Emirates significantly reduces fees for award flights

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In the past, Emirates’ loyalty program has had limited use for most people, even though it’s considered one of the nicest airlines in the world. Their award rates weren’t anything spectacular, but the real issue was the huge surcharges they tacked onto most award redemptions.

But today, according to One Mile at a Time, Emirates has significantly reduced award ticket fees — to the tune of over 90% in some cases!

This news is even more exciting because you can transfer all five types of flexible rewards points to Emirates, including Amex Membership Rewards pointsChase Ultimate Rewards points and more.

Fly between New York and Greece in first class for just 135,000 Emirates miles and $123 in taxes and fees — incredible! (Photo by Sven Hansche/Shutterstock)

For example, a non-stop round-trip flight from New York (Newark) to Athens, Greece, used to cost:

  • Economy – 45,000 miles + ~$360
  • Business class – 125,000 miles + ~$1,100
  • First class – 135,000 miles + ~$1,100

And now you’ll pay:

  • Economy – 45,000 miles + $83
  • Business class – 125,000 miles + $123
  • First class – 135,000 miles + $123

As you can see, the amount you’ll pay in taxes and fees has been greatly reduced. And these prices are pretty amazing considering it’s often especially hard to find first class award space to Europe without paying a hefty amount of surcharges.

Emirates doesn’t have an award chart but instead, has a miles calculator you can use to price out specific award flights. There are reports that along with the elimination of fuel surcharges, Emirates has killed off saver awards for some of its routes — therefore increase the cost of miles needed to book a flight. So it’s possible that this change may not be all good news.

How to earn Emirates miles

Emirates Skywards miles are easy to earn because Emirates is a transfer partner of all five of the transferrable points programs. That includes Amex Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou points, Capital One Venture miles and Marriott points. So it won’t be hard to redeem the rewards you earn with many of the top credit cards for travel for award flights on Emirate’s world-renowned products.


Emirates’ First Class aboard the airline’s Airbus A380. Image via Shutterstock.

If you earn the 100,000-point welcome bonus on the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, for example, you’ll have more than enough points for a one-way first class flight from New York (JKF) to Milan, which costs 85,000 Emirates Skywards miles and $41 in surcharges. That same flight would easily cost $7,500+ if you paid cash, meaning you’d get a value of nearly 9 cents per point with that particular redemption — an unbelievable deal!

Meghan Hunter is an editor for Million Mile Secrets. She covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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