UPDATE: Refer to the American Express and Singapore Airlines co-brand Credit Card guide HERE for latest information!
If you hold The American Express® Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card, some (favourable and unfavourable) changes are coming your way on 01 May 2016. As a disclaimer, the following changes will only come into effect from 01 May 2016 and at the time of publishing, these changes are still inactive. Here is a summary of the upcoming changes that will come your way:
1. Spend S$15,000 on Singapore Airlines for KrisFlyer Gold Elite (Star Alliance Gold)
The first thing you will probably notice is that you are now able to "purchase" Star Alliance Gold if you spend S$15,000 on Singapore Airlines between 01 May 2016 and 30 June 2016. Do note that if you do travel on premium cabins, this S$15,000 will go towards the S$25,000 required for PPS qualification (which gives you KrisFlyer Gold Elite too!) - click HERE to read the guide on obtaining elite status on KrisFlyer (Singapore Airlines). For a limited time only, you will also earn double miles (up to 5,000 bonus miles) if you do spend S$15,000 on Singapore Airlines.
2. Earn 1.2 Miles per S$1
You will now earn 1.2 Miles per S$1 which is on par with cards like the Citibank PremierMiles Visa Signature Credit Card. With that being said, the bonus 300 KrisFlyer miles for every additional S$500 (above S$1,000) you spend in the same month will be discontinued. As a consolation, American Express is offering a bump in accrual rates between the months of June 2016 and December 2016 for foreign currency spend (2 miles per S$1 of equivalent foreign currency).
3. Annual Fee Increase to S$337.05
Annual Fee will increase from S$256.80 (inclusive of GST) to S$337.05.
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$1). While there are ways to verify whether or not a transaction will earn you 10X points thanks for crowd-sourcing, I recently realised that you can check on the number of points awarded per transaction (after it has been posted) which really helps to verify and mitigate some risk in those large purchases.
There are no lack of elite credit cards in the Singapore market but let's face it - the regular one for the masses are the ones with the best benefits in terms of mile accrual. Of course there are some exceptions (i.e. using a Centurion Card on EXTRA Partners) but most of the best cards for mile accrual in Singapore are credit cards that most working Singaporean adult can qualify for. With that being said, there may be instances where people cannot qualify for the credit card they want and there may be many different reasons like bad credit score or insufficient annual income. One way around this is to apply for a secured credit card instead as this will provide you access to a card you really want (even if you do not meet the general criteria for it!).
If you saw my article last week on the credit cards to get in 2017, you would have (and should have!) noticed a new addition - the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card. Let's be honest here, OCBC has not been on the list of credit cards to get (for mile accrual) in the last couple of years. So when I found out that the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card now gives up to 10X OCBC$ (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.
I knew I had to share this piece of news the moment I saw it - not because American Express is ranked number 1 again in the 2016 Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study but because it has been quantified and how often do you actually see a press release with a graph?! According to the study, the overall satisfaction index ranking is based on a 1,000-point scale and American Express has come up on top with 738 points, beating the study average by 41 points.
As part of The Great Singapore Airlines Getaway, American Express Cardholders who are amongst the first 1,000 to register for the following promotion will enjoy S$50 Statement Credit for simply spending S$1,500 on Singapore Airlines during September 2016.
If you follow The Shutterwhale on Facebook, you should have seen my rant this morning on the changes to the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card's unlimited Airport Lounge benefit that came into effect this morning. One of the last few benefits of this card used to be the unlimited access to Veloce lounges all over the world but now that has been taken away and been replaced with a conditional DragonPass access instead.
Even though I have had a terrible first experience with uberPOOL, it has improved ever since then and my trips seem to take only 10 minutes extra on average (which to me is very reasonable). Uber Singapore has just announced that uberX rides are now fixed rates so essentially what you see is what you pay - well the banks still charge a cross border fee of 0.8% (which is not controlled by Uber) so you still need to slap on that 0.8% fee to get what is being charged on your credit card statement.
I was reading the news earlier this morning and I chanced upon the newly released American Express Explorer Credit Card in Australia. Before anyone in Singapore gets super excited, we are not sure at this moment whether or not it will be made available to us here in the Lion City but just take a look at that card!
The Citibank Rewards Card is one of my favourite credit cards in Singapore - it offers up to 10X Rewards (equivalent to 4 miles per S$1) for up to S$12,000 each year. Yes, this means that the total number of bonus miles (10X) you can get each year from this card is 120,000 Citi Dollars (which converts into 48,000 Miles). To get around this problem, most of us hold both the Visa Signature and WORLD MasterCard versions to double this limit (you do have to charge them separately though). Between now and 31 October 2016, enjoy 20X Rewards (that's 8 miles per S$1) when you charge retail purchases on these two cards.