Even though I have had a terrible first experience with uberPOOL, it has improved ever since then and my trips seem to take only 10 minutes extra on average (which to me is very reasonable). Uber Singapore has just announced that uberX rides are now fixed rates so essentially what you see is what you pay - well the banks still charge a cross border fee of 0.8% (which is not controlled by Uber) so you still need to slap on that 0.8% fee to get what is being charged on your credit card statement.
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1. EVERYTHING is Included
Unlike GrabCar rides, the new fixed rates will even integrate the ERP charges into the final sum (oh the power of predictive data!) so there's no need to walk away feeling like you have been cheated (I know that feeling of having a S$7 ERP charge levied on top of a base rate in the morning).
2. Cross Border Fees still Apply!
Unfortunately even Citibank and DBS has jumped on the wagon of charging cross border fees - this is essentially a fee that banks charge for transactions processed by a payment gateway that is outside of Singapore in SGD. So if you get charged S$12 on an uberX ride, be prepared to see S$12.10 (due to a 0.8% cross border fee levied by your bank) on your credit card statement.
3. Get Cash Back of S$0.30 with ShopBack
While S$0.30 cash back is incredibly pathetic but if you do have a ShopBack account (and of course you should), forwarding an email at the end of a trip of S$0.30 (it takes just 2 seconds!) is really not a bad deal. If like me you take a trip once a day on average, this is S$9 a month that you can put towards buy yourself two cups of coffee - besides, free money!
While checking out room rates this evening on the Hilton HHonors app, I noticed something a little different - the first result is the Hilton Garden Inn Serangoon which is apparently coming soon (first Hong Kong, now us?!). I did not actually know (assuming this is right) that there is a Hilton Garden Inn opening in Singapore (this could be great news for us Hilton HHonors members) and with a little digging, I found a little more proof to back this speculation.
Last month, I shared how easy it is to basically earn money for each fulfilled dining reservation that you make via Chope. If you are the kind that enjoys making dinner reservations for yourself (or even for your family and friends), you should check out Chope since it is essentially a free service that rewards you with 100 Chope-Dollars (equivalent to S$3 in dining credit) each time you make an eligible booking. In fact, for a limited time only, earn up to 300 Chope-Dollars (equivalent to S$9) when you sign-up and use Chope for the first time.
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!).
While I am still trying to grasp all the amazing features on ExpertFlyer, I wanted to feature a small piece on searching for award and upgrade redemptions using this pretty impressive tool. I have to mention from the start that ExpertFlyer requires a paid subscription for more robust and advanced queries - there is however a free account where you can sign-up for seat alerts but you will require a Basic or Premium account to search for award redemptions (there is a free trial that you can sign-up for though!).
Hakone is a popular spot for a day-trip if you are visiting Tokyo - in fact, I would recommended staying the night if you do not wish to rush through the whole thing. During my latest visit to Tokyo, I stayed at the Hilton Tokyo for the first half of the trip and getting from the hotel to Hakone was relatively easy. With that being said, there were things that I wish I knew before heading to Hakone from Tokyo so I hope this guide will benefit someone out there who is looking for a Hakone itinerary (or simply a quick guide).
I love dining out but I generally like going to places with a reservation - there is nothing more upsetting than finding a fully-booked restaurant when you have already made up your mind on what to eat. Chope solves that problem for me since I can always make a reservation easily (some restaurants do not take same-day reservations unfortunately so you will still have to call them) and more importantly, it allows me to accrue Chope-Dollars which I can then use to purchase discounted dining vouchers on the Chope shop. Here are some reasons why you should use Chope every time you go out for a meal!
While there are many VPN providers out there in the market, it is not common to see one that offers over 500 servers in 141 countries. While I do travel out of Singapore from time to time, I am usually logged on to a WiFi connection somewhere and one of the things that I am most concerned about when transacting over an unsecured network is privacy. While public WiFi signals are great for getting work done (be it in a cafe or in a hotel), security can be a real issue if you do not take necessary precautions.
As 2016 comes to an end, I am once again faced with an interesting problem - the InterContinental Ambassador renewal. While I have not come close to maximising the benefits this year, I have gotten the published benefits (upgrade and late check-out at the InterContinental Singapore) on all my paid stays. The only question now is this: should I renew my InterContinental Ambassador membership with points or by cash?
If you saw my article last week on the credit cards to get in 2017, you would have (and should have!) noticed a new addition - the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card. Let's be honest here, OCBC has not been on the list of credit cards to get (for mile accrual) in the last couple of years. So when I found out that the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card now gives up to 10X OCBC$ (which translates into 4 miles per dollar), I had to check it out for myself. My conclusion? This could very well be OCBC's best credit card in the market right now for mile chasers.