How you can redeem Amex Membership Rewards for free EasyJet flights — but why you may not want to

May 3, 2021

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With more than 100 routes flown from the U.K. to both international and domestic destinations, EasyJet is an important low-cost option for U.K. flyers. While EasyJet itself does not offer any kind of mileage programme for redemptions, there is one way to book EasyJet flights for free using miles thanks to its partnership with the Emirates Skywards programme.

Related: Everything you need to know about flying EasyJet

Through their partnership, you can redeem for flights online easily. EasyJet redemptions start at 7,500 Skywards miles one-way. The best part? There are no added taxes and fees. And because Emirates Skywards is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, you can even redeem those Amex points for an EasyJet flight.

But what kind of value will you be getting from your miles? Let take a look at the options.

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Booking free EasyJet flights online

Before diving into the value you’d be getting from your miles, let’s take a look at how you actually go about booking EasyJet flights with Emirates.

Searching for availability and booking flights online with Skywards miles is relatively easy. First, you go to the Emirates partner page and log into your Skywards miles account. Then, click the link for EasyJet tickets in the Partner Airlines box:

You will be redirected to the EasyJet/Emirates search tool where you can search and directly book your flights. You can search EasyJet’s entire route network and for both one-way and return tickets. The number of Emirates Skywards miles you’ll need to redeem will vary “based on demand for any particular flight.” In other words, if you’re booking a cheaper ticket, expect to pay fewer miles, while for a ticket that’s high in demand, expect to pay more miles.

Related: 3 great uses of Emirates Skywards miles that aren’t Emirates flights

Help, I don’t have any Skywards miles

Not to worry if you don’t have any Skywards miles in your account. Because Emirates Skywards is a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards, you can transfer your Membership Rewards points directly to Emirates Skywards at a 1:1 ratio.

Related: The ultimate guide to UK American Express Membership Rewards

You can transfer increments of 500 points, with a minimum of 1,000 Membership Rewards points. The transfer will officially take two working days, but usually, your miles will be deposited a little faster. Keep this transfer period in mind, since the price for EasyJet flights is based on the revenue price, fluctuation is possible.

As a reminder, you can earn Membership Rewards points with cards such as the Preferred Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Currently, the card comes with a welcome bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points after spending £3,000 in the first three months. Based on TPG U.K.’s most recent valuations, those 20,000 points are worth about £280. The card comes with a £140 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.

Related: A solid first credit card for beginners: A review of the Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card from American Express

Is it worth it?

In many cases, these partner options offer slightly less value than booking a flight with the airline itself or one of its direct alliance partners. (In the case of Emirates, however, it’s not part of an airline alliance.)

Let’s take a look at some examples to determine the value you’ll get for booking EasyJet flights with Skywards miles.

London Gatwick, U.K. (LGW) to Geneva, Switzerland (GVA) one-way

For this example, we’re booking a flight on 4 October flying from London to Geneva, just one-way. When booking through the Emirates/EasyJet portal, you are quoted 9,998 miles:

(Image courtesy of Emirates)

If booked directly through EasyJet, which is usually the cheapest way to book an EasyJet flight, the total price is £26.99:

(Image courtesy of EasyJet)

Calculating the value we get per mile is easy, we’re getting just 0.27p out of each mile. This is poor compared to the current valuation of 0.9p for Emirates Skywards miles and 1.4p for American Express Membership Rewards. In other words, you’d be getting far better value for those points if you were to use them another way.

London Luton, U.K. (LTN) to Santorini, Greece (JTR) return

Another example could be a holiday in Greece, with a couple flying to Santorini for an autumn break, with the outbound trip on 5 October and the return on 12 October. Booked with Skymiles, this itinerary sets you back 72,024 Skywards miles for both travellers.

(Image courtesy of Emirates)

When booked directly through EasyJet, the total price is £216.88:

(Image courtesy of EasyJet)

In this case, the per-mile value is ever so slightly higher at 0.3p per mile. When checking more examples, it appears that the quoted amount of miles is linked very tightly to the revenue price of the ticket, meaning you will always get close to 0.3p per mile in value when booking an EasyJet award flight. In other words, you will always get better value out of redeeming your miles another way.

Getting to Santorini, Greece is free with the right amount of Emirates Skywards miles. (Photo by JeniFoto/Shutterstock)

Bottom line

Booking EasyJet flights with Emirates Skywards miles can be conveniently done online — but you won’t be getting good value out of your miles by doing so. That said, there are some perks — for example, there are no taxes and fees owed.

If you have leftover Skywards miles and no realistic way to save up enough for a flight on Emirates before they expire, these redemptions are a great option. However, saving up for an Emirates flight or an upgrade might get you three times the value, or more. If you book one of these flights, you have to be ready to settle for getting less value for your miles.

Featured image by Daniel Ross / The Points Guy

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