So the madness has finally hit Singapore - that's right Pokemon Go is live in Singapore now. When I got out of the house this afternoon to grab an early lunch, I noticed people with their faces stuck to their phones walking around pretty aimlessly. It is actually pretty easy to spot a Pokemon Trainer - they walk to a certain spot (supposedly a PokeStop) for some freebies, hang out there for a couple of seconds then make their way to the next. In any case, if you are part of this millennial revolution and wish to purchase PokeCoins in the game (how else are you going to get a lure module?!), here's a quick breakdown of which one to get:
|PokeCoins||Price (SGD)||Price per 100 PokeCoins||Discount|
Obviously it is going to be cheaper as you buy more (yup, you can actually spend S$148.98 on PokeCoins at one go if it is THAT important to you) but some options offer greater incremental discount per dollar if you are thinking about trading up. Purchasing 100 PokeCoins is definitely a bad idea - if you are not that serious about the game but want to get ahead of everyone (or if you are an ambitious business owner), your best bet is 550 PokeCoins at S$6.98 which offers you 14.3% discount. In case you are wondering, buying 1,200 PokeCoins is also not wise - you should choose between 550 or 2,500 for the greatest increment discount per dollar on trading up.
KrisFlyer vRooms now allows KrisFlyer members to use their valuable miles on hotel stays and car rentals but the bottom line is this - save your miles for those Business Class and First Class flights instead. Now I have no expertise in car rentals but I dare say that I have had my fair share of hotel stays over the years.
Japan is very much a cash-based society and it drives me crazy for a number of reason. Firstly, I personally do not like carrying coins since getting rid of them is always a bit of a pain. Secondly, every time I transact using cash is a missed opportunity at earning miles - the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card gives me 3 miles per SGD on foreign currency transactions with a S$2,000 minimum spend requirement in each statement period. With all that being said, a lot of the shops here in Tokyo at least accept the use of Pasmo and Suica cards. I have been using a Pasmo card for the last couple of years but I found out quite recently that it is possible to add a Suica card into your iPhone (or Apple Watch) so you can use it very conveniently with your preferred Apple device but more importantly, it creates a proxy to use your credit card(s) via the Suica card (which means you can potentially earn 8 miles per dollar on your next bowl of ramen!).
One of the most common mistakes that people who are new to flying make is crediting their flights into the wrong Frequent Flyer Program (FFP). As many of you would already know, crediting your flights into the right FFP can make a huge difference and I just wanted to highlight this point on a number of flights that I have taken recently. If you have been following me on Instagram, you would have noticed that I travelled to the USA recently on Emirates Business Class - this is a return Business Saver ticket from Singapore (SIN) to New York (JFK) via Dubai (DXB).
With the upcoming Grab-Uber merger on the horizon, there is no better time than now to revisit the best credit cards and platforms to use for Grab rides (especially with the recent introduction of new membership programs). This article aims to highlight a combination of promotions and offers that you can use to get most value out of your Grab rides in Singapore (even though some of them apply to rides taken overseas as well) and while it may not be exhaustive, it will definitely help you save more money on your Grab rides on the whole.
Everyone knows about the acquisition of SPG by Marriott International and as most of us would have expected, all three loyalty programs which are operating independently today (even though they are linked and points can be transferred freely between them), will come together to form one powerful program. Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards as well as the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programme will be unified in August 2018 to offer loyalty benefits across all 29 brands that are under the Marriott International portfolio - a brand new loyalty program name will only be unveiled in 2019.
Many of you have already heard about the Changi Rewards program which to put it simply, gives you Changi Rewards (CR) points for every S$10 that you spend at participating merchants. These CR points can then be used to offset your next eligible purchase (1,000 CR points = S$5 rebate). Alternatively, you may choose to convert your CR points into valuable KrisFlyer miles (which you can then use on things like free First Class flights) or things like vouchers amongst other things. There are also a number of benefits that you get with the Changi Rewards program but the point of this article is to introduce the different membership tiers as well as qualification requirement.
The OCBC 360 Account is one of my preferred saving accounts of choice since it gives up to 3.05% p.a. in bonus interest on up to S$70,000 of your account balance. It also gives an additional 1% p.a. on the first S$70,000 if your account balance is S$200,000 and above (but this is something you should ignore since there are better ways to invest your money). There is currently a promotion (which reminds me a little bit of the previous promotional mechanics) which offers an extra 1% p.a. interest on incremental balance based on the month on month average.
Stacking the Uber benefits from the LiveUp membership as well as Standard Chartered's 20% cashback promotion has been the way to go for us Singaporeans but with the Grab-Uber merger (even though it might not go through that quickly since it has apparently infringed on the Competition Act) on the horizon, we may need to reevaluate our strategies. SCORE is a new subscription-based membership which offers members exclusive privileges (read: discounts) on Grab as well as FairPrice. While I am personally not particularly interested in the LinkPoints or FairPrice benefits that come with this membership, I am curious about the ones that you can use on Grab.
As some of you may know, the UOB PVRI Miles Visa Card is a Visa Infinite credit card even though it is not marketed as one - the card face simply shows Visa (without Platinum, Signature or Visa Infinite branding under it). It seems that from 01 April 2018 however, UOB will be making it a Visa Signature card officially. There will be no changes to the earn rates and you will continue to earn miles (in the form of UNI$s) on local and overseas spend at 1.4 and 2.4 miles per dollar respectively.
UOB used to be one of the banks to go to for credit cards (especially for us mile-chasers) and at one point in my life, I have held over five credit cards from this bank alone. I loved that the fact that the UNI$s (the name for UOB's point currency) accrued from all cards were pooled into a singular account (which means you only paid the FFP transfer fee once) and how they seem to have a card for every significant purpose. However, in my opinion, the bank has gone downhill from where it was, at least where credit cards are concerned.