Here’s our review of the Citi PremierMiles credit card issued in Singapore. It forms part of our series of credit card reviews, which are all summarised on our dedicated Credit Cards page.
Dollar amounts refer to SGD, and ‘miles’ refer to KrisFlyer miles, except where stated. This review was updated on 2nd September 2023.
|Citi PremierMiles Card|
|Citi PremierMiles Card|
Mainly Miles Says
With an impressive list of 10 frequent flyer transfer partners, a low income requirement, generous sign-up bonuses and complimentary lounge access, we think the Citi PremierMiles card is an essential addition to your wallet, even though slightly better earn rates are available elsewhere.
Let’s take a look at the details.
The Citi PremierMiles card was originally part of the Visa network, but newly issued card accounts from April 2020 switched across to the Mastercard network.
If you apply for a new PremierMiles card now, you’ll receive a Mastercard version.
If you are holding a Citi PM Visa card, it will be replaced by a Visa version at your next renewal (or if lost or stolen in the meantime), unless you expressly consent to switch to the Mastercard version, which Citi may or may not ask you to do.
Benefits and almost all terms and conditions remain the same between the two cards, and if you switch from Visa to Mastercard, any Citi Miles accrued will be transferred automatically to the new card.
Historically, Citi also offered an American Express version of the PremierMiles card, but this was discontinued in 2019.
- Minimum Age: 21
- Minimum Income (Singaporean / PR): $30,000/yr
- Minimum Income (Non-Singaporean / PR): $42,000/yr
The Citi PremierMiles card has an annual income requirement of $30,000 for most applicants, an accessible entry-level threshold for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, making it widely accessible.
Annual Fees & Interest Rates
- Annual Fee (principal): $194.40 (first year free option)
- Annual Fee (supplementary): Free
The annual fee for the Citi PremierMiles card is $194.40. An unlimited number of supplementary cards on your account are free of charge.
This will increase marginally to $196.20 from 1st January 2024, due to an increase in GST by the Singapore Government.
There is currently an option to waive the annual fee and hold this card free for the first year, but this means you won’t be eligible for the main sign-up bonus, and will get a smaller one instead.
Often it’s therefore actually worth paying this fee upfront in year one, depending on the sign-up deal offered at the time.
You’ll also receive a 10,000 miles bonus on renewal (i.e. paying 1.94 cents per mile), on payment of the annual fee each year.
Other fees and interest rates for the Citi PremierMiles include:
- EIR: 26.9%
- Interest-free period: 21 days
- Minimum payment: 1% (or current balance if < $50)
- Late payment fee: $100
- Cash advance fee: 6% (minimum $15)
- Overlimit fee: $40
Annual fee waiver
You can always request an annual fee waiver on renewal with this card, which then is at Citi’s discretion.
If your request is successful and the fee is waived, you will not receive the 10,000 Citi Miles bonus, but all other card perks are retained.
Regular earn rates
The Citi PremierMiles card earns:
- 1.2 miles for every $1 spent locally (i.e. transacted in SGD)
- 2 miles for every $1 spent overseas (i.e. transacted in foreign currency)
Here’s how that compares to some other general spend cards with similar income requirements on the market in Singapore.
Earn rates (general spend cards)
(Best to worst, September 2023)
|Card||Local Spend||FCY Spend|
|UOB PRVI Miles||1.4 mpd||2.4 mpd|
|DBS Altitude||1.3 mpd||2.2 mpd|
|HSBC T1||1.2 mpd||2.4 mpd|
|OCBC 90oN||1.2 mpd||2.1 mpd|
||1.2 mpd||2 mpd|
|Journey Card||1.2 mpd||2 mpd|
|KF Ascend||1.2 mpd||2 mpd*|
|KrisFlyer UOB||1.2 mpd||1.2 mpd|
|KF Blue||1.1 mpd||2 mpd*|
|BOC EM||1 mpd||2 mpd|
* During June and December only, otherwise the local spend rate applies
Bonus miles promotions
Citi occasionally offers its PremierMiles cardholders the opportunity to earn bonus rates for specific spend categories. Recent examples include:
- March – August 2021: Uncapped 4 mpd on Food Delivery and Home Entertainment spend
- November – December 2020: Up to 4 mpd on all online spend, dining, clothing and electronics transactions, capped at $10,000 (40,000 miles)
- May – June 2020: Up to 4 mpd on selected spend, capped at $1,000 (4,000 miles)
- September – December 2019: Uncapped 1.5 mpd on local spend
While it’s certainly not guaranteed, and offers have dried up recently, you should certainly be able to expect one or two bonus miles earning opportunities each year with this card.
