How To Keep Emirates Skyward Miles From Expiring?

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Emirates Skywards Miles are hard to extend without hefty fees. Emirates charges $20 per 1,000 miles for extensions up to 12 months, and you can only extend 50,000 miles per year. However, I came across a method that can keep those Emirates miles from expiring for a cheap $99 annual fee.

Emirates introduced two credit cards by Barclays Bank. Each credit card offers one of the benefits that your Skyward miles will never expire as long as you remain a cardholder. The cheapest Emirates credit card annual fee is $99, and to me, this is a lot cheaper compared to the fees that Emirates charges to extend their miles. Furthermore, you will also enjoy other benefits that the Emirates card offers, such as complimentary seat selection, silver status, and extra sign-up bonus miles for the first year. After a year, you can decide what to do with the card after you can successfully redeem your Skyward miles.

Emirates Skywards Miles Expiration & Extension Policies

First, let’s do a quick re-cap on the Emirates Skyward Miles policies for expiring and extending:

  • Emirates miles can expire three (3) years from the date you earn them. In fact, they expire at the end of your birth month in the third year.
  • You can pay to extend Emirates miles for 12 months. Emirates charges $20 per 1,000 miles, and you can only extend a maximum of 50,000 miles per calendar year.
  • You can also reinstate your expired Emirates miles, but you must request them within six months of their expiration. Similar to extending the Emirates miles policy, you must pay $20 per 1,000 miles to reinstate expired miles, which are valid for 12 months. You can only reinstate a maximum of 50,000 miles per calendar year.
  • Emirates miles do not expire for Emirates Platinum Elite members and Emirates credit cardholders.

Emirates Credit Card Miles Never Expire

One of the benefits of having an Emirates credit card is that your Emirates Skyward miles will never expire as long as you remain a cardholder. It is also true for all the Skyward miles you accrued before becoming a cardholder. See my experience below.

No Miles Expiry

  • As an Emirates Skywards Mastercard holder, Your Skywards Miles will not expire as long as your card account remains open and is in good standing.
  • If you close your card account, Emirates Skywards will communicate an adjusted expiry date for any Miles that should have expired as per the standard Emirates Skywards Program Rules.
  • The adjusted expiry date will be two months from the card account closure date.
Barclays Emirates Credit Card Benefit

My Experience Applying for the Emirates Credit Card

Long story short, this is what my experience from applying for the Emirates credit card and having my 90,000 Skyward miles no longer expire:

  • May 1 – Applied for the $99 Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard and got instant approval.
    • Barclays pulled my TransUnion credit report, and I already had four hard inquiries.
    • My Emirates Blue status did not change to Silver, and my 90k Skyward miles still had the expiration date.
  • May 21 – I logged into my Emirates account, and my Skyward miles no longer have the expiration date.
    • My status, on the other hand, was still Blue, but that does not bother me. The card’s benefit term does state that “The Silver tier status can take up to 8 weeks from the card account opening date to be reflected.”

I also wanted to point out that there’s a data point on FlyerTalk that the person’s Skyward miles account received an update immediately to the Silver status, and his miles no longer expire upon the credit card’s approval. It was not an immediate update in my case (about three weeks). So please plan your time appropriately if you are going to go this route to keep your Skyward miles from expiring with a low fee.

Conclusion

There’s no free way to extend Emirate Skyward Miles unless you have the highest Platinum status level with Emirates. Currently, Emirates charges $20 per 1,000 miles to extend miles up to 12 months with a maximum of 50,000 miles cap per calendar year. Therefore, it can be really expensive if you have several Skyward miles to extend when you do not have an immediate use of the miles.

One way to save costs is to get an Emirates credit card because your Skyward miles will never expire as long as you are an active cardholder. The downside is you must pay the card’s annual fee, which is $99, but you can also enjoy the card’s benefits, such as free seat selection, silver status, and a sign-up bonus Skyward miles in the first year. The nice thing is that miles earned before your credit card’s approval will also no longer expire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Emirates Credit Card Prevent Skyward Miles Expiration Obtained Before the Credit Card?

Yes. See my experience above.

I earned 90,000 Skyward miles before I applied for the Emirate credit card. After approval, they no longer expire.

Can I Cancel the Emirates Credit Card After the Skyward Miles No Longer Expire?

Yes, you can; however, your Skyward miles will go back to have the expiry date based on the Emirates Skyward Program rules. See below:

  • If you close your card account, Emirates Skywards will communicate an adjusted expiry date for any Miles that should have expired as per the standard Emirates Skywards Program Rules.
  • The adjusted expiry date will be two months from the card account closure date.

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