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This weekend, Emirates announced a new option for redeeming Skywards miles: using them to offset paid fares. Under this new “Cash+Miles” option, you can redeem miles at a rate of 0.8 cents each toward the base fare of an Emirates ticket. In our latest points and miles valuation, we value Emirates miles at 1.2 cents per mile. So, this new Cash+Miles option definitely isn’t a great value.

However, you can redeem as few as 2,000 miles ($16), making this a (potentially) appealing option if you need to clear out a small Emirates mileage balance. Of course another alternative would be to boost your Emirates mileage balance by transferring points from either American Express Membership Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest. Then, you can take advantage of award sweet spots or use miles for an upgrade.

Emirates Cash+Miles banner
At just 0.8 cents per mile, the new Cash+Miles option isn’t a great value.

As a general rule, if an airline is trying to convince you to spend miles a certain way, it’s going to be a bad deal. This is true of using miles for TSA PreCheck (Alaska Airlines, Southwest, United Airlines), lounge memberships, to pay for merchandise, gold bars and — yes — paying for airfares.

Airline Pay with Miles Rate (Cents) TPG Valuation
Air Canada Aeroplan ~0.67 1.5
British Airways Executive Club 0.7 – 1.2 1.5
Delta SkyMiles 1.0 1.2
Emirates Skywards 0.8 1.2

Compared to the Aeroplan option to redeem miles at a rate of <0.7 cents per mile — which is less than half of our valuation of Aeroplan miles — this Emirates deal isn’t the worst. However, unless you’re just looking to zero-out a small Emirates Skywards mileage account, you should probably pass.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card



CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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