I have always been a strong advocate for Kaligo because it offers up to 12 miles per S$1 spent on hotel reservations. In fact, quite recently as part of my article on 6 ways to earn more miles this year, I mentioned that sometimes not having a hotel loyalty status is a good thing to have. From now until 29 February 2016, make your first booking on Kaligo and get 3,000 bonus KrisFlyer Miles. If you spend US$1,000 during this promotional period, you will get a total of 10,000 bonus KrisFlyer Miles!
Needless to say, the best way to take advantage of this promotion is to find the cheapest property in Singapore (if you do not wish to travel out of the country) and stay for one night. By picking a random date, I see the Kam Leng Hotel for just S$94++ and this will earn you 3,190 miles. In my previous article, I showed you how 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles on a Business flight redemption can be worth at least S$67. Therefore, paying less than S$110 nett for 3,190 KrisFlyer Miles, one night stay at Kam Leng Hotel (even though I really am not an advocate for this hotel at all) with complimentary breakfast is really not a bad deal at all.
In case you are not aware, Grab has quite recently launched two new subscription passes on top of the GrabClub passes. Targeted at regular Grab users, the brand new Flat-fare Ride Pass and Short Commute Pass offers potential discounts to users who understand their own traveling habits. There are two versions in each one of these plans and the only differentiating factor is the number of ride vouchers - light and heavy gives you 10 and 20 ride vouches respectively (and you have 30 days from the date of purchase to use them).
Traveling better in 2019 should be everyone's new year resolution and there is no greater time to get into the 'Miles Game' than right now. If you have not been motivated enough to apply for new credit cards, these new sign-up bonuses should give you that extra push! From 7-31 January 2019, apply for the following credit cards (which will help you accrue plenty of miles throughout the year) and get up to S$200 worth of rewards for each successful application! As part of the a competition between Team Miles vs. Team Cashback - each successful application will contribute 1 point to the team and all applications in the winning team will receive an additional bonus ang pow (red packet) at the end of the promotional period!
The American Express Platinum Card is probably my personal favourite card that I have applied for in 2018 - the S$1,712 annual fee may put most people off but the perks are great and you can truly get your money's worth if you use the benefits that come with the card. One of the most interesting benefits that comes with the American Express Platinum Card is access to PLATINUM VIBES which is a members-only space that is created for Centurion and Platinum Members.
The start of a new year always brings about new surprises and benefits (at least in the world of credit cards). From now until 30 September 2019, American Express Platinum Members (both Basic and Supplementary Platinum Members) with The Platinum Card (not to be confused with the credit card versions) will be able to enjoy complimentary access to events, talks and seminars (excluding workshops) held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham).
2018 has been a fairly unexciting year where new hotels and credit cards are concerned (perhaps with the exception of the American Express Platinum Card) and even though the global market is in bear market territory right now, it is important to be forward-looking in the year ahead. For all of us mile-chasers, these are the credit cards that you should be holding for 2019. There are of course some crazy credit cards out there in Singapore (that require an extremely high annual income or AUM) but for the sake of sanity and relevance, I am just limiting this article to credit cards that require up to S$200,000 annual income - all credit cards with a comparatively higher annual income requirement are placed in a separate section.
Hyatt has been making a number of loyalty program enhancements ever since the official relaunch (as World of Hyatt) in early 2017. Members are now able to use their points for free nights in premium suites and there is no longer a minimum length of stay for free nights in suites. With that being said, Points + Cash rates have also been devalued since members are now required to pay 50% of the BAR (instead of a fixed rate). In a bid to improve the loyalty program, World of Hyatt will be introducing Milestone Rewards to all members from 01 March 2019 - members will soon be able to unlock more perks and benefits with every 10 nights that they stay with the brand (up to 100 nights per year).
I have heard through the grapevine this morning that InterContinental Ambassadors (as well as Royal Ambassadors) will be getting some enhanced benefits in the year ahead. Unfortunately for RA members, they will be seeing some significant changes to minibar inclusions - RA members used to be able to enjoy everything in the minibar for free. If you are a regular InterContinental Ambassador member like me, you should relatively happy with all the upcoming changes. Remember, you can pay to become an InterContinental Ambassador for just USD 200 or 40,000 IHG Rewards Club Points - the membership will last for 12 months.
With only less than three weeks left in 2018, it is important to look ahead to the new year and start planning for all those new hotel openings in Singapore. While 2017 was a great year for travellers since there were a number of iconic hotel openings that year, 2018 was a fairly unexciting one. There will be an increase in supply of hotel rooms in the Luxury and Mid-tier segments in 2019 and there will also be a couple of new brand introductions into the Singapore market.
I personally recommend the DBS Woman's World Mastercard (WMC) and DBS Altitude Card combo if you typically charge a lot of online travel expenses to your card - I personally max out the S$2,000 bonus each month on the WMC and charge the remaining online hotel and travel expenses to my DBS Altitude Card (up to S$5,000) for the rest of the statement period. Now, DBS advertises 3 miles per dollar on the DBS Altitude Card and if it is charged in SGD, you will earn 1,2 miles (in equivalent DBS Points) at the time of posting and the rest in the following month (usually on the 16th unless it is not a business day). However, I realised that over S$4,000 of my expenses in the previous month did not earn any bonus DBS Points (even though they are all online hotel expenses!).
Last month, I wrote about how using Waitrr has helped me beat the queues at popular lunch spots in the CBD and more importantly, to help me save money in the long run. As I have mentioned previously, there is no price mark-up when you make an order via Waitrr and you will probably enjoy greater discounts since there are promotions that run from time to time and also a loyalty programme that you can take advantage of. If you are a new user, using my referral code 'MAR94817' will give you S$3 off your first order.