As I have recently pointed out, the number of required IHG Rewards Club points for a reward night at the InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay have fallen from 60,000 to 50,000. In addition to that, there is a new addition to the list of properties here in Singapore - the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon.
The new Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon is priced at 20,000 IHG Rewards Points per night and this puts it in the same league as the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong. Additionally, it appears that the Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong also requires just 30,000 IHG Rewards Points instead of 40,000 for a reward night now.
|Singapore Property||Required Points
|Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong||20,000||20,000|
|Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon||20,000||20,000|
|Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke Quay||30,000||30,000|
|Holiday Inn Express Singapore Orchard Road||30,000||35,000|
|Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong||40,000||30,000|
|Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium||35,000||35,000|
|Crowne Plaza Changi Airport||40,000||40,000|
|Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre||40,000||45,000|
|InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay||60,000||50,000|
OCBC has just updated their website to enhance the limousine benefit for OCBC VOYAGE cardholders (this is actually a real enhancement so good job OCBC!) - cardholders are now able to unlock a free limousine ride by spending just S$1,500 (instead of S$3,000) in a currency other than SGD each month!
A number of changes to the InterContinental Ambassador membership have gone live and it has gotten significantly more expensive (in terms of IHG Rewards Club Points at least) over the years to renew. I am now once again faced with the situation of potentially renewing my membership - the two options that I have on the table are either to pay US$200 or 40,000 IHG Rewards Club Points.
Chope has a refreshed loyalty program that allows their top-tier members to earn at least 175 Chope-Dollars with each fulfilled reservation. Chope also runs various promotions throughout each month that allows you to earn 400 additional Chope-Dollars at a handful of restaurants. As you may remember, 1,000 Chope-Dollars is worth approximately S$30 and you can easily redeem them for a cash voucher that you can use at selected restaurants. The base way to redeem your Chope-Dollars for maximum value however is to first redeem a Chope Deals Voucher before using it to offset voucher purchases.
I have recently purchased a duvet from The St. Regis Boutique and after being told that I needed to fork out another USD 74.46 (Economy Service) or USD 135.91 (Priority Service) for shipping (on top of the USD 80 shipping fee that I have already paid) due to a miscalculation on their part, I have decided to cancel my order and I have just received a refund on my Citi PremierMiles Visa Card. Now this happened over a period of a week or so I understand that there are currency rate fluctuations but I did not expect them to be that significant.
The Citi Prestige may require an annual income of S$120,000 in Singapore but it comes with one of the greatest benefits that no other credit cards in the country offer - the complimentary fourth night stay program. In addition to that benefit, cardholders are also able to get two free limousine rides each quarter by simply spending S$1,500 (in non-SGD currency) each quarter. This limousine benefit will change from 01 April 2019 and it will soon require a minimum spend of S$20,000 (SGD or otherwise) each quarter to trigger the same benefit.
Citibank Singapore currently offers Citi Rebate of up to 10% on top of all your other card benefits at over 300 locations. With effect from 25 April 2019, transactions at these participating merchants will no longer be awarded Citi Rebate - any Citi Rebate (except for Citi M1 Rebate) that is not redeemed by 03 May 2019 will be forfeited.
Taxis in Japan are notoriously expensive and most travellers try to avoid them at all cost. There is usually no issue since the buses and trains are amazing but on a few recent trips, I have found myself taking a taxi because I was either rushing for time, or the buses just did not operate at a time that was suitable to my schedule. JapanTaxi is a tourist-friendly app that allows you to estimate your taxi fare in Japan, make a reservation or call a taxi immediately - payment can also be done online with your credit card (including Apple Pay) so you do not have to sweat the small things. If you have not utilised this app before, using my referral code will save you ¥1,000 (approximately SGD 12) on your first ride!
With Marriott Bonvoy now in full swing, the terms and conditions of the loyalty have also been updated accordingly. The wording in the refreshed T&Cs now state that ten elite nights per calendar year will be awarded to the Member for his/her first group, event or meeting.
Hyatt has just published their annual award chart updates that will take effect on 18 March 2019 - the number of World of Hyatt points required for a free night will change at some hotels. As you may remember, Points + Cash rates are now less attractive as members are required to pay 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms. In general, most of the affected hotels in Asia will be experiencing a reduction in hotel category (meaning it will cost you less points for free night) but hotels in Japan and South Korea in particular will see an increase in the number of required points in the near future.
The combined loyalty program of Marriott International properties will soon be relaunching under the new Marriott Bonvoy program name. Ever since the loyalty programs merged back in August 2018, I have not gotten a single suite upgrade (despite being Platinum Elite) on stays where the suites were available at check-in.