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Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® review

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It’s difficult to get value out of this card beyond your first year of membership.

  • Get this card if you often fly between the US and the Middle East and you spend $40,000 or more with your card each year.
  • Pick something else if you want a cheaper Emirates card or a general travel card.
  • Apply with a good to an excellent credit score for the best chances of approval for the card.

60,000

Miles as welcome offer

Up to 3x

Miles

$499

Annual fee

15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Annual fee$499
Welcome Offer60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
Rewards3x miles on Emirates, 2x miles on airfare, hotels and car rentals and 1x miles on all other purchases
Purchase APR15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable
Balance transfer APR15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable
Recommended minimum credit score670
IssuerMastercard
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Review by


Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.

Expert review

The Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® is a high-end option with a whopping $499 annual fee. For that price, you get to earn a solid signup bonus worth around $480 in redemption value, a Priority Pass lounge access and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee once every five years.

The highest value this card offers is the complimentary Gold membership status for your first year when you open your account. However, to keep your Gold status beyond your first year you must spend $40,000 annually. This is expensive, and for most flyers — probably not worth chasing. Because of that, the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® could be useful during the first year of card membership, or even beyond — but only if you can meet the extremely high spend requirements to maintain Gold status.

Without Gold membership status, you don’t get anything extra for the $499 annual fee that you couldn’t get with a premium general travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Citi Prestige® Credit Card. In fact, you could likely squeeze a higher value with these cards than you would with the Emirates card. If this card is too expensive for your budget, consider the Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard®, which costs $99 annually.

How to apply for the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard®

The application process is simple. Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit the Emirates website.
  2. Click Loyalty at the top menu and then click Emirates Skywards Mastercard®.
  3. Select the Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® and click Apply now.
  4. Fill out the application form.
  5. Review the form and submit.

What credit score do I need?

For best chances of approval for this credit card, you’ll likely need a credit score of 670 or higher.

Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® benefits

  • Rewards. Earn 3x miles on emirates.com or at the Emirates sales office, 2x miles on airfare, hotel stays and car rentals and 1x miles on everything else.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days of account opening. With an average value of 1.2 cents per mile, your 60,000 bonus miles can be worth up to $480, which is half the price of an Economy one-way flight between Los Angeles (LAX) and Dubai (DXB).
  • Emirates Skywards Gold membership. Get complimentary Skywards Gold membership only during your first year.
  • Priority Pass lounge access. Access more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, just by being an Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® cardmember. Plus you get access to Emirates Business Class lounges for you as the main cardholder and one guest as long as you keep the Skywards Gold membership.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. Get up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every five years.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee. The card costs $499 annually, which is on par with most premium credit cards.
  • Difficult to maintain Emirates Skywards Gold membership. After your first year, you’ll need to spend $40,000 annually to maintain your status. This card, with its high annual fee, likely isn’t worth it if you don’t spend enough to maintain membership.
  • No intro APR period. There’s no 0% intro APR period with this card. But most airline credit cards don’t offer this feature anyway.

Compare airline credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $1,000 through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on up to $1,000 on groceries until April 30, 2021, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $1,000 plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries with this popular travel card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $900 through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards with Chase’s premier card.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months, plus up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants in the same timeframe
2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
With a welcome offer worth up to $560, up to 2x miles on select purchases, and assorted Delta perks, this is a strong choice for Delta fans. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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Bottom line

The Emirates Skywards Premium World Elite Mastercard® is an expensive credit card that is most useful during the first year of card membership. After that, if you can’t spend at least $40,000 annually with this card, the less-expensive Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard® could be the better choice.

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