Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

Emirates Citi World Mastercard has 50,000 bonus Skywards Miles on offer, Starwood Gold status, Emirates lounge and limo benefits with 1/2 annual fee

Emirates Citi World Mastercard - 50,000 Emirates Skywards Miles

The Citi Emirates World Mastercard has up to 50,000 bonus Emirates Skywards Miles with a halved first year annual fee on offer. This is the only direct-earn card in the market for Emirates Skywards miles with lounge passes, Emirates limo transfers, and complimentary travel insurances.

  • 50,000 Skywards Miles
  • Complimentary Emirates lounge and chauffeur transfer each year
  • 1 Skywards Mile per $1 on eligible Domestic Spend up to $3,000 per statement period, and then 0.5 Skyward mile per $1 spent up to $10,000 per statement period
  • 1.25 Skywards Miles per $1 on eligible International Spend (uncapped)
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 9 months
  • $149 annual fee for first year (halved)
  • Offer expires: 30th June 2017
  • Spend using your card in the first 90 days to receive 40,000 Skywards Miles, and spend a minimum $500 on emirates.com during the same period to receive additional 10,000 miles

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earn a maximum of $88 per applicant for this card. More about this →

The Emirates World Mastercard from Citi has 50,000 bonus Emirates Skywards Miles on offer, with 40,000 bonus miles after using the card within the first 90 days after approval, and another 10,000 miles when you spend at least $500 on emirates.com.

The card comes with Starwood Preferred Guest gold status, and also includes two Emirates lounge passes and one airport limo transfer each cardholder year (when flying Emirates).

The current offer also has a halved annual fee of $149, so this card and offer could work for those looking to use the bonus points for a Skywards redemption on a shorter Emirates flight, or who have a Skywards miles balance to build on.

Note there’s a $75k pa minimum income requirement for applicants to this card.

The 50,000 bonus miles is probably best redeemed for a return upgrade from Economy to Business Class on Emirates services across to New Zealand from the East Coast if you don’t have an existing balance – and this card is mostly best for heavy Emirates travellers.

50,000 Skywards miles can be leveraged into the following redemptions across the Tasman, from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to Auckland or Christchurch:

  • 36,000 miles for return in Economy – poor value here though, in my opinion
  • 32,500 miles for a return upgrade to Business Class from Economy – good value

Card Details

Loyalty programEmirates Skywards
Points earned from spend1 Skyward Mile per $1 on eligible Domestic Spend, 1.25 Mile per $1 on eligible International Spend and 2 points per $ spent directly with Emirates
Points capEarn rate drops to 0.5 Skywards Mile per $1 on eligible Domestic Spend after $3,000 spent each statement period up to $10,000
Earns points at ATONo
Travel benefitsEach year: Emirates lounge passes and airport limo transfers when flying Emirates plus Starwood Preferred Guest gold status
Minimum income$75,000
Included insurancesTravel and purchase protection insurances (PDS)
Overseas transaction fee3.40% of the converted amount
Annual fee$299

Guide to the Emirates Citi World Mastercard

The earn rate on eligible Domestic Spend is 1 Skyward miles per $1 for the first $3,000 spent each statement period, dropping to 0.5 Skywards miles per $1 spent up to $10,000 per statement period.

This is one of the better earn rates for Skyward miles on the market for regular spend – but Skyward miles are not the most valuable currency out there, so you’ll have to really want these miles to go for this card.

There’s also 1.25 Skywards Miles per $1 on eligible International Spend which is uncapped, along with a spend bonus of 1.5 Skywards Miles for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased via emirates.com.

The annual fee is usually $299, and supplementary cardholders are free.

It’s really a card that will be most appropriate for those who spend heavily on bookings directly with Emirates with the 2 Skywards miles per $1 on offer on Emirates spend.

This could work well for business-owners who have a need to book flights directly with Emirates for their staff. The vouchers for lounge access and the limo transfer benefit could also be useful in this context as they can be given to others to use too.

