Emirates Skywards is the loyalty program of Emirates, useful for those who fly on the airline to major destinations around the world via Dubai or simply travelling on its partner airlines like Qantas and Alaska Airlines.
Alongside Qantas Frequent Flyer points, Emirates Skywards miles can be earned through credit cards, flying and bonus points promotions. You can use them for ticket redemptions in any class, including Emirates’ luxurious Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 First Class.
This guide is ground zero for those who are just starting off. Read on for how to join the program, earn as many miles as you can, and use them for maximum value.
How do I join the Emirates Skywards program?
Signing up to Emirates Skywards is free. You can sign up using this link.
- Go to the Emirates Skywards enrolment page
- Enter your personal details and choose a password
- Decide whether to opt-in to newsletters
- Click ‘Create an Account’ to finalise your registration
How do I earn Emirates Skywards miles?
The quickest way to earn Emirates Skywards miles in Australia is to sign up for an American Express Membership Rewards or Citi Prestige card, which allows transfers to Emirates Skywards. Both your initial sign-up bonus and ongoing spend can contribute to this.
Citibank also offers the dedicated Emirates Citi World Mastercard, which offers points on sign-up bonuses and ongoing spend in Skywards Miles.
There are a number of other ways to earn bonus Emirates Skywards miles, including by:
- flying on Emirates, Qantas and other partner airlines (Emirates isn’t part of any alliance, though).
- booking a hotel through Booking.com or direct with many providers
- booking a car rental
- participating in the Emirates Business Rewards program for businesses
You may consider crediting your Qantas flights to Emirates Skywards instead of Qantas Frequent Flyer — our guide will help you decide whether to do so.
Pooling your Emirates Skywards miles with family members is a great way to build up your balance more quickly, but keep note that this only applies to redeemable miles, not those for elite status.
If you are short on miles for a redemption, you can:
- buy Emirates Skywards miles
- buy American Express Membership Rewards points
- transfer points over from Marriott Bonvoy
How do I redeem Emirates Skywards miles?
Redeeming your Emirates Skywards miles for travel on Qantas and Emirates is probably the most common use, although the miles and taxes needed for redemptions aren’t too different from booking the same flights via Qantas.
Read our hand-picked seven best sweet spots with Emirates Skywards miles, including a First Class experience from only 54,000 miles.
Emirates’ First Class on some Boeing 777 aircraft is world-class, although redemptions with points are limited and those suites are only found on very select routes (such as Dubai to Geneva).
The older First Class seats on Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s are found on many more routes, including from most major cities in Australia, USA and Europe.
It’s one of the world’s most recognisable First Class products, with lots of space and an onboard shower. It’s a great way to burn your points if you have enough.
Business Class is not as fancy on Emirates compared to other airlines, as the seats are older. The Airbus A380 seat product looks old and clunky, but still functions well.
On Boeing 777s, Emirates still doesn’t offer all-aisle access for every seat. The Business Class configuration is either 2-3-2 (yes, with a middle seat) or 2-2-2 which is the newer layout.
Note that Emirates Skywards miles expire after 36 months of inactivity and this is what happens to them if you pass away. If you are looking for more inspiration for what to do with your Emirates Skywards miles, check out our best uses of points series.
Lost as to how to start your search for an award seat? Check out this post.
How do I earn Emirates Skywards elite status?
Emirates has four status levels: Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum. There’s also an invite-only tier, iO, which we won’t cover here. Here’s a summary of the main benefits of each tier below:
Emirates Skywards Blue
This is the base level membership and the bare minimum requirement to be able to earn and redeem Emirates Skywards miles for flights and other products. You do get some discounts with WiFi and paid lounge access where available.
Emirates Skywards Silver
To achieve or maintain: 25 flights or 25,000 Tier Miles in 12 months
- Complimentary standard seat selection (member-only)
- 12kg extra baggage on weight-based tickets
- 25% bonus miles when flying Emirates
- Priority check-in and boarding
- Complimentary lounge access to business lounges in Dubai
- Instant upgrade onboard with Skywards Miles
- Earn 1 Skywards Miles per US$1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties, on top of what you’d usually earn from the stay through Your Worlds Rewards. To register, go to world-rewards.marriott.com or emirates.com/ywr-register.
Emirates Skywards Gold
To achieve or maintain: 50 flights or 50,000 Tier Miles in 12 months
In addition to Emirates Skywards Silver benefits, Gold members can get:
- Complimentary standard seat selection including companions
- 16kg extra baggage on weight-based tickets and flat 2x 23kg allowance on piece-based tickets in Economy Class
- 50% bonus miles when flying Emirates
- Priority phone service
- Complimentary lounge access with one guest at all lounges throughout the Emirates network
- Free WiFi onboard Emirates flights
- 4pm late checkout, elite check-in and complimentary enhanced WiFi at Marriott Bonvoy properties
Emirates Skywards Platinum
To achieve or maintain: 150,000 Tier Miles in 12 months
In addition to Skywards Gold perks, Platinum members can expect:
- Complimentary extra-legroom seat selection (member-only)
- 20kg extra baggage on weight-based tickets and flat 2x 23kg allowance on piece-based tickets in Economy Class
- 75% bonus miles when flying Emirates
- Complimentary Skywards Gold status to someone of your choice
- Skywards Miles don’t expire as long as you are Platinum
- First Class check-in and baggage delivery
- Complimentary First Class lounge access with one guest and two children under 17 at all lounges throughout the Emirates network
How do I contact Emirates Skywards?
To get in touch with Emirates Skywards about a membership enquiry or flight redemption, try:
- calling 1300 303 777 from Australia or +44 344 800 2777 from overseas, 24/7
- sending them a direct message on Twitter or Facebook
- submitting an online enquiry (including Live Chat)
While the Call Centre might be the quickest way to resolve your issue, try the social media channels if the line is busy.
Emirates Skywards offers aspirational redemptions on both Emirates, Qantas and its other partner airlines.
Given that Emirates Skywards miles can be earned in Australia with select American Express or Citibank Prestige credit cards, any budding frequent flyer enthusiast should consider joining the program and working towards building a balance, particularly if you have an Emirates flight reward in mind.
Do you know someone who might get some use out of the Emirates Skywards program but needs a little help? Share this guide using the social media buttons below!
Supplementary images courtesy Emirates.