Airlines Deals

My experience using Emirates Skywards+ to get 20% off my Emirates First Class GameChanger Award Booking

a small desk in an airplane

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Emirates Skywards+

Did you know that Emirates has a program called Skywards+ that you pay a fee and can save 20% on your Emirates Skywards booking. The savings applies to the point portion only, not the surcharges, but if you’re booking an itinerary that requires a hefty amount of Emirates Skywards, this could be a way to save some points for a future trip.

I have hemmed and hawed at paying the $399 for the very basic level for quite some time, but hadn’t had an itinerary that came close to justifying it until recently. I’ve been lucky enough to fly Emirates GameChanger twice this year, the most recent time in July, with my wife, from Dubai to London on a ticket originating in New Delhi, India. This itinerary clocked in over 200k Emirates Skywards, and I figured, I’d give it a go and see how the whole experience worked.

What is Emirates Skywards+

This is an annual subscription that is broken down into 3 versions. I chose the cheapest at $399 for a year with the sole intention of saving 20% on my booking. The other benefits are effectively useless to me, and I figured I fly Emirates enough that if the cost ended up being less than a penny a point, it was worth doing.

You can read all about it here

You’ll see that each tier gives you more fringe benefits like airport lounge access, 20% discount on upgrade rewards, increased checked baggage allowances, etc. I don’t find any of these valuable and was using the program purely to save miles

screens screenshot of a mobile app

How quickly does the membership start?

Immediate – I had access to the promo code as soon as I paid and reloaded the page.

The Emirates Skywards+ 20% discount on Classic Rewards

Each of the tiers grants a ONE TIME 20% discount on a Classic Rewards flight. You’ll receive a voucher code that you use when booking. This is what my account looked like after I signed up.

a screenshot of a phoneIf you click on “Your Vouchers” you’ll see your code:

a screenshot of a websiteUsing the Emirates Skywards+ 20% voucher code

It’s pretty easy to enter the code and see which flights will qualify

  • You must have the full amount of miles for the tickets, pre discount in your account
  • The 20% off applies to all tickets on an itinerary
  • The 20% off only applies to the miles, not the surcharges

Step 1: Go to Advanced Search – Promo Codes

a screenshot of a websiteStep 2: Enter the Promo Code

This is the search that completed for our flights…you can see where I entered the one time promo codea screenshot of a computerStep 3: see qualifying flights – look for the Sun

Any of the flight combinations that have a sun emblem qualify for the discount.

a screenshot of a flight scheduleFinal payment – discount is applied

As you can see below, the final payment of 166k Emirates Skywards and roughly $1650 included a discount of 41,500 Skywards, which meant I effectively bought Emirates Skywards for less than a penny a point ( $399 to save 41,500 miles ).

a screenshot of a flight schedule

The biggest thing to keep in mind – having the full balance

Emirates will not allow you to apply the promo code without the full amount of points in your account. I had to shore up my account in full to be able to take advantage of using the promo code which is a real bummer because it traps your points in Emirates.

a screenshot of a card

Should you join Emirates Skywards+?

I think you need to consider the following things:

  • Do you fly Emirates often enough to use the saved miles in the future
    • Emirates Skywards expire after 3 years
  • Are you redeeming enough miles for it to make sense
    • Personally, I think you need to be redeeming at least 200k miles in order for this to make sense
  • The 20% discount applies to all tickets on the itinerary.

It made a lot of sense of us, but we also fly Emirates quite a bit and will surely use the miles in the next 36 months, likely a lot more than this, and it isn’t a far stretch that I’ll join again next year.


Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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