To mark the Lunar New Year period, Citibank has launched a very impressive spending promotion for existing Citibank PremierMiles Visa cardholders.
If you’re currently a principal cardholder of a Citibank PremierMiles Visa card (no love for AMEX holders, sadly), and have been for at least 6 months (i.e. 1 Aug 2018), you should have received an invitation from Citi to register for their “CNY Tactical Spend” promotion.
Registering, paying an admin fee of S$288, and spending S$8,888 (or its foreign equivalent) between 1 Feb and 31 Mar 2019 nets you at least 38,888 miles. This is broken down as follows:
- 10,655 base miles earned from S$8,888 @ 1.2 mpd (assumes you spend in SGD, otherwise 2.0 mpd)
- 28,223 bonus miles earned from meeting the S$8,888 threshold and paying the S$288 admin fee
In other words, spending S$8,888 unlocks the ability to buy 28,223 miles at S$288, or 1.02 cpm each. That’s a fantastic price to pay to buy miles.
Even if you hold a card with a higher general spending rate and want to factor in opportunity cost, the math still makes sense. Suppose I have a BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard, which earns 1.5 mpd on local spend. By spending S$8,888 on the Citibank PremierMiles Visa card, I’m forgoing 2,666 miles (S$8,888 @ 0.3 mpd). This makes my effective cost 1.13 cents per mile ($288/[28,223-2,666]), still an excellent price.
Registration is required: Simply SMS “38MILES Last 4 Digits of your Citibank PremierMiles Visa card” to 72484 from your registered mobile number. Note that there is a space between “38MILES” and the last 4 digits of your card.
The admin fee of S$288 will be charged to your PremierMiles Visa account within 2 months after 31 Mar 2019. Make sure the charge goes through successfully, because if not you won’t get any bonus miles! Do have a read of the full Terms and Conditions as there are certain spending exclusions to take note of.
How does this compare with other ways of buying miles in Singapore?
Back in 2017, Citibank awarded 31,200 bonus miles for spending S$9,000 and paying an admin fee of S$238, which allowed you to buy miles at 0.76 cents each. The current offer clearly isn’t as good as the 2017 one (especially when you consider that award prices have increased in the interim), but still one worth taking advantage of.
Here’s an overview of the different ways of purchasing miles in Singapore, to give you an idea of where 1 cpm ranks. Apologies about the weird formatting if you’re on mobile, I’m working to get that fixed.
|Method||Income Required||CPM||Annual Miles Limit|
|SCB Visa Infinite Tax Payment (Spend >$2K p.m)||$150K||1.14||Tax bill|
|UOB Reserve/DBS Insignia with RentHero||Invitation||1.14||Rental amount|
|HSBC Visa Infinite Tax Payment (Spend >$50K p.a in prev year)||$120K||1.2||Tax bill|
|BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard with RentHero||$30K||1.21||Rental amount|
|HSBC Premier MC Tax Payment||AUM: $200K||1.25||Tax bill|
|Citi PayAll with Citi Ultima||Invitation||1.25||Bill amount|
|UOB PRVI Miles/SCB Visa Infinite (>$2K p.m)/UOB Visa Infinite Metal with RentHero||UOB PRVI Miles: $30K|
SCB Visa Infinite/ UOB Reserve: $150K
|HSBC Visa Infinite Welcome Gift- Premier customer||$120K + AUM $200K||1.39||35K|
|SC EasyBill with SCB Visa Infinite (Spend >$2K p.m)||$150K||1.43||Bill amount|
|CardUp with BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard||$30K||1.47||Bill amount|
|HSBC Visa Infinite Tax Payment (Spend <$50K p.a in prev year)||$120K||1.5||Tax bill|
|DBS Altitude with RentHero||$30K||1.51||Rental amount|
|Citi PayAll with Citi Prestige/Citi PremierMiles AMEX||Citi Prestige: $120K|
Citi PremierMiles AMEX: $80K
|Cardup with UOB PRVI Miles||$30K||1.57||Bill amount|
|SCB Visa Infinite Tax Payment (Spend <$2K p.m)||$150K||1.6||Tax bill|
|Citi PayAll with Citi PremierMiles Visa||$30K||1.67||Bill amount|
|SCB Visa Infinite Welcome Gift||$150K||1.68||35K|
|HSBC Visa Plat/Revolution Tax Payment||$30K||1.75||Tax bill|
|Citibank PremierMiles AMEX Annual Fee||$80K||1.78||15K|
|Cardup with DBS Altitude/Citibank PM Visa||$30K||1.83||Bill amount|
|HSBC Visa Infinite Welcome Gift- Regular Customer||$120K||1.86||35K|
|OCBC VOYAGE Tax Payment||$120K||1.9||Tax bill|
|UOB Reserve VI Payment Facility||Invitation||1.9||Unlimited|
|Citibank PremierMiles Visa, DBS Altitude, KrisFlyer UOB Card, OCBC 90N Annual Fee||$30K||1.93||10K|
|OCBC VOYAGE Payment Facility||$120K||1.9 or 1.95||Unlimited|
|UOB PRVI Pay Facility||$30K||2.0||Unlimited|
|UOB VI Metal Payment Facility||$150K||2.0||Unlimited|
|SC EasyBill with SCB Visa Infinite (Spend <$2K p.m)||$150K||2.0||Bill amount|
|OCBC VOYAGE Annual Fee- Option 2||$120K||2.14||150K|
|Citi Prestige Annual Fee||$120K||2.14||25K|
|DBS Altitude Tax Payment||$30K||2.5||Tax bill|
|OCBC VOYAGE Annual Fee- Option 1||$120K||3.25||15K|
If you were targeted for this offer and are confident of spending an average of S$4,444 a month over Feb and March, it’s definitely worth paying the S$288 admin fee to unlock the bonus miles. Citibank has the most transfer partners of any bank in Singapore, and Citi Miles allow you to access programs with useful partners and great sweet spots, like Avios and Etihad Guest.
$192.60 (First Year Free)
Citi PremierMiles Visa
- New-to-bank customers who apply by 31 Mar 20 get 37.3K miles with $9K spend in the first 3 months and payment of the annual fee
- Earn 1.2 mpd on local spending, 2 mpd on overseas spending, and 7 mpd on Agoda
- The widest selection of partner airlines in Singapore- pick from KrisFlyer, Asia Miles, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Thai, EVA, Malaysia Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Turkish Airlines, and KLM
- Get 10K miles when you pay your annual fee
- Note that Citibank points do not pool. If you earn points across different Citibank cards you'll need to pay separate conversion fees when you convert them to miles
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