Emirates is one of the world’s most luxurious airlines, and if you’ve had your eye on flying in one of its best first-class seats, you’ll be glad to know there’s no need to fly to the Middle East to earn your way into one of these coveted seats or suites. Instead, you can easily earn Emirates Skywards miles on your everyday spending and via your frequent travel, so you can then book your dream flight aboard Emirates at no cost to you.
Here are the 12 best ways to earn Emirates Skywards miles.
1. Get a Skywards Account
You can’t earn Skywards miles until you have a Skywards account. You can join Emirates Skywards loyalty program for free, and then begin earning miles almost immediately. Additionally, when you become a Skywards member, you automatically enjoy Blue member status, which gives you some extra perks while traveling, such as:
- Ability to spend Skywards Miles online, on flights and upgrades
- Member-only offers and travel packages
- Miles-earning and award-booking capabilities with partner airlines
- Personal travel coordinator service
- Personal preferences for your in-flight experience
- Waitlist priority
- The ability to buy instant upgrades with miles at check-in
- Paid lounge access
- Complimentary or discounted WiFi
The more you fly on Emirates and flydubai, the more tier qualifying miles and flights you’ll earn, which will help you get to a better membership tier. Once you’re at a higher membership tier, you can earn more miles when you fly. See the next section on flying with Emirates for how the points bonuses with different tiers break down.
2. Flying on Emirates
While it might not be the ideal way to earn Skywards miles if you don’t live near any of the Middle Eastern airlines’ regular routes, it’s still the simplest way of earning Skywards miles. The amount of miles you can earn depends on your route, fare, class of travel and your membership tier.
Routes are split into Skywards zones (do note that the eastern half of the United States and the western half of the United States are split into two different Skywards zones, so the amount you’ll earn will differ according to where you live in the United States). Fares can range between Special, Saver, Flex or Flex Plus.
You also earn up to a 175 percent bonus for flying first or business class. Additionally, Silver members receive a 25 percent earning bonus; Gold members receive a 50 percent earning bonus, and Platinum members receive a 75 percent earning bonus.
These same guidelines apply when you fly Emirates’ budget little sister, flydubai, which also gives you the opportunity to earn Skywards miles.
3. Flying with partner airlines
Skywards has a fair amount of partner airlines, and many are found all over the world. Therefore, regardless of where you live, you can likely choose an airline for the majority of your travel that allows you to earn Skywards miles. There’s absolutely no reason that you have to fly Emirates or flydubai, or even in the Middle East, in order to earn a significant amount of Skywards miles.
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|
The earning rate differs for each partner as such.
- Air Mauritius and Korean Air give you up to 2 miles per mile flown.
- Alaska Airlines, GOL, Japan Airlines, Qantas, South African Airways, TAP Portugal and Malaysia Airlines give you up to 1.5 miles per mile flown.
- Jetstar and S7 Airlines give you up to 1.25 miles per mile flown.
- JetBlue gives you up to 1 mile per mile flown.
Obviously, Air Mauritius and Korean Air are your best bet, but more likely than not, if you’re traveling around the United States a lot, you’ll want to try to stick with Alaska Airlines and JetBlue.
4. Earning Skywards miles with credit cards
There are a few co-branded Emirates credit cards that are available to those living abroad, in the Middle East especially and in Australia too. However, there is no co-branded credit card for US travelers. Instead, they can transfer points and miles from other credit cards to Emirates Skywards.
You can do this with American Express, Capital One or Marriott Bonvoy cards.
- American Express Membership Rewards points convert to Skywards mile at a ratio of 1:1
- Marriott Bonvoy points convert at a ratio of 3:1 (if you convert 60,000 Marriott points at once, you get 5,000 bonus miles)
- Capital One miles transfer to Skywards miles at a 2:1 ratio
Do note that not every Capital One card will allow you to transfer points or miles to Skywards. You have to hold a Capital One card that specifically allows miles earning and transfers, like the Capital One VentureOne Rewards card.
5. Hotel partners
Emirates’ hotel partners include:
|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|
- Earn 1 mile per $1 spent at Vida, Address, One&Only, Jumeirah, and Atlantis.
- 500 miles per stay at Traders, Tivoli, Shangri-La, Rotana, IHG, Hyatt, AVANI and Anantara.
- Earn 3 miles per $1 spent at Hospitality Management Holding properties.
- Earn 5 miles per every AUD spent at Crown Hotels.
Do note that you can’t actually earn Skywards miles with AccorHotels or Hilton, but instead you can convert points from either program into Skywards miles.
- Convert 4,000 Le Club AccorHotels points into 2,000 miles.
- Convert 10,000 Hilton Honors points into 1,000 miles.
For a more extensive selection of hotels, you can also earn miles via booking.com, where you’ll receive 1 mile for every Euro spent. Additionally, you can book via Rocketmiles, and earn up to 10,000 miles per night.
6. Rental partners
Earn Skywards miles for car rentals with Avis, Budget, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt. Earn up to 500 miles per rental with Avis and Budget; up to 1,000 miles per rental with Europcar, Hertz, and Dollar; or up to 2,000 miles per rental with Sixt.
7. Skywards My Family Accounts
If you have family members who fly occasionally and earn miles but don’t necessarily want to save up their miles or use them for anything, you can pool the miles that member earns, and use them for your own benefit. The Emirates Skywards My Family program pools your family members’ miles, with pooling available for up to eight travelers. The pooling travelers must be related, and this includes direct relations only: spouses, domestic partners, step-parents, in-laws and children.
8. Vacation packages
Earn miles when you book a vacation package through Emirates Holidays. The option is available to Skywards members in the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Members earn 20 percent bonus miles on a minimum three-night package or 1 mile per $3 spent on a minimum three-night package if a member lives in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
9. Emirates Business Rewards
For business owners of any size, Emirates Business Rewards is a smart way to get some more miles. You’ll earn Business Rewards points when your employees travel, up to 80 employees (they can still earn miles while you simultaneously earn points). You receive one point per $1 spent and then can spend the points on flights and upgrades (though you can’t add them to your miles total; it’s a separate currency).
10. Earn Skywards miles from referrals
Earn bonus miles when you refer a friend to the Skywards program. You get miles both when they enroll and when they travel, but they do have to book a trip within six months of enrolling in order for you to earn anything.
Earn Emirates miles with Careem, an Uber and Lyft alternative available in select countries, at a rate of one mile per $2 spent. Similarly, cab service Cabforce gives you the same rate. Cabforce is only available via the Emirates Skywards Cabforce app and is only available to Emirates Skywards members.
Earn one mile per $2 spent at luxury jeweler Damas. Earn one mile per $1 spent at Emaar Malls, including the luxurious Dubai Mall.
For Skywards members living in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other valid destinations, they can earn miles each time they pay at a store, spa, restaurant or hotel with the MilesLife app.
It’s easy to earn Emirates miles with Skywards and get you that much closer to a free flight in Emirates first class…if you know where to earn the most miles, the quickest. The best option for most is to earn miles via spending on American Express, Capital One, and Marriott co-branded cards, but you can also earn more miles if you frequently fly Alaskan Air or JetBlue. Regardless of the best earning option for you, there’s no need to change your current travel and shopping habits by much in order to earn Skywards miles.