Last updated on May 30th, 2023
Advertiser Disclosure – BestCards is an independent, Florida-based credit card comparison platform. Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCards receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCards does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.
Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on BestCards’ reviews, blogs, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author. They are not reflective of any card issuer or financial institution and have not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless otherwise noted. Further, BestCards lists credit card offers that are updated daily with information believed to be accurate to the best of our knowledge.
Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard®
Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard®
- 21.24%, 25.24% or 30.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
- 21.24%, 25.24% or 30.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
- 30.49% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
At a Glance
The Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard is an impressive airline rewards credit card issued by Barclays. The card offers an enticing introductory miles offer, decent earning potential, and complimentary elite status – all for a $99 annual fee.
- Best Benefits
- Rates & Fees
- Why Should You Apply?
- Earn up to 3 Skywards Miles per dollar spent
- Earn unlimited Skywards Miles that do't expire
- Complimentary lounge access to Emirates Business Class lounges in Dubai
- No foreign transaction fees
- Earn 25% bonus Skywards Miles on Emirates flights
- Regular Purchase APR: 21.24%, 25.24% or 30.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 21.24%, 25.24% or 30.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 30.49% 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: $99
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- You fly with Emirates but can’t justify the $499 annual fee of Emirates’ premium credit card product
- You travel through the Middle East frequently and can take advantage of free lounge access in Dubai
- You want a card with no foreign transaction fees
- You prefer the versatility of the Emirates codeshares to an airline alliance
Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard Review
The Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard is the “entry-level” sibling of the ultra-premium airline rewards card from Barclays and Emirates. Despite that introduction, don’t let this card fool you: it’s a robust travel credit card with a premium feel. With no foreign transaction fees, premium Emirates benefits, and a solid sign-up bonus, this $99 annual fee credit card has a lot to love.
Bonus Miles Welcome Offer
New accounts earn 30,000 Bonus Miles after using the new Emirates Skywards Rewards Mastercard new Barclays credit card to make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. This welcome offer is generous –especially when considering the value of airline miles and modest spending minimum. This welcome bonus is also comparable to the Emirates Skywards Premium, despite a $400 gap in the annual fee.
How to Earn Emirates Skywards Miles
Both Emirates credit cards from Barclays earn miles in the Emirates Skywards frequent flyer program. Interestingly, despite the significant difference in the annual fee, both cards also feature the same reward-earning rate. This means you’ll earn the following on purchases with the Skywards Rewards Card:
|3||Skywards Miles per $1 spent on eligible Emirates purchases, including purchases on emirates.com or at the Emirates sales office.|
|2||Skywards Miles per $1 spent on airfare, hotels and rental cars.|
|1||Skywards Mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. anywhere Mastercard is accepted worldwide.|
The fact that the Rewards card earns the same rewards as its more expensive version is pretty cool (and egalitarian). Cardholders also earn points through codeshare partners when using the card and booking through your Emirates account. Emirates is not part of the three big airline alliances. Yet, despite that, the carrier has codeshare agreements with a good selection of leading airlines. These carriers include:
Your miles never expire as long as the account is open and active. There is no cap on the total number of miles you can earn.
Emirates Skywards Credit Card Comparison
Since the two Emirates airline credit cards earn the same rewards, how do the cards differ? Here is a quick look at the different benefits with the Emirates credit cards from Barclays:
|Network||World Elite Mastercard||World Elite Mastercard|
|Emirates elite status||Silver||Gold|
|Emirates benefits||Save up to $99 off on up to 4 Economy or Business Class ticket purchases, complimentary Emirates Business Class lounge access for you in Dubai, 25% savings when you Buy Skywards Miles for yourself or Gift Miles; 30% bonus Skywards Miles on Emirates and flydubai flights, no foreign transaction fees||Priority Pass Select membership, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement every five years, priority check-in, boarding and baggage delivery; Seat selection on economy fares, 25% savings when you Buy Skywards Miles for yourself or Gift Miles; 75% bonus Skywards Miles on Emirates and flydubai flights, no foreign transaction fees|
How to Redeem Emirates Skywards Miles
The Emirates Skywards program offers a fantastic opportunity for travelers to earn and redeem miles for various rewards, including flights, upgrades, hotel stays, and more. Like other frequent flyer programs, Emirates Skywards offers members a wide selection of award options. 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 Silver Elite Tier Membership
New accounts also receive a complimentary first year of Silver elite status in the Emirates Skywards program. Silver is the entry tier of the elite levels and provides members to the following perks:
|Member-only rates and packages||Earn and redeem miles with global partners||Priority seat selection||Excess baggage allowance (12kg)|
|Priority waitlist||25% bonus miles when flying with Emirates||Priority check-in||Priority boarding|
|Complimentary Emirates lounge access (Dubai only)||Business class check-in with flydubai|
However, remember that this elite tier is for the first year only. To retain Silver status, you’ll need to spend $20,000 in purchases with their Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard each year to retain that status. You can also keep your status by making 25 flights with Emirates in a calendar year.
Other Travel Features
Cardholders also enjoy a few other nice perks with the card. For starters, there are 25% savings when buying or gifting miles. There are also the previously mentioned no foreign transaction fees. As a cardholder, you can also save big with Emirates. Save up to $99 on up to four Economy or Business Class ticket purchases – a total savings of up to $396.
Since the card is a World Elite Mastercard, holders can also anticipate exceptional Mastercard perks and protections, including savings with Lyft, Fandango, and more:
|Zero Liability Protection||Airport Concierge||Cell Phone Protection|
|Mastercard Global Services||Priceless Experiences||Lyft Credits|
|ID Theft Protection||Priceless Golf||DoorDash Offers|
|Mastercard Travel Services||ShopRunner Membership||Hello Fresh Savings|
|Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee||Fandango Savings|
How is it living with Barclays as a card issuer? Here is a selection of ratings for the bank from customers and experts alike:
Should You Apply for the Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard?
The Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard from Barclays is a unique airline card for global travelers who want to maximize their value while minimizing their annual fees.
Emirates Skywards is an excellent frequent flyer program with an extensive network of non-alliance partners. For those who frequently globetrot, the card provides the versatility needed to book flights with JAL, Qantas, Copa Airlines, and more. And when travel takes you closer to home, the ability to book flights with Alaska or JetBlue is a nice feature.
However, JetBlue offers a no-annual-fee credit card that likely provides greater value for those who don’t plan on flying with Emirates. If you fall into that category, check out the JetBlue Card (also from Barclays) and then use your TrueBlue Points to transfer to Emirates, Alaska, or any one of the myriad other partners the low-cost carrier teams with.