Emirates Now A Citibank Transfer Partner, Becomes Transfer Partner Of All Major Bank Currencies

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Citi has added Emirates Skywards as a points transfer partner for its Citi Premier and Prestige cards.

Emirates offers great award availability from a variety of U.S. destinations, however fuel surcharges (which depend on the destination flown) are often very expensive and premium cabin awards are priced at 2x coach for business class and 3x coach for first class.

Take for instance New York JFK – Bangkok (via Dubai).

  • 95,000 miles roundtrip for economy plus $738 in taxes and fees
  • 190,000 miles roundtrip for business class plus $1736 in taxes and fees
  • 285,000 miles roundtrip for first class plus $1736 in taxes and fees


Emirates A380 Inflight First Class Shower

The airline offers a great product. They have some interesting airline partnerships. And they serve a number of U.S. gateways.

With this addition Emirates joins Singapore Airlines, JetBlue, and Air France KLM as transfer partners of all the major bank currencies – Citi, Chase, American Express, and Capital One. It is also a Marriott transfer partner. (Emirates became a Chase transfer partner last August.)

This strikes me as a real blow to Barclays which is launching an Emirates Skywards credit card in the U.S. because it’s unlikely the Emirates co-brand from Barclays will earn points as quickly as a Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. And it won’t likely earn as fast as a no annual fee Citi® Double Cash Card – which, if you have a card whose Citi points transfer to miles – will effectively allow you to earn 2% cash back or 2 miles per dollar on all of your spending, transferable into Emirates or other airline frequent flyer programs.

(HT: @JTGenter who covered this for AwardWallet)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

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  1. I have used Emirates Skywards for sporting events. I only paid 11k a person for a box suite at the Australian Open in 2019, so that was clearly a very high value and a great redemption. I would never use them for flights though.

  2. “Fuel surcharges” should be a credit not a charge now given prices. GTFO with that ripofff fee now!!!!

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