I have just received an email stating that Citibank are to change redemption points transferred as of next March, 2016. Could you please inform me of how I can achieve the maximum benefit for my 190 000 points. Would it be better to exchange them for cash or into a frequent flyer program? If into a frequent flyer program then which one? Also, I have noticed that Kris- flyer for example state that their may be additional charges such as Taxes. Do you know how much these extra charges are?
FYI I have a Citibank Signature visa card.
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Do you fancy flying in style? Ever dreamed of sitting at the pointy end and laughing at those poor little souls lining up? Ever wanted to visit the lounges before flying and staying away from those screaming kids? But haven’t really got the cash? Then you should transfer to frequent flyer points (FFP). This is what the whole point hack is about. If you don’t want any of these and just care about getting from A-B at the cheapest possible price? Then you are in the wrong place. By all means exchange for cash, gift cards or toasters, which most community members here consider a biggest waste of points.
Anyway, if you would like to travel in style and ready to transfer to FFP miles, then read on. Your signature card allows you to transfer to either krisflyer (KF) or Velocity (VA) points. Generally, most people consider KF more valuable than VA as the redemption is cheaper on KF compare to VA. But 2 downsides with KF;
1. It expires in 36 months, regardless of activity; so if you can’t think of redeeming a flight in the next 3-4 years, then better not transfer to KF.
2. It comes with fuel surcharges (YQ), the “tax” you are talking about.
All redemption comes with airport taxes and other government charges and it depends on destinations but generally they are within $100 so not a big deal. But not all FFP charges YQ, which may cost extra few hundred dollars, sometimes over $1000 if the distance is quite long. VA doesn’t charge YQ but KF does. To know exactly how much KF will charge you, get a Singapore airlines app from App Store, search the award itinerary you want, it will tell you. (Somehow it doesn’t tell you online unless you have enough points)
In your situation, 190000 citipoint will get you 126,667 KF or VA points. KF charges 68000 miles one way to Amsterdam in J on Singapore airlines, so you almost have enough for a round trip. (By Mar next year you might have earned the extra points needed). But VA would charge 125,000 points one way in J to go to Europe on Etihad airways, so you really only have enough for one way. Yes, KF will cost maybe another $700-800 more in YQ than VA, but consider J ticket usually costs about $7000-8000 to go to Europe, that amount is really not that bad. But the decision is yours whether you need to save the extra $700-800 but use up more points.
Of course, everyone’s situation is different and some people needed cash more than a luxury flight. If you need to exchange for cash or gift cards, do feel free to exchange them, although I find that flying in J get more value out of the points.
I agree with Michael, KF requires less points but has more taxes when compared to VA. As ever, it depends on where you want to fly (if at all).
It might also be worthwhile considering which card you’ll be using next? I for one, will be dropping my Citi Signature when the new earn rates come into play. Will try for upgrade to a Prestige at the same fee but failing that I’ll probably shift my spend to another card. It might be a good idea to transfer the points to a airline where you continue to earn points.
I’m leaning towards VA at the moment for a number of reasons, including the “No Expiry” mentioned by Michael. Though I believe there cards out there where you can transfer to KF.
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