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 have, and my view on them.

  • Citibank PremierMiles Visa (Keep): This is my favourite credit card all around, and if you’ve poked around this blog, you would have noticed I love this product. I intend to keep it and use it as my primary card to book airline tickets and make use of all the special Citibank promotions that come 3-4 times a year, such as the International Spend promotion that concluded recently. In fact, I’ve gone out and recommended this card in the current edition of the Conde Nast Traveller as well.
  • Citibank Prestige (Keep): Like I wrote earlier, I’ve recently swapped my 2011 signed up Citibank PremierMiles MasterCard for the new Citibank Prestige. I intend to keep this card and use it as my primary card for all day to day expenses, and put all my international travel expenses on this card as well, since I can get about 8 airmiles for international spend that ways on an on-going basis. Also, Priority Pass for everyone in the family, that too unlimited use and various other perks.
  • ICICI Bank / Jet Airways co-branded Sapphiro cards (Keep): I have the card for a while now, and as a Jet Platinum member it comes to me free of cost. I intend to keep this card, specially since it also gives me access to the Altitude Lounges in Mumbai and Delhi airports. Also, I get to buy movie tickets as Buy One Get One free every month.
  • HDFC Bank/ JetPrivilege co-branded credit cards (?): I am still thinking about this one. Although the credit card comes free to me, the bank took 4 months to deliver my replacement credit card. Bad customer care experience, and they still haven’t posted my annual renewal miles. I might just replace it by the end of the year with the HDFC Diners Club Black.
  • American Express/ JetPrivilege co-branded credit card (Keep): In 2012, I paid INR 10,000 to sign-up for this card, in spite of the fact that , it would have come free to me as a Jet Platinum, or under the Wheel of Fortune contest. The reason was that only paid card holders would have gotten the mileage offered on sign-up (30000 miles under a special launch offer). I find it one of the best amongst the Jet Airways mileage earning lot, and I keep it also because of the access to the Amex lounges in Mumbai and Delhi. However, I don’t pay a fee anymore (as a JP Platinum), and hence I did not get the renewal miles this year.
  • SBI Card/Air India co-branded credit card (Keep): This is my first year with this credit card, and I’ve already paid up the fees. I got a status match to Air India Gold, and I am now a Star Alliance Gold by virtue of this. I’ve also hit all the milestones on this card very recently, and would only use this card to book Air India tickets for the rest of the year.
  • American Express Platinum Charge Card (Cancel): Like I’ve written earlier, I signed up for this card when American Express offered INR 40,000 worth of vouchers with Taj Hotels for signup. However, the vouchers never came, the services were bad, and I’ve cancelled the card ever since. They also gave me grief while letting me go, having taken over two weeks to refund my card fees.

New Cards I might look at during the rest of this year:

  • Jet Airways IndusInd Bank Odyssey Credit Card (applied): I’ve already applied for the new Jet Airways co-branded card with IndusInd Bank. Apart from the usual sign-on JP Miles bonus and free Jet Airways ticket, I also get another 20000 JPMiles if I manage to spend INR 1,25,000 within the first 100 days of getting the card. Also, it offers access to the Altitude Lounges in Mumbai and Delhi. Then, there is also the factor of earning more miles over the weekend, and every fifth transaction getting a bonus of 300 JP Miles.
  • HDFC Diners Club Black: I’ve been pondering on this card for a while now. I love earning some American Airline Miles or some Hyatt Points while being in India, and Diners Club seems to be the only card offering those. Fees is INR 20,000 per annum, but if you spend INR 40,000 on the card it is reversed. Comes with a signup bonus of 20,000 points which can be converted to Hyatt/Marriott points or airline miles with AA, DL, Virgin Atlantic and many others.

Cards that I am still not looking to book:

  • Lufthansa Miles & More Axis Bank Credit Card: Nah. I don’t find accumulating Lufthansa Miles as a great proposition for the money I spend, and I guess only people who are very well entrenched with Lufthansa must be taking this card, given the reduced award availability on LH in the past months.

I’d love to hear your reactions and strategies in the comments section as well. So, do drop me a line around here.

Cheers!

