How To Redeem Amex Or Chase Points For Emirates Flights To Italy And Greece

Advertiser disclosure: The Miles Genie has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products.  The Miles Genie and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Editorial disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Information about The Platinum Card from American Express and the American Express Gold card, as well as any other American Express product on this post has been independently collected by The Miles Genie.

Emirates is an airline based in Dubai, best known for its top notch premium cabins. Thanks to 2 fifth freedom routes operated by Emirates, you do not have to fly to/through Dubai to get the Emirates first or business class experience. Instead, you can fly between Newark and Athens or New York (JFK) and Milan.

The JFK-MXP route is on an Emirates A380, complete with a bar

In this post, I’ll go over how you can book roundtrip Emirates business or first class flights between the US and Europe for ~$250 out of pocket.

How to fly to greece with emirates miles
How to earn Emirates Skywards miles

Earning the miles needed to book an Emirates award ticket is easier than you may think. You do not have to fly on Emirates to have access to Emirates miles. There are no Emirates co-branded credit cards in the US, but even if there were, you’re better off earning transferable currencies. The best way to earn Emirates miles is to use a type of card that earns a currency that is transferable to Emirates.

You can transfer points from the three transferable currencies I discuss most on this blog to Emirates at a 1:1 ratio: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Capital One Venture miles. Citi Thank You points also transfer to Emirates 1:1.

Earn your first 80,000 points
Chase Sapphire Preferred 2023

The welcome bonus on the card_name is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth at least $750 when you redeem them in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can also transfer those points to Emirates or other airline partners at a 1:1 ratio.

60,000 Ultimate Rewards have the potential to be worth a lot more than $750 if you learn how to redeem them with transfer partners such as Emirates.

The annual fee is very reasonable at $95.

Here is a frequently asked question: if my spouse already has the Chase Sapphire Preferred, can I open one? Yes. Each spouse can have their own, as long as you qualify. To qualify, you must be credit worthy (to be determined by Chase) and you must be under 5/24 (meaning you have not opened more than 5 cards from any bank in the past 24 months). Also, you cannot have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve currently open. If you have previously had a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, but it has been at least 48 months since you last received a welcome bonus, you’re eligible to earn this bonus. You can read more about that here.

Redeeming Emirates miles means you will have some out of pocket costs on award tickets

Emirates has some outrageous fuel surcharges on business/first class award tickets on most routes. Any route that is to/through Dubai is going to be much more than the US-Europe Fifth Freedom routes. For the US-Europe Emirates routes, redemption pricing with Emirates Skywards miles is decent, and fuel surcharges aren’t bad compared to some of your other US-Europe options with Amex MR, Chase UR, and COV.

Fuel surcharges are much more reasonable than they used to be

At the time of publishing (April 2023) US-Europe in economy on Emirates roundtrip would have a total of ~$140 in out of pocket fees, taxes, and surcharges. For business or first class, the out of pocket total is ~$250. This is much more reasonable than what it used to be. When I originally wrote about the Emirates Skywards program in 2019, fuel surcharges on a roundtrip US-Europe business class or first class itinerary were around $1100!

My brother and his wife on their honeymoon in Greece

Redemption pricing for US-Europe award flights on fifth freedom routes operated by Emirates

Emirates does not publish award charts for their own flights (though there are charts for flights operated by partner airlines), but you can find redemption prices for individual routes with their miles calculator. Emirates also has a flexible calendar search feature, making it easy to find the lowest possible redemption price for your date range.

For economy and business class seats, there are “Saver” tickets and there are “Flex Plus” tickets

Saver tickets require less miles, but they are only available to book as roundtrip tickets. You would have to book a Flex Plus ticket to book a one-way, and Flex Plus tickets require more miles.

Like award tickets booked with most other airline programs, award seats on Emirates flights are subject to availability, with saver tickets being the most limited.

Here are the lowest possible redemption amounts roundtrip for EWR-ATH or JFK-MXP:

Remember, Emirates allows one ways, but for economy or business class tickets it’s not half of the roundtrip price like some other programs that allow one ways. Instead, it’s more than half because you have to book at the Flex Plus price rather than the Saver price. Roundtrip is a much better value for economy and business class.

  • Economy: 45,000 Emirates miles (or 38,750 one way)
  • Business: 108,000 Emirates miles (or 87,000 one way)
  • First: 204,000 Emirates miles (or 102,000 one way)*

It’s obviously better to book as a roundtrip if possible if you’re booking business or first class and saver seats are available.

how to book emirates business  class with amex or chase points
There is no saver pricing on Emirates first class award tickets

To book award seats in first class, you can only redeem at the Flex Plus level. You can book one ways, and the first class one way price will be half of the Flex Plus roundtrip price of 204,000 (so 102,000 each way). In other words, there is no redemption pricing advantage of booking a roundtrip first class award vs. a one way for travel after July 1.

