Emirates Airlines is one of the most reputable airlines in the world, widely known for their top-tier service and high-end cabins. Based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, they offer flights to over 161 destinations in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, America, and Africa.

Emirates offers different fare types-a version quite different from other commercial airlines. When you book a flight online, you won't see the usual booking class chart that shows the categorized classes by priority. Instead, you'll get three main fare types to choose from: Saver, Flex, and Flex Plus.

Depending on the cabin class, these fare types come with different fees and flexibility.

1. Economy Saver and Business Saver fares are cheaper and have low priority. You'll incur charges for flight changes and refunds. Upgrades are expensive and not always guaranteed.

2. Economy Flex and Business Flex fares are not as cheap and have a bit more flexibility. Charges for flight changes and refunds are not as high as in saver fares. Upgrades are also available online, upon check-in, or during boarding.

3. Economy Flex Plus and Business Flex Plus fares are relatively expensive but offer the highest flexibility. Flight changes and refunds are free and you'll get prioritized for upgrades.

With Emirates, miles are earned based on these fare types, not fare classes. You have to use the Emirates mileage calculator to know the number of miles earned, since Emirates doesn't publish the earning rates for each fare type. 

To know more about Emirates Skywards and what to do with Emirates Miles to make the most out of this loyalty program, read on. 

What Is Emirates Skywards?

Apart from being a world-class airline, Emirates also has an award-winning loyalty program where its members can earn and spend miles. Emirates Skywards offers free membership and divides frequent flyers into four tiers: Blue, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

You'll start at Blue tier by default and move up as you earn more miles. The higher the tier, the higher priority you get upon check-in, boarding, guaranteed seats, lounge access, and excess baggage allowance, among others.

How To Earn Skyward Miles

Miles can be earned from flights, accommodations, transportation, and expenditures with Emirates and their partner companies.

1. Flights. As mentioned earlier, Emirates rewards miles on flights according to fare type. Your flight distance and membership tier are included in the calculation. You can also earn miles when you fly with Emirates' sister airlines.

2. Hotels and car rentals. You can also collect miles by staying at hotels booked through Skyward Hotels. Many partner hotels have their own membership programs that can earn you points, and you can have these converted into Skyward miles. Likewise, you can earn points from partner car rental companies.

3. Retailers and services. Shopping in-store or online at partner stores can also earn you miles. If you're using credit cards, some issuers can convert the dollars spent into points. 

There's no limit to the total miles you can collect, but some partners may put a ceiling on individual transactions. For instance, some hotels and car hire companies have a cap on miles earned per night or per rental.

When to Redeem Skyward Miles

You can redeem reward flights with Emirates and partner airlines starting at 15,000 Skyward miles. If you don't have enough miles, you may combine it with cash. Miles can also be used to upgrade your cabin class from economy to business, depending on seat availability and flight route. Miles can also be spent on hotels and car hire.

On the other hand, you may opt for tier miles instead. Tier miles earned from flights can be used to reach a higher membership level. Members are given 12 months to earn enough miles and maintain or upgrade their level. Insufficient tier miles may result in dropping to a lower level.

Skyward miles are valid for around three years from your first earning. If you don't use them within the allotted period, they will expire and will be removed from your account at the end of your birth month.