I am a strong advocate for full-service carriers but one of the frustrations that I face with heavily discounted Economy tickets is the low mileage accrual rate (yes, I am looking at you, Singapore Airlines!). Airlines regularly run promotions with exceptional rates - for instance, you can get a return trip to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok for just S$158 and S$188 per person respectively. These promotions generally require a minimum of 2 (or 3!) to travel and they are more likely than not in a fare class that earns you only 10% of the actual miles flown.
You should always check the fare class (especially if you are flying in Economy) to find out how many miles are you getting exactly - you can then decide whether flying on a discounted ticket is worth it since there are usually blackout dates and travel conditions that you will have to fulfill.
Flying from SIN to BKK is approximately 875 miles (you can always estimate the flight distance with an online tool like the Great Circle Mapper). Airlines will usually display their fare class one way or another - all you have to do is to click on that little "i" icon under the fare and it will show you what percentage of the actual miles flown can be earned from this flight.
For more information, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the "Full fare rules and conditions" link - this will allow you to see which fare class the ticket is for exactly. Knowing which fare class is important since it will allow you to know how many miles will you roughly earn for the flight - remember these miles are usually elite-qualifying miles (find out more achieving elite status with the KrisFlyer program here!).
Unfortunately, heavily discounted tickets (especially on Singapore Airlines) generally mean lower mile accrual - you will only earn 10% of the actual distance flown on this flight. Since the distance between SIN and BKK is around 875 miles, you will probably earn only 88 miles on this leg of the flight (using a right credit card for lunch can easily earn you 100-200 miles instead).
With all that being said, I recently chanced upon Where To Credit which essentially tells you where you should credit your miles in. While in this case, flying on a 'K' Fare Class does not earn you anymore miles in other programs, there are various instances where you are better off depositing your miles somewhere else.
While most banks in Singapore allow you to convert your points (or equivalent currency) earned from credit card spend into Airline or Hotel points, Citibank has one of the most comprehensive list of points transfer partners - I have previously counted the total number of partners to be at 12 but they have apparently removed Delta Skymiles from the list. There are currently 11 airline points transfer partners for Citibank if you hold an eligible credit card in Singapore.
Everyone must have heard of the extensive internet regulation and censorship in China and first-time travellers to this country do not always know what to do in order to get around the notorious Great Firewall of China. As I will be traveling to Beijing pretty soon, I have put together a short guide on getting around this regulation and also a number of things to take note of when you travel to China. The first thing any tech-savvy traveller would ask is about the availability of 4G SIM Cards in China. While it is definitely possible to pick one up at the airport (information seems to be rather limited on the internet) or in the city, it may save you a little hassle by settling this in Singapore before you go. Here are three alternatives to buying a SIM Card in China!
Transferring money between friends and families (or even businesses) has just gotten easier with the introduction of a new PayNow service which is now live across all seven participating banks - Citibank, DBS Bank, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB Bank. All you need is the person's mobile number or NRIC number in order to make the transfer (limited to SGD transactions only).
The wait is finally over - Mileslife is now officially launched in Singapore to offer the opportunity to earn more miles on dining, lifestyle and travel spend. To celebrate this momentous occasion, it is offering 4X more miles (up to 20 miles per S$1) on all eligible transactions made on Mileslife. Remember these miles are accorded on top of whatever you earn from your credit cards so there is definitely a huge potential to rake up those miles for free flights on First Class and Business Class!
Uber has changed the way we get around on a day to day basis. While the train is the primary mode of transport for most Singaporeans, there are instances and occasions where a car ride makes a lot more sense because you are rushing for time or simply want a more comfortable journey. If you do use Uber on a very regular basis like me, there are a few things that you can do to save money on these rides - many of which do not require you to do much and simply take an additional second or two to save you money in the long run!
Using the right credit card that will earn you a lot of miles which you can then redeem for free flights is infinitely satisfying. While the HSBC Advance Platinum Visa Credit Card no longer offers 4 miles per dollar (it now offers up to 3.5% cashback) on local dining spend, there are various ways you can still earn a decent amount of miles when you use the right card and double-dip (or even triple-dip) with a number of other promotions! One easy way to do so in Singapore is to combine the use of Chope, Mileslife and the right credit card.
While we all know that the ANZ Travel Card has died a horrible death and that your accrued Travel$ will be converted into DBS Points, it has come to my attention recently that DBS has in fact provided a really good website detailing the upcoming changes and more importantly, what will happen to your existing points and credit card products.
As we mourned the death of various credit cards in the industry lately, I was surprised to find that the OCBC VOYAGE Card (which I covered in-depth HERE) has just been unveiled improved and enhanced travel and lifestyle benefits for cardholders. While I have previously mentioned that cardholders are already able to access a personal concierge service with the credit card, OCBC has just introduced a brand new medical triage service, enhanced travel perks, greater insurance coverage and new merchant partnerships that cardholders can take advantage of immediately.
As we bid farewell to Singapore's best credit card for miles earlier this month, the brand new HSBC Advance Credit Card while nowhere near as impressive as its predecessor, offers up to 3.5% cashback on all eligible purchases. With the proliferation of unlimited cashback cards in the market, this could be a strong contender in the cashback card market if you typically charge a fairly consistent range of expenses to your credit card each month.
A couple of months ago, I introduced Mileslife which is an app to help you earn more miles (on top of the regular miles and points you earn with your credit cards) on everyday lifestyle spending like dining, hotels and spa packages (just to name a few). If you have been accruing miles in Singapore via credit card spend, you should definitely consider using Mileslife for dining since you will earn at least 1 mile per dollar extra on top of your credit card points at participating merchants. In fact, some merchants offer up to 3 miles per dollar and if you were to combine it with the triple miles promotion that is running until 20 June 2017, you can easily be earning up to 9 miles extra per dollar (on top of your credit card) on your dining spends. Sign-up for Mileslife now and use my referral code 'SHUTTERWHALE' to get 1,500 bonus miles (with any participating Frequent Flyer Program of your choice) after spending S$39. Link your FPP to your Mileslife account before 30 June 2017 to get an additional 100 bonus miles.