Best Credit Card for Free Flights: Jetprivilege HDFC vs. Citi PremierMiles

The easiest way to travel more is to get a Travel Credit Card which lets you accumulate miles on everyday spends and use those miles for free flights. There are two basic types of travel credit cards: Co-Branded Cards and General Purpose. We look at two options: The Citi PremierMiles Credit Card and Jetprivilege HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card.

Here’s how they stack up against each other:

Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card

  • 10 miles on every Rs. 100 airline spends. 4 miles on Rs. 100 spent on all other transactions.
  • Annual Fees: Rs. 3000.
  • Can be redeemed for flights on ANY airline (or hotel) through its portal premiermiles.co.in.
  • Offers access to select lounges worldwide.
  • More Details and Application.

JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card

  • 6 JP Miles for Rs. 150 spent on retail purchases, 18 JP Miles for Rs. 150 spent on flights booked on jetairways.com.
  • Annual fees: Rs. 2500.
  • Points collected on credit card spends are directly transferred to your JetPrivilege account every month.
  • Free Priority Pass membership which enables worldwide lounge access at select lounges.
  • Flights can only be booked on Jet Airways and partner airlines.
  • More Details and Online Application.

Summary:

Citi PremierMilesJetPrivilege HDFC Bank
Signature
Miles10 miles on every Rs. 100
airline spends. 4 miles on
Rs. 100 for other spends
6 JP Miles on Rs. 100 retail spends.
18 JP Miles on Rs. 150 for
flights booked on
jetairways.com
BenefitsSelect lounge access.Select lounge access +
Priority Pass Membership
FeesRs. 3000 annualRs. 2,500 annual
Bonus miles10000 on first Rs. 1000
spent during first 60 days.
3000 miles on card renewal.
3750 on first swipe.
3750 on retail spends
above Rs. 75,000
in first 90 days
Interest Rate37.2-42%41.88%
EligibilityCIBIL Score and I.T. ReturnCIBIL Score and I.T. Return
Extras Never Expiring MilesMiles expire

Are all miles the same?

No. Miles accrued from the Citi PremierMiles card can be used to purchase tickets on the PremierMiles website which calculate miles differently from JetPrivilege. The miles on JetPrivilege are the same for a particular sector irrespective of date and time. While the miles calculator on Citibank PremierMiles changes as per the fare.

So for example, a Mumbai – Goa flight on Jet Airways can be bought with 5000 miles. (If seats allocated for miles tickets are still available.). While for the same date & time, it could cost anywhere between 5000 to 10000 miles (approx) for the Mumbai-Goa flight on PremierMiles.

In rupee terms, each Citi PremierMile is worth about 0.45 rupees. As the fares fluctuate, so do the miles needed to book a ticket.

Which is the better one?

For regular flyers of JetAirways, the Jetprivilege HDFC Card is the better option. The miles required to book flights stay the same even for last minute bookings. (As long as allocated seats for miles are not sold out). For travelers who can book flights well in advance and are looking for the cheapest ticket and flexibility in choosing an airline, Citi Premiermiles is the way to go.

One key difference between both the cards is that while booking flights with the Citibank PremierMiles credit card, the miles can you be used to pay for the entire ticket. While using the Jetprivilege HDFC card, (or any co branded airline credit card) the tax amount has to be paid in cash.

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