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How to cash out your Amex Membership Rewards points or Emirates Skywards miles for 1p each

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In our main article today I wrote about the very generous ‘double up’ bonus which Heathrow Rewards is running from today, 24th July, to Monday 30th July.  During this period, every 250 Heathrow Rewards points you convert will get you a £5 Heathrow shopping voucher instead of a £2.50 voucher.

There is an ‘advanced’ way to work this offer.  I have put it into this separate article in order to not dilute the main message of the ‘double up’ deal for those readers who are less keen on the sort of creativity I am about to outline.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that there is a second Heathrow Rewards bonus running at the moment.  You receive a 50% bonus when you transfer Emirates Skywards miles into Heathrow Rewards.  This offer runs until 31st July.  Full details are in this article.

You should also remember that American Express Membership Rewards points convert to Emirates Skywards miles at a rate of 1:1.  This transfer is instant as long as your accounts are already linked and should be done within a day if they are not.

This means you can get creative …..

It is possible, for the next seven days only, to get 1p of Heathrow Airport shopping vouchers per American Express Membership Rewards point or Emirates Skywards mile you have.

This is how:

Step 1:  Transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to Emirates Skywards via this page of the Amex website 

The transfer is instant if your accounts are already linked and should be fairly quick even if they are not – although there is a risk.  You need to transfer in chunks of 500 American Express points with a minimum of 1,000.

Step 2:  Transfer your Emirates Skywards miles into Heathrow Rewards points via this page of the Emirates website 

You need to convert at least 6,000 Emirates Skywards miles which, under this offer, will get you 3,000 Heathrow Rewards points instead of the usual 2,000.  Larger transfers must be in multiples of 2,000 miles.  The transfer was instant when I did this a couple of years ago.  The risk here is that the bonus does not post immediately.

IMPORTANT:  Heathrow Rewards points transferred from Emirates can only be used for shopping vouchers, Heathrow Express tickets or airport parking.  They cannot be transferred out to another airline scheme.

Step 3:  Redeem your Heathrow Rewards points for Heathrow shopping vouchers via the Heathrow Rewards website 

As long as you order your vouchers by 30th July, you will receive 2p per point instead of the usual 1p.  You need to redeem in multiples of 250 Heathrow Rewards points.

So ….

6,000 American Express Membership Rewards points converts into

6,000 Emirates Skywards miles which converts into

3,000 Heathrow Rewards points (with the 50% bonus until 31st July) which converts into

£60 of Heathrow Airport shopping vouchers (with the 100% bonus until 30th July) which are valid for 12 months

That is 1p per American Express Membership Rewards point or Emirates Skywards mile.

There is, of course, some risk here and if it all goes goes wrong, don’t blame us:

Emirates Skywards transfers from Amex are instant but if your accounts are not linked it may take a day

The one time I did a transfer from Emirates Skywards into Heathrow Rewards it was also instant, but that was two years ago – I don’t have any recent experience

I’m not sure if the 50% Heathrow Rewards bonus posts immediately or not

As you have a full week from today to order the vouchers from Heathrow Rewards, the risk is manageable in my view.  1p per American Express Membership Rewards points is a good return although, of course, you should really have something in mind to buy and be planning a visit to the airport.

Heathrow Rewards is expecting high demand during this promotion and is warning that it could take 28 days for your shopping vouchers to arrive in the post.  Do not order if you must have them sooner, although it may well happen.

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (February 2023)

Emirates Skywards does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Emirates Skywards miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Emirates Skywards miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Emirates Skywards mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (106)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • New Card says:

    Just tried this – the bonus appears in Heathrow Rewards immediately!

  • Liz says:

    OT MBNA has kindly given both our old Virgin White cards a £15 credit when they converted them to the new Horizon card. Can I use the old virgin cards and spend £15 to get the accounts back to zero or do we have to wait for the new cards to appear? Sorry if this has been asked before.

    • JohnT says:

      Yes can use them (for now). PS used my “old” Virgin Amex Ok for a foreign transaction – pending conversation rate looked bad (ie -3%) but actual amount when posted looked better.

  • Craig Sutherland says:

    Thanks Rob – just converted MR 6000 -> EK6000 -> HR 3000 Points all posted pretty much instantly. Ordered my vouchers too! Great tip

    • New Card says:

      Agreed – thanks Rob! £300 spending money out of some miles I thought were practically useless 🙂

      Another data point – Amex/Emirates linking was instant and all points transfers were instant for me.

      • Mr Dee says:

        Linked once I removed the EK letters and entered just the numbers, now just waiting for the miles to transfer

  • AVM says:

    Rob, can i transfer miles from my Family Skywards account to HR?

  • New Card says:

    Does anyone know a way I can earn an extra 50 Skywards miles quickly, please? Am stuck on 5,950 and would like to redeem another 6,000 for this offer. No active MR account in my name either.

    Grateful for any advice!

    • the real harry1 says:

      ring & ask nicely for 50 free ones to make your number, been known to work

    • Mr Dee says:

      Are there no options to transfer some points in from somewhere other than MR?

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I’ve got 6700, so can use 6k of them, Anyway I can gift you 50?

      • New Card says:

        Thanks for the offer! Don’t think there’s any way without gifting 1,000 and paying USD 30 sadly, but I appreciate the offer

  • J says:

    Thanks Rob. I’d all but written of my skywards miles, which expire at the end of the year. This all processed pretty much immediately. There seem to be very few restrictions on Heathrow vouchers -does this mean they work in the restaurants and in Boots?

    • J says:

      That’s for the instant rewards, I thought the vouchers were far less restrictive? But haven’t found anything confirming this.

    • J says:

      Given that in the terms, the staff restaurant is specifically excluded. I’m going to assume they are likely to be valid in all other restaurants.
      ‘Heathrow Rewards vouchers cannot be used in the following outlets: Bureaux de Change, betting shops, Post Offices, vending and gaming machines, Eurest staff restaurants and the BA Highlife staff shop. ‘

    • Rob says:

      NO – this list is for ‘instant rewards’ eg where they can swipe your HR cards and take the money off your balance.

      The postal vouchers are good EVERYWHERE in Heathrow (except the Post Office).

      • J says:

        Thanks for the clarity Rob – nice to know I have a years worth of free Boots meal deals ahead!

  • James says:


    I have a BAEC Household Account woth my two parents and they would both like to transfer Amex MR points from their Amex accounts into their BAEC accounts.
    How do we go about doing that ?

    Is there some convoluted way we have to do it because they are members of a Household Account ??


    • Genghis says:

      No. Just use the points in the normal way. I.e. add BAEC as a partner (might then have to wait a few days) and then transfer.

    • Rob says:

      No, Amex will transfer into their own BA account. No problem at all, the HHA is not an issue.

  • Nicholas Pearce says:

    Just did this having not even created an Emirates account before. MR to Emirates, Emirates to Heathrow and Heathrow to redeemed shopping vouchers all went off without a hitch. The bonus Heathrow points from the Emirates transfer posted instantly too!

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