Emirates Skywards: new 'Cash+Miles' flight booking option

By Chris C., September 1 2016
Emirates Skywards: new 'Cash+Miles' flight booking option

Emirates Skywards members can now use their miles to book any seat on any Emirates flight via the airline’s new ‘Cash+Miles’ payment scheme, whether or not there’s a traditional frequent flyer reward seat available.

You can spend as few as 2,000 Skywards miles towards the cost of your ticket, with every 50 miles redeemed chipping US$1 (or around A$1.33) off the total bill.

It’s a great option for members who may only have a small number of miles in their account and wouldn’t otherwise have enough to secure a flight.

For example, spend the minimum of 2,000 Skywards miles and you’d save US$16, equal to about A$21.25 on bookings from Australia.

As part of the changes, Emirates will now refer to its traditional frequent flyer reward flights as ‘Classic Rewards’, for which the number of miles needed to book a flight remains unchanged.

The airline also highlights that during heavy sale periods where airfares are at rock-bottom prices, the number of miles needed to book a flight using Cash+Miles may actually be lower than to book Classic Rewards, as Cash+Miles is pegged against the commercial price of the ticket.

Members booking flights via Cash+Miles will also continue to earn Skywards miles and tier miles based on the type of fare they’ve purchased – unlike Classic Reward flights where no miles are earned.

How to book your Cash+Miles flight

Head to emirates.com, login to your Skywards account and then search for flights via the homepage as you would for any other booking.

Select your preferred flights and fare type and proceed to the payment page where you’ll see the new Cash+Miles option appear:

Miles can be used to cover the fare component of your ticket, but not things like taxes, fees and charges which still need to be paid with real money.

On the next screen, just choose whether you’d like to use as many miles as you can, only the minimum amount being 2,000 or a custom amount of your choosing:

Once decided, you’ll be able to confirm the final cost of your ticket before proceeding to pay the remaining balance via another method, such as using your credit card.

Cash+Miles bookings can’t be made via the Emirates app or mobile website, but can be done on mobile devices by browsing to the desktop version of the site.

You also can’t pay for any codeshare bookings using Cash+Miles – such as to book a Qantas-operated flight under an Emirates flight number – but can use Cash+Miles to book first class, business class and economy tickets on all Emirates flights with an EK flight number.

Also read: Emirates introduces credit card surcharge in Australia, NZ

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 146

A quick back of the envelope calculation suggests that you'd be better off using points-only at full price (assuming there was inventory available), but that it might be well worth it during discount time....assuming that the recent range of discounts are still going to be offered.


04 Sep 2016

Total posts 1

Very sad, as when I went to use my points that I have been collecting I was told that I had lost them as I had not flown for over 3 years.  I was so sad as it cost so much money to fly home to London from Australia, if it was cheaper I would have been flying out more frequent. I think its wrong that this is allowed to happen, as not everyone has the money to fly regular and not everyone has health problems.  Very dissapointed Emirates I have allways flown with you and stayed in Dubai, but I think its time to use another airline which is sad.

04 May 2015

Total posts 261

Emirates makes this pretty clear on its website, and to be fair many other airlines do the same thing. You don't have to fly again within those 3 years, you just need to use your miles by then. You can book flights up to a year in advance, so you could really use the miles you earn in the first year to fly in the fourth. Some frequent flyer programs like Skywards aren't really designed for people who don't frequently fly.

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