First class award seats are also subject to availability.

how to book emirates first class with amex or chase points

How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards points for Emirates flights to Europe in business or first class

how to fly to athens with emirates miles or amex and chase points

If you have transferable bank points such as Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards, there are two different redemption methods you can use to book flights with either of these types of points:

  1. Redeem by “paying” with points at a fixed value. Each rewards program has different values, but basically this just means you’re redeeming your miles or points as cash to cover travel purchases. The fixed value is between 1 and 1.5 cents per point, depending on which card you have.
  2. Transfer points to Emirates or other airline or hotel partners. Your Chase Ultimate Rewards points or American Express Membership Rewards points become Emirates miles. You can redeem them according to the rules and redemption prices of the airline or hotel program to which you transfer, which is Emirates Skywards in this case. The redemption value varies, but this is how we’re often able to get 2 cents or more per point.

The first method sometimes works well for low fares and for economy tickets. If you’re trying to book business or first, the paid fare would have to be super low to make this your best redemption option. In other words, for premium cabins, transfer partners result in a lower redemption cost most of the time.

I found business Saver availability that I can book with Emirates miles for a roundtrip itinerary JFK-MXP next March. We will discuss redemption pricing by transferring Amex or Chase points to Emirates to book this in a moment.

First, I want to show the redemption price if you redeem Amex points at or first method described above) for this ticket.

Business class fares for JFK-MXP for the dates I used in the examples for this post are around $3,000. Emirates is the lowest nonstop option and it’s $3,199. I know that’s a lot, but it’s typical (actually it’s kind of low) for business class. You’ll see that transferring to Emirates to book is still a better option, though.

Amex Membership Rewards

When you redeem Amex points for flights at, points are worth 1 cent each.

This means that a business class fare of $3,199 would require 319,900 Amex points.

Don’t book like this!! Transferring to Emirates would require about 1/3 of that amount!

Chase Ultimate Rewards

When you redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for flights at, points are worth 1.25 or 1.5 cents each, depending on which card you have

At those rates, a roundtrip ticket that costs $3,199 would require:

  • 255,920 points if you have Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Business Preferred or
  • ~213,267 points with Chase Sapphire Reserve

This is a little better than Amex points, but you’ll still do much better by transferring the points to Emirates if Saver tickets are available.

To book this itinerary by converting Amex or Chase points to Emirates miles, you would only need 108,000 points total

For business class, the redemption price for JFK-MXP or EWR-ATH is as low as 108,000 Emirates miles roundtrip plus ~$250 in taxes and fees.

Tip: Consider booking a positioning flight if necessary

If EWR or JFK is not your home airport, it may be worth booking a positioning flight to take advantage of Emirates business or first class award seats.

For example, when we went to the Maldives in 2021, we booked tickets from DFW-JFK for less than $100 one way. Totally worth it to get the flight we wanted out of JFK! Of course you can also use points for a positioning flight but when fares are low, I just pay cash and save my points for bigger redemptions such as the Emirates premium cabins we’re discussing in this post.

Recapping redemption options for JFK-MXP roundtrip in business class:

  • Amex Membership Rewards at 319,900 Amex points
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 255,920 or 213,267 (depending on which card you have)
  • Convert Amex and/or Chase points to Emirates miles: 108,000 points plus ~$250 (and maybe the cost of a positioning flight)

These redemption prices could change. If the fare gets higher, more Amex points would be required to book this at Likewise, redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points at for these flights when the paid fare is higher would result in a higher amount of Ultimate Rewards points required.

If saver tickets aren’t available, the redemption price using Emirates miles would be higher. Even with the higher price of a flex plus ticket (174,000 Emirates miles roundtrip) transferring to Emirates would be a better way to book a $3199 ticket than using the Chase portal or

108,000 is way lower than 319,900 or 213,267, so what’s the catch?

Most airlines limit the amount of award tickets on any given flight.  Even if a paid seat is available, you may not be able to book an award seat. This is not unique to Emirates; this is just how award travel works.

Once you transfer Chase or Amex points to an airline partner, your points become airline miles and they are subject to the policies of the airline program. Transfers are permanent and you cannot transfer miles back to Amex or Chase. For that reason, it is best to search for award availability and make certain your dates and route are available before you transfer any Amex or Chase points to Emirates (or any airline program). Otherwise, you could be stuck with thousands of Emirates miles. Transfers from Chase or Amex to Emirates are usually posted immediately, so there is no reason to transfer before you confirm availability.

It’s easy to search for availability since Emirates awards can be booked online. But I’ll go through the steps below.

how to book flights to europe with emirates

How to search for award tickets

To search for award space, you will first need to create an Emirates Skywards account. It’s free. Again, do not transfer any Amex or Chase points into your Emirates account yet.

Log in to your Emirates Skywards account. Give the route, dates, number of passengers and class. When you’re giving the dates, you can check the box if you want to search for flexible days. You can also search for one way but remember, one way in business class and economy is more than half of the roundtrip price.

how to transfer amex or chase points to emirates

Make sure the Classic awards box is checked.

how to book emirates award tickets

March 3-13 is available at the Saver price.

The roundtrip total is 108,000 miles, making each way only 54,000 miles. 

