I started The Shutterwhale with the motivation to write about the things I love and more importantly, to serve as a platform for me to personally indulge in my obsession with hotel loyalty programs and mile accruals (on credit card especially). Here are some articles that I have written that I believe will help you in your quest in obtaining a million miles (or whatever target you have in mind). If you do not seem to be able to find what you are looking for, feel free to try the Search function below or contact me personally.
Credit Card Articles
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.
I knew I had to share this piece of news the moment I saw it - not because American Express is ranked number 1 again in the 2016 Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study but because it has been quantified and how often do you actually see a press release with a graph?! According to the study, the overall satisfaction index ranking is based on a 1,000-point scale and American Express has come up on top with 738 points, beating the study average by 41 points.
As part of The Great Singapore Airlines Getaway, American Express Cardholders who are amongst the first 1,000 to register for the following promotion will enjoy S$50 Statement Credit for simply spending S$1,500 on Singapore Airlines during September 2016.
If you follow The Shutterwhale on Facebook, you should have seen my rant this morning on the changes to the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card's unlimited Airport Lounge benefit that came into effect this morning. One of the last few benefits of this card used to be the unlimited access to Veloce lounges all over the world but now that has been taken away and been replaced with a conditional DragonPass access instead.
Even though I have had a terrible first experience with uberPOOL, it has improved ever since then and my trips seem to take only 10 minutes extra on average (which to me is very reasonable). Uber Singapore has just announced that uberX rides are now fixed rates so essentially what you see is what you pay - well the banks still charge a cross border fee of 0.8% (which is not controlled by Uber) so you still need to slap on that 0.8% fee to get what is being charged on your credit card statement.
I was reading the news earlier this morning and I chanced upon the newly released American Express Explorer Credit Card in Australia. Before anyone in Singapore gets super excited, we are not sure at this moment whether or not it will be made available to us here in the Lion City but just take a look at that card!
The Citibank Rewards Card is one of my favourite credit cards in Singapore - it offers up to 10X Rewards (equivalent to 4 miles per S$1) for up to S$12,000 each year. Yes, this means that the total number of bonus miles (10X) you can get each year from this card is 120,000 Citi Dollars (which converts into 48,000 Miles). To get around this problem, most of us hold both the Visa Signature and WORLD MasterCard versions to double this limit (you do have to charge them separately though). Between now and 31 October 2016, enjoy 20X Rewards (that's 8 miles per S$1) when you charge retail purchases on these two cards.
American Express is the Official Card Partner of the MICHELIN Guide Singapore and card members will be able to enjoy a suite of privileges. Between 22 July 2016 and 21 July 2017, purchase Singapore's very first The Michelin Guide Singapore 2016 at 50% off. In fact, selected card members will also be able to get the Guide before it goes on sale to the public.
In partnership with CapitaLand Mall Asia, CapitaLand, American Express has launched Singapore's only multi-mall loyalty credit card - the American Express CapitaCard. Back by CapitaLand's rewards programme CAPITASTAR, cardholders of CapitaCard will be able to enjoy the highest STAR$ earn rates in the market - these STAR$s can be redeemed for free CapitaVouchers and parking privileges in participating CapitaLand malls.
Earn up to 8 miles per dollar on all eligible bookings made on Expedia with your DBS Altitude Visa or American Express credit cards - registration is absolutely necessary in order to earn bonus miles. Read on for the summarised version of the terms and conditions - watch out as NOT ALL FLIGHTS WILL EARN YOU BONUS MILES.
While it is not uncommon for points to accrue on the principal cardholder's account when supplementary cardholders make eligible spend, it is quite rare for banks to allow cardholders to transfer points between two parties (especially when they are not directly related). Even though the benefits from the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card have been diluted over the years, it is still a pretty decent card to have when you consider everything else. Paying S$200 a year for 10,000 bonus Travel$ (which converts into 10,000 miles) is not necessarily a bad idea so long you know how to use your miles wisely. What a lot of people do not realise however is that it is actually possible to transfer your Travel$ to another ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Principal Cardholder.
Similar to one of the amazing perks that you get with the Citi Prestige Card, American Express is now offering a complimentary night at any participating PARKROYAL hotel around the world when you pay for two nights - that's right, you will get the third night for free! This offer is valid from 01 June 2016 to 31 August 2016 and you can benefit from this promotion for up to two complimentary nights per stay.
Everyone should hold a DBS Woman's World MasterCard - that's right, even guys! DBS has revealed new terms and conditions for the ever-popular credit card and before we get too worried about losing 10X points on online purchases (even in very grey areas), let's have a look at the new T&Cs document.
Everyone loves tangible travel privileges that you can enjoy with your credit card. It's not uncommon (though it is becoming increasingly difficult) to get airport limousine transfers from credit card spend and most decent credit cards give you a few lounge accesses every year. The Citi ULTIMA is an elite credit card that is not commonly advertised and the reason for that is very simple - it's by invitation-only and it requires an AUM of S$5,000,000 (compare this to Priority Banking in Singapore!).
In conjunction with Apple Pay launching in Singapore, the five participating banks have revealed their promotions. Even though I thought UOB had the best deal of a S$10 Cash Rebate initially, it is pretty disappointing to see that it is only valid for 25 May 2016 (today) only. All the information below are accurate at the time of writing and it seems like Standard Chartered cardholders will have the most benefit - up to S$50 rebate! Check out the summary below for all the Apple Pay Promotions in Singapore,
If you do not have a UOB Preferred Platinum American Express card which gives 4 miles per dollar on dining, chances are that you are now unable to apply for it anymore - existing cardholders should have them until they expire. The greatest alternative to the aforementioned card is probably the HSBC Advance Visa Platinum card but did you know that you have to be a HSBC Advance account holder in order to apply?
