Tag Archives: scb

What do you make of the new Standard Chartered Visa Infinite sign up offer?

I received a nice glossy mailer from Standard Chartered (getting snail mail makes me feel alive) advertising a new sign up offer for their Visa Infinite card.

Image result for standard chartered visa infinite

For successful applications approved before 17 June 2017, SCB is offering a choice of two promotions (T&C here)-

  • 86,000 miles with S$12,000 spending within 60 days of approval OR
  • 66,000 miles + 28 inch Samsonite bag with S$12,000 spending within 60 days of approval

The 35,000 mile welcome gift was always available with the payment of the $588.50 annual fee (SCB used to disclose the annual fee before GST but now includes it, as per their obligations under the income tax act. Sorry, but this always bugged the accountant in me), and the 36,000 base miles would have been yours anyway had you spent $12,000 overseas under the regular T&C of the card. Therefore, the real carrot they’re offering is the 15,000 miles you get when you spend S$12,000 within 60 days of approval.

I’ll have a fair amount of overseas spending on my upcoming RTW trip, and gave some serious thought as to whether I could make this work.

If I were to bring along my UOB Visa Signature card for my overseas spending, I’d be able to get 4 mpd on $2,000 a statement cycle for the 2 cycles I’ll be overseas for. That’s a total of 16,000 miles.

Assuming I spent the other $8,000 on my UOB PRVI Miles at 2.4 mpd, I’d end up with a total of 16,000 + 2.4 * 8,000=35,200 miles for $12,000 of overseas spending.

If I went with the SCB Visa Infinite, I’d end up with 86,000 miles but would be out of pocket $588.50 for the annual fee. So conceptually speaking, I’d be paying $588.50 for the ability to acquire 50,800 more miles than my best alternative. This is about 1.16 cpm, a fairly decent amount.

My actual outlay would be less than $588.50, however, given that SCB is running a rebate promotion with Uber until 30 Sept 2017 that gives you 20% cashback on your Uber (Eats + regular Uber) spending each month, up to $50. You need to spend at least $600 a month on your SCB card to qualify.

After this promotion ends, the SCB VI card still offers 10% cashback on Uber spending capped at $100 a calendar quarter and $400 a year.

I use Uber a lot for work, so assuming I could max out this promotion, I’d get $50*5 (May-Sept, 20% rebate promotion)+ $100 (Oct-Dec, 10% rebate regular) + $100 (Jan-Mar, 10% regular rebate) and a bit more for April to May before my annual fee is due again. That’s about $450 in value, which sounds so generous I’m starting to think I’ve not done this calculation properly*.  And I’d need to spend upwards of $3,250 on Uber in under a year. Which means I’d need to order dinner for quite a few people in the office…

*The T&C of the 20% Uber rebate promotion doesn’t specify how it interacts with the usual 10% rebate granted to the SCB VI card, but I think it’s safe to assume they don’t stack. Likewise, I’m not sure if the bonus cashback earned on the 20% promotion will count towards the $400 annual cap on the SCB VI. 

But assuming it does, and I max out at $400, that’s an actual outlay of just below $200 which makes the card more palatable.

Benefits of the SCB Visa Infinite Card

I’ve written about the perks of the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite before here, but I believe some additional benefits have been added since then. To recap, you get

  • 1.4 mpd for local spending and 3 mpd for overseas spending, provided you spend a minimum of S$2,000 in a statement cycle. If you don’t, you get 1 mpd for both
  • 6 free lounge visits a year via Priority Pass
  • A free 4 hour yacht charter for 14 people if you spend $75,000 in a year (worryingly, blackout periods and 20% peak period surcharges apply)
  • The Uber credits I mentioned above

But then I asked Jeriel what he thought and he reminded me of what I’ve told many a person- don’t acquire miles speculatively. Thanks to our good friend the HSBC Advance card, I have a sizable amount of unconverted points with no travel plans in the near future. So the more I think about it, the more I can’t really justify paying the annual fee.

