Travel tech start-up utu and the Emirates Skywards loyalty programme have launched a tax-free shopping app partnership.

Created in a bid to disrupt the VAT refund sector, the utu Tax Free app gives travellers the opportunity to upsize the value of their tax refund by 25% and earn 4,167 Skywards Miles for every US$100 on any VAT or GST (Goods and Services Tax) refund across 50 countries. Shoppers need to download the app, register for the virtual utu Tax Free Card and use the card number on any tax-free form to earn Skywards Miles.

To celebrate the launch of this industry-first proposition of rewarding VAT refunds, Emirates Skywards and utu are offering 5,001 Skywards Miles for every US$100 of VAT refund until March 31, 2022. There is no minimum spend requirement or maximum Miles earning limit.

“utu is an exciting and fresh new company founded on a bedrock of industry expertise. It's set to disrupt the tax-free shopping sector,” said Dr Nejib Ben-Khedher, divisional senior vice-president, Emirates Skywards. “For our members, it means the ability to earn even more Miles on their everyday retail spend, which in turn can be used to redeem rewards such as flight discounts, upgrades, hotel stays, hospitality tickets at world-renowned sporting events and much more.”

Founded in 2016, headquartered in Singapore, utu's products can be used in over 50 countries