Emirates Citi World Mastercard

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
Offer
Card features
Rewards program
Earn rate
Sign up bonus
Points earned
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
Apply by 31 dec 17
4 reviews
Earn up to 60,000 Skyward Miles (Spend criteria applies).
One complimentary chauffeur-drive service per year to and from the airport when flying Emirates.
2 x lounge passes for you and a guest for any Emirates Lounge in Australia.
Add to comparison
Emirates Skywards
Emirates Skywards
1 pt
per $1 spent capped
60,000
points
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Earn 50,000 Skywards Miles on your first spend within 90 days from card approval. Plus if you spend a minimum of $500 on emirates.com, you will receive an additional 10,000 Skywards Miles.
Good points earnings ratio of 1 Skywards Mile for every A$1 spent on eligible Domestic Spend up to $3,000 per statement period, and then 0.5 Skywards Miles per A$1 spent up to $10,000 per statement period.
Earn 1.25 Skywards Miles for every A$1 spent on eligible International Spend (uncapped).
1.5 Skywards Miles for every A$1 spent on airline tickets purchased via emirates.com
0% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers.
Complimentary lounge access in Australia.
Complimentary Chauffeur-drive service to and from Australian airports.
Complimentary international travel insurance and purchase cover.
For eligible Domestic Spend the points earning potential is held back by the points rate threshold set at $3,000 and the cap of $10,000 per statement period.
A high annual fee of $299 p.a. for the second year.
Interest rates on purchases are up at the high end of the range.

Our review

Our review of the Emirates Citi World MastercardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

Qantas and Virgin are not the only airlines for which Australian residents can accumulate frequent flyer points through their credit card spending. If you’re either a regular international traveller, or someone who embarks on an overseas trip once every couple of years, you should give serious consideration to the value you can extract from the Emirates Citi World Mastercard. There are plenty of ways to earn and spend Emirates Skywards miles, boosted by first purchase bonus points, plus a huge list of complimentary benefits that surpasses that of many of its competitors.

The Emirates airline

Emirates is a rapidly-growing airline with a state-of-the-art fleet, consistently rating in the top ten in the world for growth while winning awards for its reliable high-quality service. Every week more than 80 Emirates flights leave Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide for Dubai, meeting connecting flights to every corner of the world. You can also fly Emirates to New Zealand and Asia. This makes the Emirates Skywards Miles program (free to join) extremely attractive for Australians.

The Emirates Skywards program

Not only has the airline won awards, so has its frequent flyer program, Emirates Skywards. As well as earning miles with your Emirates Citi World Mastercard, you will also accrue Skywards Miles when you purchase flights on Emirates or its partner airlines (which include Qantas, Jetstar, Japan Airlines, Virgin America and the low-cost European carrier easyJet). Other businesses which deliver extra Skywards Miles in return for your patronage include major hotels, car rental and entertainment companies operating in the stable parts of the Middle East, if you decide on a stopover there. Just be sure to have your membership number ready when you apply for this card – you won’t be able to add it in later. Not signed up? Membership is free and simple to complete online.

Earning Emirates Skywards Miles with your card

In order to earn Skywards Miles with this card you will need to organise your own Skywards program free membership if you have not already done so, and provide your membership number to Citi. Here’s what you will earn, uncapped:

  • 1.0 Skywards Miles per dollar for AUD spent on eligible Domestic Spend up to $3,00 per statement period.
  • 0.5 Skywards Miles per dollar for AUD purchases, from $3,001 to $10,000 per statement period (no points for non-Emirates AUD purchases thereafter)
  • 1.25 Skywards Miles for every $1 spent on eligible International Spend (uncapped)
  • 1.5 Skywards Miles per dollar spent on airline tickets purchased via emirates.com

There is no connection between the Skywards Miles program and the Citi Rewards program, so there is no opportunity to combine or transfer points.

Redeeming Emirates Skywards Miles for flights

Any brand of frequent flyer points is best used for flight redemptions in order to get the best return for your dollar, and Emirates is no exception. The redemption rates are very similar to those applying to Qantas award flights, for example:

  • New Zealand (return) from 36,000 Skywards Miles
  • South East Asia (return) from 56,000 Skywards Miles
  • Dubai (return) from 90,000 Skywards Miles
  • Europe (return) from 120,000 Skywards Miles

For booking on Qantas and Jetstar, your Skywards Miles are redeemable at the same rate as Qantas Frequent Flyer points, so you could book a Qantas return flight between Melbourne and Sydney for 16,000 Emirates Skywards Miles.

Redeeming Emirates Skywards miles for gift cards, merchandise and accommodation

If you really don’t want to spend your points on flights you can exchange them for Westfield retail gift cards. The $250 card for 54,000 miles is the best value, but this represents a return of only 0.5 cents per dollar spent on AUD non-Emirates purchases.

