If you fly Emirates often and want to avail yourself of the various Emirates perks, being an Emirates Skywards credit card member could be worth it. However, just like any credit card offer, it’s important to go beyond the enticing highlights in the ad and read the fine print to make sure you’ll receive benefits and perks that will offset the often steep annual fees you’ll pay.
Here are seven things you need to know before using the Emirates Skywards credit cards.
1. Barclays Offers 2 Emirates Skywards Credit Cards
If you’re interested in applying for an Emirates Skywards credit card from Barclays Bank Delaware, you have the following choices:
- Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard
- Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard
The Emirates Skywards Premium credit card has an annual fee of $499, while the Emirates Skywards Rewards credit card’s annual fee is a much more modest $99. Either way, the annual fee might be worth it, for at least the first year, due to the benefits offered.
2. Both Cards Offer Elevated Tier Status for the First Year
One of the biggest perks of using either the Premium or Rewards Emirates Skywards credit card is that you get elevated tier status automatically for the first year. With the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard, you receive Gold tier status, and the Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard comes with Silver tier status.
The following are some of the benefits that both Silver and Gold statuses offer:
- Bonus Skywards Miles when flying Emirates
- Complimentary seat selection
- Ability to spend miles on instant upgrades at check-in
- Priority boarding and check-in
- Excess baggage allowances by weight
These benefits are exclusive to Gold tier status:
- Guaranteed economy-class seats on fully booked Emirates flights
- Excess baggage allowances by piece
- Complimentary access to select worldwide lounges
- Priority baggage delivery
- Invitations to exclusive Emirates-sponsored events
However, depending on how often you fly Emirates, it might be difficult to maintain this status. Silver tier status requires 25,000 qualifying Tier miles or 25 flights. Gold tier status requires 50,000 qualifying Tier miles or 50 flights.
3. The Rewards Are Equal
If you want either Emirates Skywards card strictly for the rewards you can earn, you’ll earn the same amount of miles on either card, which breaks down as follows:
- Emirates spends: 3 miles per $1 spent on the Emirates website or at the Emirates sales office. In-flight purchases do not qualify.
- Travel spends: 2 miles per $1 spent on hotels, airfare or car rentals.
- Retail spends: 1 mile per $1 on all other spends.
Additionally, you can earn unlimited miles with either card.
4. Both Cards Offer Bonus Miles
In addition to being able to earn up to 3 miles per $1, you’ll also be granted tens of thousands of bonus miles with either Emirates Skywards credit card. The Premium card comes with 40,000 miles, while the Rewards card grants new cardholders 30,000 bonus miles. To earn either bonus, you’ll need to spend $3,000 within the first 90 days of card ownership.
Additionally, the Premium card offers 10,000 anniversary bonus miles, which can be earned by spending $30,000 within the first year of card ownership.
Even so, the bonus miles offered on either card aren’t as competitive as what some other airline cards offer — and for a much lower annual fee. For example, the Citi® / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard waives its annual fee of $99 for the first 12 months, and cardholders can earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 within the first three months of account ownership. And the Capital One Venture X card has a annual fee but offers 75,000 bonus miles for spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. It also offers 10,000 bonus miles every year on your card anniversary.
5. Extra Perks Come With the Emirates Skywards Premium Card
You might be wondering if the Emirates Skywards Premium card’s $499 annual fee is worth it. Two perks worth considering are complimentary Priority Pass Select lounge access and the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee waiver.
- With Priority Pass Select, you and your guests can access unlimited visits to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.
- The Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee waiver offers a $100 statement credit for the application fee paid, once every five years.
6. You’ll Receive a Discount When You Buy or Gift Miles
Both cards allow for a 25% discount on Skywards Miles purchases on the Emirates website, including when you gift Skywards miles. You’ll automatically receive the 25% discount when you check out. However, to receive the discount, you must be logged in to your membership account and pay with your Emirates Skywards Mastercard.
7. Both Cards Offer a Discount on Tickets
Another perk of both Emirates Skywards cards is that you’ll receive a discount on airline tickets.
- You can save up to $99 on up to four economy or business class ticket purchases with the Rewards card, which means up to $396 in possible savings.
- With the Premium card, you can save up to $499 off up to four Emirates ticket purchases for up to $1,996 in total savings.
However, terms and conditions do apply to these discounts, so you’ll want to read over them before using this as a deciding factor for getting one of these cards.
Are the Emirates Skywards Cards Worth It?
If you fly Emirates often, the Rewards card could be well worth it to you. The annual fee of $99 is on par with many other airline credit cards, the benefits and perks are solid, and with 25 flights per year, you could maintain Silver tier status, which offers additional valuable benefits, such as bonus Skywards miles on Emirates flights, priority boarding and check-in and complimentary seat selection.
The Emirates Skywards Premium card, however, has a much steeper annual fee of $499, and other cards in its class can offer more for less money. Plus, some of the best perks come with the complimentary Gold tier status offered during the first year of card membership, and maintaining that level of status requires 50 flights per year or $40,000 in spending, which could be hard to achieve depending on your travel habits.
FAQHere are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Emirates Skywards credit cards.
- What are the advantages of the Emirates credit cards?
- The Emirates Skywards credit cards have several advantages. One is that you automatically get elevated tier status — Silver or Gold — for the first year, which comes with benefits such as bonus miles, priority check-in and boarding and more.
- How do I get an Emirates gold card?
- The Emirates Skywards Premium card is gold-colored, and you can get it by applying for it online at the Emirates website. To become an Emirates Gold tier member, you can earn 50,000 Tier miles or take 50 flights.
- Does Chase transfer points to Emirates?
- Yes, eligible Chase card members can transfer Ultimate Rewards points into Skywards Miles. After you log in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account, choose Emirates Skywards from the list of travel partners. You'll need your Emirates Skywards membership number. A minimum of 1,000 points is required per transfer.
Information is accurate as of June 26, 2023.
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