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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’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
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.
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
This is the search that completed for our flights…you can see where I entered the one time promo codeStep 3: see qualifying flights – look for the Sun
Any of the flight combinations that have a sun emblem qualify for the discount.
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 ).
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.
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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
In Chase branch: 70k Points after $4k spend in 3 months ( make appt with banker –Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.)
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.