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Emirates wants to launch a new UK credit card

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Emirates wants to launch a new UK credit card – and they are serious enough to be asking people to pick a preferred design.

Emirates sent out a survey to some UK members of Emirates Skywards last week.  It offered entry to a prize draw to win 50,000 Skywards miles in return for your thoughts on launching a new Emirates credit card.

The survey wanted to know what people had done after the old MBNA Emirates Skywards credit card, picture below, was closed in 2018.

After asking what card you had replaced your MBNA card with, it went on to ask what other airline credit cards you held and whether you still had an interest in holding an Emirates Skywards card.

It then asked questions about why you chose your current main credit card provider (good app, good service etc).

So far, so standard.

New UK Emirates credit card

What benefits would you want from a new Emirates credit card?

It went on to ask what you would want from an Emirates credit card.  Pick from:

Earning a ‘generous’ number of miles per £1

Earning miles on balance transfers

Earning a sign-up bonus

Earning Skywards tier miles each year you renew an annual fee card

Discounts on flight tickets

Airline benefits (priority check-in etc)

Ability to spend airlines miles from the card on hotel bookings 

Ability to spend airline miles from the card in High Street shops

It them moved on to asking what sort of card design you preferred.  How about this?

New UK Emirates credit card

Or possibly this?

New UK Emirates credit card

Can Emirates get a new credit card off the ground?

It’s good to see Emirates keen to launch a new UK credit card.  We saw a similar survey from Hilton a few months ago, so there may be a spike of activity on the way.

The question, though, is who will issue them.  As I have written before, if 1% of the money going into Starling / Monzo / Revolut / Atom / N26 online current accounts was being dedicated to launching an online-only low-cost credit card company, we could find a model which would survive in the world of low interchange fees.

The rest of Europe has adapted but the bloated UK market, which still expects to make oversized profits from credit cards, has not.  LinkedIn has over 6,500 employees of Barclaycard listed, for example, and that will only be a percentage.  Capital On Tap, which recently launched an online-based UK Avios payment card for small businesses and already had 50,000 customers for its ‘no rewards’ card, seems to have around 50 staff based on my last visit ….

Earning Emirates Skywards miles via UK credit cards

Whilst Emirates no longer has its own UK credit card, you can earn Emirates Skywards points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These are:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Emirates Skywards miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Emirates Skywards miles.

Comments (61)

  • Qwerty Bertie says:

    Wow, more than twice as many comments about teabags as about this! Forget Amex changes and interchange caps; clearly the national hot drink is more important than an exciting new card prospect, in a currently dull and uncompetitive marker, that could potentially provide us an easy route to a better deal than BA…

    I really like the idea of a card that gives some of the benefits of status, without needing to think about tier points/award miles etc. I don’t fly enough to make any top airline status realistically maintainable, so this would appeal to me, as would the idea of getting a rung up such as silver (is that similar to BA silver or to bronze?)

    • Alex Sm says:

      Of course!

    • Rob says:

      Iberia gives status with its Visa in Spain ….

      There are two types of status – giving you status, or giving you credit towards status. For example, IHG gives you Gold status in IHG with the free credit card. This is less useful than giving you 10 nights stay credit (=Gold) as that would put you nearer to Platinum as well.

      • Nick_C says:

        Will be interesting to see what BA comes up with on their own MC or Visa when the Amex contact ends.

        What I would most like to see is free seat reservations for cardholders. Paying £70 to £100 each way to select a seat in CW does not make me feel good. Luckily, it won’t be necessary once the new Club World is rolled out fleet wide.

        • Michael says:

          I can see why they’re reluctantly rolling out a new seat, they’re going to lose a hell of a lot of money from seat selection fees.

  • Chopin says:

    Have no idea why I didn’t receive the survey. Emirates is my first choice of flying, I am currently using MR to do the mile transfer, which is a quite expensive way.

    I ‘d love to see the new credit card have a good earning rate and I am ready to pay the annual fee.

  • Phillip jones says:

    I believe a new emirates card will be an instant success provided of course the benefits are similar or close to that of their last one. I very much look forward to hearing more about this.
    Interestingly, I have not received any correspondence from them despite my being a gold card holder and also being responsible for purchasing many other flights with emirates for many of my family and work colleagues.