While many of these deals are no better than you can get with other 4 mpd cards year-round, the benefit here is being able to divert spend away from those cards and onto the Citi PremierMiles card during the promotion itself, to free up the monthly caps on 4 mpd cards and maximise your miles earning for a month or two.
Bonus miles on Kaligo and Agoda hotel bookings
The Citi PremierMiles card has two bonus miles earning rates for hotel bookings via online travel agents.
- 10 miles per $1 spend on hotel bookings at Kaligo.com. This can be a very nice miles top-up with no upper cap if you can find a competitive rate. The bonus is credited immediately on making payment. See full T&Cs.
- Up to 7 miles per $1 spent on pre-paid hotel stays with Agoda. The bonus is credited within two months of departure from the hotel. See full T&Cs.
Kaligo and Agoda deals work by sharing some of the commission they receive for each hotel booking with you in the form of miles. Since a ‘middle man’ is involved, it often means paying more than the best available rate for the stay.
You can therefore be getting anything from a terrible deal (buying miles well in excess of 2 cents each), a good deal (buying miles at closer to 1 cent each), or an excellent deal (when Kaligo or Agoda practically matches the best available rate, but still awards miles).
The key thing to remember is to make sure you do the maths before committing.
While both of these deals technically have end dates, they always seem to be renewed each year and can therefore be considered long-term year-round offers.
Spend-and-get promotions (buy cheap miles)
Another great thing about the Citi PremierMiles card has been the introduction of occasional ‘spend and get’ miles offers – which allow you to buy miles at competitive rates, by meeting a spend threshold and on payment of a fee for the bonus miles.
These have included:
- January – March 2020: Buy 53,200 miles for $515 (0.97 cents each)
- February – March 2019: Buy 28,223 miles for $288 (1.02 cents each)
- July- August 2017: Buy 31,200 miles for $238 (0.76 cents each)
These can be great deals to participate in for a healthy miles boost for a competitive fee, if you can meet the spend threshold during the promotion period, which can range from $3,000 to $14,000 in 2-3 months.
The Citi PremierMiles card is one of the few general spend cards on the market in Singapore that throws in some complimentary lounge visits each year.
This takes the form of a Priority Pass membership, with two complimentary entries in each calendar year. Subsequent entries in the same calendar year are charged at US$32 (US$35 from 1st October 2023).
You get two lounge visits every year, regardless of whether you pay the card’s annual fee, or achieve a fee waiver.
Only principal cardholders are eligible, but you can guest someone into the lounge if you wish, by using your second complimentary entry, or by paying the entry fee.
For example if you took a solo trip in June and accessed a Priority Pass lounge using this membership, then travelled with your partner (non Priority Pass member) in November that year, you would be eligible for free entry on that second visit, but you would have to pay US$32 (from October 2023 US$35) for your partner to use the lounge.
On other hand if you skipped the lounge in June, both you and your partner would be eligible for complimentary access in November, though this would then use up both of your visits for that year until they reset with a fresh two in your account on 1st January the following year.
Once you’re a cardholder, you’ll have to register online for instant Priority Pass membership via the Citi Mobile app and Priority Pass phone app, by following the instructions provided at the following links:
Full terms and conditions are also available at those links.
There are a few other perks with the Citi PremierMiles card, the key benefits which will be of most interest to our readers are:
- Complimentary travel insurance when you pay for your round-trip air ticket, or pay the taxes and fees on an award redemption ticket, using your Citi PM card. The complimentary travel insurance will be underwritten by HL Assurance Pte Ltd (policy terms here).
