Everyone knows that to me, life is all about getting the miles and points required to travel (or stay!) in a premium cabin (or location) that is otherwise difficult to attain. I have written about Kaligo multiple times and I have more than a handful of articles that justify why everyone should choose miles over cash backs. I feel like I have a moral obligation to reiterate this point every now and then to make sure that people are indeed making the choice that will benefit them most so in this short article, I will show you how spending S$3,200 on Kaligo can give you a free flight in the famous Singapore Airlines Suites cabin to Hong Kong (worth S$2,800) for free - yes that's almost 88% cash back so take that cash back cards!
Kaligo gives you 10 miles per dollar spent on hotel reservations with a number of credit cards by participating banks (Citibank, DBS and UOB). So if like me, you do enjoy a staycation every now and then, imagine what spending S$3,200 a year would give you - well, simple math says it is 32,000 miles. While it is not uncommon for most people to spend S$270 a month on staycations, it is rather uncommon for a young adult to spend S$2,800 on a flight to Hong Kong in Suites cabin. With that being said, did you know that 32,000 KrisFlyer miles will take you from Singapore to Hong Kong in that said cabin?!
In fact, all you need is 31,875 KrisFlyer Miles and S$34 to fly from Singapore to Hong Kong in Suites - do remember to pick an A380 flight like the SQ 860 above.
For comparison purposes, that exact same flight on that same day is selling for S$2,824! To put things into perspective, imagine charging that $3,200 on Kaligo to a cash back card - for simplification purposes, I am just going to give it a flat 7% cash back (that you can get from the Standard Chartered SingPost card but with a number of restrictions). Over the year, if you manage to hit the month requirement of the card, you should be able to get back a maximum of S$224 cash back. I don't know about you but I definitely value a S$2,800 flight more than S$224 in cash back.
I think it fairly clear by now that I favour earning miles over cash back on any given that. Do not get me wrong though - ultimately, cash is king and if you were to offer me a million dollars or a million miles, I would simply go for the former (I think!). The only reason I pick miles over cash back is simple - there isn't a cash back in Singapore (or perhaps anywhere in the world) that offers as much value as what a miles card can give. I tend to take Uber (or Grab) quite a bit in Singapore as well as overseas and one of the questions that I often get from friends is which credit card to use for these rides. Assuming you already have an Uber (click HERE to register otherwise) and Grab account, these are the credit cards that you should probably use for the most bang for your buck (in order of recommendation).
Following the amazing opportunity to purchase 31,200 Citi Miles for S$238, Citibank is now offering Citi PremierMiles Visa Cardholders the opportunity to earn up to 3.5 Citi Miles per dollar (S$1) on all eligible foreign currency transactions charged to this card between 01 December 2017 and 31 January 2018. Registration is absolutely necessary and enrollment needs to be done before you charge the minimum sum to your credit card.
As you may already know, there is currently the opportunity to purchase Starpoints at a 35% discount. Transactions must be completed before the end of 29 December 2017 in order for SPG members to be eligible for this discount. I must have mentioned the way to get to Japan in Business Class using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles a million times but now there is actually the opportunity to get that same flight for even lesser (provided you are traveling alone).
The OCBC VOYAGE Card will be reducing the Voyage Miles (VMs) accrual rate on dining spend from 2.3 VMs per dollar to 1.6 VMs per dollar effective 01 January 2018. Cardmembers will however be able to benefit from a boost in the base earn rate - you will soon be able to earn 1.2 VMs (instead of 1.0 VMs) per dollar on all local retail transactions. Transactions charged in foreign currency will continue to earn 2.3 VMs per dollar (in equivalent SGD).
As far as the hotel industry is concerned, 2017 has been an exciting year with plenty of new hotels that has opened in Singapore over the last eleven months or so. Unfortunately, in the new couple of years ahead, this is expected to slow down even though we will probably be seeing a number of hotels going through refurbishments. The Conrad Centennial Singapore for example, is nearing the end of its refurbishment period and the new rooms are beautiful! This is my list of new hotels in Singapore that will be opening in 2018 (as well as some notable mentions for the future).
About a week ago, I saw the new Bank of China (BOC) Zaobao Credit Card and I almost choked on the water that I was drinking. This sounds almost as ludicrous as the co-branded card with Secret Recipe and Diners Club (there's one for Long Beach too!) and upon further investigation the new BOC Zaobao (which is essentially a Chinese newspaper in Singapore in case anyone was wondering) Credit Card apparently offers up to 20% cash rebates!
No one needs further introduction to one of the most iconic landmarks in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands. The property is the largest hotel in Singapore (with 2,561 rooms and suites) and it occupies a position within the 'World’s 100 Largest Hotels' list. What a lot of people do not realise however is the existence of the Sands Rewards LifeStyle membership program which not only allows you to earn up to 9% Destination Dollars (which can be used across all participating stores) but also gives you a plethora of benefits that range from complimentary parking to free museum passes at the higher tier.
Using Chope is a great way to secure restaurant reservations in Singapore as well as major cities nearby like Bali, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Phuket and Shanghai. I have written about the opportunity to stack promotions on Mileslife and eligible credit cards previously and even though Chope has always allowed you to redeem Chope-Dollars for free restaurant vouchers or Chope Gift Cards, it has only added the option to redeem your Chope-Dollars for KrisFlyer miles from 10 November 2017.
While the ongoing mile accrual rate for most American Express credit cards in Singapore is not something to get excited about, they do have some of the best promotions that are run quite regularly. The American Express Singapore Airlines credit cards were introduced sometime in May 2016 and ever since then, multiple improvements have been made - you can earn up to 5.3 miles per dollar on mobile payments made on Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, you get double miles on Mileslife and now, there is the opportunity to earn up to 3.3 miles per dollar on all Uber and Grab rides with one of the American Express Singapore Airlines credit cards.
With a spectrum of Visa credit cards on offer in Singapore, one of the most elusive one at the highest end is the Visa Infinite. Commonly associated with a minimum annual income requirement of S$120,000 or higher (even though there is apparently an unbranded one that you can get in Singapore for just S$80,000), the Visa Infinite credit card is the most exclusive one you can get amongst the trio of Visa Infinite, Visa Platinum and Visa Signature credit cards.