Everyone knows about the major loyalty programs and the general saving tips in the market. Miles are amazing since they allow you to experience premium cabin products without having to actually pay for it. With that being said, wouldn't it be better to get both miles and cash back though? Here are 5 lesser known ways that I have discovered over the years to help you save more money and earn more miles in 2017.
1. PAssion Card - Groceries and Health Products
The PAssion Card is not reserved for 'aunties' looking to accrue points for cash rebates but it is also used as a way to supplement general spending. You can earn 1 TapForMore Point with each S$1 you spend at participating merchants like Cold Storage, Giant, Guardian, Marketplace and Jasons. 1 TapForMore Point can be converted into approximately 0.43 KrisFlyer Miles (which are extremely important for getting free flights on redemption) and you should definitely supplement spending with say the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card which gives you up to 4 Miles per S$1 - this improves your earn rate by almost 11% since you can now earn up to 4.43 Miles per S$1.
2. ShopBack - Get Bonus Cashback (including Travel)
When given the option to choose between miles and cash back, you should almost definitely go for the former since miles have the potential to give you a far more superior cashback value (in premium cabin award spaces). Honestly, ShopBack has given me a lot of 'free money' back from my travel expenses. I tend to book with hotels directly since it allows me to earn eligible nights and points which in turn helps to retain my elite status with the program. Using ShopBack means I can still do the same and get somewhere between 2% to 6% back on my hotel expenses - it would be stupid not to! The percentage value does not sound like much but if you spend quite a bit on travel (or even just online shopping) like I do, you can expect to see a couple of hundred dollars per year via ShopBack which is still pretty good!
Get S$10 Referral Credit here: https://www.shopback.sg/?raf=RR3klK
3. Chope - Dining Reservations
If you enjoy dining out, you definitely have to use Chope. I have written a number of articles on Chope and I personally use it quite religiously since it now earns me 150 Chope-Dollars per completed reservation - this is equivalent to S$4.50 back in dining vouchers and the app is a breeze to use. For a limited time only, get 300 Chope-Dollars (equivalent to S$9) with your first fulfilled reservation that you make on Chope. Get 100 Chope-Dollars (at least!) with every subsequent reservation. Using the app is super easy and a reservation usually takes a couple of seconds to make and you get rewarded for going to a place that you were already going anyway.
Get 300 Chope-Dollars Here: http://cho.pe/ShutterWhale
4. Eatigo - Huge Dining Discounts (up to 50%)
Eatigo is one of those things that I feel terrible for using - simply because restaurants sometimes give up to 50% discount (on food items only) when you dine at a less busy time. Since I tend to go for lunch early to avoid the crazy lunch crowd, it is not uncommon to see discounts ranging for 30% to 50% for dining at 11:30AM (just 30 minutes earlier than when most people go). Eatigo also runs regular promotion to offer complimentary CapitaVouchers after a diner has fulfilled a number of dining reservations. Currently, you can earn S$25 CapitaVoucher with 5 completed reservations. Obviously, you will not be able to stack Eatigo with Chope since they are both independent booking platforms but if you are dining in a merchant that is on Eatigo, you are obviously better off with a discount and a voucher.
5. Loyalty Programs - Be Rewarded Always
I recently got 10,000 free miles on Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan by simply linking my Virgin America Elevate program with it - I have never flown with either airlines but have gotten 10,000 free miles for simply having an account and linking it before 31 January 2017 (click HERE for more information). You may never know when merger and acquisitions happen (hey look at Marriott and Starwood) but it is almost always a good idea to have an existing account and status with programs. Try to sign-up for a loyalty program every time you can (even if you think you will not stay in that same chain again) and use a platform like AwardWallet (click HERE to learn more about AwardWallet!) to track these valuable points and miles to make sure they do not expire before you use them.
6. Mileslife - Lifestyle Spending (Number Six, I Know...)
Mileslife allows you to earn extra miles on dining, hotel stays and various lifestyle spends like spa packages and even tours. Before you get too excited, it is currently available in China only but there are talks about bringing this to Singapore. To understand how Mileslife works, check out my article on Mileslife and register for an account now.
Get 1,000 Bonus MIles with Mileslife: https://www.mileslife.com/useraccount/invite/?code=kVINLf&language=en