What does this mean for your sign up bonus strategy?

However, if you’ve got upcoming big ticket purchases (and meet the minimum income requirement of $150K per annum) you may want to consider this card. Note that if you spent that $12,000 locally instead of overseas, you’d end up with 35,000 (joining gift) + 15,000 (bonus) + 16,800 (base miles @ 1.4 mpd)= 66,800 miles from $12,588.50 of spend.

What other options do you have?

  • If you’re not already a Citibank credit card holder, you can get the Premiermiles card and spend $10,192.60 (including $192.60 annual fee) within 3 months of obtaining the card to get 42,000 miles
  • You could get the AMEX Rewards card, spend $1,535.50 (including $53.50 annual fee) within 3 months to get 13,333 miles
  • You could get the DBS Altitude Visa card, spend $2,000 ($1,000 a month for 2 months) to get 10,000 miles (for new DBS/POSB cardholders. Existing get 7,000)
  • You could get the Krisflyer Ascend card, spend $6,337.50 (including $337.50 annual fee) in the first 3 months after approval and get 20,000 miles (but please, don’t use the card after that)

This means that in theory, someone with an upcoming spend of ~$31,500 (renovation, wedding, paternity suit) could get just over 170,000 miles if they time their sign up bonuses just right (and were willing to pay a total of $1,172.10 in annual fees).

So I’ll probably not go for this sign up offer, but anyone who has upcoming big spending might want to see if they can build a strategy around this.

Support The Milelion when you sign up for credit cards

The Milelion is free and will always be.

Different websites have different ways of staying free. Some websites have annoying autoplay video ads. Others have adblock blockers that obnoxiously take up your whole screen and demand you unblock them. Still others have a big popunder asking them to subscribe to a spammy newsletter.

The Milelion doesn’t go for any of that. All ads are non-obtrusive and on the sidebar. Block them if they annoy you (but if they don’t, consider whitelisting). The newsletter is yours to subscribe to via the small box on the left. You won’t get a begging signup box blocking your screen. And autoplay video ads? Come the revolution, any website with those will be first against the wall.

But ultimately, The Milelion needs to be sustainable. And I’d prefer to do this in the least intrusive way possible. That’s why we’re going to start putting affiliate links in some articles for ANZ, Citibank and Standard Chartered credit cards. HSBC will follow soon. UOB and DBS, unfortunately, do not partner with the affiliate network I’m using but we might be able to get them through a 3rd party finance site.

How these links work is simple- if you read about a credit card that sounds like something you might like, sign up for it through our link. We’ll earn a referral fee. Signing up this way still makes you eligible for whatever sign up bonus/gifts the banks offer.

For example, if you click on the ANZ credit card link  to sign up for an ANZ Travel Card, you’ll see this

And if you sign up for the Travel Visa Signature Card, you’ll get the 25,000 bonus miles and 28″ luggage, subject to meeting the regular T&C.

Remember- I don’t see any of this money. All costs incurred in running The Milelion (social and otherwise) are borne by me. All revenues earned by the site until 31 July go to support World Vision.

We’re a bit lower than I was expecting at this time in the campaign, but hopefully with the additional revenue from affiliate sign ups we’ll meet the $5K goal.

Final point: I understand people might be concerned about how this affects content objectivity. That’s fair enough. The last thing I want is this becoming the kind of website that can say with a straight face that the Krisflyer Ascend card is a good option(I swear, they updated the headline to add “Or the worst?” since I last read it).

Let me put it this way- over the past 2 years The Milelion has been in existence I’ve made it clear I’d rather die than recommend a crappy card to someone. And although there are some great affiliate offers for crappy cards, including a particular mall-related AMEX that I have described, rather charitably, as possibly the worst card in Singapore, I’m not going to put those links here. I trust you have the right resources here to know which cards you should and shouldn’t be applying for, if you want to play the miles game.

