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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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 10 Comments

I slacked up a bit on the PremierMiles conversion series due to Vistara’s launch last week, and an otherwise busy calendar. But let’s get cracking once again.

One of the most interesting and useful points in the oneworld alliance are those of British Airways. A few years ago, they started calling them Avios, and this is the mileage currency used by British Airways as well as Iberia at the moment. Avios transfers frequently offer bonuses to credit card partners, at least once a year, but we haven’t seen any for 2015 at this point of time in India, yet.

British Airways operates flights on its own metal from 5 cities around India, but Avios can be used on just about any oneworld partner around the world. I enlist some of the uses of Avios that come to mind:

  • For booking tickets using Avios on British Airways or partners, you can search on the BA website and book tickets there itself. British Airways is notoriously famous for charging fuel surcharges (now carrier surcharges), and these will be tacked on to most tickets on the transatlantic routes. They do charge surcharges on carriers who don’t charge a fuel surcharge themselves as well on redemption tickets. I do find BA’s Club World and First product pretty reasonable, however, one needs to spend some more cash as the Air Passenger Duty payable to the UK exchequer. Do note, when booking on Air Lingus & Air Berlin, no fuel surcharges are payable.


  • For upgrading on British Airways. For instance, booking in British Airways Premium Economy and upgrading to Club World only costs 12,500 Avios from India to UK. Not a bad use of these points at all.
  • Use for short distance travel on oneworld partners. The British Airways award chart is distance based, and that makes it interesting from a perspective of using it for short distance travel. For instance, for flights less than 600 miles in distance, such as New York and Washington D.C., an economy ticket can be just 4,500 Avios + 5 US Dollar as taxes/fees.
  • Use for flying Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific has great award availability from India, and the premium cabins are nice. However, the carrier charges are more in the range of US Dollars 150 than US Dollars 300 that BA charges on most carriers.

Of course, there are many more uses, but these are some that I can figure as the most common uses of British Airways miles.

My rating for British Airways Avios as a transfer partner is 3.75/5. I take away 1 for tacking on fuel surcharges to almost all award partners, and another 0.25 for the time and effort required to ticket a booking with a partner which is not online for BA.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | One Comment

Singapore Airlines is one of the first transfer partners I want to cover for your PremierMiles conversion options from outside of India. I’ve converted PremierMiles to KrisFlyer miles a couple of times, once to get on one of the Ultra Long Haul LAX-SIN flights by Singapore Airlines in Business Class (on their all business class product), before they discontinued those.

Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer is a great way to get award tickets on Singapore Airlines own metal, since availability is much more to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Members  as compared to other Star Alliance member programs, who hardly get any availability for Singapore Airlines’ premium cabin (F specially). As one of the larger operators of an A380 fleet, and providers of an excellent First Class, Suites Class (F on the A380) and Business Class product, this should interest the premium cabin flyers.

Singapore Airlines operates the A380 from Mumbai and Delhi both, and you can further connect in Singapore to the US, Japan, Australia and other destinations across the world. The award chart looks expensive, but if you can book an award ticket online using Singapore Airlines’ website, you get a 15% discount on the number of miles required.

So, for instance, India to USA West Coast will set you back by 90,000 miles in Singapore J and 125,000 miles in Singapore F (saver awards). However, in reality, you will get the Singapore F for 106250 miles per head if you book it online. Here is the complete award chart. While transiting Singapore, you may also get access to The Private Room when flying F.

The same chart also talks about redemptions on Star Alliance carriers. If you want to mix and match on Star Alliance + Singapore Airlines, you will have to pay as per the Star Alliance chart. Charges to redeposit an unused ticket are USD 30.

Singapore Airlines charges a fuel surcharge for redemptions on their own metal as well as Star Alliance member carriers. I remember paying about 480 Singapore Dollars when I took my last ultra haul flight in Business Class with them.

I personally only transfer to SQ when I want to fly Singapore Airlines. But I’m sure there are other hidden nuggets that some of you may be able to contribute.

My rating for Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer as a transfer partner is 3.5/5. I take away 0.5 for tacking on fuel surcharges and 1 away for a sort of inflated award chart which can only be used largely with Singapore Airlines own metal (which I don’t complain about!)

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 6 Comments

I’ve been on top of this PremierMiles situation since the day Citibank announced the upcoming devaluation. I can only thank my stars and yours that the devaluation is coming with a notice, and not unlike the time when Jet Airways and Citibank broke up relations overnight. Citibank will put the new transfer rates into effect […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 6 Comments

PremierMiles Devaluation w.e.f. February 1, 2015 PremierMiles to Etihad Guest conversion Since the devaluation of PremierMiles was announced last week, I am trying to post on all the options available for all of us to transfer into various frequent flyer programs, our hard earned PremierMiles. Yesterday, I wrote a post on Etihad Guest, and today, […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 18 Comments

Yesterday, I put out the sad news about PremierMiles conversion changing from 1:1 to 2:1 and also the relatively minor devaluation of using PremierMiles as cash for booking tickets. I have a feeling I should lay out an educated guess about why conversion options are being hit more than the use as cash. This, is […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 19 Comments

I hate to start the New Year with some sad news. In 2011, I’d called the Citibank PremierMiles the best travel credit card around in India, because you could earn 1 airmile across airline programs for every INR 25 spend, and then you could earn 1 airmile across airline programs for every INR 10 spend […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 42 Comments

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 […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 3 Comments

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 […]

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 […]

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

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