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.

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  • 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 from February 1, 2015, where each airmile conversion will work from 1 PM = 1 airmile to 2 PM = 1 airmile. So far, no changes are envisaged to hotel conversions. This means, even when you effect a transfer on January 30, 2015 you will still get a 1:1 conversion when it lands up into your frequent flyer account.

I’ve seen loads of emails and comments from readers over the past few days, commenting about acting in a haste and junking the card. I’d say, hold on. Evaluate your options, see your circumstances and then jump.

Not everyone will have the same situation or the same travel goals. But I would broadly like to classify the actions of the holders of PremierMiles card into 4 buckets:

  • Those who travel internationally, should look at all the transfer options and see which ones will suit them best, then act.
  • Those who travel domestically around India, should look at Air India and Etihad, and then act.
  • Those who like to use it for cash at INR 0.5, will still continue to hold on to their PremierMiles.
  • Those who like to see an appreciation of their PremierMiles by converting into Prestige, I’d say, do it when you’re comfortable, because the conversion ratio stays the same to the best of what I know, at this point of time. Also, first be convinced about the 20,000 INR fee of the Prestige.

So, whichever bucket you are in, just think it through and don’t make the call to transfer all your PM just because your friends and other readers of this blog are doing so!

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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

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

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

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