Emirates Added As Chase Ultimate Rewards Partner

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the most popular transferable points currencies, which is generally the type of rewards I recommend earning for your credit card spending. This is the points currency earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review), Chase Sapphire Reserve® (review), and Ink Business Preferred (review).

For those collecting Ultimate Rewards points, you now have access to a new partner airline.

Emirates Added As Chase Ultimate Rewards Partner

Emirates Skywards has just been added as a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. Points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio, in 1,000 point increments.

At this point the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners include the following:

AirlinesHotels
Aer Lingus Aer ClubIHG Rewards Club
Air France/KLM Flying BlueMarriott Bonvoy
British Airways Executive ClubWorld Of Hyatt
Emirates Skywards
Iberia Plus
JetBlue TrueBlue
Singapore KrisFlyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
United MileagePlus
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Chase Ultimate Rewards isn’t the first program to partner with Emirates Skywards, as Amex Membership Rewards and Capital One also partner with them.

Emirates 777-300ER

The State Of Chase Ultimate Rewards

What I love about Chase Ultimate Rewards points is how easy the points are to rack up, given the portfolio of cards earning Ultimate Rewards points.

The catch is that at this point I don’t think they have an advantage anymore when it comes to the quality of their transfer partners. Korean Air SkyPass used to be a transfer partner, though that partnership ended last year.

At this point Chase’s two valuable, unique transfer partners are United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt. Other than that, they largely have overlapping partners with other programs, and that doesn’t add all that much value. I’d love to see Chase add more unique transfer partners, though I also recognize there are only so many programs willing to work with a transferable points currency.

Prior to this Chase added JetBlue TrueBlue as a transfer partner, almost a year ago to the day.

Limited Value With Emirates Skywards

While I love flying Emirates, the Skywards program as such isn’t among my favorites. They have high redemption rates, and they also impose steep surcharges on many flights.

In general the best use of Emirates miles is for upgrades, but even that isn’t an amazing value most of the time.

Redeem miles to upgrade to Emirates’ A380 business class

So I hate to say it, but the Skywards program does have limited value — redemption rates are outrageously high, surcharges are high, and Emirates has limited partners you can redeem miles on.

Just to give an example, if you wanted to book an award ticket from New York to Dubai roundtrip you’d pay 145,000 miles in business class or 217,500 miles in first class, plus an outrageous $1,700+ in carrier imposed surcharges and taxes.

Redeem miles for Emirates’ A380 first class

Bottom Line

I’m always happy to see transferrable points currencies add more partners. However, Emirates Skywards is a really low value program, and I just can’t see many situations where this represents an efficient use of points.

I wish we’d see more unique partners added to these programs, but I fear that’s not happening due to lack of interest from airlines. I’m sure the major programs have approached all kinds of airlines in hopes of getting an exclusive, without much luck.

Anyone plan to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Emirates?

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Comments
  1. Why aren’t airlines interested in a partnership? I thought they made a lot of money from these deals?

  2. Lucky,

    I know it’s not usually good value to do this but I may have a situation where I need to book award flights on AS metal using EK skywards. Do you know what availability is like on AS using EK skywards? Do you have to call or can these be booked online? Thanks

  3. In addition to losing Korean, Hyatt devalued points + cash and United is moving to dynamic award pricing. Coupled with 5/24 and being well behind AMEX and Citi on bonus categories I hardly spend on any Chase UR cards these days. A distant #3 of the major transferable points currencies…how the mighty have fallen.

  4. This is fantastic news. I remember earlier this year I wanted to fly them but didn’t have enough points in Amex. This will give me more options to get to Middle East besides transferring through Europe from US.

  5. Getting ready to close out 3 Chase cards next year and just buy miles or discounted business seats when needed…and just fly less.

    This is a total fail and worthless for a partner.

  6. Is award availability better than through partners? So, for example, if you have Alaska miles, that’s always better? Any idea of fees with business class?

  7. @Kate award availability is not better through partners. I have used AS miles to book F on EK several times. Most searches return mixed cabin awards. It seems to be a general rule of thumb that you can find F all the way through on EK using AS only on routes flying the A380. Even then you will still return a lot of mixed cabin awards. The Skywards program has terrific availability and lower award costs in general than booking w AS. The big issue is those pesky fees. It’s a trade off and I think most people are too quick to dismiss the value of the Skywards program

  8. I would not use the term “valuable” to describe United miles or their program any more. The massive devaluation that’s currently in progress (with a much worse devaluation coming soon) makes United miles even less valuable than Delta skypesos.

  9. Skywards is by far the worst frequent flyer program out there. I struggle to understand why anyone would find it valuable. I really wish Emirates would make it competitive. It’s become progressively worse over the last few years and I’ve switched my business to Qatar. Either make the program better or get rid of the people managing the Skywards program

  10. Isn’t this program one of the better ways to get to Europe now, even with surcharges? JFK to MXP is 90,000 miles round trip in business class on a 380. American/United/Delta are now charging 100,000 miles each way to Europe, BA and Air France have surcharges, etc…

  11. @Anthony: it depends. JFK – MXP is a good deal, but it’s 1 departure to 1 destination. It also doesn’t include positioning to JFK if I remember, and definitely doesn’t include any flights within Europe. AA is still <60K 1-way to Europe in business class, and that includes your local airport to every European destinations, and I think UA is ~60K without BA's ridiculous fees on partners.

    If it's a deal to a particular hub, Iberia's flights from multiple US cities to Madrid for 68-84K round trip off-peak is still the measuring stick. Emirates single option including high fees is not a particularly good deal.

  12. Vet&Banker

    Currently, AA has basically zero saver availability from JFK to any of its European destinations on its own metal for several months on end. Lucky has chronicled how AA has discounted AAnytime inventory to Europe to 90K or so instead of opening up saver invetory. My working assumption is that nonstop AA flights from JFK (where I am based) to Europe are basically priced from 95k to 115k. JFK to MXP (or I guess ATH) for 45,000 each way plus a surcharge on Emiritates seems like a good option, especially if availability is plentiful. In terms of predictability, Flying Blue seems to have the most seats available if you are willing to pay surcharges. I need to learn more about Iberia.

    Iberia seems to be

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