Buy top European football tickets… using air miles

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One little known benefit of the Emirates Skywards frequent flyer programme is that, through Emirates‘ extensive football sponsorship, you can use it to easily buy football tickets at European heavyweight teams AC Milan, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Paris St Germain, SV Hamburg and Benfica.

emirates-skywards

Emirates Skywards have just loaded an enormous range of football tickets for the 2016-17 season. Not only can you get general admission tickets, you can also use miles to “buy” your way into the VIP executive box, with full catering etc, at impressive mileage costs.

A major disadvantages of Emirates Skywards is the expiry of your points after three years, without any possibility of this extending. When you add to that policy the fact that redemptions often come with hefty taxes and fees, many people can find themselves fairly limited in their options. I have a general preference for Etihad over Emirates, and the relative merits of their frequent flyer schemes is one such reason.

As such, this use of Emirates Skywards miles with some potentially very interesting Emirates Skywards partners is certainly one to consider.

So how do I do it?

Simply click on this link and then log in to Emirates Skywards. You will be taken to the grandly-titled Emirates “Culture and Sport” section which sets out Emirates Skywards partners in this sector.

emirates skywards partners

What’s the mileage cost?

The starting price for tickets is as follows, in miles:

emirates-football

This can be broken down as follows:

AC Milan

  • General matchday ticket: starts at 3000 miles
  • VIP hospitality ticket: 12,000 miles

Arsenal

  • General matchday ticket: 12,500 miles
  • Executive box ticket: 20,000 miles

SV Hamburg

  • General matchday ticket: starts at 4000 miles
  • Executive box ticket: starts at 13,500 miles

Paris St Germain

  • General matchday ticket: 4000 miles
  • VIP hospitality ticket: 10,000 miles

Real Madrid

  • General matchday ticket: starts at 10,000 miles
  • VIP hospitality ticket: starts at 20,000 miles

Benfica

  • General matchday ticket: 3000 miles
  • VIP hospitality ticket: 8,000 miles

Is it good value?

The first key point to make here is that if your frequent flyer miles are about to run out, any redemption is good value. Expired frequent flyer miles are worth nothing. That is why this is a potentially very good option for anyone sat on a pile of Emirates Skywards miles that are nearing their expiry date.

If you have Emirates Skywards miles that are not close to expiry, the debate over whether this is good value depends enormously upon your situation (do you like football? Are you in one of these cities anyway on the date of the match? Could you otherwise get tickets? If so for how much etc etc), the match in question and the seat you go for. Using a fairly unscientific formula, we would value Emirates Skyward miles at around 1 pence each. As such, the Arsenal general admission ticket is dubious value at £125, while the Executive box ticket is solid value at £200. However Arsenal home tickets are notoriously expensive anyway, and with AC Milan and Paris St Germain general admission tickets, for example, available at a rough miles equivalent of £30 and £40 respectively, there is clearly value to be had.

The other key point is accessibility. You may not be able to get tickets for these games anyway, and certainly will struggle to get into the Executive boxes on a one-off basis. This makes these redemptions even better value, even where they exceed ticket face values.

Generally, it does seem that the best value option is the Executive box/VIP option.

emirates

So, worth thinking about. If you’ve got miles expiring, cannot otherwise access tickets or fancy the VIP treatment, these particular Emirates Skywards partners are a potentially an excellent option for your Emirates Skywards miles.

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