Update: 10X HSBC Rewards Points extended until 31 May 2017!
I have written a number of articles on which credit card to get in Singapore in order to maximise miles accrual and I have always deliberately excluded the HSBC Advance Visa Platinum Credit Card because of the conditions required to get this card (it is not just about the annual income requirement). More importantly, the 10X HSBC Rewards Points promotion was supposed to end last year but it has been extended until 31 May 2017.
First things first, all applicants for the HSBC Advance Visa Platinum Credit Card have got to be an existing HSBC Advance account holder. In order to hold a valid HSBC Advance account (it isn't a priority banking account but perhaps more the likes of a preferred account), you will have to fulfill one of the following four requirements (even though three of them are probably more relevant to most people):
- Total Relationship Balance of at least S$30,000 in deposits, investments and/or insurance, with 6 months’ grace period to place in your funds
- Home Loan with an initial loan quantum of at least S$200,000
- Salary credit of S$3,750 per month, with 24 months grace period from Advance relationship opening to reach Total Relationship Balance of at least S$30,000
- Reoccurring deposit of at least S$2,500 per month, with 24 months grace period from Advance relationship opening to reach Total Relationship Balance of at least S$30,000
Once you hold a valid HSBC Advance account, you can then go ahead and apply for the HSBC Advance Visa Platinum Credit Card which comes with the following amazing perks (that will be valid until 31 May 2017 - I am crossing my fingers and toes that HSBC will extend these benefits):
- 10x Rewards on online transactions (4 Miles per S$1)
- 10x Rewards on local dining transactions (4 Miles per S$1)
- 10x Rewards on local entertainment transactions (4 Miles per S$1)
- Perpetual Annual Fee Waiver (hurrah!)
Wait a minute you say, what's so great about 10X rewards on online transactions (we have the DBS Woman's World MasterCard no?!) and the 10X rewards on local dining transactions (yup, we have the UOB Preferred Platinum American Express which gives 10X rewards on overseas dining too!)? Well with the HSBC Advance Visa Platinum Credit Card, there is no cap to the number of points (and therefore miles) you can earn - there is no minimum spending and no cap so go forth and spend! Of course the only catch now is that this amazing benefit will end on 31 May 2017.
I chanced upon the Singapore Airlines HighFlyer programme today which is basically a frequent flyer program for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for up to 30 traveling employees. The HighFlyer programme does not replace the KrisFlyer Program (find out more about KrisFlyer and PPS HERE!) and it is simply a free program that translates business travel expenses into cost savings.
The new UOB Rewards portal is beautiful and it is a huge step-up from the older UOB Rewards Plus portal. While trying to redeem some KrisFlyer Miles however, I realised that the new portal only allows you to redeem up to a maximum of 9 units - obviously with a per-transaction fee of S$25, I would want to maximise the number of miles that I am redeeming for to suit my travel requirements.
When I visited Bali a couple of months back, I checked out the regional business class product on Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Denpasar and I stayed at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort. Since it was my first visit to Seminyak in Bali (I have always stayed within the confines of Nusa Dua only), I made it a point to check out some pretty famous restaurants and cafes in the area to find out for myself what the fuss was all about - here are my top five places to check out if you are Seminyak (most of them can be accessed by foot if you stay at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort).
Two months ago, I wrote about the reasons on why you should cancel your ANZ Travel Card since the business unit is already sold to DBS and more importantly, the ANZ Travel Card has essentially no more travel benefits. If for some reason, you are still holding on to it (I am personally waiting for the renewal miles to post since I was charged the annual fee prior to 01 April 2017), it is worth noting that your reward points (including Travel$) will be converted into DBS Points from 06 June 2017 (or 19 June 2017 for KrisFlyer Miles redemption).
If you have been following the website long enough, you would notice that I stay in hotels quite a bit - I see it as a platform to earn more miles (since most of the payments happen online) and more importantly, it is a way to retain my loyalty status(es) each year. What a lot of people do not realise however is that most credit cards (with the exception of Citibank) in Singapore allow you to convert your points into Asia Miles (read about the program HERE!) and KrisFlyer Miles only. I have recently fallen in love with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account - you can fly on Japan Airlines' Business Class from Singapore to Tokyo, have a complimentary stopover, and then continue to somewhere else in Asia (e.g. Bangkok or Jakarta).
Most credit card miles and points in Singapore can convert into either the ever-popular KrisFlyer Miles or the lesser-known Asia Miles (Citibank is the only bank in Singapore to offer miles and points conversion to 12 airline partners). Most of us have taken the stand and preference to accrue on Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer programme but with the recent devaluation, many of us have started to look beyond the usual redemption on SQ/MI and Star Alliance metal. The next immediate frequent flyer loyalty programme of interest is Asia Miles (since all banks in Singapore allow conversion into it) but what exactly is the difference between The Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles?
I have been a strong advocate for OCBC Bank's 360 Account for the longest time and even with the recent changes that went into effect on 01 April 2017, it is still a great account to have - you now receive bonus interest on up to S$70,000 in the account. Almost every other major bank in Singapore has a competing product and I have previously concluded that the UOB One Account is not optimal since you only earn an effective rate of 2.43% instead of the 3.33% that they advertise. Standard Chartered Bank has a Bonus$aver (yes, it is unfortunately spelled that way) that apparently offers up to 3.88% p.a. of interest which sounds significantly more than what OCBC Bank advertises with the 360 Account. Find out which is better in this article!
In order to help everyone keep track of the discontinuation and extension of credit card promotions in Singapore, I will be posting a series of summaries every couple of months. These summaries will basically tell you which mile-related promotions have been extended and which credit cards to ditch - no I will not be tracking dining or shopping promotions.
The city of Yangon in Myanmar offers one of the most authentic and raw travel experiences that I have had in recent years. During my weekend travel to Yangon, I stayed in one of the Horizon Club Rooms at the Sule Shangri-La, Yangon. One of the things that I had difficult with most (since I am a fairly unadventurous traveller) during my stay was where to find food - so I have gone ahead to put together five of my favourite restaurants that I have checked out in Yangon.
Back in September 2016, a partnership between Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Singapore Airlines was announced. Members are now able to enjoy reciprocal benefits, fast-track to elite status and convert points freely (albeit at a terrible rate) with the Infinite Journeys arrangement. Today, Warmer Welcomes invites both Golden Circle (from Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts) and Taj InnerCircle (from Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces) to enjoy reciprocal benefits between the two loyalty programs.