Review: Citi PremierMiles Card

While it doesn't have the best earn rates, the Citi PremierMiles Card's transfer partner variety and Citi PayAll trump card make it a very valuable tool.

Here’s The MileLion’s review of the Citi PremierMiles Cardlaunched all the way back in July 2007 and still going strong. 

Like the DBS Altitude and UOB PRVI Miles Card, the Citi PremierMiles Card was initially introduced as a premium product with a minimum income requirement of S$80,000 (cardholders were even invited to join Citigold for a year with a reduced AUM requirement). That income requirement fell over time, however, and today it’s positioned as an entry-level miles card, available to anyone who meets the MAS-mandated minimum of S$30,000 per annum. 

But unless you’re a snob, more accessible doesn’t mean less desirable. With a great sign-up bonus, a wide variety of transfer partners, lounge access, and the opportunity to buy low-cost miles, the Citi PremierMiles Card can be a very compelling tool in your miles kit regardless of SES.

citi premiermiles card review
Citi PremierMiles Card
🦁 MileLion Verdict
Take It
☐ Take It Or Leave It
☐ Leave It

What do these ratings mean?
While it doesn’t have the best earn rates, the Citi PremierMiles Card’s transfer partner variety and Citi PayAll trump card make it a very valuable tool.
👍 The good👎 The bad
  • 11 different airline and hotel transfer partners
  • Citi Miles never expire
  • Buy low-cost miles via Citi PayAll
  • 2 free lounge visits per year
  • Complimentary travel insurance with solid coverage
  • Generous sign-up bonus with relatively low minimum spend
  • Citibank does not pool points among cards
  • Modest general spending earn rates compared to other cards in its segment
  • 10,000 miles transfer blocks
Full List of Credit Card Reviews

Overview: Citi PremierMiles Card

Let’s start this review by looking at the key features of the Citi PremierMiles Card.

citi premiermiles card review
Apply Here
Income Req.S$30,000 p.a.Points ValidityNo Expiry
Annual FeeS$194.40
(First Year Free)
Min.
Transfer
10,000 Citi Miles
(10,000 miles)
Miles with
Annual Fee
10,000Transfer
Partners
  • SIA
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Flying Blue
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • THAI
  • Turkish Airlines
  • IHG
FCY Fee3.25%Transfer FeeS$27
Local Earn1.2 mpdPoints Pool?No
FCY Earn2 mpdLounge Access?Yes: 2x Priority Pass
Special Earn7 mpd on Agoda
10 mpd on Kaligo
Airport Limo?No
Cardholder Terms and Conditions

The Citi PremierMiles Card was originally issued on the AMEX, Mastercard and Visa networks. However, the AMEX version was discontinued in 2019, and since April 2020 all new cards have been issued on the Mastercard network only. 

Existing Citi PremierMiles Visa Cards remain valid, and will continue to be replaced/renewed unless you expressly consent to switch to the Mastercard version. 

❓ What happens if I switch?
If you switch from the Visa to the Mastercard, any Citi Miles accrued on the Visa will be automatically transferred to the new Mastercard account

In any case, there’s very little difference between the Mastercard and Visa. We’ll be referring to the Mastercard version in this review, but everything said here applies to the Visa as well unless explicitly stated.

How much must I earn to qualify for a Citi PremierMiles Card?

The Citi PremierMiles Card has a minimum income requirement of S$30,000, the MAS-mandated minimum.

If you don’t meet the income requirement, it may be possible to place a S$10,000 fixed deposit with Citibank and get a secured version of the card, with a credit limit of roughly 80-90% of the fixed deposit amount. Visit a Citibank branch if you’d like to explore this option. 

How much is the Citi PremierMiles Card’s annual fee?

 Principal CardSupp. Card
First YearFreeFree
SubsequentS$194.40Free

The Citi PremierMiles Card has an annual fee of S$194.40 for the principal cardholder, and no fee for supplementary cards.

Cardholders can request a waiver of the first year’s annual fee, although this means they will only be eligible for a smaller sign-up bonus (see next section). Assuming you meet the definition of a new-to-bank customer, I’d strongly recommend paying the first year’s annual fee to enjoy the bigger sign-up bonus. 

Annual fee waivers are at the discretion of Citi, and in my personal experience are fairly easy to obtain.

Should a waiver not be granted, paying the annual fee gets you 10,000 miles in return, which means buying miles at ~1.94 cents each. That’s certainly not the lowest price you can buy miles for, though it could still be worth it for some depending on how much you value a mile.

