Collecting miles in the form of credit card points is an obsession - you've seen the articles I have written and if you know me personally, I barely use cash at all (unless the merchant doesn't accept credit cards - in which case I will probably walk away). Despite all the ridiculously bad service that I have gotten from UOB recently, I still use their cards religiously because it allows me to earn up to 10UNI$ per S$5 - this is equivalent to 20 miles per S$5.
Redeeming your UOB UNI$ for KrisFlyer (or Asia) Miles is pretty fuss-free so long you have pre-completed the enrolment form (you only need to do this once). Do note that there is a S$25 surcharge each time you convert your UOB UNI$ to one of these mile options - you can only convert in blocks of UNI$5,000 (equivalent to 10,000 miles). If you are lucky (read: wealthy) enough to be a Privilege Banking or Reserve account member, this S$25 charge will be waived. What's interesting with the redemptions however are the options above the miles and before I go any further here's a quick summary of it: don't even bother.
If I had to pick the worst redemption in the table above, it would undoubtedly have to be the 'Jetstar S$50 eVoucher' for UNI$4,000. Firstly, redeeming an eVoucher on Jetstar means you have to make the complete the rest of the purchase (assuming there is a balance) online - this implies that you will have to pay the ridiculous administrative charges for opting for a credit card payment. More importantly, UNI$4,000 is equivalent to 8,000 miles. For the sake of an example, compare the following two situations where you redeem for either:
- S$250 Jetstar eVoucher for UNI$20,000
- 40,000 KrisFlyer Miles for UNI$20,000 + S$25 Administrative Fee
The first option seems to be pretty lucrative but did you know that you can easily offset any purchase on Singapore Air with KrisFlyer Miles at a rate of 1,000 Miles = S$10? 40,000 KrisFlyer Miles would therefore be worth S$400 on purchases made on Singapore Air - you will continue to earn elite qualifying miles on these flights. More importantly, 40,000 KrisFlyer miles is more than sufficient for a one-way flight from Singapore to Tokyo on Business Class. Assuming you do the redemption online, you will only require 34,000 KrisFlyer Miles and S$34 (at the time of writing) - this flight would have costed you S$3,364 otherwise.
Would you rather spend 20,000 UNI$ on S$250 eVoucher on Jetstar or would you rather pay S$59 (S$34+S$25) to get a complimentary business class flight from Singapore to Tokyo with 6,000 KrisFlyer miles to spare?
Everyone must have heard of the extensive internet regulation and censorship in China and first-time travellers to this country do not always know what to do in order to get around the notorious Great Firewall of China. As I will be traveling to Beijing pretty soon, I have put together a short guide on getting around this regulation and also a number of things to take note of when you travel to China. The first thing any tech-savvy traveller would ask is about the availability of 4G SIM Cards in China. While it is definitely possible to pick one up at the airport (information seems to be rather limited on the internet) or in the city, it may save you a little hassle by settling this in Singapore before you go. Here are three alternatives to buying a SIM Card in China!
Transferring money between friends and families (or even businesses) has just gotten easier with the introduction of a new PayNow service which is now live across all seven participating banks - Citibank, DBS Bank, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB Bank. All you need is the person's mobile number or NRIC number in order to make the transfer (limited to SGD transactions only).
The wait is finally over - Mileslife is now officially launched in Singapore to offer the opportunity to earn more miles on dining, lifestyle and travel spend. To celebrate this momentous occasion, it is offering 4X more miles (up to 20 miles per S$1) on all eligible transactions made on Mileslife. Remember these miles are accorded on top of whatever you earn from your credit cards so there is definitely a huge potential to rake up those miles for free flights on First Class and Business Class!
Uber has changed the way we get around on a day to day basis. While the train is the primary mode of transport for most Singaporeans, there are instances and occasions where a car ride makes a lot more sense because you are rushing for time or simply want a more comfortable journey. If you do use Uber on a very regular basis like me, there are a few things that you can do to save money on these rides - many of which do not require you to do much and simply take an additional second or two to save you money in the long run!
Using the right credit card that will earn you a lot of miles which you can then redeem for free flights is infinitely satisfying. While the HSBC Advance Platinum Visa Credit Card no longer offers 4 miles per dollar (it now offers up to 3.5% cashback) on local dining spend, there are various ways you can still earn a decent amount of miles when you use the right card and double-dip (or even triple-dip) with a number of other promotions! One easy way to do so in Singapore is to combine the use of Chope, Mileslife and the right credit card.
While we all know that the ANZ Travel Card has died a horrible death and that your accrued Travel$ will be converted into DBS Points, it has come to my attention recently that DBS has in fact provided a really good website detailing the upcoming changes and more importantly, what will happen to your existing points and credit card products.
As we mourned the death of various credit cards in the industry lately, I was surprised to find that the OCBC VOYAGE Card (which I covered in-depth HERE) has just been unveiled improved and enhanced travel and lifestyle benefits for cardholders. While I have previously mentioned that cardholders are already able to access a personal concierge service with the credit card, OCBC has just introduced a brand new medical triage service, enhanced travel perks, greater insurance coverage and new merchant partnerships that cardholders can take advantage of immediately.
As we bid farewell to Singapore's best credit card for miles earlier this month, the brand new HSBC Advance Credit Card while nowhere near as impressive as its predecessor, offers up to 3.5% cashback on all eligible purchases. With the proliferation of unlimited cashback cards in the market, this could be a strong contender in the cashback card market if you typically charge a fairly consistent range of expenses to your credit card each month.
Singapore Airlines has just announced the upcoming new benefits that the exclusive PPS Club members will enjoy starting from June 2017. Alongside improvements to mile accruals, redemption for Saver award tickets and fast track security clearance, PPS Club members will also be able to enjoy a brand new PPS Rewards scheme which is dependent on the levels of spend each year. The qualification of Solitaire PPS Club membership will also change from June 2018.
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.