The total for fees, taxes and surcharges is $246, which is a significant improvement from 2019 when these fees were over $1,000!

how to book emirates award tickets

I also just wanted to show that a one way JFK-MXP is 87,000 and $105 for business class.

Once you find dates, click the one you want and click Continue. You’ll see the available routes. In this case, there’s only one option for each way.

how to book emirates award tickets in business class

At this point, if you’re happy with the available itinerary, you can go ahead and transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points, Capital One Venture, and/or your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your Emirates account. Points should show up immediately, but you may have to log out of your Emirates account and log back in. Once the points are in your Emirates account, you can complete the booking.

Click here for instructions on transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline partners.

Click here for instructions on transferring Amex Membership Rewards points to airline partners.

Here is the cents per point math if you’re interested:

  • Paid fare minus out of pocket expenses ($3199-246)= $2953
  • $2953/108,000 miles=0.027
  • 0.027 X 100= 2.7
  • 2.7 cents per point

We usually try to save our Amex and Chase points for redemptions worth 2 cents per point or more (which is why we rarely redeem via or, so this is definitely something I would consider booking.

Quick chat about point/mile values

Just remember, high value redemptions are fun and exciting but if it’s not a ticket you planned to buy anyway, you aren’t actually saving any more money than a lesser value redemption. For example, I could book business class for the outbound and first class on the return for 156,000 miles total.Remember, the business roundtrip I found is 108,000, so the difference is 48,000 miles. 48,000 extra miles is alot, but wait until you see the paid fare…

The ticket is $10,013 and I can book the roundtrip for 156,000 miles plus $246, so this would be a value of around 6.3 cpp.

  • $9767 ($10,013 minus the out of pocket which is $246= $9767) /156,000=0.063
  • 0.063 X 100= 6.3

Click here to read more about calculating the value of a mile or point.

This ticket with first class on the return is a better cents per point value than roundtrip business class, but requires 48,000 more miles than business class. I’m getting a higher redemption value with first, but I’m redeeming more points. Rather than focusing on the value, deciding between business and first in this situation just depends on how much you’re willing to redeem.

Since I probably wouldn’t pay for either of these tickets, I’m not really saving money either way, so the cents per point value doesn’t really matter much to me. Redeem your points in a way that works best for you and your goals.

I personally would probably book this because I have 48,000 points to spare and I want to fly first class on this route more than the average person! But there’s also nothing wrong with saving the points so you can book even more travel. If first was available for the entire itinerary, it would be a total of 204,000 which is 96,000 more than business class roundtrip and I’m not sure I would spend that. I like this mixed cabin idea.

In the past, economy seats on Emirates flights were almost never a good value due to fuel surcharges, but that may be different now

The reduction in surcharges on these routes means economy award tickets booked with Emirates miles may sometimes be a good value.

The saver economy price for a roundtrip EWR-ATH ticket booked with Emirates miles would be 45,000 miles plus $140 in taxes and fees.

You shouldn’t rule out redeeming Emirates miles for economy, but you may be better off redeeming via a cash-back/purchase eraser type method ( or If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Amex Membership Rewards points, it makes sense to figure out the redemption price both ways.

best emirates redemptions, how to redeem chase ultimate rewards points for emirates flights

Final Thoughts

108,000 miles and reasonable surcharges for a roundtrip business class ticket to Europe is an excellent deal. Even if you have to spend $200 on a positioning flight, it could be worth it.

Earn 60,000 points
Chase Sapphire Preferred 2023

The card_name now has a welcome offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth at least $750 when you redeem them in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can also transfer those points to airline or hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio.

You can book a roundtrip flight in business class flights to Italy or Greece for as little as 90,000 Emirates miles. Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Emirates at a 1:1 ratio

As of August 16, bonus categories have been added and/or improved!

  • Earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased via Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases
  • Instead of the old earn rate of 2, you can now earn 3 points per dollar on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout)
  • 3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases (this excludes Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 3 points per dollar on select streaming services
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

Also, receive credit of up to $50 annually on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards. New cardmembers will receive this credit immediately and existing cardmembers will start earning after the next anniversary.

Each anniversary, you’ll receive bonus points equal to 10% of total purchases made the previous year. This excludes any welcome bonus points, so it’s only on points earned from spending.

The annual fee is $95, but the welcome offer alone is worth a lot more than that.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Information about The Platinum Card from American Express and the American Express Gold card, as well as any other American Express product on this post has been independently collected by The Miles Genie.

Amex Platinum Card 2022

If you want a premium travel card and you frequently book flights, consider the Platinum Card from American Express.  The welcome bonus is: earn 80,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months (note: the link on the card name may bring you to a better offer than this public offer!)

You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly through airlines and at on up to $500,000 per calendar year.  The annual fee on this card is higher at $695 [rates and fees], but the benefits are great, especially if you travel often. Terms apply.

Amex Rates and Fees:

Advertiser disclosure: The Miles Genie has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products.  The Miles Genie and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Comments below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. The comments have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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