The OCBC 360 Account was a game changer in Singapore - for most of us average Singaporeans, the account brought the pathetic 0.05% interest rates offered by most banks to something that was decent enough to make us switchover (even from Standard Chartered Bonus$aver). Once this has taken off, UOB quickly followed with the One Account (click HERE to find out whether the OCBC 360 or UOB One is better!) to steal some of the market share. A couple of days ago, Standard Chartered unveiled the brand new Bonus$aver (Bonus Saver) Deposit Account that gives up to 3.88% interest p.a. on your first S$100,000 deposit balance (OCBC and UOB applies the bonus interest on the first S$60,000 and S$50,000 respectively only).
In order for you to earn the maximum interest rate (3.88%) the first S$100,000 of your deposit balance, you will have to complete four different tasks (each with a different bonus interest rate tied to it).
+1.00% from Salary Credit
In order for you to earn an additional percent of bonus interest, you will have to credit your monthly salary (at least S$3,000 nett) into the Standard Chartered Bonus$aver account by way of a GIRO application. Since the required amount is calculated post-CPF deductions, you should be making at least S$3,750 per month in order for this bonus interest to trigger.
+1.88% from Spending
If you wish to trigger this bonus, you will have to spend at least S$2,000 (or equivalent in foreign currency) per calendar month based on the posting date of transactions. Spending anywhere between S$500 and S$1,999.99 will only give you 0.88% (instead of 1.88%)!
+0.75% from Investing with Standard Chartered
If you invest on your own, good for you but in order for the 0.75% bonus interest to trigger, you will have to either purchase an eligible insurance policy (at least S$12,000 annual premium) or have a minimum subscription sum of S$30,000 in an eligible unit trust. Your investments with other brokers don't count towards this obviously.
+0.25% from Bill Payments
The last one is pretty simple - all you have to do is to make at least 3 bill payments (through GIRO or internet banking) of at least S$50 each to qualify for the bonus interest.
You should definitely check out the nifty little calculator that Standard Chartered has on the website to see whether is it worth switching over. If you have at least S$100,000 in your account, it's not a bad idea to put your money here as the threshold for bonus interest is comparatively higher to both OCBC and UOB.
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.