Which credit card has the best airport limo option?

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$5,000 spend in a quarter Unlimited within that quarter Airport drop only
CIMB Platinum Mastercard S$500 spend within 3 months of departure date 1 per quarter, 2 per year Airport drop only
OCBC Voyage S$5,000 in a month 1 per $5,000 spend, 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 Airport drop only

Observations

  • 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
  • HSBC offers an unlimited number of dropoffs if you can spend S$5,000 in a quarter. Not bad, assuming you can hit those figures
  • 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
OCBC Voyage:
https://www.ocbc.com/assets/pdf/cards/voyage-card-privileges-terms.pdf
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
UOB PRVI:
http://www.uob.com.sg/assets/pdfs/limousine_booking_tnc.pdf

19 thoughts on “Which credit card has the best airport limo option?”

  1. ANZ Travel Signature used to offer for $2,500 spend in a month for pickup/drop off. but they have taken it away early this year. Sigh.

  2. limos are a good perk, but i find it annoying having to book in advance. also with uber x and grab economy, the value of these rides fall to about $15sgd.

    the ‘limos’ from UOB tend to be big Merc Vans which are not luxurious at all, or basic Merc E Classes. Again not luxurious at all.

    1. Agreed. With Citi prestige you need to book a certain number of days in advance, which means calling the concierge while you are on holiday and paying for a LONG overseas call just to arrange for the pick up. Completely not worth it.

      1. I don’t understand this particular point – if you’ve already flown overseas, wouldn’t you usually have your return flight details already? I guess it might be a problem if you frequently travel at the last minute, but is that really the norm?

        Plus, Citi Prestige concierge allows you to just email them with the requests. I’ve found it very convenient – can easily arrange my transfers with just a simple email. No need to waste time waiting on the phone anymore.

      1. when i first saw your post i wondered “what the hell is he saying of course it’s for all”. then i went to check the fine print and realised you’re right. i’m really surprised to see this- Complimentary airport transfer
        Free airport transfers to Changi Airport for PRVI Miles American Express Cardmembers

        fancy that.

      1. UOB only refunds the 45 dollars in the end of the next quarter; in fact so far in my experience at the very end of the next quarter. So e.g. For a Limo ride on 1st Jan you could be waiting until june 30 for the rebate.

  3. OCBC voyage is airport drop and pick-up. The handy part is the 3 months validity. Similar to ANZ last time. At least gives some time/options for stock-piling hehe

  4. let it be a call or email, still rather old fashioned and redundant to book a damm cab to or from the airport. i can probably book a helicopter or plane in another country via an app now.

    i really wonder if they’ll save themselves money making a deal with uber/grab/comfort delgro instead. this way they can credit us back immediately when they see the appropriate transactions.

    its pathetic we need to wait 5/6 months for a refund.

  5. DBS Treasures has airport pickup … we haven’t paid for a cab back from Changi for the past eight years. Not sure what the qualifying bank balance/credit card is, though. Maybe you can tell us.

    1. would that be dbs treasures or dbs treasures private client (asia treasures)? the two have quite different qualification requirements. i know TPC has complimentary airport pickup on arrival.

        1. haha yes that is a very high tier. i can’t remember offhand the amount of AUM you need to qualify for TPC but it should be north of 2 mil

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