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
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 ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card was one of my favourite credit cards in Singapore when I first starting working - it once offered complimentary and unlimited lounge access, limousine transfer after spending a reasonable amount and paying the annual fees (S$200) for 10,000 miles seem to be pretty reasonable. Starting from 01 April 2017 however, the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card will no longer offer lounge access (yes not even the horrible DragonPass Airport lounge access) and there will no longer be anymore renewal miles when you pay the annual fee - how is this even a travel card anymore?!
When I wrote about the OCBC VOYAGE Card last month, I mentioned that cardholders will have access to a dedicated concierge that can assist you in making restaurant reservations, travel itinerary planning and also provide to you a range of other services (so long it is legal!) that cardholders like myself can enjoy. One of the feedback that I have gotten from that article was that the Visa Infinite brand itself has a concierge that cardholders can benefit from - as such, I felt the desperate need to basically compare both the Visa Infinite Concierge and the VOYAGE Exchange (private concierge service for OCBC VOYAGE Card) to find out whether or not the higher annual fee (after factoring in the value of renewal miles) is justified.
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 March 2017.
Having the right credit card in Singapore is extremely important if you travel quite a bit - it can help you rake up significant miles which you can use for free premium cabin travel and some of the credit cards actually have tangible travel benefits like free airport lounge access and limousine transfer amongst other things. There are two main types of credit cards in Singapore that offer complimentary airport lounge access - one requires a minimum spend and one does not. Check out my summary of credit cards in Singapore that offer complimentary lounge access below!
The OCBC VOYAGE Card allows you to earn up to 2.3 VOYAGE Miles (redeemable for KrisFlyer Miles) per S$1 and it offers some pretty impressive benefits like a personal concierge service, unlimited access to Plaza Premium Lounges and other Visa Infinite perks. Is this card worth its S$488 annual fee? Find out everything you need to know about maximising the benefits on the OCBC VOYAGE Card.
If you have seen my complete list of credit card renewal miles in Singapore, you would have noticed that the UOB Reserve Card offers 100,000 renewal miles each year. One of the ways to get invited for this exclusive credit card is to be a UOB Privilege Reserve Client with S$2,000,000 in deposits/investments with the bank. Not much is known about this card until now - find out what the benefits of this ultra-elite card is.
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$1). While there are ways to verify whether or not a transaction will earn you 10X points thanks for crowd-sourcing, I recently realised that you can check on the number of points awarded per transaction (after it has been posted) which really helps to verify and mitigate some risk in those large purchases.
There are no lack of elite credit cards in the Singapore market but let's face it - the regular one for the masses are the ones with the best benefits in terms of mile accrual. Of course there are some exceptions (i.e. using a Centurion Card on EXTRA Partners) but most of the best cards for mile accrual in Singapore are credit cards that most working Singaporean adult can qualify for. With that being said, there may be instances where people cannot qualify for the credit card they want and there may be many different reasons like bad credit score or insufficient annual income. One way around this is to apply for a secured credit card instead as this will provide you access to a card you really want (even if you do not meet the general criteria for it!).
If you saw my article last week on the credit cards to get in 2017, you would have (and should have!) noticed a new addition - the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card. Let's be honest here, OCBC has not been on the list of credit cards to get (for mile accrual) in the last couple of years. So when I found out that the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card now gives up to 10X OCBC$ (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.