This article is being updated.
Dubai is kind of like a giant outdoor theme park: Lots of shiny, fancy things all around you. There are endless entertainment options for kids and adults alike, making it a popular destination.
The best part? You can get there fairly easily using points and miles. Below are some of the cheapest ways to fly to Dubai on points.
ANA Mileage Club
If you don’t have All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club miles, you’ll want to get on that right away. The program has some terrific sweet spots, and partner flights to Dubai is one of them. You can fly round-trip between the U.S. and Dubai for just 65,000 miles in economy or 104,000 miles in business class.
The business class fare, in particular, is an excellent deal when you compare it to current redemption rates on Star Alliance partner Air Canada, which charges 82,500 miles for the same award, one-way.
ANA is a transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards program, meaning you can stock up on this currency using the following credit cards:
- American Express® Gold Card.
- American Express® Business Gold Card.
- Amex EveryDay® Credit Card.
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express.
American Airlines AAdvantage
American Airlines’ partnerships with Etihad, Royal Jordanian and Qatar Airways make it a great option for flying to Dubai on points. A one-way economy class award will cost you just 40,000 miles, while business goes for 70,000 each way.
With the welcome bonus from the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® alone, you can cover a one-way business class ticket to Dubai or earn most of the miles required for a round-trip in economy class: Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
While American Airlines isn’t a transfer partner of any major bank rewards program, AAdvantage miles are still fairly to get a hold of thanks to a huge line-up of rewards credit cards issued by Barclays and Citi.
- American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®.
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®.
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard®.
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Blue Mastercard®.
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Mastercard®.
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®.
Have Citi ThankYou points and want to fly to Dubai? Avianca Lifemiles is the way to go. You can book a one-way economy class award for 42,500 miles. If you’re short on Citi ThankYou points, you can pick up the following credit cards to give your account a boost:
» Learn more: Citi Premier review: Potentially lucrative for travelers
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Alaska Airlines partners with Emirates to offer award flights to Dubai for 42,500 miles each way in economy and 82,500 miles in business class. There are cheaper options, like British Airways business class for 70,000 mile each way, but those awards carry huge fuel surcharges (often over $400 one-way) that don’t make it a valuable redemption.
One thing to watch out for with Alaska is that the airline is notorious for pricing out itineraries with multiple stops based on the highest cabin. For example, if you’re booking a flight between San Francisco and Dubai and you see a business class award with a stop in Los Angeles, pay close attention. Sometimes the Los Angeles segment is in business or first class while the rest of the flight is in economy. Alaska will still price out the entire award as business class.
There’s a warning when you click on the award, but we’ve heard from so many people who ignored it and then realized too late that they paid 82,500 miles for a mostly economy class award to Dubai.
So how do you earn enough Alaska miles for an award ticket to Dubai? Through Bank of America®, Alaska offers one personal and one business card to choose from: The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card and the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card currently has a welcome bonus that will get you most of the miles requires for a one-way business class award: Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
All information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, Citi Premier℠ Card and Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, Citi Premier℠ Card and Citi Prestige® Card are no longer available through NerdWallet.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best airline credit card for you
One travel hacker’s favorite sweet-spot redemptions
Travel rewards bucket list: showering on a plane