You might find yourself on Expedia or Agoda if you are looking for the best deals on hotel stays. While the two aforementioned sites already offer some pretty great deals on hotels, did you know that you can get at least 10% of the amount spent by going through an additional step? In fact, the 10% is on top of whatever you earn on your credit card so in reality, it is possible to get a much higher cashback depending on how much you value miles and points.
The example below will show you how you can spend S$300 on a hotel and get S$34.71 back (approximately 11.6% cashback) by just doing one additional step - it is that easy! In order to do this you will have to sign up for a ShopBack and Expedia+ account (both free to register!). In fact, if you sign up for a ShopBack account using my referral link, you will get a S$5 bonus!
1. Register for Account on ShopBack and Expedia+
2. Go to ShopBack and Click on Expedia
Once you click on the 'Shop Now' button, you will see a pop-up window and that will redirect you to Expedia Singapore where you can continue to book your hotel or flight. If you spend S$300 on a hotel (remember this is just a made-up number for the purpose of this example), you should get S$24 back in your ShopBack account once your stay is completed - you can then transfer this amount into your bank account! If you factor in the S$5 bonus that you get when you register here, you will see S$29 in your ShopBack account!
3. Book Normally on Expedia in the Same Window
You will earn 20 Expedia+ Points with every S$15 spent on hotels. In our example of a S$300 hotel, you will earn 400 Expedia+ Points (worth approximately S$5.71) and you can redeem for a S$50 voucher at +VIP Access™ hotels with 3,500 Expedia+ Points.
4. Use the Right Credit Card (Optional but Highly Recommended)
Using the right credit card for your spend on Expedia is highly recommended - you can get up to 8 miles per S$1 with the DBS Altitude Card for a limited time. In our example, S$300 will get you 2,400 miles (if you take advantage of the promotion) and the miles are worth approximately S$216 if you redeem them for a Business Saver ticket on Singapore Airlines - this brings your total cashback to 83.6%!
5. Enjoy your Cashback!
Spending money and making them work for you is easy. ShopBack is just one of the many tools available online to help justify your spend since it rewards you for spending more.
I chanced upon the Singapore Airlines HighFlyer programme today which is basically a frequent flyer program for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for up to 30 traveling employees. The HighFlyer programme does not replace the KrisFlyer Program (find out more about KrisFlyer and PPS HERE!) and it is simply a free program that translates business travel expenses into cost savings.
The new UOB Rewards portal is beautiful and it is a huge step-up from the older UOB Rewards Plus portal. While trying to redeem some KrisFlyer Miles however, I realised that the new portal only allows you to redeem up to a maximum of 9 units - obviously with a per-transaction fee of S$25, I would want to maximise the number of miles that I am redeeming for to suit my travel requirements.
When I visited Bali a couple of months back, I checked out the regional business class product on Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Denpasar and I stayed at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort. Since it was my first visit to Seminyak in Bali (I have always stayed within the confines of Nusa Dua only), I made it a point to check out some pretty famous restaurants and cafes in the area to find out for myself what the fuss was all about - here are my top five places to check out if you are Seminyak (most of them can be accessed by foot if you stay at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort).
Two months ago, I wrote about the reasons on why you should cancel your ANZ Travel Card since the business unit is already sold to DBS and more importantly, the ANZ Travel Card has essentially no more travel benefits. If for some reason, you are still holding on to it (I am personally waiting for the renewal miles to post since I was charged the annual fee prior to 01 April 2017), it is worth noting that your reward points (including Travel$) will be converted into DBS Points from 06 June 2017 (or 19 June 2017 for KrisFlyer Miles redemption).
If you have been following the website long enough, you would notice that I stay in hotels quite a bit - I see it as a platform to earn more miles (since most of the payments happen online) and more importantly, it is a way to retain my loyalty status(es) each year. What a lot of people do not realise however is that most credit cards (with the exception of Citibank) in Singapore allow you to convert your points into Asia Miles (read about the program HERE!) and KrisFlyer Miles only. I have recently fallen in love with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account - you can fly on Japan Airlines' Business Class from Singapore to Tokyo, have a complimentary stopover, and then continue to somewhere else in Asia (e.g. Bangkok or Jakarta).
Most credit card miles and points in Singapore can convert into either the ever-popular KrisFlyer Miles or the lesser-known Asia Miles (Citibank is the only bank in Singapore to offer miles and points conversion to 12 airline partners). Most of us have taken the stand and preference to accrue on Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer programme but with the recent devaluation, many of us have started to look beyond the usual redemption on SQ/MI and Star Alliance metal. The next immediate frequent flyer loyalty programme of interest is Asia Miles (since all banks in Singapore allow conversion into it) but what exactly is the difference between The Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles?
I have been a strong advocate for OCBC Bank's 360 Account for the longest time and even with the recent changes that went into effect on 01 April 2017, it is still a great account to have - you now receive bonus interest on up to S$70,000 in the account. Almost every other major bank in Singapore has a competing product and I have previously concluded that the UOB One Account is not optimal since you only earn an effective rate of 2.43% instead of the 3.33% that they advertise. Standard Chartered Bank has a Bonus$aver (yes, it is unfortunately spelled that way) that apparently offers up to 3.88% p.a. of interest which sounds significantly more than what OCBC Bank advertises with the 360 Account. Find out which is better in this article!
In order to help everyone keep track of the discontinuation and extension of credit card promotions in Singapore, I will be posting a series of summaries every couple of months. These summaries will basically tell you which mile-related promotions have been extended and which credit cards to ditch - no I will not be tracking dining or shopping promotions.
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.