Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Use Emirates miles for VIP Arsenal tickets – a good value Amex MR redemption!

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Just when you think you know most of the tricks in this game, something comes along to prove you wrong!  I owe this one to Tom at euflyer.com who also comments at Head for Points on a regular basis.

Emirates Skywards miles used to be totally useless in small quantities unless you happened to be in Dubai and could redeem for retail vouchers.  The situation improved a couple of years ago when they launched a tie-up with easyJet, allowing you to redeem Skywards miles for credit towards a flight.  The value per point was pretty low at 0.4p.

Something more interesting – and more valuable – is now available.

Arsenal Emirates

Emirates sponsors a number of football clubs across Europe.  For a selection of games it is making tickets available to Skywards members at a decent rates.  Full details can be found on the Emirates website (log-in required).

For HFP readers, the most useful is Arsenal.  You can also redeem for tickets for AC Milan, Hamburger SV, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and SL Benfica.

As of 8pm last night, tickets are available for Arsenal vs Everton, Arsenal vs Chelsea and Arsenal vs Liverpool.

The key here is the pricing.  For weaker opposition, basic tickets are 10,000 Skywards miles each.  Given that Arsenal games tend to sell out, this is not a bad use of miles.  For the three games above – which are the only three left available – tickets are 15,000 or 20,000 miles each.

Far better, though, is – for weaker opposition – 15,000 Skywards miles for a seat in the Emirates box.  This comes complete with full hospitality including food and drink.  I don’t know what Arsenal usually charge but when I bought my father-in-law something similar at Chelsea it was £250 per head – and that wasn’t even for a box seat.

Unfortunately, the two games remaining are pricier than that.  Everton is 30,000 miles per VIP seat.  Liverpool is 40,000 miles per VIP seat.  Chelsea is no longer available because me and my father-in-law are going!

Take a look here if you want more information on the tickets that are available.  The Arsenal games appear to be capped at two standard and two VIP tickets per match.

If you are willing to travel, there are tickets still left for games in Europe this season at AC Milan, Hamburger SV, Paris St Germain and SL Benfica.  The Real Madrid games are sold out.   VIP hospitality is available for most.

Emirates Skywards is a 1:1 transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards.   Amex Gold (review here) comes with 20,000 points for signing-up or 22,000 if I refer you.

Amex Platinum (review here) comes with 30,000 points for signing up or 35,000 if I refer you.  This means that the sign-up bonus would get you all the Skywards miles you need (30,000) for two tickets in the Emirates box against weaker opposition!

You should also keep any eye on the Emirates credit cards.  The Elite can carry a bonus of up to 25,000 miles when it is on promotion.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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