A lot of you might be wondering why I am writing a credit card review here on this travel blog. Well, usually I don’t, but since this is a travel credit card and given the fact that I have been personally using this credit card for more than 2 years, I thought my review would benefit you all. Personally, I am a big fan of this credit card and have reaped many travel rewards. If you wish to reap them yourself, go on and read the rest of the review.
I have been using the Citibank Premier Miles travel card for the last two plus years and below is my detailed review. If you want to know my thoughts before reading this detailed review, I would like to let you know that I absolutely love the benefits of this card and will keep it and use it till a better card comes my way.
This credit card allows me to earn double the miles for each airline ticket. For e.g. I book my Emirates ticket on Emirates website using my Citibank premier miles credit card, I earn miles on my Emirates Skywards account and my Citibank premier miles account. So double bonanza it is!!
The problem with most co-branded airline cards is that it restricts us to one domestic airline and its international partner, but with the Citibank premier miles card, I can book on any of the airlines that suits my budget and other conditions and I still earn miles for it. As far as I know, this is the only credit card in India to offer this feature. There are many such cards in the international circuit though.
Associated with Major airlines
Apart from allowing me to renew my miles online at premiermiles.co.in for any flight ticket, hotel booking or car rental hire, it allows me to transfer the miles to any of my existing airline membership programs, like British Airways, Jet Airways, Singapore Airlines and more.
Earn Miles for Airlines and Non-Airline related Transactions
The Citibank Premiermiles card allows me to earn miles for both my airline and non-airline transactions. I earn 10 miles for every INR 100 in the airline transaction (made on premiermiles.co.in, any airline website, airline IVR and airline retail counter), up to INR 5 lakhs every year and 4 miles for every INR 100 in the other transaction (no upper limit per year). Do note here that if you buy a flight ticket on cleartrip, makemytrip, or any other travel booking site, you will only get 4 miles for the transaction and not 10 miles per INR 100. Right now, Citibank allows accruing 10 miles for every INR 100 spent on yatra, expedia.co.in and ibibo.com. This is however valid till Dec 31, 2013 only.
Sometimes, Citibank runs various schemes where one can earn 10 miles for non-airline related transaction too. Right now, Yatra, goibibo, Expedia India, Redbus.in, The Raymond Shop, Jabong and more come under this purview.
A lot of us hate paying annual fees, but sometimes for getting the benefits out of a good credit card, you might have to pay the annual fee. If you are a frequent traveler, this will definitely work to your advantage in the long run. I think I paid INR 3,000 as first year fee and also for all subsequent renewals.
Easy to Redeem Miles
Citibank offers premiermiles.co.in for all miles redemption. One can redeem their miles here for a flight ticket, hotel booking and/or care hires. Redemption can be done over the phone too. I can transfer my Citibank miles to my frequent flyer program too. Recently, Citibank has started allowing redemption of miles on Indigo’s website, goibibi.com and yatra.com. The same rule applies to jetairways.com. Each mile is worth INR 0.50. So 10,000 miles equates to INR 5,000.
Foreign Currency Conversion Charge
I would have loved this card to be free of all international transaction charges, but just like every international debit and credit card in India, this one too charges a 3.5% foreign currency conversion charge for international transactions.
Your Miles Never Expire
The miles on the Citibank Premier miles credit card never expires and this is one of those things I really like about this card. Most of the credit cards close the miles in 3 or 4 years and so do the airline membership programs. Keeping that in mind, this one is a keeper for life.
Healthy Sign up Bonus
When I signed up for this credit card, I got 10,000 miles, 2 free domestic tickets and many coupons to save money in car rentals, dining and shopping. Such perks always make you feel good. They sure did make me feel good. I used most of them perks.
The renewal fee of this credit card is INR 3,000. In return, you will get 3,000 miles into your mile account.
As far as I know, there is no minimum spending limit. I spend quite a bit every month on this card as most of my expenses go through it and hence have never tried it out, but I never heard from Citibank about any charges related to the same.
Excellent Citibank Service
Citibank is one of the top banks when it comes to service in India and in line with that service standard, I have never had any issues with Citibank’s service.
Great Fraud Protection
This credit card comes with great fraud protection. Once, a merchant in Indonesia charged my card twice for one of my purchases. Citibank helped me reverse one of those transactions and handled the case on their own as I had moved out of that city and into a different country. This card is also safe for online transactions.
Visa and Master card Options
This credit card comes as a Visa or a Master card. Depending on your need, you can choose from either. Personally, I have a master card.
Free Insurance Benefits
I have never read into the details, but my credit card comes with some sort of insurance to cover death due to air accidents and the like. While I had not asked for it, this is a good to have.
Free Lounge Access
Like most of the travel credit cards, this one too offers free lounge access, though currently limited to domestic airports only. And it varies for master card and visa holders. I have never given it a try though.
I hope this detailed review helps you in identifying if this credit card suits your need and lifestyle.
The image in this post is copyright of Citibank India.