Sign-up bonus

New-to-bank

From now till 31 October 2023, new-to-bank Citi PremierMiles Cardholders can choose between two sign-up offers:

  • 8,000 bonus miles with a minimum spend of S$800, with a first year fee waiver
  • 30,000 bonus miles with a minimum spend of S$800, with payment of the S$194.40 annual fee
New-to-bank Definition
 New-to-bank customers are defined as those who do not currently hold a principal Citi card, and have not in the 12 month period before application. Debit cards, supplementary cards and corporate cards do not count. 

The S$800 must be spent within the first 2 months after approval, otherwise known as the qualifying period. The qualifying period runs from the approval date and two full calendar months following that. For example, those approved on 15 August 2023 will have until 31 October 2023 to meet the minimum spend.

In other words, you actually have 2-3 months to hit the minimum spend, and should apply as early in the month as possible to maximise your time. 

For the full details, refer to the following post.

Extended: Citi PremierMiles 30,000 miles sign-up bonus

Existing

If you already hold any principal Citi credit card, or cancelled one in the past 12 months, there is no sign-up bonus available to you. You will automatically be granted a first year fee waiver.

How many miles do I earn?

🇸🇬 SGD Spending🌎 FCY Spending⭐ Bonus Spending
1.2 mpd2 mpd7 mpd on Agoda
10 mpd on Kaligo

SGD/FCY Spending

Citi PremierMiles Card members earn:

  • 1.2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent in Singapore Dollars (SGD)
  • 2 Citi Miles for every S$1 spent in foreign currency (FCY).

1 Citi Mile is worth 1 airline mile, so that’s an equivalent earn rate of 1.2 mpd for local spending, and 2.0 mpd for FCY spending.

These are respectable rates for its segment, though it’s starting to lag behind. In recent times, the newly-launched HSBC TravelOne Card and the refreshed DBS Altitude Card/OCBC 90°N Card have leapfrogged the PremierMiles.

💳 Earn Rates for General Spending Cards
(income req.: S$30K)
CardsLocal SpendFCY Spend
UOB PRVI Miles 1.4 mpd  2.4 mpd 
HSBC TravelOne Card 1.2 mpd  2.4 mpd 
DBS Altitude 1.3 mpd  2.2 mpd 
OCBC 90°N Card 1.3 mpd  2.1 mpd 
Citi PremierMiles 1.2 mpd  2 mpd 
StanChart Journey 1.2 mpd  2 mpd 
AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend 1.2 mpd  2 mpd* 
AMEX KrisFlyer Credit Card 1.1 mpd  2 mpd* 
BOC Elite Miles 1 mpd  2 mpd 
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card 1.2 mpd  1.2 mpd 
*In June and Dec only, otherwise 1.1 mpd

All foreign currency transactions are subject to a 3.25% fee, so using your Citi PremierMiles Card overseas represents buying miles at 1.63 cents each. 

Bonus miles on Kaligo & Agoda

Citi x Kaligo

Citi PremierMiles Cardholders who make hotel bookings through Kaligo by 31 December 2023 will earn an uncapped 10 mpd (T&Cs apply). The booking can be made for any future stay date. 

Citi x Agoda

Citi PremierMiles Cardholders who make hotel bookings through Agoda by 31 December 2023 (with stay date up till 30 April 2024) will earn an uncapped 7 mpd (T&Cs apply).

Do note that prices for bookings made through these links are likely to be inflated, compared to other channels (what’s going on is that Kaligo/Agoda are simply rebating some of the commission they receive from the booking in the form of miles). 

It might still be worth it, depending on the price difference and how much you value a mile. However, you should definitely make a point of comparison shopping!

While both of these offers technically have end dates, they have been perpetually renewed for the past few years and can be considered evergreen until further notice. 

When are Citi Miles credited? 

Citi Miles are credited when your transaction posts, which generally takes 1-3 working days. 

How are Citi Miles calculated?

Here’s how you can work out the Citi Miles earned on your Citi PremierMiles Card. 

