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 also includes two Emirates lounge passes and one airport limo transfer each cardholder year (when flying Emirates).
Update: As of 14 July 2017, the Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status after a one night stay benefit is no longer included with the Emirates World Mastercard due to Mastercard removing it as a benefit of World Mastercard.
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
|Loyalty program||Emirates Skywards|
|Points earned from spend||1 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 cap||Earn 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 ATO||No|
|Travel benefits||Each year: Emirates lounge passes and airport limo transfers when flying Emirates|
|Included insurances||Travel and purchase protection insurances (PDS)|
|Overseas transaction fee||3.40% of the converted amount|
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.
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.
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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