Banks know that holders of miles earning or other premium credit cards value the option of complimentary airport transfers.
The majority of these cards will offer you airport dropoff, not pickup I wondered for the longest time why they didn’t let you choose between one or the other before realising that pickup involves a lot more “dead” time for the driver (in needing to wait at the arrivals area with uncertainties about flight delays or how long it will take the passenger to clear immigration and pick up his or her luggage). Dropoff, on the other hand, is simple. The driver waits for you for a maximum of 15 minutes at your pickup spot. Any later and he’s gone.
Although this service is free, this isn’t free free, of course. As with all things, there are strings attached requiring particular minimum spends and capping the number of times you can use the benefit.
Here’s a summary of how the different cards stack up. Disclaimer: Your limo will look nothing like in the cover photo. It’s more like a car service outsourced to a third party, most likely an MPV or a Mercedes E Class type vehicle.
|Min Spend Requirement||Maximum Uses||Airport drop/pickup|
|UOB PRVI Miles||S$1,000 overseas spend in a quarter (excluding online/phone transactions)||2 per quarter, 8 per year||Airport drop only|
|Citi Prestige||S$1,500 overseas spend in a quarter||4 per quarter, 8 per year||Airport drop or pickup|
|HSBC Visa Infinite||S$2,000 spend in a month||24 times a year||Airport drop only|
|OCBC Voyage||S$3,000 in a month||1 per $3,000 spend, 2 per month, limo awards valid for 3 months||Airport drop or pickup|
|Maybank Visa Infinite||S$3,000 in a month||2 per S$3,000 spend, limo awards valid in the next month. Maximum 6 per year||Airport drop and pickup|
- CIMB seems to have the lowest spending requirement needed- a mere S$500 spend within 3 months of travel. However, you can only utilize that once a quarter and a maximum of twice a year
- Citi Prestige and OCBC Voyage offer both airport dropoff and pickups
- PRVI Miles has a different mechanism from the other cards- you are billed S$45 first for the limo, then rebated at the end of the quarter if you hit the S$1,000 overseas spend mark. Some might argue this is better if you haven’t hit the overseas spending target but intend to do so anyway. EDIT: kt85 pointed out that the limo benefit is only for the AMEX version. I had no idea the Visa and MC cards were excluded.
- OCBC Voyage (sigh) seems to have the most onerous of all the cards for limo transfers
One other thing that struck me while researching this was just how few cards had the benefit. I don’t know why but when I started researching I was under the impression this benefit would be much more widespread. I believe quite a few cards used to offer the benefit so long as you charged your air tickets to that card, but that benefit has been slowly enhanced away.
The following miles cards do not offer an airport limo benefit
- DBS Altitude (it used to offer in the past)
- ANZ Travel Card (you can redeem your Travel$ for a limo pickup but it’s spending the equivalent of 3,400 miles on something other cards offer for free)
- Citibank Premiermiles
- Standard Chartered Visa Infinite (they offer 10% rebates on Uber rides capped at S$100 per quarter)
Surcharges- take note
Yes, it’s free, but the T&C of almost all the limo programs hits you with surcharges such as
- A S$10 surcharge for pickups from Sentosa
- A S$10 surcharge for pickup between 12am and 6am
- A S$10 surcharge if the driver has to wait for you for more than 15 minutes
- A S$10 surcharge if you want a 7 seater vehicle and a S$20 surcharge for a 9 seater vehicle
You will likely also face surcharges for late amendments/cancellations. The actual surcharges will differ depending on your card issuer. I’m quoting the above from the UOB T&C but this is a fairly common feature for all airport limo services.
Have I missed out any other cards with airport limo?
(If you liked this post you may want to check out this post on complimentary lounge access with credit cards)
T&Cs for your reference
Citibank Prestige: https://www.citibank.com.sg/global_docs/pdf/Airport_terms_and_condition.pdf
HSBC Visa Infinite: https://www.hsbc.com.sg/1/2/personal/cards/hsbc-visa-infinite-credit-card/hsbcvi/hsbc-vi-tncs
Maybank Visa Infinite: http://info.maybank2u.com.sg/pdf/cards/maybank-visa-infinite-card-tnc.pdf
CIMB Platinum Mastercard: https://www.cimbbank.com.sg/content/dam/cimbsingapore/personal/cards/terms-and-conditions/tnc-platinum-mastercard-20160218.pdf