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Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard – Full Review

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Jarrod West
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Jarrod West

Senior Content Contributor

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Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in o...
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Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

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Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard

Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.
4
  • 60,000 miles

  • $499

  • 15.99%, 19.99%, or 24.99% Variable

Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard

The Emirates Premium World Elite card is a premium card with premium perks and a premium price tag.

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.
4
Learn More(at Barclay's secure site)

The information regarding the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.


Emirates is widely considered to be one of the most luxurious airlines in the world, so it is no wonder why the airline offers its own luxury credit card with an annual fee of $499, as well.

You might be wondering how an airline credit card alone could be worth such a high annual fee, especially one that is not a major U.S. airline. But for those who actually do fly with Emirates often, the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® can be the perfect option thanks to all of the benefits that the card provides.

Card Snapshot

Welcome Bonus & Info

  • Earn 60,000 bonus Skywards Miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Enjoy Emirates Gold tier membership during your first year, and retain your tier status by spending $40,000 each cardmembership year.
  • Earn 3 Skywards Miles on eligible Emirates purchases. Earn 2 Skywards Miles on eligible travel purchases and earn 1 Skywards Mile on all other purchases.
  • Earn 10,000 anniversary bonus Skywards Miles after spending $30,000 on purchases each cardmembership year.
  • The Skywards Miles you earn will not expire as long as your cardmembership account remains open.
  • There is no limit to the number of Skywards Miles you can earn as long as your account remains open, active, and in good standing.
  • Receive 25% savings when you Buy or Gift Miles. Receive a 25% savings when you Buy Skywards Miles for yourself or Gift Miles.
  • Priority Pass Select lounge access provides unlimited access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide for the primary cardmember and their guest(s).
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. Receive an automatic statement credit for the cost of one Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every 5 years – up to $100.
  • No foreign transaction fees on international purchases.
  • Complimentary online access to your FICO Credit Score lets you keep an eye on your credit score and get alerts when we learn that your score has changed.
  • $0 Fraud Liability protection means you’re not responsible for charges you did not authorize.

Customer Service Number

800-777-3999

Pros

Cons

  • $499 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable points

Great Card If

  • You frequently fly with Emirates
  • You want perks like Emirates Gold status and Priority Pass access

Don’t Get If

  • You don’t fly often with Emirates
  • You prefer a card with a lower annual fee
  • You want a card that earns transferable rewards

The Ideal Cardholder

The ideal cardholder of the Emirates Premium World Elite card is someone who is going to get more value out of the card than what they are paying for in the $499 annual fee and is naturally going to be someone who flies with Emirates quite often.

You’ll certainly want to be flying with Emirates often enough to take advantage of all of the benefits that the card offers, like automatic Emirates Gold status, airport lounge access, and more.

Emirates Premium World Elite Card Benefits

Automatic Skywards Gold Status

This is easily the most valuable benefit of the card and helps make the annual fee well worth it for frequent Emirates flyers. After all, Skywards Gold is the second-highest tier in the Skywards program and usually requires you to earn 50,000 Tier Miles or fly 50 flight segments to achieve it.

With it, you’ll receive benefits like:

  • 50% bonus Skywards miles on Emirates flights
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Free economy class seat selection for you and your companions
  • Complimentary access to Emirates business-class lounges worldwide for the cardmember and a guest
  • Priority baggage delivery

Plus, instead of flying with Emirates often enough to extend your Gold status beyond the first year, you’ll have the option to retain your Gold status by spending $40,000 on your card each year.

Priority Pass Select Membership

Cardholders also receive a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, giving them access to over 1,400 airport lounges and experiences worldwide. This is a welcome benefit for frequent travelers, as it gives you a space to relax and refuel before your flight.

Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit

With your card, you can pay the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and have it reimbursed. If you’re not familiar, TSA PreCheck provides you with an expedited security experience in U.S. airports, while Global Entry provides you with an expedited customs experience when returning to the U.S. from abroad.

