Limited time promotion runs until 8 March.
Standard Chartered bank is offering a 100% conversion bonus for its cardmembers for transferring points into Emirates Skywards miles from now until 8 March 2020.
While the promotion is targeted at the X Infinite Visa cardholders, as long as you have a Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) credit card that allows you to earn points, you are eligible for the promotion.
Emirates Skywards programme
Emirates Skywards miles aren’t usually good value due to the number of miles required for redemptions and the fuel surcharges that come with it. Moreover, Emirates doesn’t belong to any alliances, so your options are pretty much limited.
However, with this offer, the awards become a lot more sensible. you can make a number of redemption options that are comparable to what you might normally spend on Singapore Airlines’ Krisflyer.
If you have been converting your SCB 360 Rewards points to Krisflyer all these while, your effective mpd of 1.2 for Krisflyer is now worth 1.7 mpd if you are converting them to Emirates Skywards. Overseas transactions, which gives you 2 mpd if you are converting to Krisflyer, will be effectively 2.9 mpd for Emirates Skywards under this promotion.
For those lucky enough to lap up the 100,000 miles sign-up bonus (in the form of 250,000 360 Rewards points) last year, if you have kept your points, you can now change them for 140,000 Emirates Skywards miles – more than enough for a one-way business class trip to Europe.
Note that Emirates Skywards miles have a validity of 3+ years. Miles earned or transferred expires at the end of your birthday month after the third year mark from the time they are earned.
For example, if your birthday is in June and you earned the miles in February 2020, your miles will expire on 30 June 2023.
What can I use Emirates Skywards miles for?
The obvious answer will be for Emirates flights. Apart from Dubai, Emirates also flies to Melbourne from Singapore, as well as Penang from April 2020.
For 17,500 miles, you can redeem a one-way economy class ticket to Penang from Singapore, but don’t – it’s poor value. Instead, opt up for 27,500 miles in business class, or if you are feeling fancy, 37,500 for first class.
If you want to fly further, you can also opt for business class or first class tickets to Melbourne, at 62,500 and 85,000 miles respectively. This option is operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, so the business class is a 2-3-2 configuration, similar to this one that I took from Dubai last year.
Emirates doesn’t belong to any alliances, but they have a handful of partners you can use the miles on, including Qantas.
Qantas redemptions to Sydney or Melbourne are most useful in business or first class, at 60,000 and 90,000 miles respectively, plus fuel surcharge and taxes.
One shortcoming of using Emirates Skywards programme is the high fuel surcharges you have to shell out.
If you are a holder of this card and a fan of Emirates, this represent excellent value for redemptions on Emirates, given that there isn’t really many options to redeem Emirates flights from this part of the world.
With the 100% bonus, this offer has also become a much more attractive way of redeeming Emirates tickets, and in some cases, cheaper than using Krisflyer miles to redeem a similar itinerary on Singapore Airlines. The obvious downside is the huge fuel surcharge that comes with redemption, but in some cases, such as a first class experience on the A380, it’s definitely worth every cent.