The death of the dining card in Singapore

Ah, the dining card. The card which imbues us with a sudden sense of generosity when it comes to paying the bill (“oh let me get this one guys! just ibank me the money, no problem”- me at every social function, which is why I don’t get invited to a lot of social functions)

Things seem grim for dining cards in Singapore. UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX has been removed from the UOB website and you’re no longer able to apply for the Citibank Clear Platinum card via the Citibank website. Does it mean the miles dining card is dead? Let’s find out.

UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX

cardface_preferred

This was the rolls royce of dining cards at 4 miles per $1. It is no longer possible to apply for this on the UOB website. However, an Anoymous poster on the comments had this to say

If you are an existing UOB card member perhaps you can try this to apply for the UOB Preferred Platinum cards. I applied using SMS on 10 Oct which was after they removed the application links from their website but still got the card sent to me about 1.5 months later.

SMS spacespace to 77862
For example: SMS Yespp 7890 S1234567H to 77862.

To give a bit more clarity, “7890” here is the last 4 digits of your existing UOB card (This option will only be available to people who have an existing UOB card and not new applicants). “Yespp” means you want to apply for the Preferred Platinum Account. And yes, 77862 is the official UOB SMS number, you can verify that online.

Does it work? I don’t know, Someone on the comments said he’d test it and I really hope it does because that would be awesome. Will update this as it develops.

Citibank Clear Platinum

citiclearplatinum

This card offers 2 miles per $1 on dining. I wasn’t able to find a sign up link online so I assume it had died, but a call to Citibank’s customer service hotline and I was told that

“Yes sir, you can still apply. However, there is an issue with the website now so you’ll need to call 6363 6666 during regular office hours, 9am-5pm Mon -Fri and do the application over the phone”

So unless my CSO has no idea what he’s talking about, it appears this is still alive and well! Anyone want to check and report back?

HSBC Advance Visa Platinum

hsbcadvance

Tip of the hat to Lionel for this one. The HSBC Advance Visa Platinum gives 10X points (or 4 miles per $1) on online spending, dining spending and entertainment spending. It also has no annual fee.

There does not appear to be any cap on bonus point earning, however you might like to know that:

  • For the avoidance of doubt, transactions made on brokerage/securities and/or money payment/transfer websites are not classified as retail transactions and are expressly excluded.
  • With effect from 1 November 2015, for Online Transactions which involve EZ-Link or Transitlink, 10x Rewards points are capped at 2,000 HSBC Rewards points per Account per calendar month (i.e. S$200 spend).

The other catch (and it’s quite a big one I might add) is that you can’t just apply for this card.  You need to have a HSBC Advance account first. What’s that?

HSBC advance

I wouldn’t quite call it a privilege banking type account, but here are HSBC’s conditions

To qualify for HSBC Advance, you need to be at least 18 years old. The monthly service charge of S$10 will be waived if you fulfil any of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Total Relationship Balance of at least S$30,000 in deposits, investments and/or insurance, with 6 months’ grace period to place in your funds
  • Home Loan with an initial loan quantum of at least S$200,000
  • Salary credit of S$3,750 per month, with 24 months grace period from Advance relationship opening to reach Total Relationship Balance of at least S$30,000
  • Reoccurring deposit of at least S$2,500 per month, with 24 months grace period from Advance relationship opening to reach Total Relationship Balance of at least S$30,000

It’s certainly not difficult to do any of the above, assuming you’re already committed to having a HSBC account. The main drawback I’d highlight with this is the whole “agglomeration” issue- if you’re not intending to use any other HSBC cards it may take a long while before you gain a critical mass of miles large enough to make transferring your miles worthwhile. Unless, of course, you’re able to put some large (non-hotel) banquets over CNY on this…

(Note: this card only awards 10X on local dining, unlike the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX and Citibank Clear Platinum which award it for for local and overseas dining spend)

OCBC Voyage Card

ocbcvoyage

I don’t know why I’m mentioning this card because it is such, such a bad card from a conceptual point of view (it’s not really a miles card! It’s a cashback card masquerading as a miles card, because your miles are given a fixed value when you redeem them!).

But for completeness sake, let’s talk about this. You get 2.3 miles per $1 on local and overseas dining. That’s not a terrible thing IF you convert your Voyage Miles at a 1:1 ratio to Krisflyer miles. It is a terrible thing if you’re using the OCBC Voyage concierge to redeem your flights though (because those 2.3 miles get you a value of 6.9 cents, versus the 9.2-11.5 cents of value you’d get by redeeming those miles directly via Krisflyer).

And don’t forget the annual fee  of $488 which cannot be waived, and the fact that you’re going to have to concentrate the rest of your spending on the Voyage card if you want to hit that critical mass of miles to cash out.

HSBC Revolution Card

hsbcrevolution

Again, tip of the hat to Lionel for this one (he’s the man to go to for HSBC!). You can get 2 miles per $1 on local dining with this card and you do not need a special HSBC Account. There does not appear to be a cap on earnings on this one either.

Same caveats as HSBC Advance apply re: gaining a critical mass of miles.

Conclusions

It appears that the Citibank Clear Platinum card is still alive, and you can turn to the HSBC Advance Visa card if you’re able to meet the requirements for setting up an account. Otherwise, the HSBC Revolution will give the same rate as the Citibank Clear Platinum. I’m crossing my fingers on the UOB Preferred Platinum AMEX.

It’s good to note that in the past DBS had a promotion for their Black card where you could get 2 miles per $1 on dining. That promotion ended 30 June 2015 and has not been renewed, but it may well come back again.

cover photo by LudovicLubeigt

19 thoughts on “The death of the dining card in Singapore”

  1. For some reasons, HSBC rejected my application to the Revolution card. I felt insulted as I obviously have met the minimum income requirement. They also rejected my friend who also met the income requirement. Anyone has similar experiences?

    1. my dad had a similar experience a couple of years back. definitely wasn’t an income requirement thing. they never explained why, so he just gave up on hsbc.

  2. Hi,

    I was browsing through the cards available on UOB. I came across this UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card. Is this the card you are talking about that had been removed or is it a totally different card?

    1. nope. he was referring to the “uob preferred platinum American Express and MasterCard” pair of cards. they used to be offered on the UOB website but are no longer there..

      personally, I used to have only the MasterCard but recently just cancelled it. will have to try to apply for this again for the dining privileges on Amex.

      1. Hi the Amex version of this still exist. Just received the card this evening after 3 times of sms. Waited for 1 plus month for this card to arrive..thanks..

        1. There is still no sign of the card on my online account. I have just resent my second SMS – I am just wondering if my current UOB PP Visa card has any bearing why I am not getting the AMEX version. Wish me luck – will keep everyone else updated …

  3. Both UOB PP Amex (4 miles per $1 on dining) and Citibank Clear Platinum (2 miles per $1 on dining) are both discontinued. Are there any other credit cards that earn decent miles on dining?

  4. Hi, given that the HSBC Advance promo may end this year (May 2017 was it not) and the UOB PPA is no longer available, and besides the other cards (such as UOB PP for paywave), wouldn’t it be then the best dining card is the Voyage card?

    Purely from a “more than paywave spend” on dining? (Say you need to pay $200 on a company team dinner) Since 2.3 is the highest available for purely dining?

  5. HSBC Advance card as we know it has died :/ Am trying to apply for the UOB Preferred Plat Amex via the SMS method – the auto response is still there, but well I guess we will see!

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