Tag Archives: credit cards

I challenge anyone to successfully use this hotel coupon

You know how sometimes there are these promotions that seem to want to give with one hand? The whole please enjoy this $5 off coupon which is valid with a min spend of $200. Or here’s a buy 10 get 1 at 50% off voucher for our highly marked up product. Or here’s a free air ticket, which you can redeem on these dates and only covers the base fare but not these ludicrously expensive fuel surcharges (wait isn’t that just Krisflyer)

Well we can now add UOB and Expedia’s latest promotion to that list.

UOB and Expedia are running a “promotion” (if you can even call it that) which gives you 10% off minimum 2 night Expedia stays booked by 31 March 2017 and consumed by 30 June 2017.

the 50% savings is eye catching but the real saving is 10%. All that 50% is saying is that hey! There are rare occasions when Expedia can get you 50% off some vaguely defined rack rate that no one in the right mind would pay anyway!

The catch?

  1. The exclusion list of properties is longer than Taylor Swift’s list of ex-lovers (I do pop culture references just fine, thank you).

For full visual impact, allow me to copy and paste the list here. Play this game- put your finger on the down key on your keyboard and see how long it takes to get to the bottom

  • Amara Singapore
  • Amari
  • Aston Resorts
  • Barcelo
  • Occidental
  • Radisson
  • Country Inn & Suites
  • Radisson Blu
  • Quorvus
  • Park Inn
  • Park Plaza
  • Arenaturist
  • Radisson Edwardian
  • Clarion
  • Econo Lodge
  • Comfort Inn
  • Comfort Suites
  • Quality
  • Rodeway Inn
  • MainStay Suites
  • Ascend Collection
  • CAMBRiA hotel & suites
  • Suburban Extended Stay
  • Sleep Inn
  • Nordic Choice – Quality
  • Nordic Choice – Clarion
  • Nordic Choice – Comfort Inn
  • Nordic Choice – Nordic Resort
  • Nordic Choice – Ascend Collection
  • Corinthia Hotels
  • Dusit hotels
  • Fortune Hotels
  • Furama
  • Embassy Suites
  • Hampton Inn
  • Hilton International
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Doubletree
  • Homewood Suites
  • Conrad
  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Curio Collection
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton
  • Hilton Grand Vacations
  • Hotel 81
  • HV Hotels
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel
  • Holiday Inn
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Inter-Continental
  • Candlewood Hotel
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Ana Hotels International
  • Hotel Indigo
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • EVEN Hotels
  • Holiday Inn Select
  • HUALUXE
  • Kempinski Hotels & Resorts
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites
  • Langham Hotels
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
  • AC by Marriott
  • SpringHill Suites
  • Marriott Hotels & Resorts
  • Residence Inn
  • Fairfield Inn
  • TownePlace Suites
  • Courtyard
  • Protea
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Delta Hotels
  • Renaissance
  • Autograph Collection Hotels & Resorts
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • marriottvacationclub
  • JW Marriott
  • Marriott Conference Centre
  • MOXY
  • Bulgari Hotels & Resorts
  • Gaylord Entertainment
  • Edition
  • Sol
  • Tryp Hotels
  • Melia
  • Gran Melia
  • Me by Melia
  • Sol Melia
  • Paradisus
  • Innside
  • Meritus
  • Millennium Hotels
  • Kingsgate
  • Movenpick Hotels & Resorts
  • NH Hotels
  • Hesperia
  • Jolly Hotels
  • Omni
  • Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts
  • Park Royal Hotels & Resorts
  • Raffles Intl Hotels and Resorts
  • RIU Hotels
  • Rosewood Hotels
  • Sandals Resorts
  • Scandic Hotels
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
  • Six Senses Resorts & Spas
  • Four Points
  • Sheraton Hotel
  • Westin
  • aloft
  • W Hotel
  • Luxury Collection
  • Le Meridien
  • Starwood other branded
  • St Regis
  • element
  • Swiss Quality Hotels
  • Swissotel
  • Vivanta by Taj
  • Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces
  • The Gateway Hotels
  • Leela Group
  • The Peninsula Group
  • Thon Hotels
  • Vincci
  • Knights Inn
  • Baymont Inns & Suites
  • Ramada
  • Super 8
  • Days Inn
  • Wingate Inn
  • Microtel Inn
  • Hawthorn Suites
  • Wyndham Hotels
  • Travelodge
  • Howard Johnson
  • TRYP by Wyndham
  • Dolce Hotels and Resorts
  • Universal Orlando Resort

