Emirates launches ‘cash and miles’ – is it any good?

Emirates Skywards added a new feature last week – the ability to use your Skywards miles as part payment towards a cash ticket.

You can find full details of ‘cash and miles’ on this page of the Emirates website.

Is it a good deal?

Emirates cash and miles explained

No, not really.  It isn’t truly awful either but it isn’t something I can wholeheartedly recommend.

This is how it works:

You can use ‘cash and miles’ to book any Emirates marketed and operated flight

(This excludes, for example, Qantas flights with Emirates flight numbers or Emirates flights with Qantas flight numbers.)

You can redeem anything from 2,000 miles

You can only reduce the base fare and not any element of taxes or charges, so it is impossible to get a flight for literally no money

The redeemable miles and tier miles you receive for the flight will be reduced pro-rata to the portion of the fare which was not paid in cash

All cabin classes can be booked using ‘cash and miles’

Tickets booked with ‘cash and miles’ can be changed or cancelled as per the rules of the original cash ticket

‘Cash and miles’ can only be booked via emirates.com and not via the Emirates app

You can find a full FAQ by clicking here.

What value do I receive?

You receive $8 for every 1,000 miles you redeem.

That works out at almost exactly 0.6p per Skywards mile.

I do not consider this a good deal.  Even though Emirates redemption flights come with heavy fuel surcharges, you should still be easily able to exceed 0.6p.

And, of course, it is worse than that.  Because you don’t earn miles on the percentage of the flight paid for with miles, you are losing out on the miles you earn.  This means that the net value of the miles you redeem drops below 0.8 cents.

You also won’t earn tier miles on the % of a flight paid for in miles.  This may hinder your chances of gaining or retaining status.

There are other ways to use up small amounts of Emirates miles although none are incredibly generous:

You can redeem Skywards miles for Arsenal football tickets, both general seats and the Emirates Skybox.  The latest batch of seats have just been released.  Depending on what you would be willing to pay to watch Arsenal from the – fully catered – Emirates Skybox this can be excellent value.

You can transfer miles INTO Heathrow Rewards.  The minimum is 6,000 miles which gets you a £20 Heathrow shopping voucher – although this is a worse deal than using them as part payment for a flight.

You can redeem Skywards miles for easyJet travel credit.

If you are travelling to Dubai, Skywards miles can be used for gift vouchers for various Dubai shops and tourist attractions, as well as a selection of Marriott hotels across the Middle East as well as South Africa and Manchester and Glasgow airports.

You can learn more about ‘cash and miles’ on the Emirates site here.

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  1. Hi Rob

    How do u know when Emirates uploads tickets availability to the website, as they are inly showing for the next 8 weeks really. Previously you could see them for the whole season?

    Desperately trying to get skybox tickets at arsenal before miles expire.



    • Looking at my account, a batch were uploaded in early Dec last year as that is when I redeemed.

    • It seems to be random. i was lucky to log on a few days ago and have secured the box for both Swansea and Middlesbrough. Using Robs valuation at GBP120 per head i would take this over using the miles for flight any day of the week

  2. Friend of mine is 6600 status miles short of reaching EK Gold … based in UK, any suggestions for how he could earn them before the end of October?

    • You can travel

    • Given that you get lounge access in Dubai for connections with Silver, and that operational upgrades are now being done by fare class rather than Skywards status (or to be be exact, Skywards status within fare class), there’s little incentive to achieve Gold except for the soft landing to Silver.