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Emirates Skywards celebrates 25 million members with 25% discounts on flights, upgrades and more

Sept. 12, 2019
6 min read
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You probably already know Emirates has among the best seats and service in the game, no matter the cabin you're flying. Other travelers have caught on, too, as Emirates Skywards has just reached 25 million loyalty members. To mark the occasion, the Dubai-based airline is offering limited-time 25% discounts all over its award program.

Here's a quick rundown of all the deals in this celebratory Emirates promotion. There are quite a few caveats, but it can be worth a look if these deals harmonize with your upcoming travel.

25% discount on Emirates award flights

You can book Emirates award flights for 25% off when flying to or from Dubai. That's especially handy now that Emirates is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, in addition to partnering with American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One and Marriott Bonvoy.

The details

  • You must reserve your flight by Sept. 19, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (Dubai time)
  • You must begin and end your travel by Dec. 12, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (Dubai time)
  • Only valid for travel either beginning or ending in Dubai, on Emirates-marketed and -operated flights
  • Only valid for "Saver" award round-trip flights
  • Only valid for economy or business class

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Emirates if you have any of the following cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve

If this were a blanket discount of 25% when using Emirates miles, it would be a fabulous deal. But because you're restricted to flights that originate or end in Dubai, the target audience of this deal is much narrower. Only those headed to Dubai can find great value.

Example: Emirates charges 145,000 miles for a round-trip business-class flight between New York and Dubai. With this 25% discount, you can book that same round-trip business-class flight for just 108,750 miles. That's relatively few miles for a top-notch business-class experience. However, Emirates charges unbelievably high fuel surcharges. You may pay $1,500+ in taxes and fees for that ticket, but considering it would cost $5,000+ without miles, it's still a fair deal.

Business-class flights on Emirates can easily cost $5,000+ round-trip. (Photo by Agent Wolf/Shutterstock)

25% discount when redeeming Emirates miles for upgrades

If you prefer to use your miles to upgrade, you too will receive a 25% discount. You can upgrade from economy to business class, or from business class to first class. Just note that any taxes or fees are excluded from the discount, so you could find yourself paying higher fees when you upgrade.

The details

  • Only valid for revenue economy and business-class tickets (Flex or Flex Plus)
  • Reserve your upgrade by Sept. 19, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (Dubai time)
  • Begin your travel by Dec. 12, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (local time)
  • Flight must be marketed and operated by Emirates, and begin with an Emirates ticket number prefix (i.e. starting with 176)
  • Flight must arrive or depart in Dubai
  • If multiple travelers are on your reservation, you'll need to book upgrades for everyone
  • Upgrades with miles at airports or onboard are excluded

So you cannot upgrade an award ticket with miles. Other restrictions are similar to the previous deal.

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Special Cash + Miles rate

When you book a ticket using Cash + Miles, you'll get an improved rate of 2,500 miles = $25. This is valid for any cabin and to any destination served by Emirates and flydubai.

The details

  • You must reserve your Cash + Miles ticket by Sept. 19, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (Dubai time)
  • You must begin your outbound travel on Emirates by Dec. 12, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (Dubai time)
  • You may begin your outbound travel on flydubai any time
  • You cannot receive this discount if you book an itinerary involving another airline

While this promotion is more loose with restrictions, it's not a good deal.

25% discount when buying Emirates miles

If you don't have sufficient Emirates Skywards miles and you want to jump on this deal, you can buy or gift Emirates miles at a 25% discount. This promotion allows you to buy up to 100,000 miles, even if you've previously purchased the maximum yearly amount of Emirates miles.

The details

  • Purchase miles by Oct. 2, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (Dubai time)
  • You must be 18 years old
  • Your Emirates account must have at least one prior earning activity (either by flying Emirates or through an Emirates partner transaction)
  • You must purchase a minimum of 5,000 miles
  • Purchased miles will post within 48 hours

Buying miles almost never makes sense without a bonus, but this could be worth a glance seeing as you can stack this discount with the 25% discount on award flights.

Miscellaneous prizes for Dubai travelers

Emirates is also offering a few fun activities for those traveling through Dubai. You can head to an Emirates Skywards Centre in Terminal 3 and sign up now for a chance to win 25,000 miles, lounge access and more.

Also, if you’ll be at the Dubai airport between Sept. 22 and 29, 2019, Emirates is placing special stickers on luggage. They're selecting 25 Emirates members every day to win:

  • Business-class lounge access
  • 25,000 Miles
  • Chauffeur-driven service vouchers
  • Complimentary services from Avis, Hertz and Careem
  • Gift vouchers from Arabian Adventures, Atlantis, The Palm, The Dubai Mall and The ENTERTAINER
  • ... and more

Bottom line

Emirates has published a handful of discounts around its loyalty program to celebrate 25 million members. It's at the perfect time, considering Emirates is now a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. Just remember the staggering fuel surcharges Emirates adds to many of its award redemptions.

You can check out our guide to the Emirates Skywards program to learn the best ways to use Emirates miles.

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.