Although, since you can pick either, we recommend you opt for Global Entry, as all Global Entry memberships also include TSA PreCheck, but TSA PreCheck memberships do not include Global Entry.

Bonus Anniversary Miles

For big spenders, you can earn 10,000 anniversary miles after spending $30,000 on your card in a card membership year. Hitting this threshold would also put you just $10,000 away from requalifying for Skywards Gold status.

Discount on Mile Purchases

When you use your Emirates Premium World Elite card to purchase Skywards miles for yourself or gift miles to another person, you’ll receive a 25% discount off the purchase price.

How To Use Emirates Miles for Max Value

Award Tickets

For the most part, your best option when it comes to redeeming your Skywards Miles will be towards award tickets with Emirates and its partners. Unfortunately, Emirates no longer publishes an award chart for its flights, but the airline does offer the Miles Calculator on its website to help give you an expected price for the route you are looking to book.

That said, award prices with Emirates will start at 15,000 miles round-trip, and will increase from there based on the distance you are flying and the cabin class you are flying in.

Cash + Miles

For those that don’t have a large enough Skywards balance for a full award ticket, Emirates offers the option to book a Cash + Miles ticket. However, you have to use at least 2,000 miles on the booking, and every 5,000 miles translates to a $40 discount, which gives you a value of 0.8 cents per mile — much lower than our 1.1 cent valuation of Skywards miles.

Flight Upgrades

Emirates also gives you the option to upgrade your cabin class using your miles. Upgrade prices start at 9,000 miles per direction and go up from there based on your route and ticket type. You should know, though, that you can only use your miles to upgrade to the next cabin class, i.e. economy to business or business to first.

From a value perspective, this is usually less valuable than just booking an award ticket in the cabin you want outright. But it could make sense in certain situations if you don’t have quite enough miles for a full award ticket.

Skywards Exclusives

You can also use your Emirates miles to purchase incredible experiences like tickets for your favorite sports team, band, or purchase world-class dining experiences. While this may seem like a neat option, you’re usually better off just paying cash as the value you receive from your miles when redeeming this way is pretty poor.

Bottom Line: From a value perspective, you’re almost always going to get the best bang for your buck by redeeming your miles for award tickets with Emirates — especially if you’re redeeming for first or business class tickets!

How To Earn More Emirates Miles

Emirates Purchases

The main bonus category of your card earns you 3x miles per $1 on all Emirates flights, so you’ll want to make this your designated card when booking those flights unless you have another card that offers a better rewards rate.

Travel Purchases

You’ll also earn 2x points per $1 on travel purchases made with the card, which includes airfare (with other airlines), hotel stays, and car rentals. This presents a great opportunity to earn extra Emirates miles on nearly all of your major travel expenses.

All Other Purchases

You’ll also earn 1x miles per $1 on all other purchases made with the card. But unless you are working towards the card’s spending thresholds that help you earn 10,000 bonus miles and requalify for Gold status, then you should probably use another card that offers a better return for these purchases.

Amex Membership Rewards Cards

Since Emirates is an Amex transfer partner of the Amex Membership Rewards program, points earned from cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card can be transferred to the Emirates Skywards program at a 1:1 rate to book award flights.

This is a compelling option because many Amex credit cards have bonus categories that aren’t offered on the Emirates Premium World Elite card. Take the Amex Gold card that earns 4x points per $1 on all dining and U.S. supermarket purchases — these are 2 categories where most people spend a lot of money, giving you a great opportunity to rack up more points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards

Emirates is also a transfer partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, so those who have premium Ultimate Rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card can transfer points to your Emirates Skywards account whenever you’d like at a 1:1 rate.

Capital One Miles Cards

Those who have a Capital One Miles card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards card can also transfer their miles to the Emirates Skywards program, although the transfer rate is a lot less favorable at a 2:1 rate.