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 7 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 10 miles per INR 100, and regular spend got 8 miles per INR 100 instead of 4.

I did take part in this promotion, and made good use of it over my travels in these months, however I recently converted my Citibank PremierMiles to Prestige, and hence left a lot of these miles on the table. I think I left about 6000 miles behind, but what the heck, I got an awesome opportunity to double my miles in this case.

Anyhow, those of you who would have made international spend on your cards, should have heard back from Citibank last evening via email.

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You should check your PremierMiles balances to see if everything is in order. Here is hoping the next promotion is not very far away.

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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.

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While I have a review of the Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card I did in 2012, here is a quick summary of the features:

  • All spend earn 4 PremierMiles per INR 100 spend
  • Airline purchases and accelerated partner spends earn 10 PremierMiles per INR 100 spend. GoIbibo, Yatra, Raymonds, Bookmyshow are some of the accelerated spend partners.
  • All PremierMiles convert to Airline miles in a 1:1 ratio to Air India, Singapore Airlines, Thai, Qatar, Etihad, Delta, Eva Air, British Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific miles.
  • PremierMiles can also be converted to Taj Inner Circle Points, HHonors Points and IHG Reward Club Points
  • PremierMiles can be redeemed for INR 0.5 value against air tickets on websites of Yatra.com, Goibibo.com, Indigo and Premiermiles.co.in
  • You get 10,000 PremierMiles as welcome gift on first transaction of the card. You get 3000 PremierMiles annually as renewal benefits.
  • Lounge Access in line with Visa or MasterCard privileges.
  • Frequent bonus offers/promos which allow you to earn extra miles.
  • Fees is INR 3000 annually, not waived.

With this promotion, new signups are basically getting an opportunity to spend INR 50,000 in two months, and get an additional 10,000 PremierMiles, which is very much achievable. Hence, for your spend, you get 20,000 welcome miles plus all the miles on your spending categories as well.

Here is how PremierMiles can tip you into amazing business class or first class travel experiences.

If you are in the market for a new Citibank PremierMiles credit card, this is a very good opportunity to get yourself one. Follow this link, although it is only for KrisFlyer members, you don’t have to be a member of the KF program to sign up for the card via this link.

Here are the important terms & conditions:

  • Citibank PremierMiles card applications must be submitted before August 31, 2014.
  • You must spend at least INR 50,000 on your card within 60 days of card issuance to be eligible for the 10,000 PremierMiles.
  • The bonus 10,000 PremierMiles will be awarded within 90 days after the end of your spending period.
  • These 10,000 bonus PremierMiles are over and above the 10,000 PremierMiles granted as an activation bonus for first transaction of INR 1,000 within 60 days of card issuance.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 17 Comments

PremierMiles is one of my most used credit card in India, and I definitely love it when they add more and more transfer partners. There has been a recent addition, and this is the Qatar Airways Privilege Club, where you can now transfer your PM for a 1:1 ratio. To be sure, Qatar Airways is […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | One Comment

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 9 Comments

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Last week, I wrote about my 2013 Mileage Credit Card strategy, where I told you guys I managed to get something about 264,000 miles basis credit cards issued in India for the full calendar year. For 2014, here are the credit cards I am looking at having in my wallet. Take note that while I […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 19 Comments

I wanted to put out this post so that I could remind all of you of certain changes that are supposed to kick in as of January 1, 2014 for Citibank PremierMiles and ICICI Bank Jet Airways credit cards. Citibank PremierMiles had waived off the cap of INR 5,00,000 per annum on Airline tickets spend to […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | One Comment

In the beginning of November, I had written about the Double your Miles Promotion that is available on Citibank PremierMiles credit cards issued in India. Under the current version of the promotion, the top 5,000 spenders for the period November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014 would be eligible for double PremierMiles (upto 50,000 PremierMiles), […]

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One good part about earning miles neutrally is the choice of transfer partners offered, and the bonuses they run sometimes. For the past two years, we have seen transfer bonuses from Etihad & British Airways on Citibank products, and Jet Airways as well, for Citibank credit cards ex-PremierMiles. Just yesterday, Citibank and Singapore Airlines have […]

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