Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: How does the Jumeirah One hotel loyalty scheme work?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is our review of the Jumeriah One loyalty scheme. Jumeirah One replaced Jumeirah Sirius last year, although it hasn’t made much of an impact.

It is the programme for Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, the Dubai-based group with properties across the Middle East. They can also be found in London, Frankfurt, Capri, Mallorca, Shanghai and the Maldives amongst other places. Oman and Bali are coming this year.

I was waiting until I had done my first Jumeirah stay post the switch before taking a look at the programme. I received a chunk of points after my Burj Al Arab trip which I reviewed here.

Jumeirah One is worse than Jumeirah Sirius

I’m not entirely sure why Jumeirah bothered with a new loyalty scheme, because very little has changed.

The biggest change is negative. The scheme now appears to be totally revenue-driven for redemptions.

Revenue based redemptions:

Revenue based free night pricing has destroyed most of the value in the scheme for me. Sirius used to work like Hilton Honors – you would get a number of rooms available at fixed points pricing, and when they were gone it moved to far higher pricing based on the cash price.

Cash-based points pricing is now the standard pricing. At best, I have found ‘special offers’ where the points price is cut by 15%. It is still dreadful.

I did some maths as you will see below. You get around 1.5p per Jumeirah One point if lucky. This is TERRIBLE given that you only earn 2 points per $1 spent.

You are getting around 4p of points per £1 you spend. What possible incentive is there to book direct with Jumeirah to earn points when you get so little back? If the pricing is equal, you might as well book via Hotels.com and pick up 10% back in Hotels.com Rewards.

A confused status system:

The massive problem with their status tiers wasn’t fixed either.

Jumeirah One retains the utterly stupid tier point system that Jumeirah Sirus used.

When you go up a status level, your status points are reset to zero.

You may not immediately see the problem here. However, as Jumeirah mainly runs holiday hotels, people are running up large bills. You receive your tier points in big chunks.

For example, Jumeirah One Silver status needs 5,000 tier points and Gold requires 30,000 tier points.

You do an expensive stay ($14,999 before taxes) at a Jumeirah property which earns 29,999 tier points. When your stay posts, you hit Silver and all 29,999 points are lost. 19,999 are wasted because you only actually needed 10,000 to hit Silver. Your balance resets to zero. You are still $15,000 away from Gold status.

I have come a cropper with this a couple of times over the years, and it has stopped me reaching Gold before now.

My Burj Al Arab stay in December earned 7,898 tier points due to a ‘double points’ offer. I was promoted to Silver, which required 5,000 points, and my balance was reduced to zero. 2,898 tier points were lost.

How does Jumeirah One work?

OK, rant over.

The programme has three tiers – Silver, Gold and Platinum. The spend targets I quote below are over a rolling 12-month period, subject to the crazy rule I quoted above about resetting your points on promotion.

You earn two tier points per $1 spent.

Jumeiah One Silver tier

Silver requires 5,000 tier points, so $2,500 of spend.

Benefits are:

  • 25% bonus on base points
  • 2pm late check-out
  • Welcome amenity
  • Free breakfast
  • 10% restaurant discount

Having had Silver under the old Sirius scheme, I find free breakfast the main benefit here. The 10% restaurant discount does add up over a long stay. If Jumeirah One has a ‘sweet spot’, it is Silver status.

Jumeirah One Gold tier

Gold requires 30,000 tier points, so $15,000 of spend. This is a MASSIVE leap from Silver – I don’t know any other loyalty scheme which requires 6x the spend to jump between two tiers.

Benefits are:

  • 50% bonus on base points
  • 5th night free on redemptions
  • Free Silver status for a friend
  • 4pm late check-out
  • Welcome amenity
  • Free breakfast
  • Free minibar (soft drinks only)
  • Free one-way airport transfer
  • Complimentary garment pressing
  • 10% restaurant discount

There is a LOT of spending required here for what is, let’s be honest, a fairly modest step-up in benefits over Silver.

Remember that you can get a guaranteed 4pm check-out and free breakfast simply for booking via American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts if you have an American Express Platinum card. You can get similar benefits via our own hotel partner (details at the bottom). There is no need to spend $15,000 in the previous 12 months!

Jumeirah One Platinum benefits

Platinum requires 90,000 tier points, so $45,000 of spend (!)

Benefits are:

  • 100% bonus on base points
  • 5th night free on redemptions
  • Free Gold status for a friend
  • 9am early check-in
  • 4pm late check-out
  • One category room upgrade
  • Welcome amenity
  • Free breakfast
  • Free minibar (soft drinks only)
  • Free two-way airport transfer
  • Complimentary garment pressing
  • 10% restaurant discount
  • A free photo shoot on the Burj Al Arab helipad

I’m slightly lost for words here. Spend $45,000 in a year – and this is excluding taxes – and you can have a one category upgrade on your next stay. It’s all a bit of a joke.

