Airline miles are addictive. Start collecting and you’ll find yourself on a constant quest to get more, and with it, privileges like upgrades, tier statuses, extra luggage and all-around special treatment. This is certainly the case with Emirates, Dubai’s flagship airline, who make their Skywards and Tier Miles uber-attractive with Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers on offer. In the Middle East, the Emirates miles scheme Skywards is one of the largest and most popular loyalty systems. While airline miles are desirable, they can be hard to accrue, especially if one isn’t jet-setting on regular holidays or travelling for work. That’s where Emirates Skywards credit cards come in.
Luckily, Emirates Skywards miles can be accumulated by simply spending on your credit card, on day-to-day purchases and on household bills. Many banks offer Emirates credit cards, and all of them promise to be the best – to give you the biggest welcome bonus, the most miles per spend and some even instant silver status – but which is the right one for you, and which ones are actually worth it? Read on to discover the eight best Emirates Skywards credit cards in the UAE for 2023.
The best Emirates Skywards Credit cards for 2023
Emirates Islamic Skywards Black Credit Card
Cost per year: AED 4,200
Minimum salary requirement: AED 35,000
Buy now: emiratesislamic.ae
Emirates Islamic’s Skywards Black Credit Card might be one of the priciest on the market, but it comes with some very attractive offers. For start, all cardholders are instantly upgraded to Silver Status, and, if they spend AED5,500 within a year of holding the card on Emirates Airlines flights, get fast-tracked to Gold (plus spend another AED5,500 and you’ll get Gold for a supplementary cardholder). Other perks include 3.5 Skywards Miles per USD1 spend on the airline itself, up to two miles on international spend and 1.5 on domestic AED spend. On top of this, Black Credit Card holders have access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide and four complimentary airport transfers per calendar year to or from Dubai International Airport. Outside of the airline, lifestyle perks include complimentary VOX movie tickets and unlimited complimentary golf rounds at Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Track Meydan Golf Club, The Trump International Golf Club or Abu Dhabi Golf Club on weekends or weekdays, subject to availability and a minimum monthly (calendar month) retail spend of AED 10,000.
Emirates Citibank Ultima Credit Card
Cost per year: AED3,000
Minimum salary requirement: AED36,750
Apply now: citibank.ae
Emirates Citibank Ultima Credit Card is one of the best Emirates Skywards credit cards in the market, according to PolicyBazaar. The Citibank and Emirates Airlines co-branded credit card has been around since 2009 and provides one of the best Skywards per dollar spend rates along with a host of privileges.
Customers can earn up to 2.5 Skywards Miles per US$1 spent, one of the highest rates around, plus they get 25,000 Skywards Miles as a welcome bonus and 10,000 Skywards Miles on payment of the annual fee. The credit card gives the user instant Silver status – meaning a better chance of upgrades, use of the business class lounges, 12kg extra checked-in luggage allowance and use of the priority counters, to name a few perks. Perks also include complimentary access to more than 1,100 airports around the world, with a guest, and two-for-one cinema tickets and unlimited free golf on weekdays, as well as once a month on weekends across some of the leading courses in the UAE. Free Marhaba meet and greet two times a year is also a perk, a great benefit for any nervous visiting family members of travellers in the family. The bank is also offering AED2,000 in joining bonus statement credit when hitting the minimum spend.
Emirates NBD Skywards Infinite Credit Card
Cost per year: AED 1,570
Joining fees: AED 3,148.95
Minimum salary requirement: AED 30,000
Apply now: emiratesnbd.com
Also introduced in 2009, the co-branded Emirates NBD Skywards Infinite Credit Card lures customers with one of the largest sign-up bonuses of all Emirates Skywards credit cards. Guests can get up to 100,000 bonus Skywards Miles when opening their account, which is made up of 35,000 upon joining, 40,000 when spending a minimum of US$25,000 within the first three months (billing statements) and 25,000 Skywards Miles for spending over US$7,500 on Emirates.com (or Emirates sales office in the UAE) within the first year of credit card membership.