Oh, we’re not done yet. In addition to chain-level restrictions, there are property-level restrictions too

  • Amara Cay Resort
  • Amara Club Marine Nature
  • Amara Dolce Vita Luxury
  • Amara Guest House
  • Amara Hotel
  • Amara Motel
  • Amara Resort Hua Hin
  • Amara Wing Resort Comfort
  • Amarant Hotel
  • Dusit Buncha Resort Koh Tao
  • Dusit Devarana New Delhi
  • Dusit Island Resort Chiang Rai
  • Dusit Princess Korat
  • Dusit Princess Srinakarin, Bangkok
  • Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi
  • Dusit Thani Bangkok
  • Dusit Thani Hua Hin
  • Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket
  • Dusit Thani Laguna Pool Villa
  • Dusit Thani LakeView Cairo
  • Dusit Thani Maldives
  • Dusit Thani Manila
  • Dusit Thani Pattaya
  • dusitD2 Chiang Mai
  • dusitD2 hotel constance pasadena
  • dusitD2 nairobi
  • dusitD2 phuket resort
  • Hotel Phoenicia Malta
  • Mandarin Hotel Guangzhou
  • Mandarin Hotel Managed by Centre Point
  • Mandarin Pacific Hotel
  • Mandarin Plaza Hotel
  • Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort Langkawi
  • The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas
  • The Leela Palace Bangalore
  • The Leela Palace Chennai
  • The Leela Palace New Delhi
  • The Leela Palace Udaipur
  • The Venetian Macao Resort
  • V Hotel
  • V Hotel
  • V Hotel – Bandung
  • V Hotel & Suites

I am highly, highly amused that Hotel 81 is on the exclusion list.

2. You can only use this coupon at hotels with Expedia Rates

As if that long list of restrictions wasn’t enough, you can only use the 10% off coupon at a hotel which offers Expedia Rates.

Expedia Rates require that your credit card be charged in full upon reservation (are they refundable? I don’t know because I was never able to find one). How hard can it be to find an Expedia Rate property?

Well, I tried. I looked at KL, Bangkok, Paris, Singapore. I rifled through 10+ pages of hotel listings for each geography. I played with different dates. Try as I might, I could not get any Expedia Rates to appear. Here’s a screenshot of what an Expedia Rate property would look like (if it existed)

Oh, I know! I’ll look for this specific hotel that Expedia featured in the screenshot.

Wait wut.

Try as I might I simply could not find an Expedia Rate. I have hence concluded that they are like a cure for male pattern baldness. You hear about it so much you’re certain it must exist, you just can’t find it.

If you could find one, the theory is you enter the code UOBEXPSG to get a further 10% off.

Conclusion

Between the long list of exemption chains/properties and the impossibility of finding an Expedia rate, I really can’t see any reason to jump on this promotion.

If you can find an Expedia Rate, POIDH.

Earn 10X on all your payments with Citi Pay

If you’re looking for a way to max out your Citibank Rewards 10X cap in 2017 in the wake of the sad demise of AXS payments, you might be interested in getting Citi Pay.

Citi Pay is an Android app that lets you use your Citibank cards and NFC enabled phone to pay at merchants. It’s conceptually similar to Android Pay (and indeed one of the big complaints about is why Citibank doesn’t just go with Android and save everyone the need for another app).

The great news is that you earn 10X rewards points  (4 mpd) when you use your Citibank Rewards card (Visa or Mastercard) with Citi Pay.

