UPDATE: 27 October 2015
Booking Hotels/Flights with Citibank ThankYou® Points
You can now make hotel and flight reservations using your Citibank ThankYou® Points but is it actually worth it? I had a quick look this morning and it seems like each Citibank ThankYou® Points are worth approximately 0.43 cents which means to offset S$1 on your hotel rate, you would have to contribute 233 Citibank ThankYou® Points.
To put things into perspective, 233 Citibank ThankYou® Points are be converted into 93.2 miles (based on current conversion rates). At the lowest end of the redemption rate, 93.2 miles is worth $0.932 (since 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles can offset S$10 on your SQ flight). Of course, if you are using these miles for Award Redemptions, they are worth a lot more.
All in all, you probably shouldn't use your Citibank ThankYou® Points for redemption. Assuming that you do earn 10 Citibank ThankYou® Points per S$1 for your bonus spend, redeeming this on hotels will give you a cashback of approximately 4.3%.
1000 Citibank ThankYou® Points = 400 Miles (approx. S$4.00 to $8.00) = Hotel Redemption (approx. $4.30)
If you do not already know this, Citibank Singapore made a silent change to their rewards portal over the weekends and the Citi Rewards Points and Citi Miles that you hold dear will now be translated into ThankYou® Points (in line with global standards) over time. While the value of your points and miles have not dropped overnight, Citibank Singapore has added a few new partners for points transfer (great news for travellers!).
You will find a list of Points Transfer Partners below - this is how much 1 Citi Mile is worth on the new program (bold partners are new inclusions):
Asia Miles™ - 1 Asia Miles for 1 mile
British Airways Executive Club - 1 Avios for 1 mile
Delta SkyMiles® - 1 Delta SkyMiles for 1 mile
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands - 1 Infinity MileageLands Miles for 1 mile
Etihad Guest - 1 Guest Miles for 1 mile
Flying Blue - 1 Flying Blue Award Miles for 1 mile
Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer - 1 Garuda Frequent Flyer Miles for 1 mile
Malaysia Airlines Enrich - 1 Enrich Miles for 1 mile
Qantas Frequent Flyer - 1 Qantas Points for 1 mile
Qatar Airways Privilege Club - 1 Qmiles for 1 mile
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer - 1 KrisFlyer Miles for 1 mile
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus - 1 Royal Orchid Plus Miles for 1 mile
Club Carlson - 1 Gold Point for 1 mile
Hilton HHonors Worldwide - 1.5 HHonors Points for 1 mile
IHG Rewards Club - 1 IHG Reward Points for 1 mile
The use for Citi Miles on Hilton HHonors Points remain to be one of the must lucrative redemption option you can have - especially when you are looking to spend them on Category 1 or 2 properties (5,000 to 10,000 HHonors Points a night).
I think it fairly clear by now that I favour earning miles over cash back on any given that. Do not get me wrong though - ultimately, cash is king and if you were to offer me a million dollars or a million miles, I would simply go for the former (I think!). The only reason I pick miles over cash back is simple - there isn't a cash back in Singapore (or perhaps anywhere in the world) that offers as much value as what a miles card can give. I tend to take Uber (or Grab) quite a bit in Singapore as well as overseas and one of the questions that I often get from friends is which credit card to use for these rides. Assuming you already have an Uber (click HERE to register otherwise) and Grab account, these are the credit cards that you should probably use for the most bang for your buck (in order of recommendation).
Following the amazing opportunity to purchase 31,200 Citi Miles for S$238, Citibank is now offering Citi PremierMiles Visa Cardholders the opportunity to earn up to 3.5 Citi Miles per dollar (S$1) on all eligible foreign currency transactions charged to this card between 01 December 2017 and 31 January 2018. Registration is absolutely necessary and enrollment needs to be done before you charge the minimum sum to your credit card.
The OCBC VOYAGE Card will be reducing the Voyage Miles (VMs) accrual rate on dining spend from 2.3 VMs per dollar to 1.6 VMs per dollar effective 01 January 2018. Cardmembers will however be able to benefit from a boost in the base earn rate - you will soon be able to earn 1.2 VMs (instead of 1.0 VMs) per dollar on all local retail transactions. Transactions charged in foreign currency will continue to earn 2.3 VMs per dollar (in equivalent SGD).
About a week ago, I saw the new Bank of China (BOC) Zaobao Credit Card and I almost choked on the water that I was drinking. This sounds almost as ludicrous as the co-branded card with Secret Recipe and Diners Club (there's one for Long Beach too!) and upon further investigation the new BOC Zaobao (which is essentially a Chinese newspaper in Singapore in case anyone was wondering) Credit Card apparently offers up to 20% cash rebates!
The Citi Rewards Card is one of the best credit cards in Singapore to hold in my opinion - it offers 4 miles per dollar on shopping expenses (this includes spend in departmental stores as well) and from time to time it partners up with a merchant to offer 20X Rewards which is equivalent to a whooping 8 miles per S$1. From now until the end of 31 December 2017, cardholders will be able to earn 8 miles per dollar on all eligible transactions made on Lazada or via the Amazon Prime Now App.
While Singaporeans have been able to use an eligible Mastercard for train and bus rides since 20 March 2017, UOB has just announced that customers using the PRVI Mastercard can now earn 1.4 miles per S$1 on all eligible rides in the Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) pilot with Land Transport Authority (LTA) and TransitLink. Even though the UOB PRVI Mastercard gives out 3.5 UNI$ per S$5, transactions in the ABT are processed and charged after a total of S$15 is spent on transit fares or after the charges have been accumulated for up to 5 days - whichever is earlier.
The OCBC Titanium Rewards Card is one of the best credit cards to hold in Singapore - especially if you shop for electronics, clothing or simply use mobile payments (like Apple Pay) a lot. I have previously covered the card in detail where I have also compared it to the Citi Rewards Card which is a credit card for similar purposes. There is currently a targeted opportunity to earn up to 6 miles (15 OCBC$) per SGD on the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card. The word through the grapevine is that OCBC will be extending the 10X OCBC$ on Mobile Payments (supposed to end on 30 September 2017) and they have actually included a Lounge Key Benefit in recent months.
Everyone knows that the DBS Woman's World MasterCard is a credit card to get in Singapore and it does not matter whether you are male or female. While reconciling my DBS Points from last statement's spending on the DBS Woman's World MasterCard, I noticed that I did not get 10X points on some of my transactions - you can request for a breakdown of DBS Points from DBS by sending a message via the secured mailbox.
The OCBC Titanium Rewards Card is one of the best credit cards in Singapore for earning miles and if you wish to understand the dynamics of this credit card, make sure you check out my previous article on everything you need to know about the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card. It appears that OCBC has introduced the opportunity to earn up to 6 miles and 2 miles per dollar on all eligible transactions made on Electronics and Gadgets as well as Dining respectively for selected cardholders. At the moment of writing, only targeted cardholders who have received either an electronic direct mail (EDM) or SMS from OCBC Bank will be able to take advantage of this promotion.
There is a top spot within the OCBC Premier Banking space and that's the Premier Private Client (PPC) - one can 'easily' join this elite group by depositing or investing S$1 million (in fresh funds) and qualifying as an Accredited Investor. What caught my eyes last evening however was the introduction of a dedicated OCBC VOYAGE Card (which I have covered previously) for the PPCs and one of the additional benefits include unlimited airport limousine transfers.