Emirates Skywards is the loyalty program of Emirates, useful for those who fly on the airline to major destinations around the world via Dubai or simply travel on its partner airlines like Qantas and Japan Airlines.

Alongside Qantas Frequent Flyer points, Emirates Skywards miles can be earned through credit card bank reward programs, flying and bonus points promotions. You can use them for ticket redemptions, including Emirates’ luxurious Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 First Class.

This guide is ground zero for those who are just starting off. Read on for how to join the program, earn as many miles as you can and how to use them for maximum value.

How do I join the Emirates Skywards program?

Signing up for Emirates Skywards is free. You can sign up using this link.

  1. Go to the Emirates Skywards enrolment page
  2. Enter your personal details and choose a password
  3. Decide whether to opt-in to newsletters
  4. Click ‘Create an Account’ to finalise your registration

How do I earn Emirates Skywards miles?

The quickest way to earn Emirates Skywards miles in Australia is to sign up for an American Express Membership Rewards card, which allows transfers to Emirates Skywards. Both your initial sign-up bonus and ongoing spending can contribute to this. The same is true of points-earning credit cards attached to CommBank Awards.

Unfortunately, Citibank no longer offers the dedicated Emirates Citi World Mastercard to new applicants. But existing users can continue to earn Skywards miles on each dollar spent.

There are a number of other ways to earn bonus Emirates Skywards miles, including:

You may consider crediting your Qantas flights to Emirates Skywards instead of Qantas Frequent Flyer – our guide will help you decide whether to do so.

Qantas A330 Business from Melbourne to Jakarta
Turn your Skywards miles into a flatbed onboard the Qantas Airbus A330.

Pooling your Emirates Skywards miles with family members is a great way to build up your balance more quickly, but note that this only applies to redeemable miles, not those for elite status.

If you are short on miles for a redemption, you can:

How do I redeem Emirates Skywards miles?

Redeeming your Emirates Skywards miles for travel on Qantas and Emirates is probably the most common use, although the miles and taxes needed for redemptions aren’t too different from booking the same flights via Qantas. Emirates last increased reward seat rates over the 2022/23 Christmas break, so the numbers needed for rewards are higher by up to 20% now.

Read our hand-picked seven best sweet spots with Emirates Skywards miles, including a First Class experience from 82,200 miles (previously 54,000 miles).

Miles calculator screenshot Emirates Sydney to Christchurch.
Use the Miles Calculator to figure out how much each route costs.

Emirates’ First Class on some Boeing 777 aircraft is world-class, although redemptions with points are limited and those newest suites are only found on very select routes (such as Dubai to Geneva).

The older First Class seats on Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s are found on many more routes, including from most major cities in Australia, the USA and Europe.

It’s one of the world’s most recognisable First Class products, with lots of space (and an onboard shower for the Airbus A380). It’s a great way to burn your points if you have enough.

Business Class is not as fancy on Emirates compared to other airlines, as the seats are older. The Airbus A380 seat product looks old and clunky, but still functions well.

On Boeing 777s, Emirates still doesn’t offer all-aisle access for every seat. The Business Class configuration is either 2-3-2 (yes, with a middle seat) or 2-2-2 which is the newer layout.

Emirates 777 New Business Class
Emirates’ newer Boeing 777 Business Class cabin looks better than the Airbus A380 cabin, but the seats are still 2-2-2 which is not industry standard anymore.

At the time of writing, Emirates also flies Premium Economy to Sydney, London and other select destinations onboard the newest Airbus A380s. However, reward seats and upgrades to Premium Economy with Skywards miles are not currently available.

Note that Emirates Skywards miles expire after 36 months of inactivity and this is what happens to them if you pass away. If you are looking for more inspiration for what to do with your Emirates Skywards miles, check out our best uses of points series.

How do I earn Emirates Skywards elite status?

Emirates has four status levels: Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum. There’s also an invite-only tier, iO, which we won’t cover here. Here’s a summary of the main benefits of each tier below:

Emirates Skywards Blue Emirates Skywards Blue

This is the base-level membership and the bare minimum requirement to be able to earn and redeem Emirates Skywards miles for flights and other products. You do get some discounts with Wi-Fi and paid lounge access where available.

Emirates Skywards Silver Emirates Skywards Silver

To achieve or maintain: 25 flights or 25,000 Tier Miles in 12 months

  • Complimentary standard seat selection (member-only)
  • 12kg extra baggage on weight-based tickets
  • 25% bonus miles when flying with Emirates
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Complimentary lounge access to business lounges in Dubai
  • Instant upgrade onboard with Skywards Miles
  • Earn 1 Skywards Miles per US$1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties, on top of what you’d usually earn from the stay through Your Worlds Rewards. To register, go to world-rewards.marriott.com or emirates.com/ywr-register.

Emirates Skywards Gold Emirates Skywards Gold

To achieve or maintain: 50 flights or 50,000 Tier Miles in 12 months

In addition to Emirates Skywards Silver benefits, Gold members can get:

  • Complimentary standard seat selection including companions
  • 16kg extra baggage on weight-based tickets and flat 2x 23kg allowance on piece-based tickets in Economy Class
  • 50% bonus miles when flying with Emirates
  • Priority phone service
  • Complimentary lounge access with one guest at all lounges throughout the Emirates network
  • Free Wi-Fi onboard Emirates flights
  • 4 pm late checkout, elite check-in and complimentary enhanced Wi-Fi at Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Reciprocal international Business and domestic Qantas Club lounge access before Qantas flights

Emirates Skywards Platinum Emirates Skywards Platinum

To achieve or maintain: 150,000 Tier Miles in 12 months

In addition to Skywards Gold perks, Platinum members can expect:

  • Complimentary extra-legroom seat selection (member-only)
  • 20kg extra baggage on weight-based tickets and flat 2x 23kg allowance on piece-based tickets in Economy Class
  • 75% bonus miles when flying with Emirates
  • Complimentary Skywards Gold status to someone of your choice
  • Skywards Miles don’t expire as long as you are Platinum
  • First Class check-in and baggage delivery
  • Complimentary First Class lounge access with one guest and two children under 17 at all lounges throughout the Emirates network
  • Reciprocal international First and domestic Business lounge access before Qantas flights
  • Book any Economy or Business seat as a Flex Plus Classic Flight Reward (call Emirates to book)

How do I contact Emirates Skywards?

To get in touch with Emirates Skywards about a membership enquiry or flight redemption, try:

While the Call Centre might be the quickest way to resolve your issue, try the social media channels if the line is busy.

Summing up

Emirates Skywards offers aspirational redemptions on both Emirates, Qantas and its other partner airlines.

Given that Emirates Skywards miles can be earned in Australia with select American Express or CommBank Awards credit cards, any budding frequent flyer enthusiast should consider joining the program and working towards building a balance, particularly if you have an Emirates flight reward in mind.

Do you know someone who might get some use out of the Emirates Skywards program but needs a little help? Share this guide using the social media buttons below!

Supplementary images courtesy Emirates.

The Ultimate Guide to Emirates Skywards was last modified: February 19th, 2023 by Brandon Loo