I’m going to put some links below, but I will progressively populate older articles (like my good friend the Milelion Credit Card Omnibus) with these as well.

Thanks to everyone for your support

Aaron


ANZ

Travel Visa Signature

UPDATE: I’d advise against applying for this card given the recent cuts to benefits. No more 10k miles when paying the annual fee. 

Despite the recent devaluation of the lounge access benefit, the ANZ Travel Visa Signature remains a solid card to have assuming you travel frequently to Australia/NZ. You can get up to 25,000 miles if you’re willing to pay the first year annual fee and spend $3,000 in the first month.

Get more air miles with every dollar

Citibank

If you’re a new Citibank cardholder, you can get $120 cashback when you sign up here. I wrote a short article on how this can be a potential avenue to MS, if you’re into that sort of thing…

Citibank Rewards Card

Apply here

The old stalwart of the rewards card portfolio, the Citibank Rewards may have lost some utility ever since bill payment via AXS was taken away, but regular promotions like the one with Amazon make it a solid card to have in my book.

Citibank Premiermiles Visa

Apply here

I don’t love Citibank’s policy of having separate redemption fees for ThankYou points and Premiermiles, but I do love that they have the most useful transfer partners of any SG based bank.

For the full runthrough you can refer to the Citibank entry in the credit card omnibus.

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered Visa Infinite

Image result for standard chartered visa infinite

Apply here

The SC Visa Infinite (S$30,000 income requirement (!) if you’re a priority/private banking customer, S$150,000 if not) has an a choice of 2 welcome gifts in exchange for a S$588.50 annual fee

  1. 35,000 miles
  2. 25,000 miles plus S$100 Uber Credit

If you opt for (1), you are essentially buying miles at 1.68 cents each. This is one of the lowest rates I’ve ever seen for sign up/renewal bonuses. There are some decent card related bonuses too, and if you’re the sort who puts at least S$2K spend on your card each month you can earn 3 mpd on overseas spending.


We’ll add more links once HSBC comes through, hopefully there’ll be another extension to the 10X points on the Advance Card?

Free Crystal Jadeite Membership for SCB Cardholders

Standard Chartered has partnered with Crystal Jade  to offer a complimentary Crystal Jadeite membership for all SCB credit and debit card holders. DBS has done something similar to this in the past but that promotion is since over.

You can sign up here for this promotion. At the time of writing, their sign up link was not working- it redirects you to the DBS promotion sign up page which has since expired. I suppose that will get fixed shortly.

Members get

  • Up to 12% rebate for every S$1 spent year round
  • Up to 20% rebate for every S$1 spent during the month of your birthday and during Members’ Day
  • A complimentary appetizer voucher at Crystal Jade Kitchen
  • A complimentary appetizer voucher at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao/Jiangnan
  • 20% off dining voucher at Crystal Jade Kitchen or La Mian Xiao Long Bao/ Jiangnan
  • 15% off e-voucher for dining bill at any participating restaurant

To max out the discount (i.e. to get the advertised “up to” rebate %) you’ll need to pay with a DBS or SCB credit card. If you use any other bank’s credit card you will get a 10% rebate instead of a 12% rebate.

Note that this complimentary sign up promotion is different from what you get when you sign up for the standard Crystal Jadeite membership. If you pay the $38 fee to sign up you will get the aforementioned gifts + $40 of Crystal Jade points that can be used towards your next meal. So you do come out on top, assuming you intend to dine there more than once.

Membership is valid for 1 year and will be automatically renewed if you’ve spent more than $1,000 in your membership year. Failing which, an $18 fee is payable (but gives you $20 of Crystal Jade points)

You should read the FAQ here and note the exclusions- you won’t earn points during the highly lucrative CNY period sadly, nor for set menus or festive products.  The full T&C are here.

This offer is available for sign us till 30 Nov 2016.