Following a storm of protest on social media, Citibank is now in the process of reversing the change in the transfer rates to Velocity and Krisflyer. In messages being sent to customers today, Citibank has confirmed that the transfer rates that were in effect on 31 October will be restored.
At this point, it is not clear how long the process of updating the Citibank website will take, but it is likely to take a few days.
Citibank has, without notice, reduced the transfer rate that points in the Citibank Reward program can be converted to Velocity or Krisflyer Points. The change, which appears to have come into effect on November 1, effectivelt reduces the number of points that are converted from Citibank by 20% to 25%.
The Citibank range of credit cards are a favourite with a number of people. The Citibank Prestige card is one of the higher end cards available in the market, with a range of features to match. Many people also took advantage of an annual fee free for life promotion that Citibank ran in the past.
The cut affects the full range of cards that have the ability to transfer to Velocity of Krisflyer. This includes the Prestige, Signature, Platinum and Citibusiness cards. The effect of the devaluation does vary a little between cards.
As the cards earn varying amounts of points per dollar spend, and then transfer at different conversion rates, the best way to compare cards is to look at the effective number of Velocity or Krisflyer points that are earned per dollar of spend.
The following table shows the effect of the changes, when normlaised to the effective earn rate in Velocity or Krisflter:
|Citi Prestige earn rate||Domestic||1.33 Velocity / KrisFlyer||1 Velocity / KrisFlye|
|Citi Prestige earn rate||International||3.33 Velocity / KrisFlyer||2.5 Velocity / KrisFlyer|
|Citi Signature earn rate||Domestic||1 Velocity / KrisFlyer||0.75 Velocity / KrisFlyer|
|Citi Signaature||Internatinal||2.65 Velocity / KrisFlyer||2 Velocity / KrisFlyer|
Changes to reward programs are an unfortunate fact of life. However, while changes are unwelcome, the unannounced nature of this particular change is unfortunate.
Given an announcement of an impending change, customers can make decisions whether to move their points before a devaluation occurs – but in this case they have not been given the opportunity.
On my reading of the terms and conditions of the program, it is a little unclear whether they need to give notice. (but I am not a lawyer)- but good customer service would suggest that doing so would have been a better course of action.