This year I began flying Emirates. I'm Gold now, but just received my first Skywards card - the blue (basic) version. Included in the features of the blue Skywards card is e-gate technology access on the mag stripe. So when you go through DXB immigration, you can skip the lines and head right to their version of Global Entry and swipe your card in the e-reader. Also, they gave me a choice of gifts when I reached gold - a leather travel wallet or a Bose noise-cancelling headset. I already have the good Bose earbuds, so I chose the leather travel wallet and am awaiting its arrival to judge its quality. Since it's Emirates, I expect it will be excellent.