- Citi World Privileges, available to all Citi cardholders. These include restaurant, shopping and lifestyle benefits plus up to 10% cashback at Booking.com (Visa cards only).
- Up to 14% fuel savings at Shell.
Citi is currently offering a competitive sign-up bonus miles offer for the PremierMiles card, allowing you to score 30,000 bonus miles with payment of the annual fee and a minimum spend of only $800 in the first two months, for applications through to the end of October 2023.
This excellent deal is the equivalent of buying miles for just 0.65 cents each, a highly competitive rate, provided you have a relatively modest spend coming up in the next few months.
To be eligible, you’ll have to be a new-to-bank customer who therefore isn’t currently a primary Citi credit card holder, or you must have cancelled your last card with the bank more than 12 months ago.
30,000 bonus miles when you spend
Full details for this offer are available in our dedicated article here.
Citi maintains a list of merchants and / or MCC codes which will not earn Citi Miles here.
Some of the most important exclusion categories are:
- Education Institutions (MCC 8211 – 8299)
- Government Services, including tax payments (MCC 9000 – 9999)
- Insurance (MCC 6300)
- Real Estate Agents and Managers – Rentals (MCC 6513)
- Utilities (MCC 4900)
Note that education, insurance and tax payments are specifically excluded from miles earning.
Are KrisFlyer miles credited directly?
No, instead of being credited miles directly you’ll accrue ‘Citi Miles’ for your regular spending on this card.
These transfer to KrisFlyer miles at a 1:1 ratio (so for $25,000 of local spending, you’ll net 30,000 Citi Miles, which can be converted to 30,000 KrisFlyer miles).
When do Citi Miles credit?
Citi Miles should reflect in your account once the transaction posts, which typically takes anywhere between one and three days.
You won’t have to wait until your monthly statement for the Citi Miles to be added, so if you’re making a purchase to achieve a short-term top-up they should be available to you within a few days.
Do Citi Miles expire?
Here’s a plus – Citi Miles never expire as long as your card account remains active, so unless you have an urgent or specific redemption need, there should be no harm in letting them accumulate.
Indeed this is a great benefit of this card, given Citi’s extensive FFP partner list (see below) you are effectively protecting yourself from devaluation in a single programme by retaining the flexibility of keeping your miles at the Citi side, until you need to make a redemption.
If your preferred FFP suffers a sudden devaluation (they do happen), at least you then still have the flexibility to transfer your miles to another programme instead and still achieve good value from your hard-earned stash.
Citi Points don’t pool between cards
Not all credit card points are perfect, and our main bugbear with Citi is that it does not pool points across your cards and allow you to transfer them to your preferred FFP as a single (accumulated) transfer.
For example, if you have 30,000 Citi Miles on your Citi PremierMiles card and 75,000 Citi ThankYou Points on your Citi Rewards card (worth 30,000 miles), you won’t have the option to transfer those two amounts into 60,000 KrisFlyer miles.
Instead, will have to pay the transfer fee for each card (i.e. twice in this example).
It also means you have to transfer all your points into miles before cancelling any Citi cards you hold, since you generally won’t be allowed to combined them with those accumulated on other Citi cards.
What is the transfer cost to KrisFlyer miles?
It’s the same for all 11 transfer partners which are part of the programme, $27.00 each time you transfer Citi Miles to airline miles (like KrisFlyer miles).
This will increase marginally to $27.25 from 1st January 2024, due to an increase in GST by the Singapore Government.
This is the annoying fee you are being hit with for any transfer from each of your Citi cards, as explained above.
↥ Is there a minimum transfer amount?
Yes, since March 2017 the minimum amount of Citi Miles you can transfer into airline miles is 10,000, and they must then be in subsequent blocks of 10,000. Previously, much more flexible 500-mile block transfers were possible.
For example, if you have 99,999 Citi Miles, and you don’t have time to tick it over by making a small purchase (miles from purchases tend to reflect in your account within three days), you’ll only be able to transfer 90,000 miles across to KrisFlyer or your preferred FFP (and will then be left with 9,999 remaining in your Citi Miles account).
