Ever since the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card has been crippled with the horrible redemption rates for Cash Rebate from 2.55% to 1.00%, many people have been asking me what the best 'General Spending' card is. While I am generally a Miles Chaser, I do appreciate the versatility of a good credit card that allows you to switch between Miles and Cash Rebate (much like the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card then).
The UOB PRVI Miles Credit Cards (AmEx and MasterCard versions both) have been slightly crippled too lately, reducing local spend from 1.6 miles to 1.4 miles per S$1 and spend in foreign currency from 2.5 miles to 2.4 miles per S$1. That being said, UOB has introduced a new Cash Rebate redemption option in the UOB Rewards Program:
You are now able to redeem for S$100 Cash Rebate with UNI$5000 when using the PRVI Miles (or other cards as shown above). This equates to a 1.40% cash rebate on local spend and 2.40% cash rebate on all spend in a foreign currency. Of course, you can continue to enjoy an equivalent 1.4 miles or 2.4 miles per S$1 should you wish to collect miles instead.
Remember that you will also be eligible for the free one-way limousine service to Singapore Changi Airport when you charged at least S$1,000 in foreign currency to your UOB PRVI Miles Platinum American Express Credit Card per quarter.
Now it has been almost six months since I have last written about Mileslife and in case you have forgotten what it is (or you are new to this platform), it is basically a way for you to make payment to a selection of merchants which in-turn earns you more miles - there are no fees involved in using this so it is a win-win situation for both parties! If you do not already have an account, you will have to download the app on your mobile phone (using my referral link gets you 1,000 bonus miles extra!). From 24-28 February 2018, enjoy double miles on all dining transactions made on Mileslife!
American Express is currently offering the opportunity to earn S$150 statement credit when you spend at least S$500 at any of the participating properties across the Hilton Portfolio in Asia-Pacific with your American Express Singapore Airlines Credit Card. Cardholders can only benefit from the S$150 statement credit once per property but there are over 70 properties that are participating in this promotion!
Last year there was the opportunity to fast track into Hilton Honors Gold status with just 2 stays or 4 nights for all eligible Visa Infinite Cardholders. It appears that Visa has officially extended this offer to 30 June 2018 and eligible cards now include not only the top-tier Visa Infinite cards but also Visa Signature cards (which is shocking, considering how easy it is to get!). Similar to the previous offer, a Hilton Honors member must complete 2 eligible stays or 4 eligible nights in 90 days upon successful registration - status earned should be valid until March 2020
While most of us elite status-chasers do not use Expedia much (since it does not earn you elite-qualifying nights which contribute towards elite status each year), it can sometimes make sense to consider using Expedia when you are planning to stay in a property that does not belong to a greater loyalty program or one that you have no interest in. What a lot of people do not realise is that most banks in Singapore offer a discount code for hotel reservations made via a specific landing page. At the time of writing, Citibank offers the most generous discount of 15% off all participating properties where the 'Expedia Rate' is available - there is also only a one-night minimum stay for this promo code.
While it is no secret that OCBC VOYAGE Cardholders will now earn a reduced rate of 1.6 VOYAGE Miles per dollar on dining and enjoy a higher base rate of 1.2 VOYAGE Miles per dollar on all eligible retail spend charged in SGD, what a lot of people do not realise (myself included!) is that the cardholders of the OCBC Premier VOYAGE Credit Card, OCBC Premier Private Client VOYAGE Credit Card and Bank of Singapore VOYAGE Card now earn 1.6 VOYAGE Miles per dollar on all eligible retail spend - this is extremely generous as it is in line with the highly exclusive UOB Reserve Card - a credit card for UOB Privilege Reserve Clients with S$2,000,000 in deposits/investments with the bank.
As the year comes to an end, I thought that it would be interesting to reevaluate which cards to physically hold in my wallet for the year ahead. While most of the best credit cards for 2017 (in my opinion) have made it into the 2018 list, the diffusion of innovation has seen the digitisation of many credit cards as contactless payment becomes more prominent in Singapore. This is by no means an exhaustive list of credit cards to apply for (since the recommendation varies from person to person) but rather an indication to which credit cards I am holding physically and digitally for the new year ahead.
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!