Citi Pay can be used at any merchant with a tap and pay/contactless/ NFC terminal. It can be used overseas as well, so long as you have mobile data.

Surprisingly, the app has rather crappy reviews on the Google Play store.

It seems that most of the criticisms are that the app doesn’t work on a lot of people’s devices.

It worked absolutely fine on my Blackberry Priv running Android 6.0.1 though.

This promotion is available until 6 April 2017 and the T&C can be found here.  It’s a great opportunity to earn 10X at merchants that normally would not qualify for it.

Remember that your Citibank Rewards card allows you to earn 10X points on a maximum of $12,000 spending per year, after which you earn 1X (0.4 mpd).

A potential MS opportunity for new Citibank cardholders?

Citibank is running a promotion for first time Citibank credit cardholders where you can earn S$20 cashback a month for 6 months after the date of approval, with a minimum spend of S$200 a month.

There is some discrepancy between what’s on the website and what’s stated in the T&C. The T&C say that the sign up period is until 30 June 2017, but the website says 31 March 2017.

Either way, if you’re a first-time Citibank credit cardholder this might be of interest to you because something just dawned on me. I think I might have thought up a way to get some free money/points.

Suppose you apply for a Citibank card and buy a USD Amazon gift card with S$200 equivalent value (I recommend the Rewards card, given the 8mpd promotion that just got extended to 31 March 2017).

You then go to liquidate the gift card on a site like Carousell/Gift Card Granny/Raise/Gift Card Bin/Gift Card Spread or one of the many other gift card liquidation sites.

Because you can buy virtually anything on Amazon, Amazon gift cards liquidate on secondary exchanges at values very close to face. This screenshot from Gift Card Granny shows that it’s possible to liquidate Amazon gift cards at about 98%+ of their face value.

Of course, you need to factor in platform fees. Raise, for example, charges 12% commission on the selling price of the gift card (!). You might be better off trying eBay or another platform. Shop around and see which site lets you keep the most value.

Assuming you manage to sell you Amazon gift card at 98% face value, you will now have

  • S$20 cashback
  • 1,600 miles

Basically, you could take anything up to a 10% haircut on value (through forex fees charged by Citibank and selling fees when liquidating the gift card) and still end up on top, thanks to the 1,600 miles you’ll generate by buying the gift card.

Now repeat this each month for 6 months. Remember that buying gift cards on Amazon codes as any other Amazon purchase. Furthermore, I see nothing on Citibank’s T&C that excludes buying gift cards

5 “Qualifying Spend” refers to any retail transactions (including internet purchases) which do not arise from (i) any Equal Payment Plan (EPP) purchases, (ii) refunded/ disputed/ unauthorised/ fraudulent retail purchases, (iii) Quick Cash transactions and monthly instalments, (iv) Paywise/cash advance/quasi-cash transactions/balance transfers/annual card membership fees/interest/goods and services taxes, (v) bill payments made via Citibank Online/CitiMobile, (vi) late payment fees and (vii) any other form of service/ miscellaneous fees.

You can sign up for pretty much any Citibank card but obviously the Rewards card makes the most sense given the promotion with Amazon

“Eligible Card” refers to Citi PremierMiles Visa, Citi PremierMiles American Express Card, Citi Cash Back Visa Signature (previously known as Citi DIVIDEND Visa Signature), Citi Cash Back World MasterCard (previously known as Citi DIVIDEND World MasterCard), Citi Rewards Visa, Citi Rewards World MasterCard, Citi SMRT Platinum Visa Card and Citi M1 Platinum Visa Card only.

This promotion actually started back in August 2016, apparently, but I’ve only thought of this now. I’m sure I can’t have been the only one. I think the potential monkey wrench in the works is liquidating the Amazon gift card, but worse come to worse you can always use it for yourself. You can even use your Amazon gift card to buy an AirBnB gift card, or some Playstation credit or otherwise convert it into a currency that you’ll find useful.