Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

You can now book Arsenal football games using your Emirates Skywards miles

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Emirates has done its traditional August release of Arsenal football tickets for Emirates Skywards members who have miles to redeem.

This season sees a couple of changes:

pricing is more variable – there has historically just been high and low depending on opposition

games are being released at shorter notice

Arsenal games now available for Emirates Skywards miles

The latter change is actually an improvement.  The TV scheduling is only decided a couple of months in advance.  Historically you could book a ticket for a Saturday and end up seeing the game on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday.  Even worse, Emirates did not allow you to refund your tickets if the date was changed.  The new system hopefully allows tickets to only be released when the date is firm.

You can see the current games available on this page of the Emirates website (log in required).  You can pick from Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace which takes you up to late October.

The cheapest game is Aston Villa.  It is 11,000 miles per seat for a standard ticket and 22,000 for the Emirates VIP box.

The box is VERY good.  It is the best located box in the stadium and you get good quality drinks and hot food before, during and after the game.  Here is a review of a past trip although I have been 7-8 times since.

Note that you are restricted to two tickets per game per Skywards account.

Transfers from American Express Membership Rewards to Emirates Skywards are instantaneous if the accounts are already linked and should be pretty quick even if they are not.  You can redeem for someone else BUT the name must be provided at the time of booking.  Photo ID IS required and IS checked (tickets must be collected in person from the Arsenal offices on the day) although when I couldn’t go once due to a date change a friend got away with showing a credit card in my name.


Earning Flying Blue miles from credit cards

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (November 2020)

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 cardsThese are:

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 (83)

  • Polly says:

    More useful now if aiming to meet the 4k spend quickly on the green to plat upgrade.
    And for the final push towards the BAPP 241 voucher, if having a low spend period.
    Have def found them willing to lower my int rate to 2.25% when l have called them up about a high spend ahead. Do the maths, can work if timing a factor. Worth the few extra £ in fees, often.

    • Neil Donoghue says:

      What is the green to plat upgrade bonus worth please? I don’t think those points can be justified with the annual fee on the green card and then on the plat card.

      • Doug M says:

        40K

      • Doug M says:

        I guess the idea is you do it quickly, get the card fees mostly refunded.

        I’m very much in two minds about Plat renewal, can’t decide and keep reaching different conclusion. Some good offers, but better offers on the Gold, albeit most spend through the Gold. Don’t use AL, but lounges have been useful and had some decent offers, wonder if cancelling Plat has impact on offers on other cards, I guess we just don’t know. Insurance useless to me, decisions decisions.

        • Neil Donoghue says:

          20,000 Amex points for £50 assuming you can spend the £4k in 4 weeks. In reality, it will probably take closer to 6 weeks while you wait for the upgrade to process! Thanks for the info guys, it’s not for me.

          • Mark2 says:

            Remember 5,000 for supplementary card; a few referrals @ 12,000 and hotel etc. statuses if not already held.
            And carrying a metal card for a few weeks!!

          • Neil Donoghue says:

            Very true Mark however as I am only 7 months away from the new 24 month rule – I think I will hold out.

          • BJ says:

            If you don’t want to lay out the £4k in a month just pay council tax and get vouchers for shopping and petrol and then shaft the lot to a 0% interest no fee balance transfer card for 24 months and pay off with your usual monthly expenditure on council tax etc.

          • Neil Donoghue says:

            Yikes, that is hardcore BJ! I guess for those who don’t have the expenditure, it’s a great idea. Sounds like even more admin IMO

  • Mikeact says:

    So, what’s your BA, CIV score ? I guess I’m nudging zero.

  • Spurs Debs says:

    I used billhop for first time a few weeks ago. It was easy to set up and transaction went through with no problems. The app is also easy to use. Linked to Amex card and 2000 points earned on new front door purchase. My only regret is I didn’t discover it sooner when I spent 70k mostly in cash renovating my house. But I’ll know for the next one!
    My advice is if setting up new account for something special do it a week before as they will send a letter with security checks on to follow.

    • Genghis says:

      Assuming you weren’t aiming for a sign up bonus, how much did those 2k (I assume MRs) cost? Between £45 and £60?

      • Spurs Debs says:

        £59 I think but it wasn’t about collecting points that was a by product. I needed to pay by credit card and the supplier didn’t take cards. For me the Amex points were a plus in a transaction I didn’t want to do but had to do.

        • Doug M says:

          Didn’t take cards 🙁 Is your house in Germany….

          • Spurs Debs says:

            Lol a lot of trades don’t take cards, especially out in the countryside. None of my builder family do, none of their fellow carpenters, sparks, plumbers, brickies etc mates do either.

        • Genghis says:

          You needed to pay by credit card for cash flow purposes? If so, fair enough. Remember there’s no S75 protection. I’d have tried to negotiate Paypal or as last resort done a bank transfer (and saved £40).

          • Spurs Debs says:

            Oh genghis if only I hadn’t spent £5k cash on clearing land and a new 100 foot fence I would of had no use for billhop. If only the step on old doors wasn’t so high I couldn’t get Mum or wheelchair in/out of the house and it was a fall waiting to happen, which would then involve a call to paramedics then the falls people would be annoying me again let alone any physical damage done. An extra £59 for peace of mind is worth it for me and my mum.