Local SpendRound down transaction to nearest S$1, then multiply by 1.2 Round to the nearest whole number
FCY Spend
Round down transaction to nearest S$1, then multiply by 2.0 Round to the nearest whole number

This means the minimum spend required to earn miles is S$1. Because of this rounding policy, the Citi PremierMiles Card can potentially outperform a “higher-earning” card like the UOB PRVI Miles Card, depending on transaction size. 

 citi premiermiles card reviewCiti PremierMiles
Earn rate: 1.2 mpd
UOB PRVI Miles
Earn rate: 1.4 mpd
S$56 miles6 miles
S$9.9911 miles6 miles
S$1518 miles20 miles
S$19.9923 miles20 miles
S$2530 miles34 miles
S$29.9935 miles34 miles
S$3542 miles48 miles
S$39.9947 miles48 miles

If you’re an Excel geek, here’s the formulas you need to calculate: 

Local Spend=ROUND (ROUNDDOWN (X,0) *1.2,0)
FCY Spend
=ROUND (ROUNDDOWN (X,0) *2,0)
Where X= Amount Spent

For the full list of formulas that banks use to calculate credit card points, do refer to these articles:

What transactions aren’t eligible for Citi Miles?

The full list of ineligible transactions for Citi Miles can be found in the general Citi rewards T&Cs. 

I’ve highlighted a few noteworthy categories below:

  • Quasi cash transactions (MCC 6529-6540)
  • Utilities payments (MCC 4900)
  • Insurance (MCC 6300)
  • Real  Estate Agents and Managers (MCC 6513)
  • Educational Institutions (MCC 8211-8299)
  • Professional Services and Membership Organizations (MCC 8651-8661)
  • Government Services (MCC 9000-9999)
  • Top-ups to prepaid accounts like GrabPay and YouTrip

For the avoidance of doubt, Citi PremierMiles Cardholders will earn rewards for CardUp transactions- though they may prefer to use Citi PayAll instead (see below).

There is also no restriction on hospital transactions, making Citi cards one of the few remaining options for spending on this category. 

What do I need to know about Citi Miles?

❌ Expiry↔️ Pooling💰 Transfer Fee
No expiryNoS$27 per conversion
⬆️ Min. Transfer✈️ No. of Partners⏱️ Transfer Time
10,000 Citi Miles
(10,000 miles)
1124-48 hours
(for KF)

Expiry

Citi Miles never expire, so long as your card account is kept open. This isn’t a license to hold on to them indefinitely (since all airline frequent flyer programmes will, over time, devalue), but does give you some breathing room.

Pooling

Citibank has a policy of not pooling points across cards.

If you have 12,000 Citi Miles on the Citi PremierMiles Card and 25,000 ThankYou points on the Citi Rewards Card, you will have to pay two separate conversion fees. This also means that you’ll need to transfer all your points out before cancelling the card, or else forfeit them.

Partners and Transfer Fee

Citibank offers a wide variety of transfer partners, with 11 airline and hotel loyalty programmes to choose from. This includes some programmes with good value sweet spots like British Airways Executive Club, Qatar Privilege Club and Turkish Miles&Smiles

Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, with a minimum transfer block of 10,000 miles. 

Frequent Flyer ProgrammeConversion Ratio
(Citi Miles: Partner)
krisflyer logo10,000: 10,000
asia miles logo10,000: 10,000
british airways logo10,000: 10,000
etihad guest logo10,000: 10,000
evaair logo10,000: 10,000
flyingblue logo10,000: 10,000
ihg logo10,000: 10,000
qantas logo10,000: 10,000
qatar logo10,000: 10,000
thai airways logo10,000: 10,000
turkish airlines logo10,000: 10,000

Transfers cost S$27 per programme, regardless of how many points are transferred.

Transfer Times

Citibank tells customers that points transfers will take 14 business days, but in reality it’s usually 24-48 hours for KrisFlyer, or 2-4 working days for other programmes.

If you need your points credited instantly, you can move them via Kris+ at a rate of 4,000 Citi Miles = 3,400 KrisPay miles. KrisPay miles can then be instantly converted to KrisFlyer miles at a 1:1 ratio. 

S$5 for new Kris+ Users
Get S$5 (in the form of 750 KrisPay miles) when you sign-up with code W644363 and make your first transaction

There are pros and cons to this:

Pros

  • Minimum conversion block is reduced to 4,000 Citi Miles, versus 10,000 Citi Miles if converting via Citibank’s rewards portal
  • Transfers from Citi to Kris+ and Kris+ to KrisFlyer are instant

Cons

  • Those 4,000 Citi Miles would normally be worth 4,000 KrisFlyer miles, so a 15% haircut is incurred

Should you choose to take this option, do note that it’s a two-step process. The first transfer is from Citi to Kris+, the second is from Kris+ to KrisFlyer. A big button will pop up after the first step prompting you to take the second.

