If you are already thinking about getting tickets for the upcoming 2016 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix which will run from 16 to 18 September 2016 this year, good on you! It is always a good idea to make travel plans early (especially in events like these) in order to take full advantage of "Early Bird" discounts. Here are some track-side hotels for the 2016 F1 Singapore Grand Prix this year - prices (based on stay period of actual event days) are accurate at the time of writing:
1. Pan Pacific Singapore - from S$680++ per Night
EARLY BIRD OFFER - 2016 Singapore Grand Prix Early Bird Offer
Booking Period: Before 31 May 2016
Stay Period: 13-20 September 2016
Minimum Nights: 2 Nights
Enjoy S$100 F&B Credit per stay that can be used at all hotel-operated restaurants and bar. All guests will also have access to complimentary high speed wireless internet.
2. Marina Mandarin Singapore - from S$920++ per Night
(Guaranteed Track-view from S$1,120++ per Night)
F1 Trackview Package
Stay Period: 16-18 September 2016
Minimum Nights: N/A
Daily buffet breakfast and free in-room WiFi is provided throughout the stay. Late checkout til 4PM is also applicable (upon availability).
3. Swissôtel The Stamford - from S$800++ per Night
Minimum Nights: N/A
No Formula 1 specific room package at this moment but Advance Saver rates are still available. Hotel is located just on top of the City Hall MRT Train Station for ease of access.
4. Marina Bay Sands - from S$789++ per Night
Book Direct and Save S$20
Minimum Nights: N/A
The Marina Bay Sands claims to be S$20 cheaper per night than all other OTAs out there. You will also receive 40% off RISE Buffet during Lunch and Dinner (for stay period till 31 March 2016) - at this moment the website does not show whether this will be extended to the F1 period. Guests will also receive 10% off body massages and selected spa retail products at Banyan Tree Spa on level 55
Mandarin Oriental, Singapore - No Availability
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore - No Availability
Last month, I shared how easy it is to basically earn money for each fulfilled dining reservation that you make via Chope. If you are the kind that enjoys making dinner reservations for yourself (or even for your family and friends), you should check out Chope since it is essentially a free service that rewards you with 100 Chope-Dollars (equivalent to S$3 in dining credit) each time you make an eligible booking. In fact, for a limited time only, earn up to 300 Chope-Dollars (equivalent to S$9) when you sign-up and use Chope for the first time.
The Citi Rewards Card is one of the best Singapore credit card (in my opinion) to have in 2017. When you charge the right type of transaction to this credit card, you can earn up to 10X Citi Dollars (equivalent to 4 miles per S$1). While there are ways to verify whether or not a transaction will earn you 10X points thanks for crowd-sourcing, I recently realised that you can check on the number of points awarded per transaction (after it has been posted) which really helps to verify and mitigate some risk in those large purchases.
There are no lack of elite credit cards in the Singapore market but let's face it - the regular one for the masses are the ones with the best benefits in terms of mile accrual. Of course there are some exceptions (i.e. using a Centurion Card on EXTRA Partners) but most of the best cards for mile accrual in Singapore are credit cards that most working Singaporean adult can qualify for. With that being said, there may be instances where people cannot qualify for the credit card they want and there may be many different reasons like bad credit score or insufficient annual income. One way around this is to apply for a secured credit card instead as this will provide you access to a card you really want (even if you do not meet the general criteria for it!).
While I am still trying to grasp all the amazing features on ExpertFlyer, I wanted to feature a small piece on searching for award and upgrade redemptions using this pretty impressive tool. I have to mention from the start that ExpertFlyer requires a paid subscription for more robust and advanced queries - there is however a free account where you can sign-up for seat alerts but you will require a Basic or Premium account to search for award redemptions (there is a free trial that you can sign-up for though!).
Hakone is a popular spot for a day-trip if you are visiting Tokyo - in fact, I would recommended staying the night if you do not wish to rush through the whole thing. During my latest visit to Tokyo, I stayed at the Hilton Tokyo for the first half of the trip and getting from the hotel to Hakone was relatively easy. With that being said, there were things that I wish I knew before heading to Hakone from Tokyo so I hope this guide will benefit someone out there who is looking for a Hakone itinerary (or simply a quick guide).
I love dining out but I generally like going to places with a reservation - there is nothing more upsetting than finding a fully-booked restaurant when you have already made up your mind on what to eat. Chope solves that problem for me since I can always make a reservation easily (some restaurants do not take same-day reservations unfortunately so you will still have to call them) and more importantly, it allows me to accrue Chope-Dollars which I can then use to purchase discounted dining vouchers on the Chope shop. Here are some reasons why you should use Chope every time you go out for a meal!
While there are many VPN providers out there in the market, it is not common to see one that offers over 500 servers in 141 countries. While I do travel out of Singapore from time to time, I am usually logged on to a WiFi connection somewhere and one of the things that I am most concerned about when transacting over an unsecured network is privacy. While public WiFi signals are great for getting work done (be it in a cafe or in a hotel), security can be a real issue if you do not take necessary precautions.
As 2016 comes to an end, I am once again faced with an interesting problem - the InterContinental Ambassador renewal. While I have not come close to maximising the benefits this year, I have gotten the published benefits (upgrade and late check-out at the InterContinental Singapore) on all my paid stays. The only question now is this: should I renew my InterContinental Ambassador membership with points or by cash?
If you saw my article last week on the credit cards to get in 2017, you would have (and should have!) noticed a new addition - the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card. Let's be honest here, OCBC has not been on the list of credit cards to get (for mile accrual) in the last couple of years. So when I found out that the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card now gives up to 10X OCBC$ (which translates into 4 miles per dollar), I had to check it out for myself. My conclusion? This could very well be OCBC's best credit card in the market right now for mile chasers.
As 2016 comes to an end, it is important to look ahead in the new year and plan for your mileage accrual (and redemption!) next year. Miles are worth a lot - especially when you use them wisely and redeem them in premium cabin classes. Obviously, there are people in the market that prefers cash backs over miles for instant gratification and sometimes I feel like no amount of convincing can sway them over but in all honestly, we need them. We can't have the whole Singapore fighting to redeem those premium cabin seats all at once! So here it is, the list of the best credit cards in Singapore to get in order to earn maximum miles.