Which are the Best Credit Cards for Emirates Skywards Miles?

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles and travel the world for free?

Is there anyone who does not like to fly for free? I guess not! Emirates Skywards Miles membership is one such program by Emirates Airlines, which lets the members of the Skywards program to not only enjoy free flights, but also enjoy loads of other entertainment vacation options.

When I and my buddies meet up, the most talked about topic is where are we going to travel next! As you’d imagine, the discussions get heated as we agree and disagree on the next best travel destination. But, when I start talking about how to travel the world free, many seem to be surprised. I travel often! Not that I travel all the places for free, I make it a point that I gather as much information on how to travel the world or at least the destinations I visit, free or on minimal cost!

Traveling by Emirates Airlines is a pleasure! You can read millions of posts and articles that vouch for the service of Emirates Airlines. I have traveled the airline quite a bit and I can say, I have can’t think of any adjectives to describe my experiences.

skyward miles credit cards membership

One of the top expenses when traveling is the airline ticket! And if it is a peak season, then the cost of the airplane ticket runs into 1000s of Dirhams. One of the easiest ways to make sure that your next visiting destination is free is to use a credit card!!

Yes, read the above sentence again! You see lot of credit cards have tie up with Emirates Airlines.  When you spend money on anything using these credit cards,  you earn points. You can covert these points into Emirates Skyward Miles. You can then use these points to book tickets on Emirates Airlines.

What is Emirates Skywards?

Emirates Skywards is the frequent flyer program of Emirates Airline.  This program was launched in May 2000. Skywards membership provides you access to a world of exclusive benefits designed to make travel more rewarding and enjoyable. I mean, really. The points that you earn are not only limited to Emirates only but you can spend the miles earned at various merchants.

What is Emirates Skywards Miles program?

Skywards Miles are the reward currency you earn as an Emirates Skywards member. It’s free to join and easy to join into the Skywards Miles program. You can earn Skywards Miles when you fly with Emirates Airlines. Also when you are a customer of Emirates Airline’s  global partners like airlines, banks, car hire agencies, hotels, and lifestyle and retail companies, you can earn Skywards Miles.

Read more about Skywards Miles.

How can you earn Skywards Miles?

There are 2 ways in which you can earn Skywards Miles:

1. Whenever you travel with Emirates Airlines, you earn Skyward Miles.

2. When you spend using credit cards that are partners with Emirates Airlines Skywards program, you can earn Skywards Miles.

Read more on the topic of Spending Skywards Miles.

Membership Tiers in Skywards Miles

There are four tiers of skywards membership. You move up through each tier based on the amount of Skywards miles you earn and the frequency that you fly.

skyward-tiers

Blue Membership

Blue membership requires you to register your details with Emirates. Once you become member you are entitled to the following benefits.

  • Welcome bonus miles. (I did not get these!!)
  • You have the priority for the wait list on standby flights.
  • You can freely use the entry and exit e-gates at Dubai International Airport.
  • When available immediate flight upgrades using your existing miles at check in.
  • Your personal details and preferences are stored, so your visit to the site are personalised.
  • You have access to a free personal travel co-ordinator.

Silver Membership

Silver Membership is the second tier of Skywards membership. When you collect 25,000 Tier Miles or take 25 flights, you will  be entitled to:

  • Free Emirates Business Class Lounges entry at  Dubai International Airport.
  • You will get 25% extra bonus Skywards Miles for each Emirates flight.
  • Where available you may upgrade immediately when on-board the aircraft.
  • Increased baggage allowances
  • You will receive access to Priority check-in and Priority plane boarding.

Gold Membership

Gold membership is the third highest skywards miles tier. You need 50,000 Tier Miles or flown 50 flights plus on Emirates. Once qualified you will be entitled to:

  • Free airport lounge access anywhere on the Emirates network
  • 50% extra bonus Skywards Miles with each Emirates flight.
  • Seat guarantees, even if the plane is full.
  • Complimentary access for guests at the Emirates lounge.
  • Baggage delivery priority.

Skywards Platinum

Skywards platinum is the fourth and highest tier of the Emirates Skywards scheme. To join you must have 150,000 tier miles.  You will then have the following privileges.

  • First Class benefits at check-in and with baggage delivery
  • Free entry with guests to all Emirates lounges globally.
  • You will receive 75% extra bonus Skywards Miles with every Emirates flight.
  • You will have a complimentary Gold ‘Partner’ Card for a spouse or partner.
  • Seat guarantees, even if the plane is full.