For comparison, the two most exclusive hotel statuses amongst the main chains – Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador and InterContinental Royal Ambassador – only require $15,000 to $20,000 of annual spend. The benefits are also far better than this.

What rewards does Jumeirah One offer?

Since the relaunch, I am struggling to find any outsize value here.

Here are some free night examples:

  • Jumeirah Carlton Tower London on 1st May – £485 or 30,604 points (1.6p per point)
  • Jumeirah Frankfurt on 1st May – €249 or 11,448 points (1.9p per point – this is flagged as a ‘promotional reward’)
  • Burj Al Arab on 1st May – Dhs 5,181 or 67,735 points (1.5p per point)
  • Jumeirah Himalayas Shanghai on 1st May – CNY 968 or 7,588 points (1.4p per point)

The pattern continues with vouchers:

  • Dhs 1,000 dining voucher – 15,000 points (1.3p per point)
  • Bottle of house wine in London hotel – 1,000 points (1.5p per point?)

There are also transfers available to selected frequent flyer schemes – ANA Mileage Club, Emirates Skywards, JAL Mileage Bank, Saudia Alfursan and Turkish Miles & Smiles.

The rate is poor – Emirates Skywards is 2:1, for example. You are ‘paying’ a terrible 3p per mile compared to redeeming for hotel rooms or credit.

What return am I getting with Jumeirah One?

Let’s take 1.5p per point as your average redemption value.

Based on earning 2 points per $1 as a non-status member, your return is 4.1% on your pre-tax spend. This isn’t great.

With Silver status, booking direct has a little more value due to free breakfast and the 10% dining discount. However, unless Jumeirah is offering a decent discount for direct booking, there isn’t enough here to stop you booking via an online travel agent with a better reward scheme.

Can you top up Jumeirah One accounts with American Express Membership Rewards points?

Jumeirah One is part of some Membership Rewards schemes but NOT the UK one.

It is part of the International Currency Card scheme, at 4:1. I explain how to get an International Currency Card from the UK herethere is a bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points on Platinum which you can get even if you have the UK Platinum card. This is not a great transfer rate, effectively 0.4p per $1 spent on your Amex ICC card.

Conclusion

Jumeirah Sirius was always a flawed scheme because of the way it wiped your tier points after every status upgrade.

There were, however, some astonishing redemptions available. I took out an Amex International Currency Card purely so I could move points from my UK card to the ICC card and then into Jumeirah.

Over October half-term in 2019, my notes show I got an amazing 3.4p per UK American Express point this way. Over Easter 2016 I got 3.8p.

If Jumeirah One is offering purely revenue-based redemptions, it will be impossible to get more than 0.5p per point in the future. I had a great run though …..

In some ways the problems with Jumeirah One mirror the problems with the hotel group. It has lost a lot of hotels in recent years – most recently three mid-tier hotels in Dubai and the flagship Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. It has also lost hotels in Istanbul, Rome, Bodrum, New York and the Maldives amongst others. My view is that it is confused – outside Dubai, should it target Western tourists who trust the brand from the Dubai hotels, or Emiratis who are travelling?

I am struggling to see the point of Jumeirah One. The jump from Silver to Gold is ludicrously high. The conversion rate to airlines is poor. The earning rate on stays is too low. Having to spend $45,000 per year to get a one-category upgrade is a joke.

In some ways Jumeirah struggles because it is trying to satisfy two groups of customers at once. There are people spending £200 per night in Frankfurt and £2,000 per night in Dubai.

The programme offers little to anyone who is not a high roller – and the high rollers are probably insulted that they only get free soft drinks in their mini-bar and a tiny upgrade.

Look at my position. I am sitting on 8,700 points. I could get a free room worth around £130, except few Jumeirah hotels cost so little. I can’t use them to part-pay for a room. I imagine that I will end up redeeming for a £100 restaurant voucher at the Carlton Tower (photo above) when it re-opens, which at least is an option open to me as a London resident.

PS. If you are thinking of booking a Jumeirah hotel, our hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas is an appointed Jumeirah ‘Passport to Luxury’ agent.

ALL bookings via Emyr will come with

  • Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two
  • Room upgrade on arrival, based on availability
  • $75 food and beverage or spa credit, per room per stay
  • Early check-in and 4pm late check-out, based on availability
  • Complimentary wi-fi
  • A personalised welcome amenity and card
  • Enhanced recognition through VIP status
  • Complimentary one way airport transfer for suite guests

You will still receive your Jumeirah One points. In my experience, Emyr can also occasionally access lower rates than the Jumeirah website shows.

You can contact Emyr via this page of Head for Points.


Hotel offers update – June 2021:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Want to buy hotel points? There is currently a special offer running with Marriott Bonvoy (30% discount to 20th June), Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 8th July) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 25th June).

