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Title:Any Suggestion on Airline FFP Credit Card in China?
Post 1 Any Suggestion on Airline FFP Credit Card in China? May 14,08 08:23 AM

Looking at getting an airline FFP credit card issued by a Chinese bank, I know China Merchants Bank has many such credit cards in conjunction with a number of local airlines in China, but just want to seek some expert suggestions here.

Useful responses will be highly appreciated. Thanks everyone.

Post 2 Re:Any Suggestion on Airline FFP Credit Card in China? 2008-05-16 00:50:24.0
China Merchants Bank (CMB), Bank of China (Boc) and China Citic Bank (CCB) all issue co-branded credit cards in conjunction with Air China.

There are mixed opinions on which one is the best out of three. Generally speaking, the co-branded credit cards between BoC and Air China are somewhat special as the cards actually are Olympic-themed featuring the mascots etc. However, I have heard that the CMB-Air China credit card holders enjoy far better customer services and bank supports than those using BoC-Air China and CCB-Air China credit cards. In terms of overdraft limit, some say CCB-Air China is the most generous out of the three.

Hopefully this helps.
Post 3 Re:Any Suggestion on Airline FFP Credit Card in China? 2008-06-19 12:08:00.0
While I"m very familiar with U.S. based FFP cards, I"m new to the China based FFP credit cards. What is the accrual rate for these cards, e.g. in the U.S. it"s usually 1 mile per USD spent with bonuses in certain situations? Is there an annual limit to accruals? Can one attain elite status using credit card accruals?
Post 4 Re:Re:Any Suggestion on Airline FFP Credit Card in China? 2008-06-19 14:56:01.0
Quote:Originally Posted by HawkerPacific Jun 19,08 12:08 PM
While I"m very familiar with U.S. based FFP cards, I"m new to the China based FFP credit cards. What is the accrual rate for these cards, e.g. in the U.S. it"s usually 1 mile per USD spent with bonuses in certain situations? Is there an annual limit to accruals? Can one attain elite status using credit card accruals?

These really depend on the actual card terms and conditions. Using Air China"s co-branded credit cards as examples:

 

China Merchants Bank - Air China Co-branded Credit Cards

1. You get 1 Air China PhoenixMile for every RMB18 yuan or US$2 spent.

2. These PhoenixMiles are classified as Partner Mileage which don"t count toward Rating Mileage or Rating Flight Segment, so they are not counted toward any elite status.

 

Bank of China - Air China Co-branded Credit Cards [Olympic Mascot Themes]

1. There are two different points systems (Travel the World [Chinese: Chang You Shi Jie] & Olympic Dream [Chinese: Ao Yun Meng Xiang]) for every BoC-CA co-branded credit card account. For every RMB1 yuan spent you get 1 point under the "Travel the World" system (US$1 = 8 points, if the transaction has the remaining amount less than RMB1 yuan, it will count for 1 point. For instance, RMB8.8 yuan you get 9 points), then you get an additional 50% bouns points under the "Olympic Dream" system.

2. For "Travel the World" points, every 18 points will be automatically converted to 1 Air China PhoenixMile. For "Olympic Dream" points, you can covert them to Air China PhoenixMiles at every 16 points per mile ratio. However, every time you must convert for a minimum of 500 Air China PhoenixMiles by using "Olympic Dream" points and this requirement goes up to 1,000 Air China PhoenixMiles for the first transaction.

3. These PhoenixMiles are classified as Partner Mileage which don"t count toward Rating Mileage or Rating Flight Segment, so they are not counted toward any elite status.

 

China CITIC Bank - Air China Co-branded Credit Cards

1. Depending on your credit card status (not your elite status in Air China"s PhoenixMiles FFP), Platinum credit card holders get 1 Air China PhoenixMile for every RMB15 yuan (or US$1.5) spent. Gold and ordinary credit card holders get 1 Air China PhoenixMile for every RMB18 yuan (or US$2) spent.

2. These PhoenixMiles are classified as Partner Mileage which don"t count toward Rating Mileage or Rating Flight Segment, so they are not counted toward any elite status.

lingam(06/19/08 15:30)
Post 5 Re:Any Suggestion on Airline FFP Credit Card in China? 2008-08-21 00:06:37.0
There has been a tendency to lower the number of points needed for a mile so that you can usually get 1 mile per 15 points. 1 point is equal to spending 1 RMB. Generally $2 is equal to 1 mile.

Some cards are better than others just as some frequent flyer programs are better than others. Generally speaking, Air China"s frequent flyer program sucks ... really sucks. It"s difficult to accumulate miles for better awards because their miles expire after 2 years. On the other hand, China Southern Airlines miles do not expire once you have accumulated 20k miles. Also, mileage redemption is far better with China Southern whereas Air China makes it very difficult to redeem miles.

While China Merchant"s Bank has co-brand cards with both mentioned airlines, one needs to understand that not only does CMB require more points per mile, but also their card annual fees and various other card fees are far more expensive than other banks. They only have an 18-day grace period whereas most other banks have 25 days. Although CMB is a national bank, they have a very weak presence in northern China and their online banking services are virtually useless to non-Chinese language speakers.

ICBC has a China Southern Airlines credit card and, as long as CSA is your preferred FFP, their card is vastly superior to any other bank card. Guangdong Development Bank"s CSA card is also pretty good.

Other banks, such as CITIC, also have a points for miles system though their card is not directly co-branded with the airlines.
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