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
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.
The HSBC Advance Visa Platinum Credit Card is dead (for mile-chasers anyway) and it will become a cashback card soon - the 4 miles per dollar promotion will end officially on 31 May 2017 and you will only earn 1X (0.4 miles per dollar) Rewards point with eligible dollar spent in the month of June 2017. You will have to redeem all your Reward points by 31 August 2017 or they will be converted into cashback on 01 September 2017 at a 100 Reward points to $0.25 rate.
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.
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.