My 2014 Credit Card Strategy

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 intend to publish full reviews for each product at some point of time, it may be a while before I would be able to bring them all in the fold. To make it simple, I’ve updated my Mileage CC calculator for 2014 numbers, so have a look and see which is the best one for you.

Here are the cards I already have, and I’ll give you a run down of my keep or cancel for them first:

  • Citibank PremierMiles MasterCard (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.
  • Citibank Ultima (Cancel): Unfortunately, the Ultima proposition was diluted significantly with not proportional fee dilution. The Jet Airways partnership broke off last year, and the Priority Pass benefits, where I could bring along up to 3 people with me on the unlimited visits Priority Pass, were also diluted. I let go off this card earlier in 2014, and swapped it for a Citibank PremierMiles Visa card, allowing me to have twice the benefits on the PremierMiles credit card.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • American Express/ JetPrivilege co-branded credit card (?): Last year, 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). Renewal benefits are not so great, and hence, I wonder if I should keep or cancel this card. Although that would mean letting go off access to the American Express Lounge as well in Delhi and Mumbai.
  • 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. Now all I have to do is to hit the milestones as this card really has some sweet benefits if you are an Air India traveller.

Do you guys have a similar or different view than mine about the credit cards discussed above? What would you do if you were in my place?

In part 3 of this series, I will discuss some of the new credit cards I may consider signing up for this year. If there is a question, feel free to leave me a comment and I will be happy to answer for you.

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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, just wanted to ask with premier miles visa card- which variant visa do you get- signature or? how many free visa lounge visits do you get in a quarter?

    not very clear on their website

  2. thanks ajay and agarwal

    I checked with citi pm card helpline who said there is no 5lakh limit, then i used the query option in citibank savings a/c and they replied the same . no 5 lakh limit on airline spend, so decided not to push for the second card


  3. no answer from you yet… hence re posting…how much did you have to pay as joining fees and annual renewal fees for citibank premier miles mastercard/ visa version?

  4. I thought you had the Amex Platinum Travel Rewards card too, right? For a spend of 4L per year, you get 16k in Indigo vouchers and 10k in Taj vouchers and the points. That’s the card I’m definitely keeping. Also, Amex service is legendary, I don’t mind paying the approx 5k renewal fee.

    I also have the citi premiermiles and SBI Air India card. I think I’ll keep both of them as well. The bonus you get at 10L spend on SBI Air India sounds really good…

    Despite many attempts I’ve never managed to get a jet airways card (although I never applied for the Amex one). ICICI simply never responded to my request and HDFC denied (!!) me the card for no apparent reason. Well, it’s their loss…. 🙂

  5. i just called citibank pm helpline to check if they can swap my platinum card for a second pm card to increase the 5lakh limit you said above, they said they only issue one pm card per account

    • @anwar, I’ve heard of a lot of people having 2 PM cards. I guess mine may be a different situation since I have had the first card as a MasterCard since 2011, and now I got the Visa card which is the current issuance. If you already have the Visa card, then they may not issue you one more of those.

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