After deciding that it was time to ditch my ANZ Optimum World MasterCard in May this year, I left my ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card alone as well - the card itself isn't bad but if you look at it from where it was and where it currently is, it is a little bit of a disappointment. Still, 1.4 Travel$ (or miles) per S$1 isn't particularly bad for things that do not qualify for bonus miles. I do believe in paying the annual fees for some credit cards in Singapore in order to "buy" miles - find out which ones to buy now - and the ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card offers 10,000 Travel$ (equivalent to 10,000 KrisFlyer miles) each year for S$200. Last week, I got an SMS notifying me that I "have been exclusively selected to get up to 2.8 bonus air miles for every $1 spent on [my] ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card".
In order to qualify for up to 5.6 Travel$ per S$1, I have to simply register for the promotion and then spend a minimum of S$500 on my ANZ Travel Visa Signature Credit Card any day, anytime and anywhere by 30 September 2016. I have been cautious with ANZ promotions ever since I misread a promotion back in 2015 where I was required to spend S$10,000 BEFORE I send an SMS - I did it the other way around and costed myself close to 22,000 miles (yes, I am still sore about that!).
In order to earn the maximum 5.6 Miles per S$1, I will have to charge my card in AUD/NZD to earn 2.8+2.8 Travel$. All local spend and other foreign currency spends will earn me 4.2 (1.4+2.8) Miles per S$1 instead which in my book is still really great. With this promotion you do have to register BEFORE spending though so if you wish to try your luck with this promotion, do the following:
SMS "MORE" (without the inverted commas" to 77288.
The promotion is valid until 30 September 2016 and a minimum sum of S$500 (in local or foreign retail purchases) is required to trigger the additional 2.8 Travel$ per S$1 spend. There is a maximum of 4,100 bonus Travel$ for this promotion so to fully take advantage of this, charge S$1,464 (in equivalent local currency) in AUD/NZD to earn 8,198 Travel$.
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.
Getting cashback for online purchases is not rocket science and ShopBack has truly made it extremely easy for users to get a proportion of their money back - I have been using this platform conscientiously over the years and have gotten cashback over S$3,000 (most of which are from travel bookings). ShopBack now allows you to earn cashback on physical (offline) transactions made at restaurants - this cashback (current sits at 5% for most stores) will then sit in your ShopBack account and you can then transfer it out to a bank account with no administrative charges once a minimum balance of S$10 is attained.
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).
It is no secret that I love my American Express Platinum Card- the S$1,712 annual fee may put most people off but the perks are amazing and if you do enjoy traveling in style, these benefits will essentially offset the annual fee very easily (especially in the first year). One thing that American Express does very well is the American Express Offers that cardholders can sign-up for - this morning, I noticed that American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card members can now earn 4 bonus KrisFlyer Miles for every S$1 spent on RedMart (registration is necessary) - the bonus miles are capped at 1,600 KrisFlyer miles per Card and the offer is limited to the first 15,000 eligible Cards which are successfully registered for the offer.
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.