          • MD says:

            Or even a bank transfer from a Revolut account which you’ve been topping up with £500 ish per day on your miles earning Mastercard or Visa, thus removing the need for Billhop from the entire process and earning those same miles for zero fees…

          • Russ says:

            Good idea MD but a problem for some of us who like to avoid right of set off if it applies.

            We are in a similar situation to Spurs Debs in we’d previously bought a few fixer uppers for renting. Trade people just won’t take credit cards and all our payments now go through Billhop. I’d like it to be cheaper but I’m using the points to offset cash costs for peak period J tickets to the middle east so still has good value.

          • Genghis says:

            @Russ. ” I’m using the points to offset cash costs for peak period J tickets to the middle east so still has good value”. As I repeat often on here, don’t value more than you can buy them for. Assuming you’re using a BAPP and have the Billhop 2.25% preferred rate, you’re paying 1.5p per avios. Even if you redeem at 3p per avios, using Billhop is still not a good deal when you can buy them alternatively for 1p!

          • Russ says:

            ‘don’t value more than you can buy them for’

            Quite right Genghis. Unfortunately I’ve used up all our allocation this year so having to get them where I can. Timely reminder though and very important. Thank you.

          • Genghis says:

            @Russ used up all of BA, IB, Groupon, Vente Privee etc?

          • Russ says:

            I have Genghis but not keen on using Ventree.

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Exactly Russ …. I don’t know one person who takes cards it just doesn’t happen, might do in big cities but not out in sticks. My family are full of trades thankfully for me, they would pee themselves laughing if you suggested they take cards. I can just hear the conversation in the pub now” you never guess what I had today, some bloke wanted me to take something called Revolut or curve, I told him what he could do with that idea cash only”

      • Genghis says:

        Revolut pays into a normal bank account…

        • Tom H says:

          +1 for Revolut with an alternative card, there are very few situations were bellhop with Amex makes sense, as Genghis points out your cost for point is too high for straightforward spend!

      • MD says:

        Revolut can basically be used as a normal bank account Debs, sort code and account number. You can do normal bank transfers and set up direct debits etc. No reason why anyone would refuse a bank transfer, unless looking to avoid tax I suppose (no accusation implied). No reason for them to ever even hear the term Revolut, and wasn’t suggesting they take cards. You can fund it with bank transfers from your own accounts, or top it up (admittedly more slowly) with your points earning credit cards, for no fee with the right card. So basically a direct transfer as Genghis suggested, but from an account that made you miles funding it.

  • DaveL says:

    OT – Lloyds avios card. Had mine switched from the dual Amex/MasterCard to a new MasterCard a few months back, with a year still to run on the promotional interest free period. Have had grief ever since with being charged interest and having to chase Lloyds to refund, them promising it will not happen again etc, then repeat. Anyone else in the situation and bothered to raise a complaint? Is it worth pushing for some comp for the grief?

    • Genghis says:

      Lloyd’s give compo like confetti for such situations. Enjoy.

    • Anna says:

      IMO incorrectly charging interest is quite serious as less savvy people than those who generally frequent this site may well not realise that this is happening or that Lloyds can’t just do this. I would raise a formal complaint with them then go to the FOS if you don’t think their response is adequate.

    • Rob Walker says:

      Yes, I’m in the same situation. I called last month and they apologised and promptly refunded the interest that had been charged. I’ve just had another statement, and yep, interest has been charged again.

  • Anna says:

    It’s reported in the Independent that the CAA have intervened to put BAcon the spot about refusing to re-route pax affected by the pilots’ strike – good to see pro-active steps being taken for once, though actually getting BA to comply might still be like pulling teeth!

  • Paul says:

    O/T can you get a points bonus on Virgin card for adding a supplementary or is only option to have separate Mr & Mrs cards?

  • A270 says:

    OT: We are getting a new car but the old one has sold unexpectedly quickly! I will need a cheap rental for about 4 weeks if it’s an excellent deal. Are there any tips or certain providers that I can look at that would get me an economical rental?

    • Lady London says:

      Hertz has on their website to contact them for special rates over 28 days. I suspect all the majors do it. Best to have a start date out of August holiday period/first week of september if you can though.

      Do you need a car everyday or are you in a position to use Uber etc. for what you need to do until your new car arrives?

      PS IME new cars can also arrive late, and drag on for quite a while chasing till you get them. Depending on the brand. So if it’s brandnew from a dealer, will you need to take into account potentially needing an interim car for longer?

    • Charlieface says:

      Easyjet Cars
      Hertz Australia (with Amex Gold/Plat CDP)
      Hertz Brazil (as above)

      Don’t forget excess waiver with Questor and MSE’s discount code

  • Combatjohnny says:

    Any idea when tickets other teams will be available? I fancy a weekend away watching European football

    • Rob says:

      No idea.

      Note that Bonvoy usually has some German footy packages on offer too.

      • Andy says:

        Bonvoy had tickets for Bayern Munich vs Dortmund that were surprisingly low in points a while back, but the auctions only end a couple of weeks before the game, which does then make it a bit of a rush to get well priced transport.