A hotel chain's Best Rate Guarantee (or equivalent) can make or break a brand. While different hotels have different Best Rate Guarantee policies, I have had some successes with Hyatt recently when I was shopping for rooms at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne where I might be staying in a month or two. Hyatt guarantees the best rate when booking directly with them and they will match a lower, qualifying rate published on another site before beating that by an additional 20% - remember you will still earn your elite qualifying points and nights this way! While it isn't always easy to find a lower competing rate elsewhere (since the terms of the booking have to match entirely), it isn't at the same time, impossible.
Since I will be traveling to Melbourne, Australia pretty soon, I wanted to check if it was more affordable to stay at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne instead of the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf which I loved. A quick check reveals a Standard Rate from AU$275 (and a My Hyatt Rate for AU$262 which has the same cancellation policies). Since I will be staying there for 8 nights, this will be approximately AU$2,200 before the ridiculous credit card charges that the country still practices.
After shopping on an OTA, I managed to find a competing rate of approximately AU$238 a night with the same cancellation policy. After submitting a Best Rate Guarantee claim (remember you can submit a BRG Claim with Hyatt without an existing reservation), I was quickly informed (within 24 hours even on a weekend which is great!) that the competing rate has been matched and a 20% price beat has been given. All I had to do then was to make the booking via Hyatt and then contact the service representative who would then adjust my rate down to approximately AU$190. With a little time and effort, I have managed to reduce the total rate of my stay from AU$275 a night to AU$190 while still earning elite qualifying nights for status renewal - approximately 30% - which is not bad at all!
Eligible Standard Chartered cardholders used to be able to enjoy 20% cashback on Grab rides previously but that promotion has expired on 31 July 2018. From now until 31 December 2018, you will be able to enjoy up to 15% cashback on Grab rides in Singapore (and overseas!) when you charge at least S$900 of eligible retail spend each month to your Standard Chartered Credit Card - the cashback is capped at S$30 per month per cardholder.
You know the drill - KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes is back for members planning to travel in the month of August 2018. To celebrate its first birthday, KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes is extending a special 40% redemption discount (instead of the usual 30%) on Economy Saver to Bangkok, Yangon and Phnom Penh next month! If you have alternative travel plans, you will still be able to enjoy 30% miles redemption discount to selected destinations from now until 31 July 2018, for travel between 1-31 August 2018 inclusive.
Now that Citibank's 8 miles per dollar promotion is coming to an end, it may be a good time to consider another bank's promotion. Standard Chartered is giving all eligible cardholders the opportunity to earn up to S$30 cashback between 16 July 2018 and 15 October 2018 when they use their credit cards via a contactless transaction (Apple Pay rewards you the quickest!) - registration is required and this is only limited to the first 25,000 cardholders during the promotion period.
ShopBack is one of the best ways for a smart consumer (using the right credit cards) to get even smarter - it rewards you by sharing a proportion of incentive that they get through affiliate marketing. Airbnb is finally on the ShopBack platform and you will be rewarded with S$5 credit when you make an eligible booking on Airbnb via ShopBack. It is definitely worth remembering that you do not make the transaction on ShopBack as it simply redirects you to the actual site (Airbnb in this case) where you will make and complete the actual reservation.
I stayed at the new InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay a couple of months ago and checked out the Club Riverview Studio King. When the hotel first opened towards the end of 2017, the room rates here are consistently higher than the InterContinental Singapore in Bugis (which is still my preferred IC property in Singapore). However, while I was 'window-shopping' for a weekend staycation, I realised that you can now get a breakfast-inclusive rate at the InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay for as little as S$175++.
Mileslife is offering 4X more miles for dining transactions made at participating Crystal Jade restaurants across Singapore from 01 July 2018 to 31 July 2018 - this means that you will be able to earn up to 8 miles per dollar at participating restaurants. Additionally, they are also giving out an additional 500 bonus miles (promo code below!) for a transaction made this month that is above the value of SGD 49.
If you are a World of Hyatt member who is struggling to meet the requirements for elite status, you will be pleased to know that all eligible nights at participating Andaz properties around the world will count as two nights instead of one from 01 July 2018 to 31 August 2018 - this is awarded based on your checkout date.
You can easily save up to 10% off eligible hotel bookings made on Expedia with the right promo codes - these are available all year round and you can stack them with ShopBack to earn a lot of cashback (especially if you are planning to spend a bit on hotel stays). If you are currently holding a Mastercard, you will be eligible for a bonus 12% discount code for hotel stays when you book on Expedia. All bookings have to be made by 30 June 2018 and the stay must be consumed by 30 September 2018 (even though it seems to work for dates beyond that unofficially). ShopBack is also currently offering 9% cashback on hotel bookings made on Expedia so this is a great time to stack those two promotions up.
It is no secret that the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card is one of the best credit cards in Singapore to hold - it gives you 4 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases made with the credit card and you can easily get it on contactless transactions as well (Citibank is offering 8 miles per dollar on Apple Pay transactions until 31 July 2018). Cardholders can now earn an additional 2% rebate on top of 10X OCBC$ for all eligible BEST Denki purchases.
KrisFlyer members are able to earn 400 bonus Chope-Dollars on top of base earnings per reservation (for the next two reservations) when they reserve and dine between 01 June 2018 and 31 August 2018. Chope is also giving out a unique promo code for all diners if they register for it online - this promo code will give you 400 bonus Chope-Dollars for the next seven reservations (total of 2,800 bonus Chope-Dollars!).