Comments (19)

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    This sounds a dreadful scheme, my favourite was IC Royal Ambassador which I qualified for a few years when I was able to stay in InterContinentals a lot. My biggest criticism of Hilton is there’s nothing above diamond, I stayed over 200 nights in Hilton in 2019 and received the same status as someone who stayed 60 nights, in 2020 I had already stayed over 60 nights before coronavirus hit and get nothing extra. I’d love a Royal Ambassador style tier in Hilton but it’s not happening. A one category upgrade seems so uninspiring for a top tier with high requirements. Many one category upgrades I’ve had have been to similar rooms just in a slightly better location.

    • Harry T says:

      If you’re able to stay 200 nights a year, why not spread the status love around? Give Hilton their 60 for Diamond, give Marriott 50-75 for Platinum – Titanium, maybe even throw 60 at Hyatt for Globalist. If your loyalty isn’t rewarded sufficiently above 60 nights, then you can take it elsewhere.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Precisely this – if you’re not happy with the recognition for those extra 140 discretionary stats then don’t stay there for them.

        And your 200 nights gets you the same treatment as an US credit card holder, btw…

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Unfortunately most of 2019 I needed to be somewhere (Bournemouth) that the Hilton was the best option. Hilton was a 5 min walk to the office, I considered also putting some business towards the Marriott but that was less convenient for the office. The only IHG option was a Holiday Inn. The years I was IC Royal Ambassador I was lucky to be going to places that had an IC and I had enough stays to maintain RA plus Hilton diamond.

        At least my 200 nights have pushed me towards lifetime

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          Well, seeing it from Hilton’s perspective then – you stayed there 200 nights essentially because it was the best choice absent any Elite consideration.
          Perhaps that is often the case, anyone it might be the case that in most instances of people blowing away the top tier requirements there’s another factor in their loyalty and hence no incentive for the chain to give anything further away…

    • John says:

      Lifetime has value. Until they water it down. It’s already happening with the US credit card spending counting as base points. You can count on being the only Lifetime in a hotel, perhaps that month even in the busiest of markets. That will not last long.

      As I stayed 300 nights in 2019 there should be a special status at say the 250 threshold. At 2000 I believe some kind of ultra lifetime.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Very true. Those with bmi diamond status for life lost it when taken over by BA as BA didn’t offer lifetime status at the time. Hopefully I’ll get a few years benefit out of lifetime Hilton diamond but you can’t count on it

    • Rob says:

      RA is now just a two category upgrade though – the ‘unlimited’ upgrade rule went.

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    I always found the best way to use Sirius points was on dining vouchers for the Rib Room at the very much missed, Carlton Tower, in town. As a group of friends, we had many Sunday lunch parties there in the private dining facilities. 10% off the bill for food and drink and vouchers for a couple of hundred pounds came in handy. Everyone very happy with their 10% discount, pays their discounted share and ………. Bob’s your Uncle! AmEx points and the vouchers effectively turned into cash!!
    Other top tips on how to make your pension go further to follow :- )) !!

    • 1ATL says:

      +1 This was my favourite Sirius redemption too and the Sirius status discount just made it even sweeter

  • BP says:

    Looking at booking DAM and I’m finding sites like Stayforlong.com are over £100 a night cheaper than booking direct. It’s a bit of a no-brainer Vs Jumeirah.

    I’m trying to get a hotels.com price match as my hotels.com silver status will get me 20% off all food and drink which will save a significant amount over 8 days. Easily a £120+ saving for 2 people, even with half board.

    • Rob says:

      Ask Emyr for a quote too. He had an unpublished lower rate for the Burj, may have DAM too.

  • pauldb says:

    Back in the early days of Sirius you got 1,000 points just for joining, as long as you activated your membership by spending $50 in a London Jumeirah restaurant. And 1,000 got you a £300 free night at Al Qasr (which ended up being an upgrade to Dar Al Masyaf for us). One of the best travel deals yet.

  • Alun Watkins says:

    I agree with the criticisms of the new Jumeirah One and also miss the lost Lounge Access benefit with its free food and alcoholic drinks which I had with my Sirius Gold Card. I agree it’s no longer worth booking direct!

  • Camille55 says:

    As UK Cent, previously had Sirius Gold (top tier). Now J1 Gold (mid-tier). Agreed loss of club lounge access is crap. Also agree Rib Room was one of the best redemption options with Sirius.

    Agree entirely with the article. Its now a rubbish programme.

  • Gary Mc Donald says:

    In Dubai Jumeirah One replaces isme app and the new version is useless. Isme used to offer dining reductions at all Jumeirah restaurants but the new one doesn’t offer any. It only seems to be a pretty poor ;oyaly programme for hotel stays. With competition in Dubai hotting up now for brunches etc it means I won’t be going to any Jumeirah restaurants any more. Other restaurants offer much better deals, Brunch is not even on Entertainer any more. What will happen is when they realise their mistake they will put deals on then but it will be too late by then as I will have found new places to go.

    • Rob says:

      I was wondering that was happening to isme – a reader sent me the email about it being ‘merged’ with One which looked a lot like closure to me.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.