How many miles do you really need to actually redeem valuable rewards? - Seedly
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Asked on 04 Dec 2019

How many miles do you really need to actually redeem valuable rewards?

I read an answer from the forum that it may take up to 5-7 years of spending to actually utilise the miles earned from the miles card. Is that true? How many miles do you really need?

I am currently holding the Citibank Premier Miles Card.

Thanks for the help!


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Not true. It does depend on where you want to fly to, further destinations require more miles of course, but as a general guide, you can do Japan in return business for 94K miles. The business class experience is better when you have more time to experience it, so I would normally want to redeem on flights of 5 -6 hours or more.

So then, how do you get 94K miles? By maximizing your spend! Get a 4 mpd card. Use Citi PM's tie ups with Agoda/Expedia/Kaligo to earn up to 10mpd on your hotel stays (better still if you can get reimbursed from company if it's a worktrip). Get cards with massive sign up bonuses if you have big purchases coming up (think reno and wedding). Add in the occasional general spend and you'll be able to rack up the miles fairly quickly.

As a point of comparision, I was on a 1 card strategy for about 4-5 years (Citi PM also) and I have around 300K miles already. That 3 x Japan in SQ J. And I don't spend a lot on a day-to-day basis. Now, if I had known how to optimize earlier, I would probably be looking at easily 500K miles by now.


👍 1
Say Wai
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 05 Dec 2019

Depends on where you are going and what are your spending habits.

While the Citibank PM card is a good general spend card for miles accrual, you are not optimising your spending by using only the Citibank PM card given its accrual rate of 1.2mpd. There are many cards out there offering 4 miles per dollar for spending in certain categories:

  • UOB Preferred Plat Visa - 4mpd for paywave

  • Citibank Rewards - 4mpd for online/Grab/shopping

  • OCBC Titanium Rewards - 4mpd for shopping

  • OCBC 90N - ongoing promotion 4mpd for foreign currency spend.

Be strategic in your spending and use a range of cards that can maximise your earn rates - you may just cut the 5-7 years by ~70% to 2-3 years!


👍 0
Aik Kai
Aik Kai
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

The first question will be what is your dream redemption? Where do you want to go? What airline do you want to take?

Once you have answers to these questions, then we can work backward and see how much miles you need.

Pardon my honesty but holding on to Citi PM card will get you nowhere as you are not maximising your spend. You need more cards, and cards that reward you the max mpd for your spend.

Shopping, dining, transport etc, there are so many cards out there that will reward you more than the 1.2mpd Citi is giving. Miles chasers never complain of holding on to too much cards. Rather, we seek out cards that reward us the most for our spending.

It is a long journey and a lot of hard work. But sipping champagne onboard a business class seat is worth the effort. Dom Perigon or Krug anyone?


👍 0
Eveline Lau
Eveline Lau
Level 6. Master
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

It all depends on 1. your destination 2. the fare class 3. which airline you want to fly with

I've yet to redeem my miles yet but based on my research, the following conditions seem to be the most "value for miles":

  • further destination / longer flight (e.g. somewhere out of Asia)

  • Business class

Since we are here in Singapore, I'm assuming most people would want to fly with Singapore Airlines. You can use the miles calculator to understand how many miles you need to go to the destination of your choice and use that as a target to work towards!


👍 0
Choon Yuan Chan
Choon Yuan Chan
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Updated on 04 Dec 2019

You need to first know the detsination you have in mind. I would always recommend trying to aim for the saver award of SIA flights because they are much cheaper to redeem in miles and not much different from the advantage awards. If you are taking SIA, here is the award chart separated by destinations:

After knowing the miles you need to accumulate, you need to plan your expenditure. For me, I wish to pursue a businss class saver award tix to Japan which is 47k and an economy return 25k. Personally I have planned this by hacking on all credit card sign up promotions. I have also tapped on grabpay to accumulate airmiles as monthly topping up into Grab via AMEX gives 600 miles for the first $200​​​


👍 0

It depends on which country you are intending to travel to and your average expenses every month.

As a benchmark, you will need about 86k miles to travel via business class to Tokyo and about 184k miles to travel via business class to New York.

If we do the mathematics based on 1.2 miles per dollar, that will be equivalent to spending $71,667 and $153,334 respectively. Accordingly, this will depend on how long you take to spend this money.

You may use this calculator to gauge the number of miles required to travel to your preferred destination:

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04 Dec 2019

Depends on a few factors, I will try to list it below 1) Your expenses - how much do you spend on discretionary spending and where are these spending allocated (online, retail malls with paywave etc.) 2) You can consider getting cards that pool points together, that way you can have both general spending card and 4mpd cards for different usage. For example, DBS altitude and DBS WWMC, or the UOB cards. Citi unfortunately does not allow you to pool points 3) If you dont have much spend, you need to watch the expiry dates of your points as well. In this case you will have no choice but to use gen spend cards with no expiry on points but do keep note that airlines also constant devalue their miles. Hope the above helps, in short try to get cards that pool so you can cater to different spending but still pool your points.