The Jet Airways Citibank co-branded Platinum Card was one of the more popular and advantageous airline credit cards in India. It looks like it had enough of the high table so it decided to jump off right away. I first heard of the devaluation on this flyertalk thread.
I have been holding this card for quite a few years, and was in fact the only credit card I used for a very long time and pay a fee for. When I read this new scheme of things, I could not believe my eyes, and since I am travelling I haven’t received my letter from Citi yet. I checked up on Citibank’s India website, and it confirmed the horror story to come.
Close on the heels of the reorganisation of benefits on American Express Kingfisher Credit Card, it looks like Citi/Jet also decided to tinker with their product. The key changes are two:
- The upgrade vouchers will no longer be issued on card approval or renewal every year. Earlier, one voucher used to be issued on the annual upgrade cycle.
- Instead of spending INR 2,00,000 (USD 4450 approx.) to earn an upgrade voucher, the benchmark has been moved almost double, to INR 3,50,000 (USD 7800 approx.).
As per the OP on FT, Citibank blames the upward cost in prices of Airline Turbine Fuel to knock off this benefit. Here is a quote from the letter I will get to read in a few days:
As you would be aware, in the recent past there has been consistent increase in the ATF prices and a shift in competitive factors affecting airlines operating in India .. Impact on J and F fares, making them dearer
I fail to understand the connection between upgrades and ATF prices. Do they seriously mean that they will fly an empty plane in the front but would prefer not to give upgrades to passengers??
The changes are in effect from September 2011. And by September 2011, I will have my options ready to switch card loyalty, or I will hit Platinum on 9W to ensure I don’t have to pay a fee. Also, noteably, Jet/Citi have left the Gold card out of the purview of this change.