Shangri-La Golden Circle status is a benefit of the Citi Prestige and American Express Platinum Cards, and would mostly be useful for perks when staying at Shangri-La hotels globally.

There’s also currently a specific offer for elite members of Shangri-la’s Golden Circle who book an Emirates flight by the end of November, that originates in some Asian cities, to earn Emirates Skywards Gold.

Emirates Skywards Gold then offers reciprocal benefits for travel on Qantas, such as Business Class lounge access.

It’s a niche opportunity, but if you’re placed to take advantage of it by holding a Citi Prestige or Platinum Card, it’s worth considering.

For example – with this deal it’s possible to obtain Emirates Skywards Gold status for just under $800, if…

  1. You hold a Citi Prestige or American Express Platinum Card, and
  2. You can book an Emirates flight originating from Hong Kong to Bangkok in Business Class by November 20th, for travel by March next year

Why is Emirates Gold useful?

Reciprocal status recognition under the Qantas-Emirates partnership permits Emirates Skywards Silver and Gold members to enjoy all the benefits of the equivalent Qantas status tier. That includes priority check-in, seat selection, and for Gold members, access to domestic Qantas Clubs and Qantas International Business Lounges when travelling with Emirates or Qantas.

How take advantage:

  1. Book an economy class or business class flight with Emirates by 20 November 2015 to be promoted to Emirates Skywards Silver or Gold status.
  2. Travel will need to originate from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, or South Korea.
  3. Reservations should be made using the promotion code EKSWGC5 via the dedicated Emirates booking page.
  4. Jade and Diamond Golden Circle members who purchase one Emirates business class flight will be immediately eligible to be upgraded to Emirates Skywards Gold status.
  5. Golden Circle members taking advantage of this offer will need to e-mail [email protected] with their Emirates ticket number, and Golden Circle and Skywards membership numbers to obtain the status upgrade.

How to get Shangri-La Golden Circle status?

Complimentary Jade status is available to Citibank Visa Prestige and American Express Platinum Card Members, and Amex Centurion Members are entitled to immediate top-tier Diamond status.

Alternatively, Jade status may be earned after 20 qualifying nights or 10 qualifying stays at any Shangri-La Hotel. Diamond status is awarded after 50 qualifying nights or 25 qualifying stays.

A possible best case scenario

A one-way business class fare from Hong Kong to Bangkok on an Emirates A380-800 can be purchased for HK$4,014 (approximately $725 at current exchange rates).

A return fare on the same route will cost slightly more – HK$4,642 (approximately A$837.99). Both Emirates flights depart Hong Kong in the evening, which would allow travellers to enjoy their first taste of Skywards Gold lounge access benefits at either the Emirates Lounge or the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge before departure.

Emirates also operates flights to Dubai departing from Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Bali, and Jakarta.

To sweeten the deal, Emirates are also offering Golden Circle members a 10% fare discount. This represents a cost-effective way of gaining all the benefits of Emirates Skywards status, including bonus miles when flying Emirates, guaranteed seats on fully-booked flights, priority telephone service, lounge access, and instant on-board upgrades with miles.


  • Travel must occur prior to 31 March 2016, provided that the originating flight is not within the blackout periods for China and Hong Kong (29 January 2016 to 13 February 2016) or Indonesia (11 December 2015 to 31 January 2016).

The full offer details are here.

New fast-track to Emirates Skywards status for Citi Prestige and American Express Platinum Card Members (via Shangri-La) was last modified: February 1st, 2022 by Nicholas Tam