There's only a couple more days left to take advantage of the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card Online Sign-up Promotion! All you have to do is sign up for the credit card online and spend S$800 from the date of approval (or 31 October 2015 - whichever is earlier) to earn up to 14,400 Miles! Here's why you should definitely sign up for the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card over the next couple of days:
1. Earn up to 18 Miles per S$1 (for the first S$800) - Ended on 30 September 2015
Earning 14,400 miles on S$800 spend will net you 18 miles per S$1 - essentially one of the highest earning rates in Singapore. This is obviously just a one-off promotion but it is something that you can definitely take advantage of. Also, do note that the bonus miles (in DBS Points) will be credited into the cardholder's account within 90 days after the Card has been approved.
2. 3 Miles per S$1 on all online Flight and Hotel transactions
If you book flights and hotels online a lot, the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card will give you 3 miles per S$1 for the first S$10,000 spent each month. This also applies to Online Travel Agents like Zuji and Agoda.
3. Two Complimentary Priority Pass Visits per Year
It has recently been clarified by DBS that the Priority Passes can be utilised for the cardholder and an accompanying guest. Lounge access in the airport can be useful before the start of a nice vacation to grab a quick bite or a drink (alcoholic or otherwise) for free. Do note that an accompanying guest will count towards the number of free entries each year (i.e. entering an airport lounge with a guest will count as two visits).
4. It may be better than the Citi PremierMiles Visa (or AmEx) Card
The DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card gives the same base earning rate as the competition - Citi PremierMiles Visa (or AmEx) Card - 2 miles for foreign currency and 1.2 miles for local currency spend per S$1. Additionally, both cards give two complimentary Priority Pass visits per year (if you do hold both cards, you will end up with four). The DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card stands out if you spend quite a bit online on travel and hotels (3 miles per S$1) and it also offers a pretty amazing 12,000 bonus miles signing bonus for a mere S$800 spend.
5. It's Free Anyway!
Well, for the first year at least, you will get a free fee waiver but on subsequent years, an annual fee of S$192.60 for Principal Card will apply. Paying the annual fee will however give you 10,000 miles (or 5,000 DBS Points) which may not necessarily be a bad deal for mile chasers. If your annual spend exceeds S$25,000, the annual fee will be waived.
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!
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.