The gift cards are found in the Emirates High Street Collection, an online catalogue of mainly luxury brands with around 400 items to choose from. The USD price is displayed as well as the number of points required, so you could choose a US$194 bottle of Le Clos champagne for 32,400 miles. AT AUD/USD parity this delivers a return of around 0.5 cents per AUD, but it looks better at current (2016) exchange rates – slightly over 0.8 cents per AUD spent.

If you’re travelling to the Middle East you can redeem your Skywards Miles for Budget car rental in the United Arab Emirates, at the Le Meridien hotel and various entertainment venues in Dubai, and at Marriott, Renaissance and Ritz-Carlton hotels throughout the region. Marriott hotel stays are also available at Manchester and Glasgow in the UK.

Don’t have quite enough points for your chosen reward? No problem. A ‘points plus cash’ option is available for all Skywards Miles redemptions.

9 months balance transfer at 0% p.a. interest

Perhaps you don’t need to start earning Skywards Miles immediately. In that case you could postpone using it as a purchase card and use it as a balance transfer card instead for the first nine months. Simply apply to bring across any unpaid balances from your existing credit cards, and pay no interest at all for nine long months. Since this is a prestige card, the chances are you already have sufficient cash on hand to clear those balances, but your new Citi card lets you put it in the bank to earn interest instead.

Don’t forget to make a diary note of the interest-free period’s expiry date, or you will be stung with the revert interest rate of 21.74% p.a. (the cash advance rate). And once you’ve made that first purchase to earn your 40,000 or 50,000 bonus points, put the card away for nine months and use another card temporarily for your purchases. This is because carrying an unpaid balance transfer on your account means that you will forfeit the ‘Up to 55 days on purchases’ and start paying the steep 20.99% p.a. purchase interest rate immediately when you make a purchase transaction.

Six types of complimentary insurance cover

Premium cards, like this one, don’t hold back when it comes to complimentary insurance cover. Travellers and shoppers can take advantage of the extra security offered, and it doesn’t cost you a extra cent once you’ve paid your annual fee. You will, however, need to activate the policies by using the Emirates Citi Word Mastercard (or Skyward Miles) to pay your travel fares or purchase the personal items to be covered. The policies are:

  • International travel insurance: You (and your immediate family travelling with you) are covered for such things as: emergency medical expenses; lost, stolen, damaged or delayed luggage; rental vehicle insurance excess; unexpected trip cancellation; loss of income; accidental death. It’s an annual, multi-trip policy, allowing for trips of up to six months’ duration.
  • Interstate flight inconvenience: Similar cover to the international travel policy (minus the medical expenses, accidental death and loss of income) for domestic air travel on trips of up to 14 days.
  • Transit accident insurance: Receive varying levels of cash compensation for loss of life, hands, feet or eyesight, as a result of an accident sustained while travelling on public transport (plane, train, bus, ferry, &c).
  • Purchase insurance: 90 days cover on personal items bought anywhere in the world with the card, against loss, theft and accidental damage. $100 excess each claim, $200,000 annual claim limit.
  • Extended warranty: Doubles the manufacturer’s Australian warranty, up to a maximum of 12 additional months, for items purchased with the card.
  • Guaranteed pricing scheme: Don’t worry if you make a major purchase and then see the item go on sale for substantially less shortly afterwards (up to 60 days). Citi will refund the difference if you bought it in a bricks-and-mortar store and can produce a printed catalogue showing it to be available within 25 kilometres at the sale price. Minimum claim $75.

Yet more travel and lifestyle benefits

Travellers and platinum lifestyle enthusiasts can extract even more value from this card without having to exert themselves. The complimentary benefits, from Citi, Emirates and Mastercard, just keep on coming. Try this list for size:

  • Two Emirates Australian lounge passes each year, to use when leaving Australia on an Emirates flight with an EK flight number. (Note that the passes can’t be used when flying on any codeshare flights, including ones with a Qantas flight number. The airfares of the cardholder and any travelling companion must have been paid for with the card – not Skywards Miles.)
  • One chauffeur driven ride to and from the airport every year, passenger capacity two adults, when travelling on an Emirates long-haul flight paid for with the card (not Skywards Miles) in economy class. (Emirates Business and First passengers are chauffeur-driven automatically.) It excludes flights to New Zealand, and there are additional charges for extra passengers, excess luggage, child seats and long distances (for example, more than 40 kilometres from Sydney airport and more than 60 kilometres from Melbourne airport).
  • Citibank Dining Program. Get a free bottle of wine worth $35, just by paying with your Citi card at any one of over 300 Citi partner restaurants Australia-wide, provided you order at least one main course per person or spend $50 on a shared menu.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest gold membership upgrade. Pay for one night’s stay in a Starwood Asia Pacific hotel or resort, and receive an upgrade to Gold status, accessing room upgrades and other benefits.
  • World Golf benefits. Not everyone can be admitted to some of the world’s most eminent golf courses and enjoy special privileges at PGA Tour events, unless, of course, they hold a World Mastercard.
  • Personal concierge service. Your personal assistant is just a phone call away, to help with recommendations, bookings and general problem-solving wherever you are in the word, at any time of day or night.

