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The end of an era: Last chance to book Emirates awards with Alaska miles

July 23, 2021
4 min read
The end of an era: Last chance to book Emirates awards with Alaska miles
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If you've been saving Alaska miles to book an Emirates flight, now is the time to cash in.

As we reported in June, Alaska Airlines is cutting partner ties with Emirates next week. Starting July 31, 2021, you’ll no longer be able to earn or redeem Mileage Plan miles on any Emirates flights.

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This announcement came roughly two months after Alaska Airlines officially joined the Oneworld alliance. When Alaska originally announced plans to join the alliance, the airlines said it planned to maintain its relationships with unaligned partners like Emirates.

That's no longer the case. Per a message on Alaska's website:

Our partnership with Emirates will end on July 31, 2021. Mileage Plan members can continue to earn and redeem* miles on oneworld® member airlines and our Global Partners to more than 1,000 destinations on 20+ airlines worldwide. For travel to India, the Middle East or Africa, guests can fly Qatar Airways in unparalleled comfort with their revolutionary Qsuite, the most private Business Class in the sky.

Tickets booked before June 2, 2021 will earn miles as usual for any dates already ticketed. Meanwhile, those booked on or after June 2 will only earn miles through July 31, 2021.

In addition to losing the ability to earn and redeem miles, Alaska and Emirates elites will lose reciprocal lounge access.

A spokesperson of Alaska Airlines confirmed the news to TPG, explaining, "After a successful partnership spanning nearly a decade, Alaska Airlines and Emirates will end their partnership on July 31, 2021. Effective Aug. 1, the airlines will no longer have agreements covering codeshare, frequent flier programs and lounge cooperation. The partnership began in 2012. "

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

On the flip side, we now have a better idea of when Alaska will launch Oneworld alliance-wide redemptions.

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Although Alaska has been a part of Oneworld for a couple of months now, it hasn't yet been possible to redeem Mileage Plan miles on all partners, including Qatar Airways. So far, we just knew that Oneworld alliance-wide redemptions were going live by the end of the summer. However, the Qatar partner page on Alaska's website has been updated to say, "award bookings will be available in August 2021." Today's news might suggest that Aug. 1 is the date that you'll be able to redeem miles across all alliance partners.

Related: The best programs for booking Emirates awards

Bottom line

Overall this is disappointing news for Alaska Mileage Plan members, as it means one less way to redeem your miles. On the bright side, members were given plenty of notice and can still book Emirates awards beyond July 31 — they just won't be changeable past that date.

Alternately, the Emirates Skywards program is still a solid option for booking Emirates awards since it no longer tacks on massive fuel surcharges. Another perk of Skywards is that, unlike Alaska, it's a transfer partner of all the major flexible points programs: Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards and Capital One Venture miles. It's also still possible to book Emirates awards through other partners, including Oneworld members Qantas and Japan Airlines.

This April, Emirates began limiting first-class awards to some partners, including Alaska. It may have been in anticipation of this announcement.

Alaska hasn't announced any changes to other non-Oneworld partners like El Al, Icelandair and Singapore Airlines.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.