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!).
While you used to be able to request for a transaction-level breakdown of points earned from DBS via the secured mailbox fairly easily in the past, this has gotten a lot more difficult in recent years. In fact, what you will have to deal with now is the DBS Virtual Assistant which doesn’t seem to be very bright or capable at handling such matters.
I eventually picked up the phone to talk to a real person (days like these I actually miss talking to the Platinum Concierge from my Platinum Card) but was met with a series of comments that would really make a person’s blood boil:
“Swissotel is not a hotel transaction” - I booked this stay directly with AccorHotels.com
“W Bangkok is not a hotel transaction” - I booked this stay directly on Marriott.com
“JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach is not a hotel transaction” - I booked this stay directly on Marriott.com
Seriously, I am not sure if they even hear themselves when they speak. Anyhow, I have now managed to contact them once again via the secured mailbox (I just left the subject as General Comments) and they have requested for my online invoices. It has been over 2 weeks and I am still waiting for them to provide me with an update.
Accor Plus is a paid membership run by AccorHotels that offers a variety of benefits ranging from room rate discounts to dining discounts of up to 50% off at over 800 hotels and 1100 restaurants in 18 countries across Asia Pacific. Members will be able to enjoy at least one complimentary night at iconic hotel brands such as Fairmont, Sofitel, MGallery, Pullman and Novotel. To decide whether or not you should sign-up for this membership, I have put together a list of perks that you should know about before making that decision.
Last week, I wrote a short guide about Grab's two new subscription passes - the Flat-fare Ride Pass and the Short Commute Pass. If you are curious to know more about these subscriptions and would like to know which one suits you better, check out my cheat sheet to find out. Grab pulled the Flat-fare Ride Pass shortly after that, claiming that it was 'sold out' but honestly, how do you introduce something like that and have them sell out after a few days. While I personally did not subscribe to any one of these monthly passes, I recently found out that the Flat-fare Ride Pass vouchers can be exploited which leads me to believe that that could actually be one of the factors that led to the decision to pull the subscription from the platform.
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.