4 days to take a call on your PremierMiles balances

At the end of 2014, Citibank made a decision that they wanted to devalue their PremierMiles a bit. A whole lot actually. So, they are moving the 1 PremierMile = 1 Airmile equation to 2 PremierMiles = 1 Airmile, bringing it to the valuation that American Express offers (2 MR = 1 Airmile). All good things come to an end, and here are my thoughts on why this happened.

At this point of time, the moment of choice is here and there are four paths to take. You can do either of the following:

  • Continue as is with your PremierMiles card, earn 10 PM/INR 100 for airline purchases and 4 PM/INR 100 for everything else. You are essentially earning 5 airmiles/INR 100 on airlines and 2 airmiles/INR 100 for everything else.
  • You can use your PremierMiles at INR 0.50 for redemptions till January 31 and for cash value of INR 0.45 from then onwards.
  • You can transfer your miles to an air mileage program which participates with Citi PremierMiles at 1:1 before January 31, 2015 to get the most bang from your buck. However, your miles are now subject to the terms & conditions of the program transferring into.
  • You can upgrade your PremierMiles card to a Prestige card, get double mileage from what you have, all for a price of INR 20K.

I did do a short assessment of some of the programs which would make good options to convert your Premiermiles, and they are all here. There is also Delta SkyMiles which I wanted to cover as a program, but just no time to do that:

As for me, I chickened/panicked or whatever you want to call it, and I upgraded to Prestige, so I have two Prestige cards now. I don’t know how to justify it to myself, but I guess I’ll be able to justify it with the following: 10K stay vouchers, 10K miles, 6K Etihad bonus miles on 1 transaction, 5K Avios and of course the whole lot of golf games that will come along.

What are you doing about your PremierMiles Card and balances?

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About Ajay Awtaney

Ajay is a financial services pro, working to bring order to the chaos of the financial industry on an everyday basis! Beyond that, he dons the hat of India's favourite frequent traveller, trying to help people elevate their travel experience via tips and tricks they never knew before, or introduce them to the world of miles and points. Armed with an MBA from MDI Gurgaon and graduate degree in computer science from the University of Delhi, Ajay brings a systematic and objective approach on the table for his audience in dissecting travel and loyalty programs in India and around the world, and how to benefit from them. Ajay has been quoted in various reputed traditional and online media including The Hindustan Times, Inside Flyer, Bloomberg, DNA India, Conde Nast Traveller, The Telegraph, Mumbai Mirror, Mint, MoneyLife and The USA Today.

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  1. I have also missed transferring my points to prestige or any other program. I have 2.5L miles.

    Are there any hotel conversions or anything else that can be done to improve on the ratio.

  2. AJ,

    I am one of the guys who missed transferring it.

    I realized it on the first week of Feb and immediately called Citi. But as usual, they refused to budge (wish they would learn from Amex). Anyway, I want to close my card (not eligible for Prestige). what do you think are my best options.

    Cheers,
    Kurian

  3. Hi Ajay,

    I was planning to transfer my premier miles to Etihad. But, it looks like during redemption user needs to pay for fuel surcharge.
    It costs 11k miles and INR 25k for a one way trip to Chicago from New Delhi.

    This looks like a bad bet. What do you think?

  4. so, if i upgrade to prestige, i essentially get 31k miles in etihad in lieu of the 10k PM and 2:1 conversion for the rest of PM, and 10k vouchers for Rs 10k(as i have 6 months left). After 6 months, i want to downgrade back to PM as I am not a frequent flyer. Is this a viable strategy?

  5. Is the annual fees for prestige pro-rated? When i upgraded to premier miles from rewards, i was charged only 2000 as 8 months were left for the annual renenwal date, but i got the 10000 PM signing benefits. Is it the same for prestige?

  6. It makes a a lot of sense in what you did. The benefits far outweigh the price, even for the second card. Of late they have eased the eligibility for, perhaps owing to the backlash. I managed to get the prestige despite not being refused on eligibility last two times

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