Complete guide to Emirates Skywards loyalty program

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 16 May 2024

Emirates Skywards guide

Emirates Skywards is the loyalty program of Emirates and Flydubai. Emirates is a popular airline that flies to major destinations worldwide via Dubai or through partner airlines like Qantas, Jetstar, Japan Airlines, and United Airlines. Emirates does not, however, belong to any of the three global airline alliances – oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance.

This guide is for beginners just starting with the program. It covers the basics of joining, earning, and redeeming Skywards Miles and understanding the different status tiers.

Earn Skyward Miles on your everyday spending with an Emirates credit card.

Key takeaways

  • Joining Emirates Skywards is free and can be completed via the enrolment page on the Emirates website.
  • Miles can be earned through credit card spending and bonus points promotions, by flying on Emirates, Flydubai, Qantas and other partner airlines, and for bookings with some hotel groups and car rental companies.
  • Miles can be redeemed for flights with Emirates and its partner airlines, for sesat upgrades on Emirates flights, for worldwide sporting and cultural events (including a very few in Australia) and some limited resort hotel options.
  • There's also a Skywards Miles online retail mall, but it's aimed at US, UK and UAE members only.

Earning Emirates Skywards Miles

The Emirates Skywards program offers members several ways to earn points after registration.

Sign up for an Emirates Skywards credit card

The quickest way to earn Skywards Miles in Australia is to sign up for an American Express Membership Rewards or Citi Prestige card, which allow you to convert their rewards points into Emirates Skywards Miles. Your ongoing expenditure plus any initial sign-up bonus points can contribute to this.

How to earn Skywards Miles through everyday spending

Bonus Emirates Skywards Miles can be earned in various ways such as flying on Emirates, Qantas and other partner airlines, booking a hotel through or directly with many hotel groups (e.g. Hilton, Crowne Plaza, Fairmont, Ibis and many others), or booking a car rental with Hertz, Avis, Budget and more. Businesses can participate in the Emirates Business Rewards program.

Bonus point offers and promotions

There are various promotions and bonus point opportunities periodically offered by Emirates Skywards. These can include double Miles for certain routes, or bonus Miles for booking a hotel through a specific partner. Look out too for credit card sign-up bonus Miles with American Express cards or the Citi Prestige card.


The Emirates 'My Family' program allows for the transfer of Miles between up to seven additional family members. This offers families a way to combine Miles for specific rewards.

Redeeming Emirates Skywards Miles

There are several ways in which you can redeem your Emirates Skywards Miles. They're listed below.

Redeem Miles for flights

Redeem your Emirates Skywards Miles for award flights on Emirates and its partner airlines, including Qantas and Jetstar.

Redeem Miles for upgrades

Using your Miles for a seat upgrade (e.g. from Economy to Business Class) on an Emirates-operated flight is one of the most cost-effective ways of using points.

Redeem Miles for experiences

You can redeem Skywards Miles for tickets to sporting events (such as Formula One and European and English Premier League matches), cultural events, and resort stays, although this form of redemption is taking some time to recover from the effect of the COVID pandemic so options are limited, especially where Australian events are concerned. More options may become available as the effect of the pandemic recedes.

Status tiers

Emirates Skywards offers different status tiers, such as Blue, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, each with its own benefits, including bonus points for flights, lounge access, priority boarding, and extra baggage allowance.

The more Miles you earn, the higher your status tier. But Miles earned via Australian credit card points transfers don't currently count for status advancement.


How do I redeem my Miles for a flight?

You can redeem your Skywards Miles for a flight by logging into your Emirates Skywards account on the Emirates website or through the Emirates app. Look for the 'Redeem Miles' section, search for available flights, and follow the prompts to book.

Can I use my Miles to upgrade my flight?

Yes, you can use your Miles to upgrade your flight to a higher class of service, such as from Economy to Business or Business to First Class, but only on flights operated by Emirates. The number of miles required will depend on the route and class of service you are upgrading to.

Can I redeem my Miles for flights on partner airlines?

Yes, you can redeem your Miles for flights on partner airlines like Qantas, United Airlines, and Jetstar. The number of Miles required will depend on the route and class of service you are booking.

Are there any blackout dates for redeeming Miles?

Some flights may have limited availability for redemption, especially during peak travel times.

How long are Skyward Miles valid for?

Unused Skyward Miles expire three years after they were earned.

Can I use cash and Skyward Miles to pay for my flight?

Yes, Emirates allows you to pay for part of an award flight with cash if you don't have quite enough Miles.

What happens to my Miles if I cancel my flight?

If you cancel your flight, the Miles used for the booking will be refunded to your account, but you may be charged a cancellation fee. If you are cancelling a flight booked with a special promotion or fare, you may have different terms and conditions when you rebook.