Citibank Korea's PremierMiles VISA Signature Card

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Citibank Korea's PremierMiles VISA Signature Card

Postby alice99 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:08 am


In case you are living in Korea and willing to earn miles from credit card usage for foreign airlines other than Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, I guess this is the only choice you can make.

Citibank Korea started to issue the Citi PremierMiles VISA Signature Card last month. Although the annual fee 120,000 Won :money: is a lot and can not be exempted regardless of how many Won you pay with the card a year, the Citi PremierMile earned for every 1,000 Won paid is convertible to Asiana Airlines (1:1.35 meaning 1 Asiana Airlines Asiana Club mile equals 1.35 Citi PremierMiles), Korean Air Skypass (1:1), Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (1:1.2), Northwest Airlines WorldPerks (1:1.2), Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus (1:1.2), Cathay Pacific Airways Asia Miles (1:0.48) miles and that makes this the only credit card you can use to earn foreign airline reward miles in Korea other than directly buying them.
The card is issued with 5,000 Citi PremierMiles as a welcome bonus, and yearly bonus is given according to the amount of payment made: 5,000 miles for a yearly total of 20 to 40 million Won, 8,000 miles for 40 to 100 million Won, 50,000 miles for greater than 100 million Won. To convert from the Citi PremierMile to other miles, you must have at least 2,000 Citi PremierMiles, but that's not a big problem since they give you 5,000 PremierMiles in the beginning.

Credit card gurus here in Korea have been paying some attention to this card because the Citi PremierMiles have an unlimited validity period, i.e. non-perishing. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines last year have set their reward miles with 5 years of validity periods, with NO MEANS for their customers to prevent old miles from perishing after 5 years: no reactivation whatsoever. Since then, many have turned away from airline cards toward cash back or gas or any other credit cards.

Maybe the only but definitely a big weakness is the non-exemptible annual fee :( . For a VISA Signature Card, 120,000 Won a year may not be too much for airline cards in Korea, but with no restaurant/gas/airline coupons at all (yeah, almost every VISA Signature Cards issued here comes with free coupons, a domestic airline ticket for companion, and of course VISA Signature benefits, etc. and their annual fees are exemptible), I cannot say that it is cheap.

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