Which are the credit cards that can earn you Skyward Miles?

There may be credit cards in other countries that have tie-up with Emirates Airlines. However, in this post, I am only covering credit cards that are available from UAE based banks.

  1. ADCB (Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank) credit cards;
  2. American Express;
  3. Citibank UAE;
  4. CBD (Commercial Bank of Dubai) credit cards;
  5. Emirates Islamic credit cards;
  6. Emirates NBD credit cards;
  7. NBAD (National Bank of Abu Dhabi).

Credit CardMinimum Salary(AED)Annual Fee
ADCB Credit Cards5000Free
Emirates-Citibank Silver Card5000AED250
Emirates-Citibank Gold/Titanium Card8000AED400
Emirates-Citibank Ultimate Card18000AED800
Emirates Islamic Skywards Gold Card5000AED350
Emirates Islamic Skywards Platinum Card8000AED600
Emirates NBD Skywards Signature CardÊ Ê Ê15000AED 1,499Ê(AED 700 from 2nd year
NBAD Credit Cards5000Mostly Free
CBD Credit Cards10000Free

1. ADCB Credit Cards:

adcb-credit-cards

All ADCB credit cards earn Touch Points for you when you do retail transactions or pay utility bills through their credit cards. You can covert touch points into Emirates Skyward miles. Every 18 Touchpoints can earn you 1 Emirates Skywards Mile.

2. American Express credit cards:

amex-cards-dubai

The American Express Membership Rewards® Program allows Card Members to earn points on purchases and redeem them for rewards and experiences including travel, shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Read more about Skywards Miles and American Express Cards.

3. Citibank UAE:

citi-emirates-mastercard

Emirates – Citibank Ultima Credit Card

  • Bonus Skywards Miles
    • 25,000 when you sign up for the card
    • 10,000 each year that you renew your card
  • Miles earned on retail transactions
    • 2.5 Skywards Miles for every USD 1 spent on tickets purchased on emirates.com
    • 1.5 Skywards Miles for every USD 1 of international retail spend
    • 1 Skywards Mile for every USD 1 of local retail spend
  • Complimentary Emirates Skywards Silver Membership
  • 0% Interest Easy Installment Plan on Emirates tickets purchased online in AED
  • Unlimited free access to selected VIP airport lounges
    • Unlimited complimentary lounge access to more than 600 VIP airport lounges worldwide for the primary cardholder with free Priority Pass membership
    • Unlimited complimentary access to more than 500 VIP airport lounges for the basic and supplementary cardholders, plus one guest each
  • Complimentary golf at premium courses in the UAE
  • International Concierge Service
  • Citibank World Privileges across 30 countries and Citibank Hotel Privileges
  • Exclusive monthly local offers and discounts
  • Unlimited supplementary cards

Emirates – Citibank Ultimate Credit Card

  • Miles earned on retail transactions
    • 1.25 Skywards Miles for every USD 1 of international retail spend
    • 1 Skywards Mile for every USD 1 of local retail spend
  • 0% Interest Easy Installment Plan on Emirates tickets purchased online in AED
  • Unlimited complimentary access to more than 500 VIP airport lounges for the basic and supplementary cardholders, plus one guest each
  • Complimentary golf at premium courses in the UAE
  • International Concierge Service
  • Citibank World Privileges across 30 countries and Citibank Hotel Privileges
  • Exclusive monthly local offers and discounts
  • 5 free supplementary cards

Emirates – Citibank Titanium / Gold Credit Card

  • Miles earned on retail transactions
    • 1 Skywards Mile for every USD 1 of international retail spend
    • 0.75 Skywards Mile for every USD 1 of local retail spend
  • 0% Interest Easy Instalment Plan on Emirates tickets purchased online
  • Access to more than 20 airport VIP lounges worldwide for the basic and supplementary card holders
  • Travel Insurance
  • Citibank World Privileges across 30 countries and Citibank Hotel Privileges
  • Exclusive monthly local offers and discounts
  • 5 free supplementary cards

Emirates – Citibank Silver Credit Card

  • Miles earned on retail transactions
    • 0.75 Skywards Mile for every USD 1 of international retail spend
    • 0.5 Skywards Mile for every USD 1 of local retail spend
  • 0% Interest Easy Instalment Plan on Emirates tickets purchased online
  • Complimentary marhaba Meet and Assist Service once a year at Dubai International airport Terminals 1, 2 and 3
  • Citibank World Privileges across 30 countries and Citibank Hotel Privileges
  • Exclusive monthly local offers and discounts
  • 5 free supplementary cards

4. CBD (Commercial Bank of Dubai):

cbd-visa-classic-attijari-credit-cards

With CBD credit cards you earn Attijari Points, which you can then convert into Emirates Skywards Miles. 14 Attijari Points can be converted into 1 Skywards Mile points.

