A week ago I reviewed American Express Membership Rewards adding Emirates as a points transfer partner.
Emirates adds fuel surcharges to award tickets, something that was relatively new and driven by their partnership with Qantas. So like many non-U.S. frequent flyer programs their awards can be pricey.
And their award chart isn’t cheap for many long haul destinations, especially if you want to redeem for their legendary first class. You can redeem for for Emirates first class (their A380 has a shower!) for fewer miles with a roundtrip award booked through Japan Airlines (a Starwood Preferred Guest transfer partner) and for fewer miles in many cases and for one-way awards without fuel surcharges via Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan (also a Starwood transfer partner).
Still, adding a good option for Emirates redemptions with American Express points is a nice addition. And their upgrade prices, without cash co-pays, are relatively reasonable.
Both those upgrades and awards, though, become more affordable since the Membership Rewards folks tell me they’ll be offering a 25% bonus on transfers to Emirates Skywards November 8 through November 22.
The bonus isn’t live yet at least as of this writing. It’s scheduled to go live tomorrow on the Emirates transfer page.
The bonus makes a business class roundtrip New York JFK – Dubai, normally 145,000 points, just 116,000 Membership Rewards points.
And it makes a business class roundtrip New York JFK – Milan, normally 90,000 points, just 72,000 Membership Rewards points.
Which — even with fuel surcharges — seems quite reasonable.
You can search for award availability via pay service Expertflyer.com, or (for routes that Alaska Airlines allows you to book) on the AlaskaAir.com website, without even having to log in.