The Citi PremierMiles Visa Credit Card appears to have it all – Citi Miles, Citi Rebate, sign-up promotion and travel promotions running all year long! Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Well, let’s deconstruct the offers on the table and see for ourselves if it looks just as amazing as it says it is, shall we?
- Miles earning potential
- What you can do with the miles
- Promotions to take advantage of
- Other benefits from this card
- Eligibility and sign-up offer
- This card vs others
What the card says you get – Citi Miles earning potential
Point blank, here is the earning potential on this card:
- You will earn 1.2 Citi Miles per S$1 spent locally.
- You will earn 2 Citi Miles per S$1 spent overseas in a foreign currency.
- Earn up to 10 Citi Miles per S$1 with partner travel sites
- There is no minimum spend requirement to earn these miles.
- You will earn 10,000 Citi Miles when you renew your credit card membership.
What do earning these miles mean?
Since your miles never expire, you can take your own sweet time to accumulate them and go for the big paycheck; so here’s what you can do with your earned miles:
Frequent Flyer Programme and Hotel Loyalty Programme:
Under the Frequent Flyer Program, you can redeem your miles to pay for your flight tickets and hotel accommodations with these partner merchants:
|KrisFlyer||Garuda Frequent Flyer||Flying Blue|
|Qantas||Etihad Guest||Executive Club|
|Asia Miles||Qatar||Royal Orchid Plus|
|Enrich||Executive Club||Infinity MileageLands|
|Hilton||InterContinental Hotels Group|
Note: Every conversion from miles to redeeming them on the Frequent Flyer Programs or Hotel Loyalty Programs will cost you S$25 as an administrative charge.
Redeeming miles on airlines:
1 Citi Mile = 1 mile at the partner merchants.
If you’ve accumulated miles, then you can convert them into KrisFlyer miles and redeem for your flight tickets. For instance, 15,000 miles will fetch you a one-way economy class ticket to Hong Kong, Taiwan and South-China on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir. If you accumulate above 35,000 miles, then you redeem for a one-way economy class ticket to Europe or USA on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir.
Redeeming miles on Hotel Loyalty Programmes:
- 1 Citi Mile = 1.5 Hilton HHonors points
- 1 Citi Mile = 1 IHG Rewards club point
Should you prefer, you can redeem your Hilton HHonors points for hotel rewards such as getting a free standard room or upgrading to a premium room, travel and transportation rewards like free car rentals and cruise certificates or even shopping and dining at Hilton Honors Shopping Mall.
However, do note that terms and conditions for each Hilton Hotel will differ.
Redeeming air miles for cash rebate – Should you do it?
Another way you can redeem your air miles is to convert them into cash rebate. Here’s the conversion rate to redeem your miles for rebate:
- 1,400 miles = S$10 cash rebate
- 2,800 miles = S$20 cash rebate
- 7,000 miles = S$50 cash rebate
The earn rate isn’t great if you look at the conversion practically. Is 7,000 miles really worth just S$50 cash rebate? If you can take the conversion rate of 7,000 miles and convert it into Hilton HHonors points (1.5 points per Citi Mile), you’re getting 10,500 Hilton HHonors points.
You can potentially get 2 nights free stay at Hilton Hotels in a standard room for that amount. Even the cheapest room at Hilton Hotels and Resorts in Singapore approximately starts from S$151 (S$151 X 2 nights = S$302).
So, your 7,000 miles can mean S$50 cash rebate or a free stay at the Hilton. Or if you wait to accumulate another 500 air miles, your 7,500 miles can take you on a one-way economy flight to Malaysia, Brunei or Indonesia on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir.
If you do your research, you’ll find that many websites equate the value of a mile at a minimum rate of around S$0.02 on an economy flight. So, if you take the 7,000 miles and multiply it with the bare minimum value of a mile where 7000 X S$0.02 = S$140.
If you think about it this way, the cash rebate could be S$140 but you’re getting only S$50, a deficit of S$90. Therefore, still not worth redeeming for cash rebates.