5. Emirates Islamic Bank credit cards: 

emirates-islamic-bank-credit-cards

Emirates Islamic Bank has Emirates Airlines co-branded cards which help you in earning Skywards Miles when you use their credit cards for retail purchases.

Emirates Islamic Skywards Visa Infinite Card

  • 2 Skywards Miles for every 1 USD spent for airline ticket purchase via both emirates.com or Emirates sales offices
  • 1.5 Skywards Miles for every 1 USD spent internationally
  • 1 Skywards Mile for every 1 USD spent locally
  • Complimentary one time welcome bonus of 20,000 Skywards Miles for new cardholders after first spent
  • Unlimited worldwide free lounge access with LoungeKey
  • Free Golf fee card giving you access to discounts at golf clubs and golf equipment purchases and more
  • Free Islamic credit shield for the first two months
  • Annual fees AED 950

Emirates Islamic Skywards Visa Platinum Card

  • 1.5 Skywards Miles for every 1 USD spent for airline ticket purchase via both emirates.com or Emirates sales offices
  • 1.1 Skywards Miles for every 1 USD spent internationally
  • 0.75 Skywards Miles for every 1 USD spent locally
  • Free Golf fee card giving you access to discounts at golf clubs and golf equipment purchases and more
  • Free Islamic credit shield for the first two months
  • Annual fees AED 700

Emirates Islamic Skywards Visa Gold Card

  • 0.6 Skywards Miles for every 1 USD spent
  • Earn Miles up to your credit limit every month
  • Annual fee AED 400

6. Emirates NBD Credit Cards

emirates-nbd-skywards-credit-card

When you spend money on your purchases through Emirates NBD cards, you stand to earn Skywards Miles.

Emirates NBD Skywards Infinite Card

  • 1 Skywards Mile for every USD 1 spent locally
  • 1.5 Skywards Miles for every USD 1 spent internationally
  • 2 Miles for every USD 1 spent on emirates.com
  • Multiply your Miles with the Express Miles  programme*
  • Complimentary Emirates Skywards Silver tier membership
  • Complimentary Rotana Exclusive Club membership
  • Unlimited access to over 55 airport lounges worldwide
  • Complimentary nights with Marriott Worldwide**
  • Complimentary green fees at select golf clubs within and outside the UAE
  • 0% Interest Instalment plan with Emirates Advantage Payment Option
  • Exclusive concierge service offering free airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Bon Appétit dining programme offering up to 30% discount at over 600 restaurants across the UAE

Emirates NBD Skywards Signature Card

  • 0.75 Skywards Miles for every USD 1 spent locally
  • 1 Skywards Mile for every USD 1 spent internationally
  • 1.5 Skywards Miles for every USD 1 spent on emirates.com
  • Unlimited access to over 55 airport lounges worldwide
  • Complimentary golf at Tower Links Golf Course in Ras Al Khaimah
  • 0% Interest Installment plan with Emirates Advantage Payment Option
  • Exclusive concierge service offering free airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Bon Appétit dining programme offering up to 30% discount at over 600 restaurants across the UAE

Read through the following link on Emirates NBD Skywards Mile.

7. NBAD Credit Cards: The card that I use.

nbad-credit-card

When you spend money using your NBAD credit card, you earn Stars. You can convert the Stars earned into Skywards Miles. Every Skywards Mile will cost you 8 NBAD stars. Stars are earned depending on your credit card.

My balance NBAD Stars:

nbad stars skywards

How I increase my Skyward Miles Earning:

  1. Whenever it is possible, I use my NBAD credit card to do transaction;
  2. I book all my tickets through NBAD credit card;
  3. I pay my rent through credit card;
  4. I pay utility bills like Etisalat and DEWA bills online through NBAD credit cards

So, I make sure that I earn NBAD Stars whenever I use my credit card. So more spending online results in more Stars, which I can convert into Skywards Mile.

Now that you know about the cards, which one is the best one??

It’d not be right if I mentioned any one credit card that will be best for Skywards Miles. However, since I use NBAD Credit Card to earn Skyward Miles & I feel that they are the better one. Having said that, it is up to you to best make use of this offer and be the one to go around the world for Free.

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