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How do Emirates ‘My Family’ household accounts work?

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Most people don’t realise that the British Airways style of family or household account is actually very rare.  Few other airlines let you pool 100% of the miles earned by your wider friends and family.

Until 2018, Emirates had a family policy that could best be described as a token gesture.  Your family were allowed to credit their miles to your account, but only at a rate of 20%.  All of the other miles were lost.

Emirates My Family account

You had the situation where, for example, you and three family members could individually earn 10,000 Skywards miles each from a particular flight, or one person could earn 16,000 miles (10,000 + 2,000 + 2,000 + 2,000).  Hmmm …..

Emirates dropped that idea for ‘My Family’

Emirates now has a programme called My Family You can find the details here.  

Up to eight family members can come together.  They do need to be family and there is a list of acceptable relationships:

“Husband, Wife, Partner, Son, Step‑Son, Daughter, Step‑Daughter, Mother, Mother‑in‑Law, Step‑Mother, Father, Father‑in‑Law, Step‑Father, Brother, Sister, Granddaughter, Grandson and Domestic Helper.”

Going forward, you can agree that either 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of your miles earned go into the pooled ‘My Family’ pot.

It is not possible to return miles back to individual accounts once they have been placed in a ‘My Family’ account.  If someone leaves the account, the Skywards miles they contributed remain in the family pot.

How does ‘My Family’ work?

When we last looked at ‘My Family’, just after it launched, it was equally as quirky as the previous scheme.  Emirates was only allowing you to pool miles from flights and NOT from partner activity such as credit cards.  As well as being hugely confusing to administer, this was also not practical for most people.

This has now changed.  Emirates now allows you to pool ALL miles, however they are earned, in your ‘My Family’ pot.

There are still some snags though:

You cannot pool your existing miles

You will end up with two balances – your total before ‘My Family’ was set up (plus some of your future miles earned if you choose not to contribute 100% of future earnings to ‘My Family’) plus the new pool

Some types of redemption are not possible from a ‘My Family’ pool

Only the nominated ‘Family Head’ can make redemptions from the ‘My Family’ account

The usual Emirates expiry rules apply, with a ‘hard’ expiry after three years regardless of activity in the meantime

One potential option would be to have 100% of miles from the flights of your children dropped into a ‘My Family’ account, whilst contributing nothing or only a small amount yourself.  It would give you easy access to the miles from your children whilst preserving your own flexibility.

Conclusion

It is interesting to see Emirates taking a fresh look at family account structuring, but I’m really not sure this approach is much better than the previous one. 

The British Airways model is cleaner and simpler, and to be honest it is something that BA doesn’t get much credit for. 

You can learn more about ‘My Family’ on the Emirates website here.

PS.  If you want to learn about the BA equivalent, we published this long article on how British Airways household accounts work.


Earning Flying Blue miles from credit cards

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (June 2021)

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 (6)

  • Philip says:

    I am not getting any offers from both my Amex platinum and my BAPP, how can I sort this out? Furthermore, I have tried a few car hire companies and none of them will remove the CDW and TP if I show them the Amex platinum.

    • Paul says:

      Check with Amex support to see if you have got your marketing preference set correctly to receive offers. With regards to Car Hire excess with amex plat – i think you still need to take out basic CDW/TP. From my understanding Amex will only cover the excess charge portion of the claim. You still need to take out the basic cover

  • Baji Nahid says:

    I remember around 2014/2015 that emirates did have branded credit cards to earn points on for UK customers. I cant remember who exactly it was they had partnered with. Capital one was it?

    • Paul says:

      It was MBNA Skyward CC

      • Jonathan says:

        All MBNA airline credit cards vanished. They had a very wide range of airline credit cards before the interchange fee law was introduced

  • Amy says:

    Where is the option to spend these miles, for example cash and miles.
    or other partners? So far I can only assume you have to call them to spend it?

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