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 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.
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 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.
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.
Having the right credit card in Singapore is extremely important if you travel quite a bit - it can help you rake up significant miles which you can use for free premium cabin travel and some of the credit cards actually have tangible travel benefits like free airport lounge access and limousine transfer amongst other things. There are two main types of credit cards in Singapore that offer complimentary airport lounge access - one requires a minimum spend and one does not. Check out my summary of credit cards in Singapore that offer complimentary lounge access below!
The OCBC VOYAGE Card allows you to earn up to 2.3 VOYAGE Miles (redeemable for KrisFlyer Miles) per S$1 and it offers some pretty impressive benefits like a personal concierge service, unlimited access to Plaza Premium Lounges and other Visa Infinite perks. Is this card worth its S$488 annual fee? Find out everything you need to know about maximising the benefits on the OCBC VOYAGE Card.
If you have seen my complete list of credit card renewal miles in Singapore, you would have noticed that the UOB Reserve Card offers 100,000 renewal miles each year. One of the ways to get invited for this exclusive credit card is to be a UOB Privilege Reserve Client with S$2,000,000 in deposits/investments with the bank. Not much is known about this card until now - find out what the benefits of this ultra-elite card is.
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!).