Emirates and JetBlue are parting ways after a decade of collaboration, ending a low tax economy redemption option from the UK to the United States. (Redemptions in Mint, JetBlue’s business class, were pulled a few months ago.)
The codeshare and frequent flyer partnership will cease on 30th October. Existing redemption bookings will be protected but you’ll no longer be able to book new Emirates Skywards redemptions on JetBlue flights and vice versa.
The official announcement is on the Emirates website here.
This move paves the way for Emirates to announce a rumoured partnership with United Airlines which looks imminent. It’s been all but officially confirmed, with Emirates tweeting “Meet you there, @united! 🤝” on the 30th August.
We’ll have to wait to see the extent of this new partnership, although an announcement may come as soon as next week. It’s likely to encompass significant codeshares and cross-pollination of frequent flyer programs and is probably a response to Qatar Airways’ ties with oneworld partners American Airlines and British Airways.
If Emirates offers surcharge-free redemptions on United Airlines, transfers from American Express Membership Rewards to Emirates Skywards to book flights between the UK and United States could become very interesting. Whilst the JetBlue option was useful, United has a far bigger route network and far more daily flights, including regional departures.
How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (September 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.