Is it worth converting Emirates Skywards miles INTO Heathrow Rewards points?
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Back in 2015, Emirates Skywards joined Heathrow Rewards as a transfer partner. This wasn’t hugely surprising, as Heathrow Rewards was building up its airline partnerships at the time.
The transfer rate was the same as the other airline partners. 250 Heathrow Rewards points gets you 250 miles.
What WAS a surprise is that you could also transfer Emirates Skywards miles INTO Heathrow Rewards. This was novel. The details are here on the Emirates website.
How do transfers of Emirates Skywards miles into Heathrow Rewards work?
Here are the rules:
- Emirates Skywards miles must be converted in blocks of 6,000 miles
- The conversion rate is 3:1 so 6,000 miles gets you 2,000 Heathrow Rewards points
- The maximum conversion per transaction is 54,000 Emirates Skywards miles
As 2,000 Heathrow Rewards points gets you a £20 airport shopping voucher, you are getting 0.33p per mile.
As you get double value if you redeem Heathrow Rewards points for airport parking vouchers, you would be getting 0.66p per Skywards mile if you redeemed this way.
This is what you must remember:
You CANNOT convert Heathrow Rewards points gained via Emirates into airline miles. This is NOT a backdoor way of converting Emirates Skywards miles into Avios, Virgin Points or any other Heathrow Rewards airline partner.
How does it work in practice?
When the scheme originally launched, I took one for the team and tried it out. This was mainly to see if Heathrow Rewards was being serious in restricting your ability to transfer to airlines.
My first surprise was that the transfer from Emirates Skywards was INSTANT. I logged out of my Heathrow Rewards account, logged back in and the 2,000 points were there.
Next to my points total online was a little question mark. Clicking on this made a box pop up which said:
- Heathrow points: xxx
- Emirates converted points: xxx
I went over to the Avios conversion page. I got a message “You do not have enough points to redeem for this reward” – which was true, excluding the Emirates miles.
I then went to the shopping vouchers page and WAS able to redeem for £20 of Heathrow shopping vouchers without any problems.
This IS an easy way of using up some spare Emirates Skywards miles (minimum 6,000) if they are about to expire.
It is NOT an excellent way of getting value for your Skywards miles in any other circumstances. 0.33p per point is very poor. I would expect to get 1p+ when redeeming for premium cabin flights on Emirates or one of its partners.
There are also other ways of using up small amounts of Emirates Skywards miles – Arsenal football tickets and redeeming for easyJet flights.
You CANNOT use this as a method of converting Skywards miles into Avios by laundering them through Heathrow Rewards – the IT works and those redemptions are blocked off.
Find out more on the Emirates website here.
How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (March 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:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Emirates Skywards miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with four free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Emirates Skywards miles
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 10,000 Emirates Skywards miles. This card is FREE for life.
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.