World MasterCard Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status

One of the core benefits is the addition of Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status, which for stays at Starwood properties, should yield a better room, 4pm late checkout, and an additional Starpoint earned per US $ spent.

This is through the ‘World Mastercard’ program – and there are more benefits to holding a World Mastercard outline here. In order to attain Starwood Gold, you’ll need to complete one paid stay in the Asia Pacific region with Starwood.

Some people who are looking to earn Skywards miles from day-to-day spend may be better off with a Membership Rewards card from American Express thanks to their recent partnership with Skywards which allows you to transfer Membership Rewards points to Skywards miles at 1 MR to 0.75 Skywards, but if you are really committed to Emirates, this card could be the way to go.

Emirates specific benefits with the Citi Emirates Skywards Mastercard

The two Emirates lounge access vouchers are valid for the primary cardholder, travelling on an Emirates flight, for use in Australian lounges. The primary cardholder can use both pass for themselves, or both passes at once for themselves and a guest.

You’ll of course need to be travelling in Economy to make use of the voucher too, as Business and First Class travellers get access to the Emirates lounge by virtue of their ticket.

This benefit has recently changed – it used to be one voucher for the primary cardholder and a guest, and for long-haul flights only.

You’ll now get two vouchers per year, and you can’t bring any additional guests into the lounge, so using it on a family trip is a no go. The vouchers do now seem to be valid for Trans-Tasman flights with Emirates however.

You’ll also get access to an Emirates chauffeur-driven transfer ‘to and from the airport’ in Australia once per year as a cardholder. The terms are not clear as to whether this is a single transfer on one trip, or whether it’s a return transfer – the ‘two and from the airport’ language is ambiguous, and the terms state the benefit is ‘once per calendar year’. We’re trying to get this cleared up and will update this guide when we know more.

Either way, this is still a valuable benefit if you know you’ll use it, and transfer is probably worth valuing around ~$100 each depending on how far you live from the airport.

Other benefits

The Citi Emirates Skywards Mastercard also gains access to the Citi dining program where you’ll get a bottle of wine at participating restaurants. From what we’ve seen, the execution and value of this program is mixed, so not a benefit to bank on.

There’s also a set of insurances on offer for purchases made on the card, such as International Travel Insurance and Transit Accident coverage. Read the full PDS here.

This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this credit card.

You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.


The Emirates benefits and SPG Gold status with the Emirates World Mastercard is going to appeal most to the infrequent, but committed Emirates traveller. Usually the card wouldn’t be for everyone, and not even for the average Skywards member only given it’s relatively high annual fee for the benefits on offer.

If you’re interested in how the numbers stack up for earning Skywards Miles vs Qantas Points with your Emirates flights, then I’ve run a comparison on this here.

It does have it’s place for those who fly exclusively on Emirates network frequently, and who buy their own tickets for themselves (and others to do the same), given the bonus points and perks on offer with Emirates. The lounge access and airport transfer benefits are then the cream on top of the chunky 2 miles per $ earn rate on Emirates spend. If this is you, it’s worth considering.

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Point Hacks Credit Card Information

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Comments Expand Comments

      • Jason

        If it’s the usual World Mastercard SPG benefit, then after 1 year you have to meet the normal SPG Gold requalification criteria to keep it for another year. It used to be stated in the T&C’s, but I can’t find it any more. Remember reading it on various forums though.

  1. Nelson

    Hmm I haven’t being able to see the value of getting this card.
    40k points, 2 free Australian lounge passes, 1 (maybe 2) Australian chauffeur transfers, SPG gold, first year $149 and then $299.
    just not compelling enough.

          • Nelson

            Cool 🙂 yeah its cool that you haven’t written it, since its not a program that is familiar with Aussies.
            And its main benefit it tied to US residents, but having said that, its still a bargain.
            I’m using it in London, I have a short stop and rooms at the May Fair Hotel start at $420 a night, so $840 altogether. with this, it will only cost $297 per night, so about $600. I guess its just a saving of $240 bucks.