The card also gives up to two Skywards Miles per US$1 spent and the cardholder receives instant Silver status membership which comes with a multitude of perks like access to Emirates’ business class lounge at DXB and a larger luggage allowance. On top of Emirates’ own perks, credit card users also receive a host of financial benefits, including concierge services, insurance covers, valet parking, shopping and dining discounts and other perks in 3,100 locations. What’s more, customers signing up right now will earn a complimentary Rotana Rewards membership for one year, which gives you discounts, upgrades and dining in Rotana’s global portfolio of properties.
Emirates Citibank Ultimate Credit Card
Cost per year: AED800
Minimum salary requirement: AED18,000
Apply now: citibank.ae
Citibank’s Ultimate Credit Card, in partnership with Emirates, allows users to enjoy the benefits of the card an approachable fee of AED800 per year. Users can earn 1 Skyward Miles per US$1 of local spend and a slightly higher 1.25 Skyward Miles per US$1 on non-AED spend. A great addition to the card is unlimited complimentary access to 1,100+ airport lounges worldwide (including one guest free per visit), a free round of golf in the UAE once a month and dining and entertainment discounts locally and across 95 countries. Right now, the card is offering AED750 joining bonus back as statement credit when meeting the mimumum spend.
RAKBANK Emirates Skywards World Elite Mastercard
Cost per year: AED1,499
Minimum salary requirement: AED25,000
Apply now: rakbank.ae
RAKBANK’s Emirates Skywards World Elite Mastercard allows new cardholders to earn up to 20,000 bonus Skywards Miles and 40,000 Skywards points per month. The card launched in 2021 and is one of the newer co-branded Emirates Skywards credit cards around, which means its perks are incredibly attractive.
Top perks include an automatic upgrade to Emirates Skywards Silver tier status (and a fast-track to Gold by moving AED 500,000 into a RAKBANK Emirates Skywards Savings Account (more than AED 500,000 deposited will also earn Skywards Miles). Cardholders will also get unlimited access for themselves and one guest per visit to over 1,000 airport lounges across the world – 450 cities and 135 countries.
Cardholders will also be enrolled in GHA’s Discovery Titanium Membership which grants access to exclusive benefits across the world, including guaranteed room availability for bookings up to 48 hours before arrival, room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out. Other perks include complimentary airport pick up and drop off, cinema tickets and discounts, hotel discounts and many more. A supplementary credit card is also available for AED999 annually with Silver tier membership and AED200 without.
ADIB Emirates Skywards Visa Infinite Card
Cost per year: AED4,500
Apply now: adib.ae
As ADIB’s top Emirates Skywards credit card, the Emirates Skywards Visa Infinite Card gives instant Silver tier status, fast track to Gold, 50,000 bonus Skywards miles and all the usual fantastic perks of a top rewards credit card – like airport lounge access and shopping, dining and leisure discounts.
Top perks include Emirates home check-in service within Dubai, four Airport transfers a year from within the UAE, unlimited global lounge access, four complimentary uses of valet parking a month and full travel medical insurance for you and a travel partner. Cardholders can earn three miles per 1 USD spent on Emirates and Flydubai, two on foreign currency spend and 1.5 miles on local currency spent. Complimentary golf for you and a guest is also available at Dubai’s The Els Golf Club and Arabian Ranches Golf Club and The Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi.
Emirates Islamic Skywards Signature Credit Card
Cost per year: AED735
Minimum salary requirement: AED12,000
Apply now: emiratesislamic.ae
A relatively new credit card, the Emirates Islamic Skywards Signature Credit Card hit the market in 2017, combining both banking and travel benefits with a host of rewards. Users can earn 1.5 Skywards Miles for every US$1 spent on the card and benefit from one complimentary valet parking service per month, two rounds of complimentary golf per month, multi-trip travel insurance, unlimited complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide and complimentary movie tickets each month, amongst others.