members.
Members can also top up their Miles by buying them from service centres in Karachi, Melbourne, Dubai, Manchester and Mumbai. The cost per Mile is US 2.5 cents. The minimum purchase amount is 2,000 Miles and the maximum is 25,000 Miles in any calendar year. These are non-refundable and you must buy them at least 48 hours before you fly. You cannot buy tier Miles.
Emirates flight and upgrade rewards
Rewards flights can be had starting with 10,000 Skywards Miles. You can also get upgrades starting with a 5,000 Skywards Miles investment. Another good thing about the Emirates Skywards Rewards Program is the fact that they don’t have blackout dates. This will allow you to redeem your Miles for flights any time during the year without having to worry about holiday dates or times when you can’t access the features.
Despite this bonus, it is recommended you book well in advance if you plan on travelling during peak periods as the demand for rewards can be higher than normal.
Economy and Peak Economy
Economy flights requires the lowest number of earned Miles. Availability is therefore strictly restricted, especially so on the more popular flight routes and during certain times of the year. Peak Economy reward seats on the other hand are more readily available but therefore cost more Miles.
If you want to avoid being disappointed you are best advised to book early, regardless of the time of year you intend to travel. Emirates will look after you and their customer service is highly regarded by travellers around the world.
|Minimum Age||18 years of age|
|Available to Temporary Residents||No|
|Credit Rating Requirement||Good|
|Min Credit Limit|
This is the lowest credit card limit that you can request. It is possible to apply for a higher credit card limit but not a lower one than this figure.
|Max Credit Limit||$100,000|
|Annual Fee||$229 p.a.|
|Late Payment Fee||$10|
|Over Limit Fee||$40|
|Cash Advance Fee||3.5% of transaction amount|
|Overseas Cash Advance Fee||$5|
|Overseas Emergency Replacement||$0|
|Overseas ATM Balance check||$0|
|Overseas ATM Withdrawal||$5|
|Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC)||3.4% of transaction value|
|Gambling Transactions Allowed||No|
|Additional Cardholder Fee||$90|
|Number of Additional Cardholders||4|
- This is an award winning card - awarded the 'Outstanding Value in the Big Spender' category by CANNEX.
- Citibank offers an authentically quality conversion rate on their Skywards rewards program, at an uncapped 1.50 Skywards Miles per $1 spent, with up to 55 days interest free on purchases.
- Access to a hoard of credit, with credit limits up to $100000 for those who need quick funding.
- This card is not for everyone. An annul fee of $229 means you will have to do some serious travelling in order to make this product cost effective.
- It is a Platinum status credit card, which typically requires good credit and a minimum annual earnings requirement for application approval. In this case, good credit and $35000 minimum annual earnings are required.
- While the rate of earning isn’t capped, the maximum amount of points you can earn per year is capped at 150000.
|Bonus Points on Sign-up||15,000|
|Rewards Points per $ (VISA/MC)||1.50|
|Rewards Points per $ (AMEX)||0.00|
|Points Expiry||36 months|