While Singaporeans have been able to use an eligible Mastercard for train and bus rides since 20 March 2017, UOB has just announced that customers using the PRVI Mastercard can now earn 1.4 miles per S$1 on all eligible rides in the Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) pilot with Land Transport Authority (LTA) and TransitLink. Even though the UOB PRVI Mastercard gives out 3.5 UNI$ per S$5, transactions in the ABT are processed and charged after a total of S$15 is spent on transit fares or after the charges have been accumulated for up to 5 days - whichever is earlier.
While being able to earn up to 1.4 miles per S$1 on all eligible rides using the UOB PRVI Mastercard is definitely a much welcome change, I do not see enough to switch over from my HSBC's Revolution Credit Card and EZ-Link combo which gives me 2 miles per S$1 for up to S$200 each month. Sure, there may be a convenience fee of S$0.25 with each reload but hey that's not a real consideration at all.
The Citi Rewards Card is one of my recommended credit cards to hold in Singapore - up until last month, this credit card was offering a massive 8 miles per dollar on all Apple Pay transactions! Now that the promotion has ended, cardholders are still able to earn up to 10X Rewards (4 miles per dollar) when shopping for clothes, bags or shoes or at department stores or online shopping websites at eligible merchants. As you already know, the 10X Rewards is capped at maximum of 120,000 Rewards points per card anniversary year - this is about to change on 04 October 2018.
There has been some speculation for a while now but Singapore Airlines has just officially launched a new digital wallet and allows you to turn your precious KrisFlyer miles into instant purchases. KrisFlyer members are now able to convert their KrisFlyer miles into KrisPay miles to use them on everyday expenses like petrol, food, gadgets or phone bills just to name a few.
Anyone who has read The Straits Times today must have seen Bank of China's full-page ad for the brand new BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard that offers up to 5 miles and 2 miles per dollar for foreign and local currency transactions respectively. Now before you get exceedingly excited, do note that these earn rates are promotional and they will only last until 31 December 2018 (your card must also be approved by 15 December 2018). Following the promotional period, the regular earn rates for this card revert to 3 miles and 1.5 miles per dollar for eligible foreign and local currency transactions respectively.
Even though I have lost my Hilton Honors Diamond status this year, I noticed that my upcoming stays in two Hilton properties - the Hilton Singapore and the Hilton Auckland - have both been pre-upgraded. Even though I was a Diamond member for the past two years, I have never been proactively-upgraded in the system prior to arrival (perhaps I have just been really unlucky?) so it is comforting to see that properties are now starting to do it. I am not sure whether this is a global initiative but having to ask for an upgrade as an elite member annoys me (especially as a Platinum Elite in the Marriott Rewards program).
I have compared the differences between the UOB One Account (which current advertises up to 3.33% p.a. interest rates) and the OCBC 360 Account a couple of years ago. Even with the changes that the OCBC 360 has introduced over the years, it is still one of my preferred savings account in Singapore since I can achieve up to 1.85% p.a. of interest (you can earn up to 3.05% p.a. interest if you insure or invest with OCBC), up to S$70,000 fairly easily. The UOB One Account will be introducing some changes from 01 August 2018 and they are quite lucrative (especially if you already use a UOB One credit card which gives you cash rebates) but it may not necessarily be convincing enough for me to make the switch.
It goes without saying that the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card is one of my favourite credit cards in Singapore and it has earned its rightful place in my (digital) wallet since last year. While the card is supposed to offer 10X OCBC$ (which translates into 4 miles per dollar) on all mobile payments (e.g. Apple Pay) until the end of the year, I noticed yesterday that the benefit has been amended to end on 04 August 2018 instead.
I have recently signed-up for the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Platinum Elite Status Challenge which requires me to do 18 eligible nights over a span of 90 days. With the upcoming loyalty program merger which is supposed to happen in August 2018, I wanted to obtain Platinum Elite status since hitting 50 nights might be a little bit of a challenge for me (since I barely travel for work). If you have not done it and would like to qualify on stays instead, Marriott Rewards is offering the opportunity to do 9 stays in 90 days and this will port over to Platinum Premier Elite (instead of a lower-tier Platinum Elite with SPG) in August if your challenge is completed successfully.
I have been on a mission to obtain Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Platinum Status ahead of the upcoming program merger in August 2018. Since I have not really stayed over at the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach before, I decided to book myself into a weekend stay - I have booked a Deluxe Room since SPG Platinum Status would give me guaranteed lounge access (which also includes breakfast) for the stay. Last evening, I received an email from the reservations team upselling me breakfast and club lounge access for this stay - this is not the first time that I have actually received this, so I wanted to share a couple of thoughts regarding such upsells.
Asia Miles will be introducing some new changes to the way miles are being earned and redeemed on 22 June 2018 - everything stays the same until then. If you are unfamiliar with the differences between Asia Miles and The Marco Polo Club, feel free to check out my primer on this subject. Asia Miles is a particularly important subject for Singaporean consumers since most credit card points convert either into KrisFlyer or Asia Miles - this article aims to list the top few changes that would probably affect you the most.
KrisFlyer vRooms now allows KrisFlyer members to use their valuable miles on hotel stays and car rentals but the bottom line is this - save your miles for those Business Class and First Class flights instead. Now I have no expertise in car rentals but I dare say that I have had my fair share of hotel stays over the years.