When I got an email today notifying me that I am now able to enjoy 'complimentary rides with Citi points', I was interested - I knew it was going to be bad but I clicked on it anyway to find out how bad exactly could it be. If you have been reading all those articles I have written about earning miles, then you should know that it is not difficult to get S$50-100 worth of value from 1,000 Miles. This limited time promotion (until 07 November 2016) allows you to offset your Grab ride with a fixed redemption rate by utilising some of your precious miles and points.
I did pick up a nifty little trick from this EDM though - I did not know you could easily check on your existing points or miles balance by doing the following:
Send an SMS to 72484:
Enter "RWDSBAL<space>Last 4 Digits Of Your Cardnumber"
e.g. RWDSBAL 1234
Anyhow, the more important and interesting bit about The Grab Pay with Points Promotion is this:
The rate of conversion of Points/Miles is as follows:
every 360 Points = S$1.00
every 120 Miles = S$1.00
Apparently, after you charge a Grab ride to an eligible Citibank card, you will be given the option to offset the amount using the above conversion rates (via SMS). Let's put things into perspective - 360 Points will equate to 144 Miles and therefore if you REALLY have to do this, you are better off using your Citi Miles since it will cost you less. With that being said, taking the best case scenario, you are only getting S$8.33 value with every 1,000 Miles with this promotion (as compared to getting S$50 to S$100 value).
Do yourself a favour and stay clear from this promotion, and hey, you might as well do the following now:
To stop* receiving the Grab pay with points redemption message:
Send an SMS to 72484:
Enter "RWPWP<space>Last 4 Digits Of Your Cardnumber<space>GRABSTOP"
e.g. RWPWP 1234 GRABSTOP
*Please note that this is applicable only to the Grab pay with points/miles promotion ending on 7 November 2016. It will only apply to the card account submitted.
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.
As 2016 comes to an end, it is important to look ahead in the new year and plan for your mileage accrual (and redemption!) next year. Miles are worth a lot - especially when you use them wisely and redeem them in premium cabin classes. Obviously, there are people in the market that prefers cash backs over miles for instant gratification and sometimes I feel like no amount of convincing can sway them over but in all honestly, we need them. We can't have the whole Singapore fighting to redeem those premium cabin seats all at once! So here it is, the list of the best credit cards in Singapore to get in order to earn maximum miles.