If you do not convert within seven days, or spend any of the transferred miles, the balance will be “stuck” in Kris+, where they expire after six months, and are worth a mere 0.67 cents apiece.

Other card perks

Two free lounge visits

Registration

The Citi PremierMiles Card offers cardholders two free visits per calendar year, via Priority Pass.

Note that the allowance is tracked by calendar year. This is notably different from most other travel cards, which award free lounge visits by membership year.

In other words, if you get a Citi PremierMiles Card towards the end of the year, you could enjoy four lounge visits in quick succession (e.g. in December then January, since your allowance resets on 1 January). 

Only the principal cardholder is entitled to this benefit. Lounge entitlements can be shared with a guest, but once you exhaust your free visits you’ll be charged US$32 per additional visit. 

Here’s how this compares to other cards in its segment.

CardNetworkFree Lounge Visits
(per year)
AMEX KrisFlyer AscendPlaza Premium4X
HSBC TravelOne CardDragonPass4X
Citi PremierMilesPriority Pass2X
DBS AltitudePriority Pass2X
(Visa Version Only)
StanChart Journey CardPriority Pass2X
AMEX KrisFlyer Credit CardN/AN/A
BOC Elite MilesN/AN/A
KrisFlyer UOB Credit CardN/AN/A
OCBC 90°N CardN/AN/A
UOB PRVI MilesN/AN/A

Buy miles with Citi PayAll

Citi PayAll

While this isn’t unique to the Citi PremierMiles Card, one of the best perks of holding a Citibank card is access to Citi PayAll.

Citi PremierMiles Cardholders can pay various types of bills with their card and earn rewards points, in exchange for a 2.2% service fee. 23 different categories of payment are currently supported:

💰 Citi PayAll: Supported Payments
CategoryMonthly Cap
  • Insurance
S$200,000
  • Education
S$100,000
  • Rent
S$30,000
  • Electricity Bills
S$30,000
S$30,000
  • Wedding Expenses
  • Condo Management Fees
  • Child Care Services
  • Domestic Helper Service Fees
  • Donation or Charity Payment
  • Event Management Fees
  • Membership Fees
  • Maintenance Fees
  • Medical Services
  • Payment for Retail Goods and Services
  • Parking
  • Professional Services Fees
  • Storage
  • Travel Expenses
  • Transport Fees
  • Utilities
S$30,000
(combined)

The usual earn rate is 1.2 mpd, which given a 2.2% admin fee represents a cost per mile of 1.83 cents. However, Citi’s current promotion upsizes this earn rate to 2.2 mpd, which lowers the cost per mile to 1 cent apiece.

Citi PayAll offering 2.2 mpd earn rate (but hikes admin fee)

Make no mistake: Citi PayAll is Citibank’s ace in the hole. No other (legitimate) service out there offers miles as cheap as this, and even if your day-to-day spend is modest, you can easily top up your balance this way. 

Here’s a simple illustration: at the current promotional rate of 1 cent per mile, a round-trip Business Class ticket from Singapore to Sydney would cost S$1,370 (137,000 miles) plus taxes. Assuming you can find Business Saver space, that is a phenomenal deal.

And if you’re a new Citi PremierMiles Cardholder, some additional good news: Citi PayAll transactions will count towards the minimum spend for welcome offers and other promotions, provided the service fee is paid.

I’ve written a comprehensive guide to Citi PayAll, so be sure to check out the article below. 

Citi PayAll Complete Guide: How to pay bills and earn miles

Complimentary travel insurance

CoverageAmount
Accidental DeathS$1,000,000
Medical BenefitsS$40,000
Travel Inconvenience 
  • Loss of luggage: S$1,000
  • Luggage delay: S$600
  • Flight delay: S$500
  • Trip Cancellation: S$500
  • Trip Interruption: S$500
Policy Wording

Complimentary travel insurance is offered by numerous cards, but not all policies are made equal. Some offer bare bones coverage, others are much more comprehensive. 

Fortunately, the Citi PremierMiles Card falls into the latter category. Its HL Assurance-underwritten policy offers up to S$1,000,000 for accidental death and permanent disablement, S$40,000 for medical expenses, S$100,000 for emergency medical evacuation, and coverage for travel inconveniences like lost or delayed luggage. 

COVID-19 medical expenses and hospital allowance are also provided for.

Coverage is activated when you use your Citi PremierMiles Card to pay for your round-trip airfare, or to pay for the taxes and surcharges on an award ticket.

