Earning Miles in US versus Singapore - A Citi Prestige Case Study

Everyone in Singapore knows that our credit cards pale in comparison to our US counterparts - in terms of miles accrual. Since I have been eyeing the Citi Prestige Card from Citibank for a while now, I decided to find out once and for all, just how different they are exactly. The first thing you will probably notice is how much better the card actually looks in the US (as compared to Singapore). I love how instead of showing what type of card it is (which is a World Elite MasterCard by the way) at the bottom right corner of the card, the US version simply does not show anything - it is clean and understated. 

Click HERE to sign up for the Citi Prestige Card in Singapore!

Citi Prestige (Singapore) | Photo Credit: Citibank

Citi Prestige (Singapore) | Photo Credit: Citibank

Citi Prestige (US) | Photo Credit: Citibank

Citi Prestige (US) | Photo Credit: Citibank

Looking beyond the pure aesthetics of this card, let's get down to the nitty-gritty details of it instead. Based on the current foreign currency exchange rates at the time of writing, the Citi Prestige's Annual Fee is S$535 and US$450 (approximately S$645) for the Singapore and US versions respectively. Before you go ahead and start cheering because we are paying a lower fee here in Singapore, let's not get too excited and I will tell you exactly why. 

1. Citi Prestige Cardholders in Singapore get 25,000 instead of 50,000 Bonus Miles

Granted, we do not need to spend US$3,000 in 3 months from the date of opening, we are simply losing out on a rare opportunity to earn 25,000 bonus miles - spending US$3,000 in 3 months is extremely reasonable and doable (especially if you are already applying for a Citi Prestige card)!

2. Singaporeans earn only 1.3 (instead of 3.0) Miles per dollar of Local Spend

That's right, we are effectively losing 1.7 miles each time we use the Citi Prestige to pay for air travel and hotels. Sure, we earn 2.0 miles per S$1 when charging in a foreign currency but the foreign transaction fees are not waived for us in Singapore. 

Citi Prestige | Photo Credit: Citibank

Citi Prestige | Photo Credit: Citibank

3. Citi Banking Relationship Bonus

If you have been with Citigold or Citigold Private Client in Singapore for over 10 years, good on you because you will be earning a 30% bonus on your accumulated miles each year. For the rest of us who are new at this and who are not a Citigold Client, we will only earn a bonus of 5%. Our US counterparts do not even get that 5% though! 

4. Better Card Benefits in United States

Sure our friends in the US get access to the American Airlines Admirals Club as well - something most of us can probably live without on this side of the globe but did you know they also get US$250 in Air Travel Credit which can be used to offset your personal travels? If you even use the Citi Prestige to pay for flights, this effectively reduces the annual fee of the card to a mere US$200! To make you more jealous, the Citi Prestige in the US also gives you a US$100 Global Entry fee credit each year. 

Summary of Differences

Comparison Citi Prestige
Citi Prestige
Sign-up Bonus 62,500 Citi Dollars
(25,000 Miles)
50,000 ThankYou® Points
(50,000 Miles)
Annual Fee S$535 US$450
Base Spend
(Local Currency)
1.3 Miles per S$1 3.0 Miles per US$1 - Air Travel and Hotels
2.0 Miles per US$1 - Dining Out & Entertainment
1.0 Mile per US$1 - All Other Pruchases

No Foreign Transaction Fees
Base Spend
(Foreign Currency)
2.0 Miles per S$1
Citi® Banking Bonus 5-30% 15-25%
Airport Lounge Benefits Priority Pass
American Airlines Admirals Club
Priority Pass
Other Benefits Complimentary Airport Limousine transfer up to 8 times a year.
Complimentary Green Fees
4th Night Free - Hotel
US$250 Air Travel Credit
Complimentary Green Fees
4th Night Free - Hotel