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.
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.
A couple of months ago, I introduced Mileslife which is an app to help you earn more miles (on top of the regular miles and points you earn with your credit cards) on everyday lifestyle spending like dining, hotels and spa packages (just to name a few). If you have been accruing miles in Singapore via credit card spend, you should definitely consider using Mileslife for dining since you will earn at least 1 mile per dollar extra on top of your credit card points at participating merchants. In fact, some merchants offer up to 3 miles per dollar and if you were to combine it with the triple miles promotion that is running until 20 June 2017, you can easily be earning up to 9 miles extra per dollar (on top of your credit card) on your dining spends. Sign-up for Mileslife now and use my referral code 'SHUTTERWHALE' to get 1,500 bonus miles (with any participating Frequent Flyer Program of your choice) after spending S$39. Link your FPP to your Mileslife account before 30 June 2017 to get an additional 100 bonus miles.
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.