If you have not heard about the IHG Friends and Family Rate, you should definitely check it out (especially if you are not big on points and statuses). It basically gives you a (sometimes) hefty discount on IHG properties worldwide so long you know someone from the inside - the only proof you need is a voucher that you can download HERE and the employee's name. To get an example of how the rates will look like, check out Paul Gibbs's link HERE!
Honestly, I have forgotten all about this until this morning when I chanced upon the article on LoyaltyLobby who reveals that the advertised 15% discount may differ from property to property - this is sometimes what happens when you are too busy chasing points. Since IHG Points are worth relatively lesser in Singapore, this has got me wondering whether or not it is worthwhile to use the Friends and Family Rate for stays here instead.
For the purpose of this example, I have deliberately picked a random (non Public Holiday) weekend in July to include the newer IHG Properties that are opening. Here's a quick comparison of the Best Available Rate online versus the IHG Friends and Family Rate:
|IHG Property||Best Available Rate||Friends and Family Rate||Discount|
|Holiday Inn Express: Singapore Katong||S$128.00++||S$108.80++||15%|
|Holiday Inn Express: Singapore Clarke Quay||S$180.00++||S$153.00++||15%|
|Holiday Inn Express: Singapore Orchard Road||S$207.00++||S$175.95++||15%|
|Hotel Indigo: Singapore Katong||S$180.00++||S$153.00++||15%|
|Holiday Inn: Singapore Atrium||S$167.00++||S$141.95++||15%|
|Holiday Inn: Singapore Orchard City Centre||S$207.00++||S$175.95++||15%|
|Crowne Plaza: Changi Airport||S$261.00++||S$221.85++||15%|
Unfortunately for us folks in Singapore, the 15% off Advance Purchase and BAR does seem to hold true. While 15% is not a lot when you have a status to begin with, it will most definitely provide significant savings for the infrequent traveller who do not care for statuses and points. Remember the IHG Friends and Family Rate is not elite qualifying - you will not earn points from these!
The city of Yangon in Myanmar offers one of the most authentic and raw travel experiences that I have had in recent years. During my weekend travel to Yangon, I stayed in one of the Horizon Club Rooms at the Sule Shangri-La, Yangon. One of the things that I had difficult with most (since I am a fairly unadventurous traveller) during my stay was where to find food - so I have gone ahead to put together five of my favourite restaurants that I have checked out in Yangon.
Back in September 2016, a partnership between Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Singapore Airlines was announced. Members are now able to enjoy reciprocal benefits, fast-track to elite status and convert points freely (albeit at a terrible rate) with the Infinite Journeys arrangement. Today, Warmer Welcomes invites both Golden Circle (from Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts) and Taj InnerCircle (from Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces) to enjoy reciprocal benefits between the two loyalty programs.
Getting from Tokyo to Hakone is incredibly easy but if you do decide to travel on the Romancecars, make sure you plan early to get one of the highly sought-after seats (which are priced the same). Hakone is beautiful and it is usually recommended for you to stay at least one night to fully experience the beauty of this place. With that being said, it is also highly possible for you to complete most of the major sights in a day and this guide will show you exactly how!
The Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program went through some changes earlier this year and like I have mentioned multiple times before, the points that you accrue on this program will essentially offset your future stays - there is no fixed rate of redemption for rooms but the points have a fixed value that is tied to the Euro currency (2,000 Le Club AccorHotels Points = €40).
The ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card was one of my favourite credit cards in Singapore when I first starting working - it once offered complimentary and unlimited lounge access, limousine transfer after spending a reasonable amount and paying the annual fees (S$200) for 10,000 miles seem to be pretty reasonable. Starting from 01 April 2017 however, the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card will no longer offer lounge access (yes not even the horrible DragonPass Airport lounge access) and there will no longer be anymore renewal miles when you pay the annual fee - how is this even a travel card anymore?!
When I wrote about the OCBC VOYAGE Card last month, I mentioned that cardholders will have access to a dedicated concierge that can assist you in making restaurant reservations, travel itinerary planning and also provide to you a range of other services (so long it is legal!) that cardholders like myself can enjoy. One of the feedback that I have gotten from that article was that the Visa Infinite brand itself has a concierge that cardholders can benefit from - as such, I felt the desperate need to basically compare both the Visa Infinite Concierge and the VOYAGE Exchange (private concierge service for OCBC VOYAGE Card) to find out whether or not the higher annual fee (after factoring in the value of renewal miles) is justified.
Receive up to 40% bonus Mileage Plan miles when you purchase at least 30,000 miles before 06 April 2017. There are some sweet spots on using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles and if you live in Asia and wish to check out the business cabin on Japan Airlines, you can do so for just US$670 (approx S$945). Read on to find out how you can get up to 17 hours worth of flight time by redeeming the Mileage Plan miles on Japan Airlines.
KrisFlyer has just announced some important changes that will be happening on redemption and redemption upgrade bookings that are ticketed from 23 March 2017 onwards. While the changes seem to be a devaluation of KrisFlyer miles, travellers may be able to gain some out of these changes on short-haul flights and those with high YQ surcharges. Read on to find out what are the upcoming changes and how will they affect you as a whole.
The OCBC 360 Account is a dream account that every young adult should have. When it was first launched in Singapore back in 2014, it offered the best interest rate on any savings plan that was available at that time. Ever since then, the OCBC 360 Account has been given a refresh and other banks have started launching competing products (e.g. UOB One Account) which in my opinion, are inferior of OCBC's longstanding savings account. There are a number of changes to the OCBC 360 Account that will be effective from 01 April 2017 so make sure you read though them thoroughly before deciding whether the product is still a good fit for your spending habits and banking goals.
I have written a number of articles on which credit card to get in Singapore in order to maximise miles accrual and I have always deliberately excluded the HSBC Advance Visa Platinum Credit Card because of the conditions required to get this card (it is not just about the annual income requirement). More importantly, the 10X HSBC Rewards Points promotion was supposed to end last year but it has been extended until 31 March 2017.