Airlines have never been able to say that miles unlock “free” tickets, because there’s still always applicable taxes, like government fees to pay, even when you’re paying with points. Sometimes it’s a lot worse, with some airline loyalty programs charging hundreds or even north of a thousand dollars added in the form of surcharges when you go to cash in your miles.

Emirates appears to have significantly reduced the surcharges they levy when you cash in your Skywards Miles, making the loyalty program, and the ability to transfer credit card points into the program much more attractive…

Emirates: Same Points, Less Cash

Emirates has dropped the cash surcharge added to mileage redemption tickets considerably, in a move which makes the Emirates Skyward Program and its associated miles much more attractive, according to Sam Chui. Fees appear to have been cut by as much as 75%, dropping surcharges on many tickets from above $500 to all in fees of around $116.

Crucially, these changes apply to tickets using Skywards Miles in all cabins, including business and first class. Finally earning enough miles to cash in for something great is a lot more fun when you don’t then need to fork over considerable amounts of cash as well.

Earning Emirates Skywards Miles

For points nerds, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank has always been the most advantageous way to book Emirates flights with points, requiring fewer miles and less cash too. With limited transfer partners however, it’s much easier to earn Emirates Skywards Miles than JAL Mileage Bank Miles.

Emirates is now a transfer partner of Capital One, Chase, Citi and american Express, meaning your daily spending on credit cards can easily be converted into Emirates Skywards Miles from a wide variety of programs. This is great news for travelers who now need to worry less about sweet spots, and can focus more on where and when they really want to go.

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