Within the last week, Chase announced a new transfer partner: Emirates Skywards. While Emirates was already a transfer partner of Amex, Capital One, and Marriott Bonvoy, adding Chase as a partner really shines the light on the program. I feel this is mutually beneficial to both programs, since Chase has really struggled finding a new top-of-the-line airline partner since it lost Korean Skypass a year ago. With this fresh look at Emirates, it’s time to talk about some of the (many!) sweet spots in Emirates’ award charts.
Emirates uses different redemption values for each of its partner airlines. There are many good options and I am intentionally not highlighting all of them. Suffice it to say everyone should get to know this program ASAP. Okay, let’s dig in.
BASIC RULES FOR EMIRATES SAVER AWARDS
Emirates’ Saver Awards allow for changes to the dates of travel for $25 per person, per change. If you decide to cancel the flight entirely, you can do so and redeposit your miles for $75 per person. You are allowed one stopover, meaning you could fly from Washington, D.C. to Tokyo and stay for a week (stopover), continue on to Bangkok and stay for a week, and then fly Bangkok-Tokyo-DC to return home on a round-trip ticket. For most partners, only round-trip tickets are allowed on saver awards.
PARTNER SWEET SPOTS
Air Mauritius: If you want to go to this lovely island in the southern Indian Ocean, Emirates’ partner Air Mauritius makes it easy to tack on a side trip from Kenya or South Africa. For only 32,000 points (64,000 business) you can fly round-trip from Nairobi, Durban, or Johannesburg. Not the cheapest 4.5 hour flight in the world, but for a hard-to-get-to island with limited commercial operations, this is a great option.
Copa: An often-overlooked airline with plentiful business availability, Copa Airlines offers Miami to Panama City, Panama flights for 22,000 round-trip in economy or 44,000 round-trip in business. Yes, 11,000 miles each way to Central America. You’re welcome.
GOL: A regional airline of Brazil that Sarah and I had the pleasure of flying in January. Friendly staff, comfortable seats, and our bags arrived timely. What more can you ask for? How about so many awesome sweet spots I have to post the entire chart??? Basically anywhere in Brazil to anywhere in Brazil for 4,500 miles in economy one-way. Iquazu Falls, anyone?
Japan Airlines: Anywhere in North America to almost anywhere in Asia for 60,000 points (economy), 125,000 points (business), or 145,000 points (first). Also available is North America to Australia (remember that free stopever in Japan) for 70,000 (economy) or 145,000 (business) round-trip. While JAL imposes incredibly high YQ (fuel surcharges) to book Emirates awards, it does not appear that is the case when booking JAL with Emirates, which shows $265 round-trip.
Jetstar: this low cost Australian and Asian carrier is not well known to most Americans. However, as you can fly throughout New Zealand, Australia, and Asia (not between these areas, however) for 7,000 miles each way in economy, it’s worth taking a look when you are headed in that direction.
Korean Skypass: once a shining star in Chase’s transfer partners, due to it’s own flights and cheap flights on Delta, it is once again useful for those with large amounts of URs. By booking with Emirates, you can fly round-trip from North America to South Korea for 70,000 (economy) or 105,000 (business). SAY WHAT?! That’s right, 52,500 miles to fly 14+ hours each way from the east coast of North America to South Korea. For all you avgeeks out there, the JFK-Seoul route is an A380! North America to Southeast Asia is 85,000 (economy) or 125,000 (business). Although I haven’t actually attempted to book this flight, again, YQ (fuel surcharges) do not look bad at all (although I’ll guarantee they are higher than $1.80!
So there you have it. Sweet spots galore and available all over the globe. Familiarize yourself with this program, especially if you plan to travel to any of the areas mentioned in this article. Please contact us with any questions or drop by our Facebook group to discuss Emirates and more!
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