Emirates credit cards

Since the demise of MBNA's Skywards cards, it's no longer possible to get your hands on a dedicated Skywards credit card in the UK. But you can still earn points that are transferable for miles to enjoy premium travel benefits and discounts.

See which cards let you earn points Compare cards now
Find out other ways to earn air miles Alternative programes
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Name Product Rating Finder score Max. intro bonus Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Link Incentive Representative example
American Express® Rewards Credit Card
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
10,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
£0
31% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent thereafter. Earn up to 90,000 bonus points per year through refer a friend, 4,000 points awarded for every friend approved. 1 point = 0.45p (min 1,000 points) to shop, other rewards have differing conversions.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 31% APR (variable).
American Express® Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
20,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £195 per annum
88.8% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
Get 20% cashback at 1,000+ restaurants until 19 May 2024.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £195 per annum, your representative rate is 88.8% APR (variable).
The Platinum Card® by American Express
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
40,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
£650 per annum
704.6% APR (variable)
Check eligibility
New Cardmembers earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points when you spend £6,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. T&Cs Apply. UK 18+, subject to status.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31.0% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £650 per annum, your representative rate is 704.6% APR (variable).
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Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

What are Emirates Skywards credit cards?

If you’re a frequent flyer with Emirates or any of the airline’s partners, a credit card that earns Skywards Miles could help you get reward flights and upgrades faster. As well as earning points for your everyday spending, some cards offer you other travel benefits such as airport lounge access and complimentary insurance. Depending on the card you choose, you could also enjoy a lump sum of welcome bonus points as a new cardholder.

Which cards give Emirates miles?

There’s currently no UK credit card that lets you earn Emirates Skyward air miles directly, but you can convert American Express Membership Rewards points into Skywards Miles, at a ratio of 1 Membership Rewards point to 1 Skywards point.

You can connect your Amex account to your Skywards account or call Amex and ask them to do it for you. You’ll need to transfer in multiples of 500 points, and the minimum you can transfer is 1,000 points.

How to convert Membership Rewards® into Skywards Miles

Firstly, you must be an Emirates Skywards member to transfer your points. You can enrol by visiting the Emirates website. To convert your Membership Rewards® into Skywards Miles, log in to your American Express online account, choose the partner you wish to transfer to and specify the number of points you wish to convert. The transfer process may take up to 2 days to complete.

Credit card jargon explained

  • APR. The annual percentage rate (APR) is designed to be a benchmark for consumers, providing an annual summary of the cost of your card. As well as the interest, the APR also takes into account any compulsory charges – like an account fee (if there is one). However, crucially, providers only have to award the advertised APR to 51% of those who take out the credit card – the other 49% could be offered a different (higher) rate at the provider’s discretion. That’s why it’s often referred to as the representative APR.
  • Charge card. This is similar to a credit card but requires you to pay your balance in full each month in exchange for no hard credit limit.
  • Earn rate. This is the rate at which you’ll accrue air miles on your card transactions. For example, a credit card may have an earn rate of 1 air mile per £1 spent.

How to compare Emirates credit cards

Weigh up the following features when you compare Emirates credit cards so you can find one that’s right for you:

  1. Sign-up offers. Introductory benefits such as a lump sum of bonus points, an enhanced earn rate, 0% interest periods or reduced annual fees for the first year add value to the card when you first get it. But it’s important to also consider the ongoing features if you’re planning to use the card beyond that promotional period.
  2. Earn rate. Look at the number of points per £1 spent and your average spending to help you work out the card’s value. Remember to also consider the conversion rate if you’re looking at cards that let you transfer rewards points to Skywards Miles.
  3. Interest rate. Pay attention to the rate of interest charged for purchases if you think you’ll carry a balance on your credit card because interest fees can easily outweigh the reward value. If you habitually pay off your monthly balances, interest rates may not be such a major factor.
  4. Annual fee. The annual fees for rewards cards differ quite wildly from card to card. Make sure that these costs don’t outweigh the value you get from your rewards by considering your average spending and the number of points or miles that will give you each month and year.
  5. Other benefits. Depending on the card you choose, you could get access to perks, including complimentary insurance, airport lounge access, travel credit and personal concierge services. While these extras can add value to the card, consider whether you’ll use them to decide if they’re worth it for you.
  6. Other costs. If you plan to use your credit card overseas, foreign transaction fees usually apply (they’re typically around 3%). Other potential costs include cash advance fees (that’s when you withdraw cash using a credit card, which is generally best avoided).

How to apply for an Emirates credit card

You can apply for any of the cards featured on this page online in around 15 minutes. Once you’ve chosen your card, be sure to use the issuer’s “eligibility checker” facility to find out if your application would stand a decent chance of getting approved. You can also check if you meet the eligibility criteria, which usually include:

  • Age. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old.
  • Residency status. You must be a UK resident to apply.
  • Income. Some credit cards require you to earn a specific amount of money before you’re eligible to apply. Be sure to check the “application requirements” for these details.

What are the alternative options for frequent flyers?

Looking for a new frequent flyer programme? British Airways offers cards that earn Avios directly, and Virgin Atlantic cards earn Virgin Flying Club miles.

Name Product Rating Finder score Max. intro bonus Earn-rate with brand Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
25,000 points
3 points per £1 spent
1.5 points per £1 spent
£250 per annum
113.1% APR (variable)
Earn 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. Terms apply. 18+, subject to status. New Cardmembers Only

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31.0% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £250 per annum, your representative rate is 113.1% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
British Airways American Express® Credit Card
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
5,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
1 point per £1 spent
£0
31% APR (variable)
Earn 5,000 points when you spend £1,000 within 3 months of account opening. Terms apply. UK 18+, subject to status. Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 31% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 31% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Virgin Money Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Credit Card
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
15,000 points
3 points per £1 spent
1.5 points per £1 spent
£160 per annum
69.7% APR (variable)
Earn 15,000 bonus points with your first card purchase made within 90 days of account opening. Earn 1.5 Flying Club miles for every £1 spend and 3 miles for every £1 spend with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. Spend £10K a year on your card and choose an extra benefit - an upgrade to Premium, or a Companion ticket. Points value varies dependent on reward (min 3000pts)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 26.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £160 per annum, your representative rate is 69.7% APR (variable).
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Bottom line

You can’t earn Skyward points directly with credit cards, but you can switch Membership Rewards using certain American Express cards. This lets you easily get Skywards points and enjoy special Emirates perks. Just remember, you need at least 1,000 points to transfer.

Frequently asked questions about Emirates credit cards

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We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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