On 14 August 2019, I was tipped off by a reader that GarudaMiles has since been removed as a transfer partner of Citibank. I’ve verified this with Citibank and they have confirmed that Garuda Miles is no longer a points transfer partner.
Checking the Citibank website shows that the only SkyTeam airline transfer partner is now Flying Blue.
To most, the loss of GarudaMiles as a transfer partner should not really have a huge impact on them. With a distance-based award chart, flights between Sydney and Taipei on China Airlines would have already set someone back 90,000 GarudaMiles which is pretty expensive. Throw in segment-based award pricing, if you had connecting flights in your itinerary your award costs would have been very high.
For those of you who have been in the points scene long enough, you might have remembered the insane promotion way back in 2016 where GarudaMiles was offering a staggering 90% off award redemptions. Until around mid-2018, Garuda Indonesia was still flying between Singapore and London Heathrow as well Singapore and Amsterdam Schipol with their Boeing 777-300ER. Thus, it was possible to secure a one-way Business Class non-stop flight between Singapore and London Heathrow for just 9,000 miles during that promotion.
GarudaMiles actually have been offering discounted award redemptions every few months for flights on their own metal and if you had been taking advantage of these discounted awards, you must be feeling pretty sad right now.
However, they do have decent Business Class fare sales occasionally where fares can drop to as low as S$1,128 for a round-trip Business Class ticket between Singapore and Seoul via Jakarta- provided you travel in a party of 6 or more. (There’s actually one happening right now)
Overall, the impact of the loss of GarudaMiles as a transfer partner should not really affect the majority. Unless of course, Garuda decides to bring back another ridiculous 90% off award flights promotion and then we’ll all be crying over this loss.
For redemption of SkyTeam flights, we are now only left with Flying Blue as a transfer partner of Citibank. Flying Blue now has dynamic award pricing and this means the cost of your awards can and will fluctuate. With that said, there are still some excellent redemption opportunities within the Flying Blue program.
[H/T: Jacky from the Telegram Group]
(Cover Photo: Wikipedia Commons)