A few days ago, I did a dipstick survey with my readers about which were the miles they liked to accumulate and use most. I did get a fair number of responses, and on tabulating all of them, it looks like Citibank and JetPrivilege miles are the most popular ones, neck to neck with each other. The odd entries were the ones for AAdvantage and Emirates Skywards with one entry each. Air India Flying Returns miles showed up, but not in as many numbers as Citi and JP.

Citi (PremierMiles & Prestige)

Citibank offers the PremierMiles card which allows you to earn 10 miles/INR 100 spent on air tickets directly with the airline, as well as with certain other partners from time to time (Goibibo, flipkart and others for the time being). They allow you to transfer your miles to 10 different airline mileage programs in a 1:1 ratio (Air India, Qatar, Malaysian, Delta, Thai, British Airways, EvaAir, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Singapore Airlines) and 3 hotel programs including the Taj, Hilton and IHG. You can also redeem your miles for a cash value of 0.50 INR at various websites. No wonder, it is one of the most popular miles out there. Prestige offers the same partners, and adds JetPrivilege to the list.

JetPrivilege

Jet Privilege, as the program for Jet Airways, has tieups with a lot of other airlines and can JetPrivilege miles can be used to book tickets on these other carriers as well. JetPrivilege changed their mileage redemption structure recently to make all redemptions inclusive of fuel surcharge. With the program now being owned by Etihad in majority, you can access seats on Etihad as well, apart from other carriers, albeit with a fuel surcharge. With a dominant network around the country and reasonable availability on most flights, they are a great option to burn miles for domestic trips.

What was a huge surprise for me was that Amex MR were not popular, but I can understand that given their massive devaluation over a period of time.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | One Comment

One of the key reasons for me to have signed up with the Citi Prestige Credit Card which was launched in India earlier this year, was the plethora of status it comes with in terms of travel. Some of it I need, some of it I don’t.

One of the first requests I filed in to get a Status upgrade was on Etihad. Etihad offers Gold status, which is their second-from-top status to Citi Prestige Members. This could be useful for members in India since you are getting an alternative to Jet Airways’ Gold status, and it comes with pretty much similar benefits on Jet Airways as Jet Airways’ Gold status, apart from being useful on other airlines such as Etihad, Virgin Australia and their other partners.

Now, Etihad has a specially generous offer for Citi Prestige Card holders. You get Gold Status, and you get 5,000 Etihad Miles as well just to get started, which is a ticket on Jet Airways for free.

Also, you get another 6000 Etihad Miles for being able to transfer 20,000 miles to Etihad within the first 6 months of signing up for the Prestige Card, which makes it a nice 30% bonus. If like me, you’re coming from the PremierMiles card, you are basically converting 10,000 PremierMiles to 26,000 Etihad Miles which is a 1->2.6 conversion ratio.

I made my request somewhere in August, and early September, I was informed about the upgrade going through. With Etihad, they always take a very very long time to get you your membership kit. The surprise was, when yesterday the package really arrived. It stated that my membership was valid all the way uptil March 2016. Wow! For me, I expected it to last 12 months from the date of the upgrade, but this is much more than that!

This means I do get lounge access with Jet Airways and all the other Etihad Airways Partners if I get to fly them, along with Priority Boarding and handling as well.

Have you requested your Etihad Gold status yet?

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 2 Comments

It has been a rocky relationship for the past two years after Citibank and Jet Airways broke up. First, Jet Airways disallowed Citibank to offer redemptions on PremierMiles, which were significantly cheaper than Jet Airways’ own JP program. Then, overnight, JetPrivilege and Citibank cut ties on the transfer partnership for PremierMiles –> JetPrivilege Miles.  Endgame was the removal of Jet Airways flights from the PremierMiles portal and a new way to redeem for Jet Airways flights. Ultimately, Citi and Jet Airways slammed the door on each other by discontinuing their Ultima relationship as well.

Things have been changing over the past few weeks though. May I say Time is the greatest healer. First, out of nowhere, I saw that Citi Prestige (the new look of Citi’s Ultima card from yore), added JetPrivilege as a transfer partner for miles. Then, just yesterday, I was alerted by a reader Aditya Srinath,  that he could see tickets available for booking on the PremierMiles website, which could be booked on Jet Airways, both for revenue and for miles. I could replicate the same results, without much effort, on international routes only.

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Now I am not sure what is the nature of agreement between Jet Airways and Citibank, but I guess the next steps on this should be to add JetPrivilege as a transfer partner to the PremierMiles collection again.

Do share how do you intend to use the new functionality for redeeming PremierMiles for Jet Airways tickets?

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 3 Comments

Earlier this month, I’d put out information about a great referral offer that was being run by Citibank for existing PremierMiles card holders, who can refer their friends and family for new Citibank PremierMiles credit cards. The referrer gets 5000 PremierMiles for each successful application they make, and this is capped at 5 PremierMiles cards […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | One Comment

Apart from the existing referral program, where Citibank is offering INR 2000 as cashback to referrers for sourcing new members till September 30, 2014, there is another referral program going on through out September 30, 2014 for sourcing Citibank PremierMiles cards only. Like with the other promotion, you need to use the link (in this […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 2 Comments

When Citibank launched the Prestige Card in India, they did not have Jet Airways listed as a conversion partner. The initial list of airline conversion partners were the following: AI Flying Returns SQ KrisFlyer BA Avios Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus Malaysia Airlines Enrich Eva Air Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles Delta SkyMiles Etihad Airways However, a […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 5 Comments

Citibank offering up to INR 9999 for member referrals in India Citibank ran a pretty lucrative member-get-member promotion earlier in the year, where they offered the originating member (who made a referral INR 2,500) per card referral which was successful. Citibank is now back with a new promotion, where you get INR 2,000 per card […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 3 Comments

In the beginning of the year, I wrote my credit card strategy for 2014. I’ve been meaning to give a mid-year update, but not been able to do so far. Anyhow, lets take a look now at how things are going, and what may be the plan ahead. Here are the credit cards I already […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 8 Comments

Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card was offering a 2x bonus on International Spends during the period May 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014. Here, for all your spends in International Currencies during this period, you got double the miles. So, for buying air tickets outside of India, you got 20 miles per INR 100 instead of […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 3 Comments

The days of American style sign up bonuses are finally coming into India. There is a new promotion that has been sent out to members of Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program this morning, which gives you an extra 10,000 PremierMiles for spending at least INR 50,000 on the new card within 60 days of activation. While […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 21 Comments

 V/S One of my posts about the conversion from Citibank PremierMiles to Citibank Prestige quite set the cat amongst the pigeons out there. While everyone does want to double their miles with the arbitrage, I was inundated with email over the weekend about the differences and the similarities. I just thought I’d put my perspective […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 13 Comments

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