It’s safe to say that the Citi PremierMiles AMEX has become something of a forgotten child in recent times. It’s not been included in any sign up bonus offers, the design never received an update to the latest Citi cardfaces, and its landing page looks several generations behind its Visa brethren.
Therefore I wasn’t really surprised to receive an email from one of my affiliate networks informing me that Citi will be suspending all new applications for the PremierMiles AMEX from mid-November. Marketing activities will be suspended by 7 November, and the application links have already been removed from Citibank’s website.
does did the Citi PremierMiles AMEX offer?
It’s hard to believe now, but when Citi first launched the PremierMiles cards in Singapore, the minimum income requirement was a hefty $80,000 per year. The Visa version later dropped its income requirement to $50,000, and then $30,000, but the AMEX never did.
What the AMEX did drop was its miles earning rate. Initially, it offered 1.4 mpd on local spending and 2.5 mpd on Singapore Airlines/SilkAir tickets. That was reduced to 1.3 and 2.0 mpd in 2015. Beyond that, the product has remained largely the same since launch.
As of today, here’s how the two cards compare:
|Citi PremierMiles Visa||Citi PremierMiles AMEX|
|Local Earn Rate||1.2||1.3|
|FCY Earn Rate||2.0||2.0|
|Lounge Access||2x Priority Pass visits/calendar year||2x Priority Pass visits/calendar year|
The AMEX has two main advantages over the Visa. First, although its annual fee is higher at $267.50, it also offers 15,000 renewal miles, 50% more than the Visa. This makes the effective cost per mile lower at 1.78 cpm.
Second, the AMEX earns 8% more miles than the Visa on local spending, at 1.3 mpd versus 1.2 mpd. That may seem like a small difference, but when you’re using a service like Citi PayAll, the 0.1 mpd reduces the cpm cost from 1.67 to 1.54 (assuming a 2% admin fee). This earn rate is actually on par with the high-end Citi Prestige.
What happens to existing cardholders?
If you currently hold a Citi PremierMiles AMEX card, I don’t expect much to change for you, at least until your card expires. Your existing billing arrangements should continue as per normal, with the existing fee structure, earning rates and renewal miles honored as well.
You may receive a call from a CSO inviting you to switch to the Visa version, but it’s really your decision whether you want to do so. Whatever Citi Miles you’ve earned on the PremierMiles AMEX will remain valid so long as your card is open, and since they never pooled with the PremierMiles Visa anyway, there’s no potential complications.
|Update: AMEX cardholders have received calls informing them their account will be closed and miles transferred to a PremierMiles Visa account|
With the phasing out of the Citi PremierMiles AMEX, Citibank will have no more AMEX cards on the market. Whether that’s by accident or design remains to be seen, but it also means that only UOB and DBS will be the only third party AMEX issuers on the market.
I recently cancelled my Citi PremierMiles AMEX, not because Citi wasn’t willing to waive the annual fee (they were) but because I simply wasn’t using it anymore. Most of my general spending goes on the UOB PRVI Miles or BOC Elite Miles, and I couldn’t really find a compelling use case for keeping the card.
Goodbye Citi PremierMiles AMEX! Your legend won’t be as strong as the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX, but you’ll be missed all the same.