A couple of months ago, InterContinental Hotels Groups announced the new top-tier status on their IHG Rewards Club loyalty program - the Spire Elite. This new elite status requires 75 eligible nights in a year (approximately one in five nights). Go one level down and you will find yourself at Platinum Elite which gives the following benefits:
What does Platinum Elite Status in IHG Rewards Club give Me?
Sure, a 50% bonus on top of base points and complimentary room upgrades sound amazing but since it requires 40 eligible nights (or 40,000 elite qualifying points), chances are most of us are never going to hit it (especially if you do not travel for work).
How do I purchase the Platinum Elite Status?
The question on everyone's head is obviously how on earth do you purchase this Platinum Elite status? The way you do this is a combination of two things: the InterContinental Ambassador Programme and the IHG® Dining Rewards. You HAVE TO purchase the InterContinental Ambassador Programme first then the IHG® Dining Rewards in order to get Platinum Elite - if you do it the other way around, you'll end up with just Gold Elite which is pretty ordinary.
How Much does it Cost?
The next crucial question - how much is it going to cost me? The short answer - US$464 (approx. S$660).
Members will receive the following benefits at InterContinental brand hotels:
- Guaranteed room upgrade: enjoy an immediate upgrade to a superior room* (one category higher than purchased) each time you stay.
- Fresh fruit on arrival and mineral water (water replenished daily)
- Complimentary weekend night certificate**: valid at the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts property of your choice
- 4pm late checkout
- One complimentary pay TV film per stay
- Complimentary daily newspaper
- In-room welcome gift
- Instant checkout
- A free night at any of IHG's 4,800+ hotels
- 25% off dining and beverages
- Status upgrade in IHG® Rewards Club**
- 25% off IHG's Best Flexible rate (single use)
- 10% off IHG's Best Flexible & Advance Purchase rates
- A generous dining e-Voucher, pre-loaded to your card*
- Premium local offers at individual participating hotels
Is it worth paying S$660 for a Year of Platinum Elite Status?
Possibly, but probably not. You used to be able to get a ton of hotel status matches with just the IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite status but this has reduced dramatically over the years. If you do intend to stay a bit in InterContinental Hotels around the world (especially the more expensive ones), this may be money well spent but you definitely do have to weigh your options.
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$15 is spent on transit fares or after the charges have been accumulated for up to 5 days - whichever is earlier.
Following the rather controversial launch of the KrisFlyer UOB Savings Account back in April 2017, UOB has announced a brand new UOB Stash Account (essentially a savings account) which offers the opportunity to earn up to 1% p.a. interest. Account holders will essentially earn 0.05% p.a. interest on the whole account balance with the opportunity to earn a bonus interest (of up to 0.95% p.a.) if the Monthly Average Balance (MAB) is equal to or higher than the previous month.
The OCBC Titanium Rewards Card is one of the best credit cards to hold in Singapore - especially if you shop for electronics, clothing or simply use mobile payments (like Apple Pay) a lot. I have previously covered the card in detail where I have also compared it to the Citi Rewards Card which is a credit card for similar purposes. There is currently a targeted opportunity to earn up to 6 miles (15 OCBC$) 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.
I have been to Hong Kong on multiple occasions and one of the things that I struggle with most (apart from the language) is where to go for food and coffee. I am generally unfamiliar with where everything is in Hong Kong and therefore I have really been to popular restaurants that are always recommended and visited by Singaporeans. During my latest trip to Hong Kong where I stayed at the Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong, I checked out a number of restaurants and cafes (some of them are especially memorable) along the way so hopefully this quick guide would help anyone seeking for recommendations.
Everyone must have heard of the extensive internet regulation and censorship in China and first-time travellers to this country do not always know what to do in order to get around the notorious Great Firewall of China. As I will be traveling to Beijing pretty soon, I have put together a short guide on getting around this regulation and also a number of things to take note of when you travel to China. The first thing any tech-savvy traveller would ask is about the availability of 4G SIM Cards in China. While it is definitely possible to pick one up at the airport (information seems to be rather limited on the internet) or in the city, it may save you a little hassle by settling this in Singapore before you go. Here are three alternatives to buying a SIM Card in China!
Transferring money between friends and families (or even businesses) has just gotten easier with the introduction of a new PayNow service which is now live across all seven participating banks - Citibank, DBS Bank, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB Bank. All you need is the person's mobile number or NRIC number in order to make the transfer (limited to SGD transactions only).
I do not travel on SilkAir often as the product is in no way comparable to the Singapore Airlines product (especially on Business - even on regional routes!). There are however some routes that are operated by MI-metal only and therefore it is impossible to take an SQ-metal alternative (e.g. HKT, DAD and REP). As of 01 January 2017, SilkAir operates 31 aircraft: 17 Boeing B737-800, 11 Airbus A320-200 and 3 Airbus A319-100 aircraft.
The wait is finally over - Mileslife is now officially launched in Singapore to offer the opportunity to earn more miles on dining, lifestyle and travel spend. To celebrate this momentous occasion, it is offering 4X more miles (up to 20 miles per S$1) on all eligible transactions made on Mileslife. Remember these miles are accorded on top of whatever you earn from your credit cards so there is definitely a huge potential to rake up those miles for free flights on First Class and Business Class!