Premium pricing, but it’s worth it

Such a long list of financial and lifestyle benefits doesn’t come cheap, but what you have to pay is much less than its true value. The annual fee is $299 p.a., with no additional fee for supplementary cards, but in the first year this is halved to $149 p.a.. The 50,000 bonus points are worth over $230 even if you just squander them on Westfield shopping cards. Dine out once a month at a Citibank Dining Program restaurant and take a couple of overseas trips a year and you’ve already recovered over $1,000 in free wine and free insurance.

A card for the long-haul traveller

If you want to earn Emirates Skywards Miles, use Emirates lounges and be chauffeured to and from the airport, then this is the card for you. Skywards Miles are easily used for Qantas, Jetstar and other leading airlines’ flights, and Emirates itself offers an award-winning service to Europe, the Americas and Asia. International travellers will drive outstanding value from the complimentary insurance and lifestyle benefits, and enjoy free wine when they are recuperating from their travels on home soil.

User reviews

3.5 out of 5.0 based on 4 reviews25% of reviewers would recommend this card

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
Trust

Reviews from users

Was a great card, now not really worth having

Reviewed and not recommended by Alan on 07 Jul 2016

It’s OK if you fly Emirates once a year. If not then don’t bother with this card. Points earn rate is lower now and there is no lounge access in Dubai any more. Insurance changed from Zurich (ok to deal with) to Allianz who don’t seem as friendly. Customer service has been very hit and miss. Sometimes great, sometimes OK, and sometimes terrible.

Sort of OK if you fly Emirates every year

Reviewed and not recommended by A on 21 Sep 2016

It’s still getting worse and worse. It works out OK if fly with Emirates once every year. There a free limo to/from the airport and a lounge in Australia. The first year half-price fee makes it worth it, but after that it is now a pale version of a once great card.

I expect Citi will drop this card next year as they have driven most customers away by dropping almost everything that made this card good.

Beware of March 18th 2016 changes

Reviewed and not recommended by Desi on 18 Mar 2016

After much research years ago, I found the Citibank Emirates card to be very beneficial and have taken advantage of the uncapped points structure and have had it for a long time. When I first signed up, it was uncapped, then it changed to capped, then uncapped and once again capped. I will be closing my account, as I am a huge spender and will no longer benefit from spending big and I am sad that I probably won’t be flying with Emirates again.

The reason for this is that the point structure has changed as of March 18th 2016. Annual fee after 1st year is $299 (we pay $598 for 2 cards which now seems too high for a capped card). You no longer earn miles with BPAY purchases, which is not the case with other banks. Tiers are capped at $1=1 mile up to $3000 spent, then .5 mile from $3000 to $10000, and thereafter no miles earned.

There are many other credit cards which are uncapped and accrue points when making BPAY purchases. Time for me to do some more research.

Good rewards

Reviewed and recommended by timetraveller on 09 Oct 2013

The fees are moderate but the benefits are great. Limousine service to the airport, use of Emirates lounge with superb food and the use of points for gifts, airfares or upgrades. Paying off the card is easy and can be done at the local post office. Regular online communication allows you to check your airmiles and accounts are sent to the email address.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Platinum
Card type
Mastercard
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
Good
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
No
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$75,000
Minimum income for pensioners
$
Pensioners
N/A
Rewards program
Emirates Skywards
Temporary residents
Yes

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
4
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$15,000
Maximum credit limit
$100,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
2%

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.9 months0%80% of credit limit21.74% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
No
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
No
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
80% of credit limit
Available to existing customers
No

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the Emirates Citi World Mastercard at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • Bank of Queensland
  • Beyond Bank
  • Citi
  • Family First Credit Union
  • FCCS Credit Union
  • IMB
  • MyState Financial
  • Suncorp

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.9 months0%80% of credit limit 21.74% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.81% 21.74% p.a.
Purchases 1.75% 20.99% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$149 p.a.
Annual fee 2nd year
$299 p.a.
Cash advance fee
3.5%
Dishonour fee
$15
Duplicate statement fee
$7
Foreign exchange fee
3.4%
Late payment fee
$10
Over limit fee
N/A
Overseas ATM balance fee
$0
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$5
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
$0
Transaction verification fee
N/A

Rewards & points

Cool stuff you can get with your points

Disclaimer: Does not include taxes, fees, or charges. Accurate as of 25th January 2016.

Rewards program basics

First purchase bonus
60,000 points
Reward points expiry
36 months from when the points were earned
Rewards program
Emirates Skywards
Spend required for bonus points
first spend within 90 days

Earning points with this card

Frequent flyer points
1 pt per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate
1.25 pts per $1 spent
Points cap per month
10,000
Points cap per year
120,000
Points earned on ATO payments
N/A
Reward points
1 pt per $1 spent

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
Yes
Complimentary flight voucher
No
Concierge service
No

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $75,000 per year
Have a good credit history
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Joint applications are not allowed
Temporary residents are eligible
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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