Which loyalty schemes can I transfer into?
One of the best things about Citi Miles in Singapore is the wide range of transfer partners compared with other bank loyalty points.
You can transfer your miles into 10 different frequent flyer programmes (FFPs), plus into IHG points on the hotel loyalty side.
Here’s how Citi compares to other banks in Singapore.
Singapore credit card to FFP transfers
Citi Miles transfer at the same 1:1 ratio into all these programmes, giving you a wide range of flight redemption options including oneworld and SkyTeam carriers.
Since Citi Miles never expire and also transfer to most FFPs relatively quickly, there’s no rush to commit to a specific programme nor transfer regularly.
Simply transfer when you need to travel, into the scheme that works best for your preferred redemption.
How long do miles take to credit to KrisFlyer?
The official line is “up to 5 working days”. In reality the last few times we converted, it took 24-48 hours on each occasion. Here are our recent data points for transfer times from Citi:
- KrisFlyer: 24 hours (48 hours for transfers initiated on a Sunday)
- Asia Miles: 2 days
- BA Avios: 2 days
- Qatar Avios: 4 days
That’s not a bad turnaround, especially if you are looking to jump on a flight redemption that’s currently available.Pro Tip: Since Avios transfer instantly and fee-free between BA Executive Club and Qatar Privilege Club, provided you have an account with each programme and have linked them, it’s better to always transfer from Citi to BA Avios, even if you will then transfer and use them in the Qatar programme, because the conversion from Citi is much faster.
Instant free transfer to KrisFlyer miles via Kris+
The transfer ratio is 4,000:3,400 (e.g. 4,000 Citi Miles = 3,400 KrisPay miles)
You won’t want to be using the converted KrisPay miles against Kris+ merchant purchases, due to the awful value of 0.67 cents per mile, but you can immediately transfer them 1:1 into your KrisFlyer account as KrisFlyer miles.
As you’ll notice the ratio means taking a 15% ‘hit’ on the usual 1:1 Citi Miles to KrisFlyer transfer rate, so it’s only of interest if you need a small amount to meet a specific redemption threshold, or have a small balance ‘stuck’ in Citi Miles (less than 10,000), which you aren’t going to be adding to in future.
You shouldn’t be using this as your regular Citi Miles to KrisFlyer transfer method, as it effectively devalues your miles earning rate to 1.02 mpd for local transactions, or 1.7 mpd for FCY transactions.
There are important factors to be aware of, firstly you’ll have to move any points transferred from Citi to KrisPay into KrisFlyer miles within seven days, otherwise they are stuck in KrisPay (where you definitely don’t want them).
The second is just as important, you cannot use any of the KrisPay miles you have earned from your Citi Miles transfer for any Kris+ purchase, no matter how small, as that automatically renders the entire transfer stuck in Kris+ until expiry, six months later.
The golden rule therefore is to transfer in to KrisPay miles via Kris+, then transfer straight out to KrisFlyer. Even with that seven-day window available, our advice is don’t wait.
Citi Miles rounding
Every eligible transaction you make using the Citi PremierMiles card is rounded down to the nearest Singapore dollar (after conversion from foreign currency, if applicable), before Citi Miles are then assessed.
- $21.49 rounds down to $21
- $21.99 rounds down to $21
The appropriate multiplier of Citi Miles is then applied to the transaction, depending on its nature, then rounded to the nearest whole mile.
Example (regular earn rate):
- $21 x 1.2 (local) = 25.2 Miles (rounds to 25 Miles)
- $21 x 2.0 (overseas) = 42 Miles
↥ Minimum spend to earn points
Since every amount you spend is rounded down to the nearest dollar before Citi Miles are accounted for, $1.00 is the minimum transaction amount in order to earn points, or its equivalent in foreign currency for overseas spend.
This is a nice perk for Citi cards, with UOB, OCBC and now Maybank using the annoying $5 rounding method, where even a $4.99 transaction earns no rewards or miles at all!
