I’ve been meaning to write a post similar to my 2013 Credit Card Miles earning and my 2014 Mileage Earning Strategy (updated here). Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to doing this all the past 4 months due to a very rigorous schedule, just like many other things which continue to stay in my head till I can type them out for you…
I still have a lot of credit cards that I keep on myself, but there are cards which I carry in my money clip, and those that I leave behind in my wallet. The ones in my clip are the ones I use the most, and the ones in the other wallet, I use them sparingly or on a need basis. Here is my list of credit cards:
In my Money Clip
- Citibank Prestige (Keep): I got my first Citibank Prestige Credit Card in July 2014, when I swapped one of my two PremierMiles Credit Cards (2011 issued) from Citibank for the Prestige. This card quickly replaced the PremierMiles as my primary card for all day to day expenses since I earn 4 airmiles/INR 100 here, as well as my international travel expenses which earn me 8 airmiles/INR 100 as long as the spend is in foreign currency. Also, Priority Pass for everyone in the family.
- Citibank PremierMiles (Cancel): I also swapped my Citibank PremierMiles Visa credit card earlier this year for the Prestige, when Citi was devaluing the PremierMiles proposition, just to be able to save the value of my miles and double them. It cost me a lot of money, but I think the INR 20,000 value is justified when you receive INR 10,000 hotel vouchers, 10,000 airmiles and so on. For the INR 3,000 pricepoint, however, the PremierMiles is a good product still because you get 10,000 miles on your first purchase which are equivalent to INR 4,500 as cash for tickets, or 5000 airmiles. I do suffer everytime I want to book an airline ticket since I’d have still gotten 5 miles per INR 100, but I now usually book with co-branded cards and come out ahead.
- HDFC Bank Diners Club Black (Keep): The HDFC Diners Club Black arrived in my wallet a couple of months back, after a few months of waiting. HDFC Bank was pretty selective about issuing these cards, and I really had to get my Relationship Manager to do a lot of pleading and follow up to get it approved. Why does it find its place in my wallet? Because I get 5 points/INR 150 spend on everything, 10 points/INR 150 on dining and an eyepopping 50 points/INR 150 on some websites such as Yatra, Flipkart for the time being. I can use these points for 1:1 transfer to Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards and American Airlines.
In my Wallet
- Air India SBI Signature Credit Card (Keep): I am now in the second year of holding this credit card, and I’ve also paid the fees. Since I don’t go out of my way to hit the INR 10 Lakh limit for spends to be able to get 90,000 bonus points, I don’t mind paying and keeping the card. Additionally, on the INR 10 Lakh spend, I also get the Gold Tier for Air India, which comes in handy every now and then when I fly Air India, or towards the Star Alliance Gold on other Star Alliance partners. However, I don’t really agree with their expensive Star Alliance redemption chart and the hoops you have to jump to get an AI issued Star Alliance ticket.
- ICICI Bank Jet Airways Sapphiro cards (Amex + Visa) (Keep): I’ve held this card for a while now, and I don’t use it much except for the movie offers (buy-one-get-one-free) they have with Bookmyshow. I receive my free ticket every year and the JP Miles to hold the card, and that evens it out for me since the card comes free of cost to me (JP Platinum). I do use it to book Jet Airways tickets every now and then since it gets me 10 JP Miles/INR 100 spent on those.
- American Express Jet Airways Platinum Card (Keep): Since I gave up on the Amex Platinum, the only way for me to access the American Express Lounges in India is the Amex Jet Platinum CC. I keep it with me even though I don’t get any renewal benefits (free due to JP Platinum). Also, with their change in JP Miles earning last year, they offer 16 JPMiles/INR 150 spent on Jet Airways, which is still one of the best way to buy Jet Airways tickets on an ongoing basis (10.66 JP Miles/INR 100).
- HDFC Bank JetPrivilege World Card (Cancel): HDFC Bank/JetPrivilege was the first credit card to go live under the new Jet Airways’ co-brand card partnerships. However with 6 JPMiles/INR 150 on day-to-day spend it never really made it to my wallet big time. Additionally, I could only keep one HDFC Bank credit card, so I swapped this for the Diners Black when they finally approved it.
- HDFC Bank JetPrivilege World Debit Card (Keep): Everybody needs a debit card, and when you get this one free for being a preferred customer of the bank or Jet Platinum, you should definitely keep it. Most people get it for INR 500. I hardly use it for regular purchases, but I do make it a point to get my renewal benefits every year. Also, this is the least you can do to get your JP miles validity extended for 2 years.
- IndusInd Jet Airways Odyssey cards (Amex + Visa) (Keep): These cards have been in my wallet only for about 6 months now. I initially got them because I could, as a JP Platinum, get them for free, and there were 20,000 miles on the table for a minimum spend in three months. However the limits are so tiny I can hardly use them on an on going basis. If I am making any Jet Airways’ ticket purchases on the weekend, I do try and use them since you get 16 JP Miles/INR 100 spend, which is the best of the lot.
Not in my consideration set
- 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 year.
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? Is there another credit card I should consider adding to my portfolio? Of course, I’m waiting for an Air Vistara co-branded card to come out soon as well.