Parade of Promotions
Citibank is offering cardholders with the opportunity to earn accelerated miles on flight and hotel bookings. Here’s what is on offer:
More than just miles – Other benefits offered by Citi PremierMiles Visa Card
If you purchase your flight tickets using this credit card, you will get complimentary travel accident insurance, medical assistance cover and travel inconvenience cover.
Here’s what we like about the complimentary insurance cover:
- Travel accident cover of up to S$1 million in case of death of permanent disability. This cover is pretty much what you get even when you purchase travel insurance separately from other insurers.
- Complimentary travel accident insurance also extends to your spouse (S$1 million) and your children (S$50,000).
- Cardholder and their spouse will get medical expense cover of S$40,000 each and their children will get S$20,000 cover. It’s not much, but it’s free so we’ll take it.
Here’s what we don’t like about the complimentary insurance cover:
The travel inconvenience cover such as baggage delay/loss, flight delays, trip cancellation, etc. is only applicable to the cardholder and not their family.
So, you have to purchase flight tickets for your entire family on this card to get travel accident cover for your family, but they will not benefit under the travel inconvenience cover.
Priority Pass Membership Card:
This credit card is a gateway to complimentary access to priority pass airport lounges across the world. Cardholders will get 2 complimentary access per year. However, if you’re traveling with anyone, they will have to pay the full fee unless you’re willing to give up your second complimentary access to them.
What’s the catch?
Everything so far looks great, right? This card does have it all, but it is also meant to target customers who have more than others.
By this, we mean the eligibility criteria. Most credit cards in Singapore are available to applicants who earn a minimum annual income of S$30,000, but not the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card. You need to earn a minimum annual income of S$50,000 to own this credit card. So, basically, this card isn’t for everyone, no matter how much we all want it.
But, in all fairness, given the deals that are offered on the credit card whether it comes to miles, promotions or even travel insurance, it shouldn’t be that surprising that you need to earn a slightly higher income to apply.
If you do meet this criterion, the annual fee on this card is pretty standard – S$192.60 and you get a free supplementary card.
This is the real catch: the sign-up offer
In a completely different context of course, the welcome offer on this credit card is a sweet deal!
- Apply for this card and spend on anything within 3 months and you get 15,000 miles.
- Spend S$10,000 within 3 months and you get another 15,000.
- The S$10,000 that you have spent also earns regular miles at the rate of 1.2 miles per S$1 you have spent locally, so that’s another 12,000.
- You will earn 42,000 miles within a few months of owning this card.
With 42,000 miles you can get round-trip economy class tickets to Beijing, Shanghai, Perth or Darwin.
Shall we dare to compare?
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card vs DBS Altitude Card
If you compare the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card with the DBS Altitude Card, the latter offers 3 miles per S$1 spent on flight and hotel transactions, meaning you’re getting 1.8 miles extra on the dollar. This is perfect if you don’t like to book through online travel agents and prefer to book direct.
Sounds better, right? Well, yes and no, because the additional miles on the Altitude card are capped at S$5,000 spend per month.
Both cards have tie-ups with online travel partners like Expedia and Kaligo to allow you to get bonus miles, and the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card has deals with the likes of Agoda as well. So, both cards are good, and you need to see which deals work better for you.
Citi PremierMiles Visa Card vs AMEX Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card
What if you compared it with The American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card?
This card offers 2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent overseas in a foreign currency during June and December.
You also get 2 KrisFlyer miles per S$1 spent on purchases made on silkair.com, SilkAir SkyShop, singaporeair.com, SingaporeAir App and KrisShop, online as well as in-shop.
Plus you get 1.2 miles per S$1 spent on all other purchases.
But, as you can see, the ability to earn 2 miles per dollar is more restricted, and since this is a KrisFlyer Credit Card, you can redeem your miles only on Star Alliance.
Our final thoughts
All-in-all, the drawbacks on this card can be easily ignored because they’re pretty much negligible in comparison to everything else offered to cardholders.
- Bonus miles when booking with partner travel sites
- There’s no minimum spend to earn miles
- Your miles never expire
- You’re not constricted in the redemption options to convert and use your miles
- You get a decent travel insurance package for your whole family.
If you can cross the income criterion threshold, you should definitely cross over to the other side and consider getting this card.
Additional Reading: How to Choose the Right Travel Insurance for You and Your Family