No such worries with the Citi PremierMiles card, and one reason the UOB PRVI Miles option isn’t significantly better despite a higher headline earning rate (1.4 mpd), when it comes to smaller transactions.
FCY fee / cpm overseas
The Citi PremierMiles card has a 3.25% foreign currency transaction fee, which is among the highest on the market in Singapore.
With a relatively standard regular overseas earn rate of 2 miles per dollar, that means it’s certainly not the best card to use as it is equivalent to paying 1.71 cents per mile when spending in foreign currency.
There are better cards than that for overseas spend, and you should be looking at the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite or UOB PRVI Miles for much better rates, not just in cost per mile terms but miles per dollar too.
Cost per mile on overseas transactions (general spend cards)
(Best to worst, September 2023)
(Step up rate)
|UOB PRVI Miles||3.25%||2.4||1.43¢|
|DBS Altitude Amex||3.0%||2.2||1.45¢|
|Maybank Horizon Visa||2.75%||2.0||1.48¢|
|DBS Altitude Visa||3.25%||2.2||1.56¢|
(Jun & Dec)
* 3 mpd earn rate for the SCVI card is subject to a minimum spend of $2,000 (any currency) in the same statement cycle.
** Step up earn rate for HSBC VI is only applicable from year 2 of card membership onwards, provided you spent at least $50,000 in the previous year.
Cost per mile also accounts for an additional 0.3% ‘spread’ over money changer currency rates, though this doesn’t apply to all banks and all foreign currencies, so is a worst-case scenario.
If you’re holding a specialised 4 mpd card, like the DBS WWMC, you will of course be able to achieve much better cost per mile for transactions in foreign currency, provided you are spending within the card’s eligible categories and monthly spend cap.
The Citi PremierMiles card participates in the bank’s ‘PayAll’ programme, a facility allowing you to pay a fee to use your card and still earn miles on a range of payment types that would otherwise be excluded from miles earning, or not usually possible with a credit card.
At the time of writing, PayAll supports:
- Tax payments to IRAS
- Rent payments to your landlord in Singapore
- Education payments to a school or tuition centre in Singapore
- Condo Management Fees
- Electricity payments in Singapore
- Renovation fees
- Wedding Expenses
- Childcare services
- Domestic helper service fees
- Donations or charitable payments
- Utility bills
Citi charges a 2.2% service fee for PayAll transactions, so you are ‘buying’ miles for 1.83 cents each when using your PremierMiles card at the local earn rate of 1.2 mpd for these payments.
Example, for a $4,000 rental payment:
- Total Spend: $4,000
- PayAll Fee (2.2%): $88
- Total Spent: $4,088
- Miles Earned: 4,800 (4,000 x 1.2)
- Cost per Mile: 1.83 cents ($88 / 4,800)
Citi PayAll regularly runs promotions with enhanced earn rates for meeting specific spend thresholds through the payment service, which can drive the cost per mile down to even more competitive levels as low as 1 cent per mile.
Terms and conditions
Here are links to the full terms and conditions applicable to the Citi PremierMiles card.
One of the essential cards in your miles earning wallet, in our opinion. Even though the Citi PremierMiles card doesn’t have the best earning rates out there, the lounge benefits are worth having, and the occasional opportunity to buy useful volumes of ‘cheap’ miles through Citi’s regular promotions, or enjoy bonus miles in certain categories, is a significant benefit.
There’s also a decent travel insurance coverage if you use the card to book flight tickets or pay the taxes on award redemptions.
The ability to transfer miles into several frequent flyer schemes other than KrisFlyer is also a great feature, indeed we often use this card to top up our BA or Qatar Avios balance, which we tend to use for Qatar Airways Qsuite or Cathay Pacific First and Business Class redemptions, among others.
The annual fee also makes you eligible for the best sign-up bonus, and then each year comes with 10,000 miles, the equivalent of buying the miles for 1.94 cents each, justifiable for many in its own right without considering any of the other perks.
| 4 / 5
among general spend credit cards
Citi PremierMiles Card
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