          • Nelson

            another place to use it is in Paris, where rooms at the high end radisson properties are more than $580 a night.
            but of course, its only one night, since its 70,000 points.

  2. olly_2001

    Sorry its off topic but i thought i’d bring you up to speed with my Alpha Flight Guru saga. Do come across them?

    AFG buy flights with FF points and sell them to you.
    my wife and kids were going to the UK and i got 2 business class tix with Singapore Airlines – they struggled to get 4 due to the way they work. By the time i figured out how it worked i crapped myself and shelled out on the full price for the other 2.
    As these tix were for my family i got very nervous especially after the friend who recommended AFG went to the airport and was turned away from his flight after the airline simply cancelled his tix.
    i’d say i saved about $1200 on a $8400 ticket and the stress has not been worth the money although its worked for me this time.

  3. Is there a points cap on this card like the old card?
    It doesn’t mention it on the website or in the t+c, but if it was a feature I would have expected it to have been proudly listed and highlighted.

  4. Natalie

    Do not deal with citibank. We applied for an Emirates award credit card and there has been nothing but stuff ups since. You cannot communicate with their team, we are trying to iron out that they have sent us 2 x&6000 balance transfers instead of 1x$6000 and they are charging us interest on it too.

    • Keith Author

      Thanks for sharing. I haven’t had the best experiences with Customer Service, seems like an area they need to work on.

  5. James

    Concur on Citibank’s service, they are just awful, particularly on applications.

    Do you have clear information on for which flights the lounge pass is valid? You mention long-haul, which I presume does not include flights to New Zealand? You also mention Dubai. Emirates also flies to Bangkok and Singapore, wonder if these count? One would imagine they do.

    • I think the terms around these have recently been clarified on the Citibank signup page:

      Two complimentary lounge passes per year for any Emirates Lounge in Australia when flying Emirates

      Each Emirates Citibank World MasterCard® Cardholder is automatically provided two complimentary Emirates Lounge Vouchers per year for the Primary Cardholder to access any Emirates Lounge in Australia. To use the vouchers, the Cardholder must have purchased a ticket for an Emirates booked and operated flight and on an Emirates aircraft that they are travelling on with their Emirates Citibank World MasterCard®. Entry to the Emirates Lounge in Australia prior to the Emirates flight will be granted upon presentation of a valid voucher for the Cardholder. The second voucher may be used by the Primary Cardholder on a subsequent ticket purchase for travel on an Emirates booked and operated flight and on an Emirates aircraft. Alternatively, it can be used to take along a guest departing on the same flight as the Cardholder and which the Cardholder has paid for the guest’s flight ticket with their Emirates Citibank World MasterCard® . Emirates Lounge Access Vouchers are not valid on Qantas Flight numbers operated by Emirates, or on any codeshare flights

      Long haul is now not mentioned, Dubai is excluded – it’s all about using a lounge within Australia with the pass.

      • Brian

        Agree with the general tenor of this article and comments. I’m a regular EK traveller, usually in J but sometimes in Y and I’ve had no problems using the Citi lounge access vouchers for trans-Tasman travel as a Y passenger. This card is good value if you’re able to hammer it each and every month with a minimum 7-8K+ spend, but probably questionable below that. The Citi call centre in Manila which gets most Australian calls is only adequate at best

  6. KC

    Just received this card and looking forward to the points bonus. Thanks to pointhacks for the link!

    I noted that SPG Gold is not automatic. To obtain SPG Gold status you’ll need to enrol via the provided SPG link for “complimentary upgrade to Gold Preferred status after just one night’s stay at participating resorts in the Asia Pacific”

    “You are now entitled to receive Gold Preferred status for 1 year when you next use your World or World Elite MasterCard®, for any bookings in Asia Pacific by July 13, 2015. In addition, enjoy 20% savings when you book two nights or more before March 31, 2014 at Starwood hotels and resorts in Asia Pacific and pay with your MasterCard.”

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