Terms and Conditions

Summary Review: Citi PremierMiles Card

citi premiermiles card review
Apply Here
🦁 MileLion Verdict
☑ Take It
☐ Take It Or Leave It
☐ Leave It

While no general spending card is strictly speaking “essential” (since it’ll never be able to beat a specialised spending card for earn rates), I think the Citi PremierMiles Card just about sneaks into that bracket.

As great as the sign-up bonus, 11 different transfer partners, travel insurance coverage and lounge access are, the real trump card is Citi PayAll. I don’t know how long more Citi intends to throw money at it, but the opportunity to mint cheap miles is something you won’t find with any of its competitors. 

It’s just a shame that Citibank doesn’t pool points, and I really don’t get the need to use two different points currencies (at least it’s not as bad as OCBC, which has three).

So that’s my review of the Citi PremierMiles Card. What do you think?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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LionDen

It’s a shame that the new cards are all issued under MC no more under visa network…. No chance for grab top up points 🙁

Apple

Lounge for 1st year only. Thereafter if U pay the card annual fee maybe U entitle to the lounge.

Timothy

Hi Aaron, I was wondering, if we do not want miles for annual fee, can we get a waiver for annual fee?

Florian

Yes, worked for me for the past 6 years. Though I had to formally request to cancel the card one year before the waiver was granted.

Last edited 3 years ago by Florian
Jernej

Yes, I’ve been doing for the past few years.

I was also able to get the annual fee waived and keep the miles because I was charging a fair bit on the card.

YMMV

Adam

This series is great! What other cards are in the pipeline?

XXX

Next review: DBS Altitude card please! 😀

istel

Appreciate this review!

Kai

 i just noticed that there is no more Sign-Up Bonuses if u sign up through Singsaver…..

Kai
this is what citi customer service replied to me when i check this issue with them...so angry
Josh

Do you mean the 1st year annual fee waiver offer where you get 13200 bonus miles does not stack with singsaver bonus?

Teck

My first CC and I still use it frequently.

joel tan

Are we able to earn miles paying insurance through ipaymy?

John

Updates to Citi Asia miles?

Noticed this in the Citi PM T&C: asia miles is 1 Citi Mile = 0.4 Asia Miles

4.3 The cardmember can use Citi Miles to redeem for FFP miles/points at the redemption rate of 1 Citi Mile = 1 FFP mile (except for Asia Miles FFP where the redemption rate is 1 Citi Mile = 0.4 Asia Miles). 

JJ J

Do grab top ups using premiermiles Visa still earn miles?

CHOO

hi Aaron, since PM card is transitioning from Visa to MC, upon card expiry and renewal, will citi keep our miles and uphold the never expire miles?

Star

Does this card award miles for grab top ups and paying grB transactions?

Nix

Hi Aaron,

Is paying the annual fee for the 10000 miles worthed it? I mean if we earn 1.2mpd wouldn’t paying $193 = 231 miles only? I know I’m thinking too simply but I really do not understand. Some other review sites say these 10000 miles only have a value of $100 but for example if I buy spend $100 locally on retail wouldn’t that get me 102 miles only? Appreciate if you could help enlighten me

judith

Thank you for the update. Anyone has experience booking hotel through Kaligo with Citibank card? My hotel bookings were in early March but the 10 miles has yet to be given out. As of now, I only received the base points of 1.2miles.

Kwok

I use this card for Kaligo a lot. You have to phone in every time to ask them to credit the bonus milesbut they do award 10Mpd, provided you booked through their dedicated link

Freddy

Is this statement really correct? “Existing Visa cards can continue to be used until expiry. ”

I had an expiring Citi Visa card. I called to ask for a Visa card replacement and they gave one to me with no problems. The CSO told me that unless the customer gave the consent for a Mastercard replacement, they would still give out Visa.

Aficionado

My expired Visa card was automatically replaced with a new one. For what it is worth, I have both the Mastercard and Visa version—the former paired with Amaze as a card of last resort.

Sir panda

do they pool?

Shaiful

Which is more lucrative, running it through Amaze card to pay in SGD or charge it directly in FCY for this card?

Last edited 1 year ago by Shaiful
T L

Am I required to pay the annual fee for the first year in order to receive the 10,000 miles?

darkmatter123

is there a cap to the number of miles per month/transection?
ie is this card good for adhoc large spends

Jack

Does adding Citi Premier to Apply Pay means no miles can be earned?

Transformer

Citi not pooling points is a huge neg for them. Would get more of their cards if this was made possible.

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