Don’t act in a haste on converting your PremierMiles

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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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Hi Ajay,

    As far as I understand, the miles get doubled if we upgrade to Citi Prestige. Also, it is safe to assume that each Premiermiles mile is equal to INR 0.5.
    Will it not make sense to upgrade to Prestige if the additional miles outweigh the annual fees.

    In the current case if I have >40k miles I should definitely convert my card to Prestige since I will get 40k additional miles which are equivalent of INR 20k, the annual fee of Prestige.

    Let me know what are your thoughts?

    • @Rituraj in my book premiermiles transferred to airmiles are at least 1 INR depending on airline and route booked so on. As a traveller, i love the prestige for its concierge, 2x on international spend, free miles and statuses that come along. The unlimited priority pass for my whole family itself recovers the fees.

  2. Good advice. The main point is that unfortunately everyone will have to sit down and kind of plan what their 2015/16 travel plans are. For eg, I know for a fact there are atleast two people flying international in this calender year from my family, so it made sense for me to transfer the points to Avios, as BA is our preferred air carrier.

    I wish Citi had not taken this step as transfer to Avios at 1:1 ratio was the most important factor for me to opt for this card along with potentially earning more miles in the first place. Now Citi has me shopping around for better options if there are any.

  3. Hi AJ, just to add, I believe hotels also offer good value to PM (in some cases). Like for Taj (Point+Cash option). Say the palace hotels in Taj offers room in range of 30-35k per night. But in Point+Cash option you can get it for 1k TIC + 6k INR (inc B’fast) in a lean season. Those who dont travel much international or Domestic, it could be one of the great options to explore palace hotels at very resonable price. Your thoughts.

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