Marriott Bonvoy Your World Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy Cards

Through the Emirates Skywards and Marriott Bonvoy Your World Rewards partnership, you can earn extra Skywards miles on your Marriott stays. Those with Skywards elite status, which you have automatically thanks to your card, earn 1 Skywards mile for every $1 spent at Marriott hotels. Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum members also get benefits like complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, priority check-in, and 4 p.m. late checkout.

Better yet, you can also transfer Marriott Bonvoy points earned from your Marriott stays or Marriott Bonvoy credit cards over to Emirates at a rate of 3 Marriott points to 1 Skyward Mile. But if you transfer at least 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ll receive an additional 5,000 miles — getting you 25,000 miles for the transfer instead of the expected 20,000.

Alternative Cards to the Emirates Premium World Elite Card

Amex Platinum Card

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros

  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Annual and monthly statement credits upon enrollment (airline credit, Uber Cash credit, Saks Fifth Avenue credit, streaming credit, prepaid hotel credit on eligible stays, Walmart+ credit, CLEAR credit, and Equinox credit)
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • Access to Amex International Airline Program
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates and fees)

Cons

  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

If you’re looking for a premium credit card loaded with perks, then it doesn’t get more premium than the Amex Platinum card. While it does charge a very steep $695 annual fee, it comes absolutely loaded with benefits like a $200 Uber credit, $200 prepaid hotel credit, $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $200 airline fee credit, Gold elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, access to 6 different airport lounge networks, and much more (see rates & fees)!

Plus the Membership Rewards points you earn are transferable and can be redeemed with 21 different travel partners — including Emirates!

Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard®

Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard

Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A great option for occasional Emirates flyers!

Learn More(at Barclay's secure site)

Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard

A great option for occasional Emirates flyers!
Earn 30,000 bonus Skywards Miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
30,000 miles
$99
15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable

The Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard® might seem a bit unconventional, especially to U.S.-based flyers. But for those who fly often with the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, or who are trying to earn as many points as possible towards an Emirates first class redemption, the Emirates World Elite card might make sense for you.

Pros

Cons

  • $99 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable points
  • Enjoy Emirates Silver tier membership during your first year, and retain your tier status by spending $20,000 each card membership year.
  • Earn 30,000 bonus Skywards Miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 3 Skywards Miles for every $1 spent on emirates.com or at the Emirates Sales office.
  • Earn 2 Skywards Miles on eligible travel purchases and earn 1 Skywards Mile on all other purchases.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

Card Categories

If you’re an Emirates loyalist but are looking for something a little more reasonable from an annual fee perspective, the Emirates World Elite card only charges a $99 annual fee and still earns 3x points per $1 on Emirates purchases and 2x points per $1 on travel purchases. Plus, it comes with perks like Skywards Silver status and free economy class seat selection.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Emirates Premium World Elite card worth it?

That depends on if you fly with Emirates enough to get enough value from the card benefits to offset the annual fee. If you fly with Emirates often enough to make good use of Skywards Gold status, want airport elite status via Priority Pass, and are trying to earn as many Emirates miles as possible, then the Emirates Premium World Elite card might very well be worth it for you.

What are the benefits of the Emirates Premium World Elite card?

The Emirates Premium World Elite card comes with a handful of great benefits like automatic Emirates Skywards Gold status for your first year, a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, and a 25% discount when buying Emirates miles.

What is the annual fee of the Emirates Premium World Elite card?

The Emirates Premium World Elite card charges a $499 annual fee.

Which Emirates credit card is best?

That really comes down to how much you fly with Emirates to offset the annual fees of each card. If you just fly with Emirates occasionally, then you would probably be best suited for the $99 annual fee Emirates World Elite card. If you are an Emirates frequent flyer and would get plenty of value from perks like Skywards Gold status, then the Emirates Premium World Elite card might be perfect for you.

Does the Emirates Premium World Elite card have lounge access?

Yes, cardholders receive a Priority Pass Select membership, giving them access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide. You’ll also receive complimentary access to Emirates business class lounges worldwide for the cardmember and a guest thanks to your Skywards Gold status.

Jarrod West's image

About Jarrod West

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.

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