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!
Let's get to the important bit - how much do you need to be earning in order to even apply for this card? If you are an existing Priority or Private Banking customer (compare different Priority Banking accounts in Singapore here!), you can get the new Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Credit Card with just a S$30,000 annual income. If you are not an existing Priority Banking customer, you can start a new account with S$200,000 (new customers may earn at least S$200 account credit).
If you do not hold a Priority (or Private) Banking account with Standard Chartered, you will need to have an annual income of at least S$150,000 in order to apply for this card. Paying S$588.50 for 40,000 KrisFlyer Miles (S$14.71 for 1K Miles) is really an exceptional deal if you ask me. If you redeem for the right Business Saver flights, you will almost have enough for a return-Business flight to Hong Kong (46,750 Miles + Tax).
I am a firm believer of loyalty programs but lately some of them have been far from attractive. In any case, one can always do with a promo code or two for hotel bookings made on Expedia (especially when they do not belong to a strong loyalty program). The following table summarises all the known promo codes for hotel reservations and at the time of writing, OCBC cards offer the best deal at 12% off. You will also find year-round promotions (10% off hotel bookings) by most banks here in Singapore.
Approximately two years ago, I wrote an article about an exhaustive list of credit cards that you can get in Singapore which will get you into airport lounges for free. While the changes over the years have not been significant enough to warrant an update, I have decided to rewrite the article today so that it remains current - the table below shows all the credit cards in Singapore that you can apply for that will get you into airport lounges for free.
American Express runs a number of great offers each year (the best one so far is spend S$500, get S$150 back at Marriott Hotels) and in view of the upcoming Lunar New Year ahead, they have now released an offer for eligible cardmembers to get S$38 back from spending S$388 or more in-store at participating restaurants by 28 February 2019. As usual, you will have to save the offer to your card and the statement credit is limited to one redemption per registered card (you can save this offer to multiple American Express cards if you desire).
Log-in to your DBS Lifetyle App and sign-up for the Lunar New Year 2019 Promotion to get up to S$128 back in voucher or cash credit. All you have to do is to be amongst the first 15,000 principal cardholders to successfully register participation via the app and hit the personalised spend goal by 03 March 2019 to trigger your tailored reward.
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).
OCBC removed the option to purchase 500,000 VOYAGE Miles (which is converted into KrisFlyer Miles) for S$10,000 with the OCBC VOYAGE Card in September last year. While new customers still have the option of getting the card at either S$488 (15,000 Miles) or S$3,210 (150,000 Miles), existing principal holders of the VOYAGE Card do not officially have this option with renewal until now.
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.