Yes, spending Skywards miles with Emirates can give you a lovely experience that’s a cut above the rest. After all, Emirates isn’t known for its luxury service for nothing. However, beyond the award flights with this high-end airline, you can also spend Skywards miles on partner flights, hotel stays and more. Keep reading for the best 12 ways to use spend Emirates miles.
1. Award Flights
If you want to experience the Emirates favored first class for yourself, there are some great ways to do so, to make the most of your miles. However, even Emirates’ economy class is far from shabby, so if you only have enough miles for an economy-fare ticket, it may be something to look into. Additionally, with partner airlines that are easily accessible around the world (from JetBlue to Alaska Airlines), you might just find some good deals there as well.
Here are some excellent routes to keep your eye on.
- U.S. to Italy (First Class)
If you’re looking for a good award flight to Europe, specifically Italy, you can spend Skywards miles to fly on Emirates in first class from New York City for a more attractive rate than what you might get from a European carrier. You can fly Emirates in first class for 135,000 miles, or in business for 90,000 miles. This is the only route Emirates offers to Europe, that does not require a stopover in Dubai first.
- U.S. to Seychelles or the Maldives (First Class)
The Seychelles are an exotic destination in the Indian Ocean that are somewhat difficult to reach, as the island chain is only serviced by a few select airlines. Emirates, however, just happens to be one of them, and you can fly by spending Skywards miles from New York City in first class for 255,000 miles.
Likewise, another nearby exotic island destination is the Maldives, which experiences the same issue — not too many airlines fly there. But, for the same price, 255,000 miles, you can fly from New York City to the Maldives via Emirates, in first class.
You can fly to these destinations from the western half of the United States as well, for just a slight upcharge of 15,000 miles.
2. Award flights on partner airlines
As mentioned, Emirates offers some good deals on its partner airlines as well. Emirates’ partner airlines include:
|Air Mauritius||JetBlue||S7 Airlines|
|South African Airways||Alaska Airlines||Jetstar|
|GOL||Korean Air||TAP Portugal|
|Malaysian Airlines||Japan Airlines||Jet Airways|
Here are some of the best options with partner airlines.
- Domestic flights on JetBlue
If you live in the United States and need to book a quick, domestic award flight, nothing fancy, you can book one-way on JetBlue for as little as 7,500 miles. The roundtrip award tickets are often a better value than the one-ways, but it’s still available to you as an option.
- Domestic flights on GOL
Similarly, if you need to book some travel within Brazil, you can spend Skywards miles to book one-way award tickets on GOL for as little as 4,500 miles. Emirates is one of very few GOL partner airlines that allows you to book one-way award tickets.
3. Hotel stays
While Skywards does have quite a few hotel partners, the partners that allow you to earn miles do not allow you to spend Skywards miles with them. Here are Skywards’ hotel partners:
|Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spa||Atlantis The Palm, Dubai||AVANI Hotels & Resorts||Crown Hotels|
|Fairmont||Hilton||Hospitality Management Holding||Hyatt|
|Le Club AccorHotels||IHG||Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts||One&Only Resorts|
|Raffles||Rotana||Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts||The Address Hotels + Resorts|
|Tivoli Hotels & Resorts||Traders Hotels||Vida Hotels and Resorts|
Can you actually redeem miles for stays with any hotel? Booking platform Rocketmiles does allow you to book rooms or pay for a stay using miles, though the rate depends on hotel chosen.
4. Car rentals
You can spend Skywards miles to pay for Budget car rentals while staying in the United Arab Emirates. To do so, book online, over the phone or in person and make sure to quote your Skywards membership number.
The amount of miles required for a rental is related to the rental value. If the rental is valued at AED 50, you’ll spend 5,000 miles. For a rental valued at AED 100, you’ll spend 8,000 miles. If the rental is valued at AED 500, you’ll spend 39,000 miles.
5. Event tickets
Occasionally, Skywards members will have the opportunity to spend Emirates miles to purchase events to tickets to specific cultural or sporting events. In the past, activities have included the Melbourne Cup Carnival in Australia, Champions League matches and the Emirates Airline Jazz Festival in Dubai.
6. Vacation Packages
Book a vacation package through Emirates Holidays and not only spend Skywards miles on vacation, but earn from your spending as well. You can redeem vacation packages from 5,000 miles, if you live in the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Saudi Arabia or the United States. For earning purposes, you earn 20 percent bonus miles on a minimum three-night package, or if you live in the United Kingdom or Ireland, you earn 1 mile per $3 spent.
7. Charitable donations
The Emirates Airline Foundation accepts miles as donations, and then those miles are used to sponsor travel for worthy causes, like doctors or other professionals on volunteer trips and humanitarian missions. To donate Skywards miles, you just log in to your account, click the Spending Miles option and then the Donate Miles option. Donations are accepted in multiples of 2,500 miles.
8. Airport services
Spend Skywards miles on airport services with select partners. You can spend miles with Marhaba, to purchase airport meet and greet services. Or, you can convert your Skywards miles into Heathrow Rewards points, for use at Heathrow Airport in London, at a ratio of 6,000 miles to 2,000 points.
9. Travel rewards
The Emirates Skywards GO app gives you travel perks in more than 160 destinations. You receive 2-for-1 offers and discounts on dining, tours, attractions and more. The app is available on iOS from the App store and Android via Google Play. However, to unlock the deals offered by the app, you have to use 6,700 Skywards Miles.
There are several shopping partners with which you can spend Skywards miles. The largest is Dubai Duty-Free, offering luxury, duty-free products at Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport. When you travel through either airport, you can spend your Skywards miles at Dubai Duty-Free outlets.
If you’re shopping for jewelry and watches, you can visit Damas and spend your miles. Damas is the Middle East’s leading jewelry retailer, found in more than 300 stores in malls and luxury hotels in 12 countries.
If books are more your thing, Magrudy’s will accept your Skywards miles for its books, magazines, games and more.
For ride-hailing, spend with Careem, available in more than 80 cities as an alternative to similar platforms like Uber and Lyft. You can spend your Skywards Miles at a rate of 4,500 miles to $25.
12. Travel Activities
Spend your miles on fun activities while in Dubai. Arabian Adventures operates tours and safaris in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Book tours starting at 9,400 miles per person.
Likewise, book a trip to Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East, starting at 5,000 miles for a $50 Ski Dubai voucher.
There are many ways for you to spend Skywards miles, but some are better than others. Spending Skywards miles on activities and shopping can be less than ideal, especially when you consider that you could book a flight for not much more than what it’d cost you to take a safari tour or even just a ride in a private car. The best value for your miles, hands down, is when you spend them on flights, both with Emirates and with the airline’s partners in North and South America.