Main Frequent Flyers Programs Emirates Skywards

Emirates Skywards

Program overview 

Skywards is Emirates’ Airlines loyalty program. Emirates is not part of any of the major airline alliances but has several partner airlines around the world where you can earn and redeem Skywards Miles. Emirates offers some of the most highly regarded airline experiences in the world and is consistently rated in the Top 10 worldwide on service, especially in premium cabins.



Program website 

Approximate miles value 

1.1 cents per mile

Miles validity 

3 years from the date of travel

Program accrual

Depends on fare

Limit on amount of miles you can purchase 

Up to 100,000 Miles in a calendar year

Waitlist option


Courtesy Hold for award reservation

Not allowed 

Do you need to open an account to check availability?


Stopover option 

One stopover is permitted

Family account


Upgrade option


Online booking 

Some partners must be booked over the phone

Airline partners 

Air Mauritius, Alaska Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Copa Airlines, Easy Jet, GOL, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, Jetstar, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, S7 Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal

Credit card partners

American Express (1:1, instant transfer), Chase (1:1, instant transfer), Citi ThankYou (1:1, instant transfer), Capital (1:1, instant transfer)

Hotel partners 

IHG Rewards (5:1, 6 weeks transfer), Marriott Bonvoy (3:1, 3 days transfer), Hilton Honors (10:1, up to 30 days transfer), Radisson Rewards (10:1, 4-6 weeks transfer), Accor Live Limitless (2:1, 4-6 weeks transfer), World of Hyatt (5:2, 6-8 weeks transfer)

Co-Branded credit card in the US 

Barclays Emirates Skywards Mastercard

Point/Miles Conversion Chart


  • Family account 
  • Saver awards include one stopover
  • All major US credit card super programs are transfer partners
  • Better than average upgrade availability
  • Good last-minute upgrade award availability at check-in which opens 48 hours prior to departure
  • Well laid out website and decent phone customer service


  • One of the highest fuel surcharges in the industry (they have gone down considerably, we hope it is a permanent change)
  • Miles expire after 3 years
  • Non-alliance carrier so partner network is limited

Excellent for   

  • New York - Dubai round trip on Emirates for 217,500 miles in First Class. 
  • New York - Milan round trip on Emirates for 90,000 miles in Business Class, 45,000 in Economy and 135,000 in First.
  • JetBlue domestic flights within the US start at 7,500 miles one way. 
  • From North America to Korea on Korean Air for 105,000 miles round trip Business. 

Insider Tip 

  • Most of Emirates’ one-way flights are significantly more expensive than half of a round-trip flight, so it’s always better to book round-trip flights if you have the balance necessary for it.
  • Fifth Freedom Flights of New York to Milan and Newark to Athens are relatively easy to find award space on and a great way to experience Emirates famed First Class suites, even if you are not going to the Middle East. 
  • Chauffeur-drive service is no longer offered for award bookings but is offered when redeeming points directly from credit card “Book Travel” programs. 
  • Dubai is an attractive stopover destination and free stopover is allowed on most awards.
  • If you are flying to Abu Dhabi or any other city on Emirates, the Chauffeur drive service can take you there for free but only with paid business class. Still, transfers within Emirates are relatively cheaper compared to the US or Western Europe.
  • The Homebase Stopover Strategy yields exceptional savings for Dubai based travelers

Do you use this program? Share your experience and tips in the comments below. Your thoughts would be very valuable to us!



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