Last month, I wrote about the newest Visa Infinite card in Singapore which is also the first card in the country to offer a waiver on foreign currency admin fees (1.5%). This month, the CIMB Visa Signature card has popped up on our radar as the second credit card in Singapore to offer the same waiver of foreign currency admin fee (1.4% in the case of CIMB). This rebate will be credited in your statement in the following statement period.
It is worth noting that you will also get up to 10% cash rebate on eligible F&B and online spend (in foreign currencies) - up to S$60 rebate per statement period. There is also no annual fees associated with this card so there's really no financial harm getting it. Other than the admin fee waiver, this card is pretty lackluster and I would personally avoid it.
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!