If you live in the UK regions, Emirates is a decent choice for long-haul travel, especially in premium cabins on the A380 routes.
One downside is Emirates Skywards. It is a pretty feeble loyalty scheme with low earning rates and high redemption rates. You can redeem for Arsenal VIP football tickets and for easyJet flights but that is about it.
One alternative is crediting Emirates flights to Alaska Airlines as the two are partners. Alaska is also a British Airways partner so you could redeem the miles for BA flights. If you didn’t have enough, you could credit a few BA, Air France or KLM flights to Alaska to top up your account.
There is an alternative, though.
Qantas signed a major tie-up with Emirates two years ago. A large number of Emirates flights now carry Qantas flight codes. Qantas is also a member of the oneworld alliance alongside British Airways.
As long as your Emirates flight is booked under a Qantas (QF) flight number and not an Emirates (EK) flight number, you will receive Avios points when you fly.
I got my wife to try this out recently. She had to fly to Singapore for a conference with the start date being immediately after our recent Dubai holiday. As the rest of us were already booked on Emirates, it made sense to book her onto a London – Dubai (stopover) – Singapore – Dubai – London routing.
This is what posted on ba.com:
As you can see, full long-haul tier points – 560 tier points for the return trip – and Avios were received. Whilst it states that all four flights were ‘operated by Qantas’, this is not the case. Three were on Emirates with only QF1 being on a Qantas aircraft.
To book an Emirates flight under the Qantas flight numbers, you should use the Qantas website to book. Flights may be cheaper, the same or more expensive than booking via the Emirates site – it varies by service – so be careful. Expedia and other third party sites may also show Emirates flights with Qantas flight numbers but you need to check this carefully before hitting the ‘buy’ button.
For corporate bookings, you need to carefully explain to your travel booking company what you want to do. It is not just routes to Australia that have a Qantas codeshare attached as these Singapore flights show.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.