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Last updated on November 12th, 2021
Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard®
Earn 40,000 Bonus Skywards Miles
- Regular Purchase APR 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee $499
- Credit Needed Excellent , Good
- Processing Network Mastercard
- Earn up to 3 Skywards Miles per dollar spent
- Earn unlimited Skywards Miles that don't expire
- Enjoy Emirates Skywards Gold tier membership during your first year
- No foreign transaction fees
- Complimentary lounge access to Emirates Business Class lounges worldwide for a cardmember and a guest
- Earn 50% bonus Skywards Miles on Emirates flights
- Regular Purchase APR: 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Annual Fee: $499
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
At a Glance
The Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard is an ultra-premium airline rewards credit card issued by Barclays. The card offers impressive introductory (and annual) miles offers, decent earning potential, and complimentary lounge access worldwide – all for a hefty $499 annual fee.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Fly frequently with Emirates and can justify all the perks and benefits that are included with a $499 annual fee
- Want a card with no foreign transaction fees
- Prefer the versatility of the Emirates codeshares to an airline alliance
- Plan to use the card to spend heavily on flights with codeshare partners or directly with Emirates
Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard Review
The Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard is the larger sibling of the Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard. The Premium version is an “ultra-premium” airline card, offering a substantial introductory bonus, elite status, complimentary lounge access, and an imposing annual fee of $499.
Forty-Thousand Bonus Miles
The ultra-premium perks of the Emirates Skywards Premium Card begin with the massive signup bonus. New accounts receive 40,000 bonus Skywards Miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
The 40,000 Miles introductory offer has a value of nearly $400, given the valuation of Emirates Skywards Miles at 1.2 cents per point ($0.012/pt.). That bonus is an excellent value for the money.
Annual Miles Bonus
Equally excellent is the annual bonus of 10,000 miles earned after meeting minimum spend requirements. The anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles requires spending of at least $30,000 on the card every year.
While that may sound steep, the $499 yearly charge that comes with the card essentially prices it out of the range of the average flyer. The $30,000 spend requirement is modest for those that want the most out of the Skywards Premium, including the very best in lounge experiences.
How to Earn Emirates Skywards Miles
Like the Rewards Mastercard, the Premium World Elite Mastercard from Emirates earns miles in the Emirates Skywards frequent flyer program.
Cardholders earn three miles for every dollar spent either at Emirates.com or through the Emirates Sales Office. They also earn double miles on eligible airfare, hotel stays, or car rentals. All other eligible purchases earn one mile per dollar.
The fact that the Premium card earns the same rewards as its more affordable version leaves something to be desired. A card with an annual price tag of $400 more than the Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite should earn considerably more miles per dollar.
Fortunately, cardholders can also earn points through codeshare partners. Emirates is not part of the three big airline alliances. Yet, despite that, the carrier has codeshare agreements with a big selection of leading airlines. These carriers include:
- Korean Air
- Malaysian Airlines
- Japan Airlines (JAL)
- Alaska Airlines
- Thai Airways
How to Redeem Emirates Skywards Miles
Like other frequent flyer programs, Emirates Skywards offers a wide selection of award options for members. Cardholders can use their miles for:
- Award flights with Emirates or other global airline partners
- Free nights with Emirates’ hotel partners, including Hilton, Hyatt, Ibis, InterContinental, Marriott, and more
- Car rentals with select partners
Complimentary Skywards Gold Elite Tier Membership
New accounts also receive a complimentary first year of Gold elite status in the Emirates Skywards program. Gold is the middle tier of the elite levels, trailing only Platinum.
Emirates Skywards Gold tier entitles members to the following perks:
- Special member-only rates and travel packages
- Ability to earn and redeem miles with Emirates global partners
- Complimentary seat selection
- Excess baggage allowances of 16 kg
- Waitlist priority
- 50% bonus miles when flying with Emirates
- Priority check-in and boarding
- Guaranteed Economy seats on full flights
- Complimentary lounge access throughout the Emirates network for members and one guest
- Check-in at Business class counters with flydubai
- Priority baggage delivery
As with the $99 Rewards World Elite Mastercard, Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard holders only receive Gold tier membership for their first year. Cardholders need to spend at least $40,000 on their card to retain Gold elite status, earn 50,000 Skywards Miles, or complete 50 flights with Emirates.
Complimentary Lounge Access
Unlike the Emirates Rewards Mastercard, which only provides lounge access in Dubai, the Emirates Premium Card offers complimentary lounge access throughout the Emirates network. Beyond Emirates Business Class lounges, cardholders (and one guest) receive free access to any 1,200 lounge locations worldwide within the Priority Pass Select membership network.
Other Card Features
Cardholders also receive statement credits towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees. These credits occur every five years and have a value of up to $100.
Other features of note with the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard include 25% savings when buying or gifting miles and no foreign transaction fees.
Since the card is a World Elite Mastercard, holders can also anticipate exceptional Mastercard perks and protections, including savings with Lyft, Fandango, and more. They’ll also receive Mastercard Global Emergency Services, World Elite Concierge, access to the Mastercard Luxury Hotel Collection, and cell phone protection for up to $1,000.
Should You Apply for the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard?
The Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard from Barclays is an ultra-premium airline card that falls short of other, more general travel and airline rewards cards in the same space.
Some of its contemporaries, like the UBS Visa® Infinite Card, provide the same Priority Pass and TSA PreCheck benefits. In addition, the UBS Card provides additional statement credits for purchasing lounge access, should the cardholder’s chosen lounge fall outside of the Priority Pass Network. The card also offers a $250 travel statement credit – something the Emirates Premium does not grant its customers.
Any discussion of high-end travel cards must also include the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The Ultimate Rewards Portal from Chase offers significantly more value for money when purchasing travel than what the Emirates card has on offer. And, while the annual fee with the Sapphire Reserve is higher than the Emirates Premium Mastercard, that charge doesn’t mean the Chase card offers lesser value.
Ultimately, the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard is an excellent airline card for a very select subset of travelers. If you love to fly with Emirates and prefer the lavish lifestyle, the card might be for you. If not, however, there are plenty of other options on the market.