Emirates Skywards+ Subscription Plans Are Worth a Look Emirates Skywards+ Subscription Plans Are Worth a Look

Emirates Skywards+ Subscription Plans Are Worth a Look

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Emirates recently launched Skywards+ subscription plans. While this originally elicited a big yawn from me, reading the details makes it more interesting. The math on this might surprise you. Here are the details of the available plans — and how they might be useful to even periodic Emirates travelers.

Pricing Plans of Emirates Skywards+

There are 3 different Emirates Skywards+ plans available:

  • Skywards+ Classic — $399 per year
  • Skywards+ Advanced — $699 per year
  • Skywards+ Premium — $999 per year

You can read detailed terms for each level here. You must enroll in advance before you can take advantage of the benefits. Enroll here.

Emirates Skywards+ Subscription Plans

Comparison of Emirates Skywards+ Plan Benefits

You can see a comparison of the benefits in each level of Emirates Skywards+ subscription plans in the image above.

For most people, the similarities are more important than the differences. Each level of Emirates Skywards+ includes the following:

  • 20% Discount on Classic Rewards
  • Preferential Cash+Miles rates
  • 20% Bonus Skywards Miles
  • Extra weight allowance on checked baggage

And here are where the plans differ:

  • Number of airport lounge access passes — 2 for Classic vs 5 for Advanced vs 10 for Premium
  • Upgrade rewards discounts — only included in the Advanced and Premium plans
  • Extra checked bag allowance — only included in the Advanced and Premium plans
  • Bonus Tier Miles — only included in the Premium plan

The Positives of Skywards+ Plans

The Skywards redemption discount is probably the most attractive benefit of these Skywards+ plans. Given the number of miles required for Classic Rewards in premium cabins, this one benefit can present a significant amount of mileage savings.

To fly over the ocean in business or first class will generally cost over 100,000 miles. So, saving 20,000 miles — or 40,000 miles if you’re redeeming as a couple — from your Skywards stash could justify paying the Skywards+ fee. And that mileage savings only grows with more distance flown.

Thus, Emirates Skywards+ subscription plans can also make a redemption possible what wouldn't be possible otherwise. Say you only have 80,000 Skywards miles but want to make a redemption costing 100,000 miles. With this Skywards+ discount, you can now book this award.

Read more: The best uses of Emirates Skywards miles.

There are two drawbacks of this mileage discount worth highlighting:

  • The 20% discount on a Classic Rewards redemption is only valid once per year. Make sure you use this for maximum value. It’s unclear yet if / how you can decline this redemption on a low-value redemption to save it for more value on a later redemption.
  • The 20% discount on a Classic Rewards redemption only applies to online bookings. If you’re getting errors when booking online and call to make a redemption, you won’t get the discount.

Our Take

Emirates has launched some interesting subscription plans in Skywards+. Even if you plan to make just one premium cabin redemption through Skywards this year, signing up for one of these Skywards+ plans could be worthwhile.

Unless you are flying a lot of cash tickets with Emirates (thus earning a lot of bonus miles) or flying economy quite often but desperately want the lounge access, the higher-cost plans don’t add significant value. The Classic plan is likely sufficient to accomplish the main goal: saving more than what you spend on the subscription fee.

5 / 5 - (5 votes)
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  • Yes, it really worth a look! I’m not so much now flying but once I’ll fly with them again. They the best or one of the best!

  • I have Skyward mikes sliding soon, hoping for an extension

  • Collective Yawn indeed! You’d have to have a really specific high value redemption in mind to even make this marginally worthwhile…..Emirates is way over rated anyway with their Vegas style cabins in the front of the plane…hard pass on this one I’m afraid.!

  • It looks very much like an enhanced version of Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club for me.

  • I think it’s going to be a thin sliver of Skywards members that can make the maths work here, and they’re not exactly cheap – but, if it works for someone, then it works.

  • I like the concept of Emirates Skywards+ subscription plans, however, unfortunately the benefits seem to be rather limited on these options. Maybe in time they might add additional benefits.