Far-reaching changes to Citibank’s line-up of credit cards will affect all customers earning Qantas, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and Emirates frequent flyer points on their plastic through new monthly earning caps, reduced earning rates and increased Citibank Rewards conversion rates.
Credit card BPAY payments will also no longer earn points from next year, while Citibank’s overseas transaction fees rise to 3.4% across the board: increasing the cost to earn points overseas while also broadening to apply to ‘any transaction with an overseas merchant’, including in Australian dollars.
Worst hit are Citibank Signature cardholders with points on international purchases lowered from four Citibank Rewards points per A$1 to 1.5 (uncapped) and points on Australian transactions shuttered after the first $20,000 spent in each monthly statement period from 18 March 2016.
That’s combined with a drop in the ‘conversion rate’ between Citibank Rewards points and both Virgin Australia Velocity points and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles which too affects Citi Prestige, going from 1.5 Citi points = one VA/SQ point to two Citi points for the same.
For customers with the direct-earning Emirates Citi World MasterCard and Citi Qantas Signature cards, transactions in Australia will accrue one point per dollar on the first $3,000/month only, decreasing to 0.5 points per $1 up to $10,000 spent monthly after which no more points are awarded locally.
Emirates cardholders will also earn fewer miles on overseas transactions with the current 1.5 points per A$1 replaced with 1.25 points, and two points per dollar when booking Emirates flights pared back to 1.5.
"Due to the external re-pricing of interchange rates, effective 1 November, the revenues that Citi receives from individual credit card transactions has significantly decreased," a Citibank spokesperson shared with Australian Business Traveller.
"As a result of this change, Citi has advised customers that its credit card rewards program will be amended from March next year. Citi remains committed to continuing to provide customers with both a competitive and compelling rewards proposition," the spokesperson added.
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