You should know by now that Kaligo gives you 10 miles per S$1 spend if you use an eligible Citibank or UOB Credit Card. Remember you have until 31 May 2016 (that's the end of this month) to earn an additional 1,000 bonus Citi Miles when you make an eligible reservation (minimum S$200 spend) - this is on top of the bonus Citi Miles that you will earn!
The Citi PremierMiles Visa Card occupies a permanent spot in my wallet and also because you get 10,000 Citi Miles when you renew the card every year for an annual fee - find out more about buying miles in Singapore here! It is also possible to earn 10 miles per S$1 when you make hotel reservations via Kaligo with an eligible credit card. If for some reason, you do not already have this card in your wallet, read on to find out how you can earn 30,000 bonus miles (on top of the regular accrual of Citi Miles) when you sign-up now!
The UOB PRVI Miles American Express card will soon get contactless payment enabled - could this be a step towards the whole Apple Pay movement? If you are an existing cardholder, you should definitely request for the new card (via SMS) as you will be able to earn 10 Miles per S$5 (2 miles per dollar) spent via contactless payment at participating supermarkets between 01 June 2016 to 30 November 2016.
I've written about the opportunity to get Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold Status with just one stay instead of 20 nights on multiple occasions. All you have to do is to simply register here with an eligible World MasterCard that is issued in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) and then make one eligible stay at any property in the region - you will then earn instant Gold Preferred Guest status for a year. This amazing deal has now been extended until 14 July 2017 but do note that this upgrade offer is a one-time upgrade per member.
While I was out in town over the weekends, I noticed that Citi Rewards Cardholders are able to earn 20X Rewards points between 01 May 2016 to 31 July 2016 at selected merchants. 20X Rewards points is essentially equivalent to 8 miles per S$1 so that's actually a great deal if you have been thinking about giving your wardrobe a refresh.
The credit cards from ANZ seem to be going downhill. I have just successfully cancelled my ANZ Optimum World MasterCard since they did not want to waive the annual fee (and paying the fee for a cashback card really makes no sense), the list of free airport lounge with the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card has been deteriorating and now with effect from 01 June 2016, the complimentary airport limousine transfer benefit will be discontinued.
About a week ago, I commented on a post on The Straits Times after spotting a (potentially) brand new Singapore Airlines and American Express co-branded credit card. Today, American Express has officially unveiled that card (alongside three existing co-branded credit cards) with exciting new benefits. Read on to find out how you can earn 2.4 KrisFlyer Miles per dollar and enjoy a complimentary upgrade into Suites/First Class from Business! Here is a summary of all the four Singapore Airlines co-branded credit cards from American Express!
Now we all know that it is indeed possible to buy miles by paying the annual fee of certain credit cards in Singapore. The OCBC Voyage Card (which is made from a beautiful metal) has always given you 15,000 Voyage Miles (which you can convert into KrisFlyer Miles at 1:1 ratio) when you pay the annual fee of S$488. We are now seeing a targeted offer that allows you to basically purchase a whooping 500,000 Voyage Miles for a S$10,000 annual fee!
The ANZ Optimum World MasterCard is the only cashback card I have in my wallet. Since I do enjoy dining (and staying) at hotels quite a bit, the card has been a little bit of a godsend since it allows you to earn 5% back in cashback if you pick Dining & Leisure as your preferred category. Most of you should know that using your Citibank Rewards Card or UOB Preferred Platinum Visa will not earn you 4 miles per dollar because hotels are generally excluded from bonus spending. One year in with the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard, it's time to finally say goodbye.
If like me, you accrue most of your miles with UOB, well great news because between now and 31 December 2016, you will be able to earn 10 miles per dollar spent on Kaligo.com - that's right, this is no longer exclusive to just Citi PremierMiles cardholders! If you sign-up here using my referral link, you will even get 1,000 bonus miles to start you off!
If you enjoy weekend staycations in hotels, you should seriously consider making them pay for your next business flight out of Singapore. While I am generally an advocate for booking directly with the hotel, there is one instance where this may not hold true - I only book direct if I require eligible room nights or stays in order to obtain or retain my loyalty status with the hotel chain. Therefore, when I stay in a non-chain hotel (or even a chain hotel whose loyalty program I have no interest in), I tend to book via an Online Travel Agent (OTA) like Kaligo. The reason is simple - you get 10 bonus Citi Miles per dollar if you pay using the Citi PremierMiles credit card.
Ever since HotelClub joined Hotels.com, it has become increasingly difficult to find promo codes that worked with Singapore properties. While I generally do not use OTAs for hotel reservations since the nights do not count towards the loyalty programs that I am interested in, I still use them from time to time if the property I am interested in is a boutique one that does not belong to any major chain. In fact, OTAs like Kaligo which offers 10 bonus miles per S$1 spent on hotels are perfect for clocking up miles for business class flight redemptions.
Purchasing miles by either paying for a credit card's annual or renewal fee may be a good idea if you are thinking about a Business flight redemption of higher. While I have previously written a summary of credit card renewal miles in Singapore where HSBC's Visa Infinite Card emerged the top, Standard Chartered is currently running an exclusive promotion which gives KrisFlyer members 40,000 miles for simply signing up using this link - you do have to pay the annual fee though!